First-year Ph.D. students got their second semester of graduate school off to a quick start on Monday with the first-ever Graduate School Ethics Workshop, held at the Hilton Garden Inn at Saint Mary’s College.
The workshop involved the interaction of students for various exercises, including a live role-playing session to simulate ethical situations and dilemmas that students might face, both during their academic career and following the completion of their degrees. Greg Sterling, Dean of the Graduate School, opened the proceedings with a clip from the movie, “The Fugitive,” that illustrated an example of unethical conduct in the pharmaceutical industry, while also outlining ethical obligations to the public and one’s profession, in addition to an obligation to oneself.
Other presenters for the workshop included Melinda Gormley, Assistant Director for Research at the Reilly Center; Amanda McKendree, Assistant Director of the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning; Gretchen Busl, Associate Program Director of Grants and Fellowships at the Graduate School; and Ann Amico Moran, Assistant Director of the Graduate School Career Program and the Career Center.
Alasdair MacIntyre delivers the keynote address at the Graduate School's Ethics Workshop
Following lunch, where students from the Colleges of Law, Business and Architecture joined in, Alasdair MacIntyre, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Senior Research Professor of Philosophy (emeritus) at the University of Notre Dame, delivered a keynote address entitled, Everyday Ethics, Ethics of Crisis. Among other topics, MacIntyre spoke of the importance for researchers to correctly represent their findings, regardless of the challenges faced by them. MacIntyre also echoed the ideas presented by Dean Sterling at the beginning of the workshop by emphasizing the importance of truth to oneself, to one’s work and to one’s community. Following his address, Professor MacIntyre took questions from the assembled students.
The Graduate School’s Ethics Workshop is a new requirement for all Ph.D. students matriculating in 2011 and later, with students required to attend one three-hour ethics workshop prior to the completion of their degree. The program was established after a recommendation from the 2009-10 Graduate Council and approved by the Directors of Graduate Studies. In all, more than 250 first-year Ph.D. students attended this first workshop.
For additional photos from the day’s events, see the event photo gallery.