Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program announces 2023 student ambassadors, ethics fellows and ethics champions

Eight UCCS Students join 2023-2024 Ethics Ambassador Cohort, partner with campus Ethics Advisors

Student Ambassadors; Top row (left to right): Madeline Metzger; Khamani Murphy; Echolalia Randolph. Middle row (left to right): Gregory Abukar-Duru; Sana Hamad. Bottom row (left to right): Braden Wedel; Maya Cafasso; ISean’Dre’ Ezell

A total of eight students (six incoming, two returning) from across UCCS have been selected to pursue principle-based ethics projects with a paired UCCS ethics fellow for the Fall 2023 semester. These students will engage in ethics opportunities, gain program-based work experience and develop valuable leadership skills. 

The student ethics ambassador program is offered through the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS College of Business and allows students to earn up to $1,500 per semester working on principle-based ethics projects at UCCS. 

Students selected for the ethics ambassador program are paired with an ethics fellow in their field of interest to create ethics programs, conferences and curriculum to be delivered to UCCS and the greater southern Colorado community. Ethics ambassadors are given unique opportunities to network with industry professionals and compete in state- and nation-wide ethics events to demonstrate critical thinking skills in business ethics. Each student works collaboratively with their ethics expert to share resources and initiatives with students, educators and the business community. 

“This fall, we are pleased to have eight students serve as ethics ambassadors for the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program,” said Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, director of the DFEI at UCCS. “By championing ethics on and off campus, their commitment will help further our understanding of ethical decision-making and leadership.”

Each student ethics ambassador receives a nomination from UCCS faculty and staff and submits a statement detailing how they intend to utilize ethics to support their academic and career goals. 

The new Fall 2023 student ambassadors include: 

2023-2024 UCCS Student Ethics Ambassadors/Fellow Advisor 

  • Gregory Abukar-Duru, Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, College of Public Service
    • Fellow: Katy Hudson, Senior Instructor, College of Public Service
  • Maya Cafasso, Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, College of Public Service
    • Fellow: Katy Hudson, Senior Instructor, College of Public Service
  • ISean’Dre’ Ezell, Bachelor of Innovation, Game Design and Development, College of Engineering
    • Fellow: Colleen Stiles, Senior Instructor for the Bachelor of Innovation program, College of Business
  • Sana Hamad, Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, College of Public Service
    • Fellow: Katy Hudson, Senior Instructor, College of Public Service
  • Madeline Metzger, Bachelor of Science, Nursing, Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
    • Fellow: Mary Claire Wahl, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Khamani James Murphy, Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration, College of Business
    • Fellow: Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, Director, Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS and Professor, Marketing & International Business, College of Business

The students above will be joined by these returning student ethics ambassadors in Fall 2023: 

  • Echolalia Randolph, Bachelor of Innovation, Digital Media, College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
    • Fellow: Thomas Wahl, Senior Instructor, Technical Communication & Information Design, College of Letters, Arts & Sciences
  • Braden Wedel, Business, Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration (PGA Golf Management), College of Business
    • Fellow: March Bacheldor, Program Director of PGA Golf Management, College of Business

This year’s student ethics ambassadors bring perspectives from a variety of majors and industries, and each have put ethics at the forefront of their educational goals.  

“Being an ambassador allows me to apply innovative ideas to our campus and create a stronger, more ethical community,” said Sana Hamad. “I want to make the college experience more enjoyable for every student, and by joining DFEI, I can apply ethical principles to create a better experience for all. As a first-generation minority student, being an ambassador would allow me to connect with other students like me. By sharing our wisdom with each other, this would lead me to a new lens where I can create DFEI events and activities that would connect with more students.”

“I know that in order to be the best leader I can be and to have the biggest impact on my communities, I must also be ever-growing and improving…By expanding my understanding of ethics and being able to practice them in a meaningful way, I know I can expand my abilities and therefore make me more competent for my communities,” said Madeline Metzger.

“I am interested in this program because my time in student government taught me to always strive to ensure those in leadership positions are ethical and doing their best to bring out the leadership in others,” said Khamani J. Murphy. “I will make sure I support this program by showing up my best self…I hope to learn additional ways that I can support those around campus in upholding the ethics of those they interact with and those in leadership positions across the country.”

