Philosophy Department to Host Inaugural Ethics Symposium

Lehigh University will hold its first annual Undergraduate Ethics Symposium on Saturday, April 18, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. in STEPS 101.

Robin Dillon, William Wilson Selfridge Professor and Chair of Philosophy, says the symposium’s goal is to raise awareness throughout the Lehigh community that ethical issues arise in all academic disciplines and in everyday life, on campus and in the larger world, and to inspire students to have conversations outside of class.

In addition to the intellectual reward, Dillon says student presenters are eligible to receive four cash prizes. The donor has provided funds to be used for $200 prizes for a student with the best presentation in each college, and a $350 prize for the best presentation over all. The cash prizes serve as acknowledgement for how important this is, and to provide an incentive for students to participate.

Made possible by the Endowed Fund for the Teaching of Ethical Decision-Making, the symposium is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the College of Business and Economics, the PC Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and numerous departments within CAS. Brandyn Bok,’15, and Candice Travis, ’14, are the student coordinators for the symposium. Travis, who received a B.A. in Philosophy from Lehigh last year, is pursuing an M.A. in Political Science at Lehigh. Bok, a current philosophy major, is also pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Mechanical Engineering through the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) Program.  The pair, who are officers of the Lehigh chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the national philosophy honor society, wrote the proposal for the symposium and have been working with Dillon on the publicity campaign and program organization. Assisting Travis and Bok are Hyowon Park ‘16, Daniel Leal ‘16, Olivia Adams ’18, and Kevin Augustyn ’17.

“We know that there are lots of courses at Lehigh that address ethical issues in a variety of ways,” says Dillon. “The purpose of the symposium is to bring together students from all three of the undergraduate colleges, in all disciplines, to talk about ethical issues from the perspective of their disciplines, or their lives as Lehigh students or human beings.” Dillon adds she thinks this is a terrific opportunity for Lehigh students and hopes people will attend the symposium to engage with the presenters in discussions of important issues.

More information about the symposium can be found on at

-Christina Holden ‘15