EWC Team Again Wins UW-Led Wyoming Collegiate Business Ethics Case Competition

three people posing together
The University of Wyoming recently hosted the third annual Wyoming Collegiate Business Ethics Case Competition. Members of the winning Eastern Wyoming College team, from left, are Marko Krtinic, Vanesa Marinova and Ryan Swan. (UW Photo)

A team from Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) recently won the third annual Wyoming Collegiate Business Ethics Case Competition at the University of Wyoming.

Hosted by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative (DFEI) Collegiate Program through UW’s Center for Principle-Based Leadership and Ethics, five Wyoming community college teams competed in the competition earlier this month.

Members of the winning EWC team were Marko Krtinic, Vanesa Marinova and Ryan Swan. The team was advised by EWC faculty members Ellen Creagar, social science/business professor, and Jennifer Minks, associate professor of business.

“Having coached a team last year made this year so much better,” Minks says. “We knew how to better prepare them, how the whole event would work and even how to practice with the students before we got this year’s case. This team was incredibly creative and supportive of each other. Each day, we made so much progress because of their drive to do well.”

Creagar says the team had “tremendous community support, and those great vibes were with us” throughout the UW-sponsored competition.

“The UW business ethics group is so organized and welcoming. They are fantastic hosts. It is a great event in every way,” Creagar says. “It was such an honor and delight to coach Ryan, Vanesa and Marko. They worked hard all semester, tirelessly the month before the competition, meeting every day and coming to sessions prepared. They were flexible and bold, eager and committed. It does not get any better than that in our business as educators.”

The goal of the competition is to provide student teams with a space to practice and hone their business ethics skills. Judges were UW DFEI alumni Sean Donovan, a UW MBA student from Centennial, Colo.; Brynn Seder, a master’s finance candidate from Reno, Nev.; and Grant Asay, an auto restoration shop owner.

“It is said that the best way to learn is by doing, and ethics case competitions allow students to do just that,” says Chase Thiel, UW’s Bill Daniels Chair of Business Ethics. “Student participants of this competition were challenged with a real-world business ethics case incorporating several contemporary themes and were asked to present a coherent solution through written and oral reports. The best solutions are those that are foremost ethical, but also financially and legally viable.”

Winning EWC team members say they gained valuable experience.

“My biggest takeaway from this competition was how important it is to be guided by a set of principles and values throughout life,” Swan says. “It does not matter if you are involved in business -- your principles will ground you and shape the person you are. I was excited to do this competition again this year because I really love the creativity of the competition.”

Marinov adds that she is glad the team won, but she gained life experiences.

“This experience gave me a better idea of how to work ethically and with integrity,” she says. “It also increased my drive to make positive changes in my life.”

And, Krtinic says, “This was the best academic experience I have had. I enjoyed the team and competing with them. It was an amazing experience.”

Each member of the EWC team will receive $300, while a faculty adviser stipend will be used by Creagar and Minks to help cover costs of the course.

“On the whole, the competition was extremely competitive this year, and all participating teams should be commended. This year’s winning team stood apart with their detailed analysis and solution,” Thiel says. “They integrated sound ethical principles while attending to practical considerations. Further, they provided a clear roadmap for implementing their plan.”

Second-place winners, who will receive $200 each, were Laramie County Community College (LCCC) students Jace Kappeler and team captain Spencer Lowry. The team was advised by LCCC faculty member Danielle Adams, an accounting and business instructor.

Third-place winners, who will receive $100 each, were Central Wyoming College (CWC) students Juan Maria, team captain Marcus Moors, Amanda Poe and Andres Garcia Trochez. The team was advised by CWC faculty member Tamara Forbis, an assistant professor of business.

Community college teams needing more information about the spring 2024 Wyoming Collegiate Business Ethics Case Competition can email Josie Voight, UW College of Business project coordinator, at voight@uwyo.edu.

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