20 teams compete virtually in the 10th annual Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative UCCS Ethics Case Competition

A screen capture of 42 people clapping in a virtual event

Seven southern Colorado colleges and universities competed virtually for the 10th Annual Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS Case Competition Saturday, Oct. 17. A record 52 students participated in the case analysis among three tracks: undergraduate 2-year, undergraduate 4-year and graduate. Participants formed teams of two or three students and each group had access to faculty advisors for counsel during the case development.

Students presented their case recommendations to a panel of judges, made up of business professionals from Colorado Springs and around the U.S. Each presentation required stakeholder assessment, ethical reasoning and business decision-making skills.

The undergraduate 2-and-4-year teams were tasked with resolving an incident with Big Boom Beverages, a young beverage company marketing an alcoholic and caffeine energy drink that created a following on social media, but encouraged unacceptable behaviors that threatened the industry.

The graduate teams offered a recommendation to the Corporate Executive Committee of Roche Pharmaceuticals, a company dealing with a poor reputation for vaccine development after public attention on unethical actions during Egyptian drug trials.

“Students look forward to our case competition every year, so in order to hold the event safely in terms of travel considerations and social distancing protocols, we made the decision to host it virtually,” said Tracy Gonzalez-Pardon, director of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS College of Business. “The virtual format allowed for participation of teams throughout Colorado and judges from around country. Even in a virtual presentation, each student demonstrated an understanding of principle-based ethics and decision-making in business – something employers will notice.”

The competition concluded with a virtual award ceremony to recognize the 2020 Case Competition Winners:

Undergraduate 2-Year Track

  • 1st Place: Pikes Peak Community College – Andre Guy, Adriana Jarmusz and Shelia Presley: Faculty Advisor: April Frost
  • 2nd Place: Pikes Peak Community College – Angel Avila, Casey Branham and Lyddien Davis; Faculty Advisor: Teresa Ward

Undergraduate 4-Year Track

  • 1st Place: University of Colorado Colorado Springs – Rebekah Emerson, Michaela Petti and Roxaly Diaz Delgado; Faculty Advisor: Sloan Gonzales
  • 2nd Place: United States Air Force Academy Joseph Sladek, Nakai Lake and Logan Konst; Faculty Advisor: Scott Heyler
  • 3rd Place: University of Colorado Colorado SpringsShaun Sherman, Blanca Diaz and Josephine Lemon; Faculty Advisor: Stephanie Gangemi

Graduate Track

  • 1st Place (tied): Western Colorado University – Veronica Wilde, Christina Bruno and Abigail Miller; Faculty Advisors: Jeffery Dykes and Jessica Laramie
  • 1st Place (tied): University of Colorado Colorado Springs – Ali Singer and Sarah Moore; Faculty Advisor: Jeff Spicher

Students represented seven southern Colorado institutions, including Adams State University,  Odyssey Early College, Pikes Peak Community College, Pueblo Community College, UCCS, United States Air Force Academy and Western Colorado University.

The judging panel consisted of 15 business members from all over the country, including Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Kansas and California:  

  • Dan Artamenko, Seward County Community College Director of Athletics
  • Diana Cerecki, Hero Practice Services Financial Operations Analyst
  • Guy Chavez, University of Colorado Assistant Director of Grants
  • Caitlin Campbell, Tower Financial Partners
  • Mary Feten, UCCS MBA Alumni
  • Lexi Fritz, Marketing Specialist
  • Thomas Griffin, UCLA Health and Health Sciences Ombudsperson
  • Jacque Jewell, FedEx Services
  • Kayla Mariah Maldonado, Marketing Director for Waypoint Bank in Colorado Springs
  • Liz Moore, UCCS COB retiree
  • CJ Moore, Community Advocate
  • Marjorie Noleen, SKR+CO, Marketing + Client Relations Director, 
  • Teresa Thomas, WGI Inc. Chief Financial Officer
  • Otto Sunday, United States Air Force
  • Amy Sutz, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Student Employment and Scholarships for Compliance

“We are very proud of this year’s case competition teams,” said Karen Markel, dean of the UCCS College of Business. “These students demonstrated a strong understanding of principle-based ethics and presented excellent recommendations on their cases. A special thank you to all of the participating schools, the business judges and the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS College of Business for making this year’s competition a success.”


The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS College of Business is a resource for principle-based ethics education, serving students, educators the and business community. The UCCS College of Business is one of eight original participating schools in the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program that now includes ten participating business schools and one law school. Since 2016, the DFEI Collegiate Program at UCCS has partnered with schools in Southern Colorado to expand principle-based ethics education through an Ethics Champions Program. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu/businessethics/  

The UCCS College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting and Executive Doctor of Business Administration degrees. More than 10,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. For more information, visit business.uccs.edu.