Find more information about the 2023-24 student ethics ambassadors here

Nine UCCS faculty and staff selected as Ethics Fellows

Nine faculty and staff members will serve as Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS College of Business Ethics Fellows during the 2023-24 academic year. The prestigious Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative faculty fellowships are awarded to UCCS faculty who demonstrate excellence in pedagogical activities related to applied business, professional and organizational ethics.

The new fellows are:

  • Ila DeBose, Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work, College of Public Service
  • Cory Gavitt, Senior Instructor, UCCS Teach, College of Education
  • Margaret Hunt, Principal Instructor, Health Sciences, Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Jon Husby, Principal Program and Intern Coordinator, PGM, College of Business
  • Katherine Mack, Professor of English, College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
  • Roger Martinez-Davila, Professor of History, College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
  • Markus Moeder-Chandler, Instructor, Counseling and Human Services, College of Education
  • Jin Peng, Assistant Professor of Finance, College of Business
  • Abigael “AJ” Vafiades, HR Professional, College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

The ethics fellow program started in 2011 in the College of Business and quickly expanded to other colleges across campus. This year, 87 educators on UCCS campus will serve as ethics fellows.

Each fellow is selected based upon their proposal to encourage learning opportunities in ethical thought and decision making to their respective college and area of focus. This extension of principle-based ethics can take the form of classroom materials, workshops and other various platforms, according to Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, director, Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS and professor, College of Business.

“We are pleased to welcome nine new ethics fellows from across the campus to present innovative approaches to principle-based ethics education” said Tracy Gonzalez-Padron. “The UCCS ethics fellow program is a resource for ethics in the workplace for UCCS students, our alumni, and our Colorado Springs community.”

UCCS fellows work with ethics champions from eleven colleges and universities in southern Colorado through the UCCS Southern Colorado Ethics Consortium (SCEC) Ethics Champions Program. The SCEC Ethics Champion program is designed to create a collaborative community to expand principle-based ethics in southern Colorado.

A welcome dinner was held on August 14, 2023, to recognize the incoming DFEI at UCCS Fellows, UCCS Student Ethics Ambassadors and SCEC Ethics Champions. An orientation on the following day prepared them for their new roles as ethics educators. For more information about becoming an ethics fellow, visit our website.

14 ethics champions selected in southern Colorado

DFEI recently welcomed seven new and seven returning faculty and staff members from regional colleges to serve as 2023-24 Ethics Champions.

The ethic champions represent two- and four-year colleges from the Southern Colorado Ethics Consortium (SCEC) and work to expand principled-based ethics education throughout their campus and regional community. Each ethics champion works collaboratively with the DFEI at UCCS to share resources and initiatives with educators throughout southern Colorado.

“We are pleased to welcome our ethics champions for 2023-24! Each represents southern Colorado higher education institutions who instill principle-based ethics on their campus,” said Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, director, DFEI at UCCS. “The goal of the Southern Colorado Ethics Consortium is to create a collaborative community to champion principle-based ethics in southern Colorado. We look forward to sharing best practices and learn from our new and returning ethics champions.”

The new champions are:

  • Jadyn Bevington, Mentoring Coordinator, Otero College
  • Christopher “CJ” Clugston, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Western Colorado University
  • Joseph Eubank, TRiO Student Support Service Advisor, Otero College
  • Michele E. Johnson, Assistant Professor of Officer Development Integration, United States Air Force Academy
  • Chris Picicci, Professor and Program Director, Italian, Colorado State University Pueblo
  • Callico Vargas, Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Work, Colorado State University Pueblo
  • Micah Velasquez, Business Faculty, Business/Computer Information Systems, Trinidad State College

Returning champions include:

  • J. Beth Almanza, Professor of Medical Imaging, Pueblo Community College
  • Keith E. Clayton, Business Instructor, Odyssey Early College and Career Options
  • Scott Heyler, Assistant Professorof Management, United States Air Force Academy
  • Carol Kurkowski, Professor of Business, Pikes Peak State College
  • Monica Novack, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Pikes Peak State College
  • Michael Vieregge, Professor ofBusiness Administration, Western Colorado University
  • Anthony “AJ” Webb, Visiting Assistant Professor of Health Care Administration, Adams State University

For more information about the 2023-24 ethics champions, visit our website.

About the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at the UCCS College of Business is a resource for principle-based ethics education, serving students, educators 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 twelve participating schools.

The DFEI supports the Southern Colorado Education Consortium (SCEC) for nine higher education institutions in the southern half of the state. In 2016, the DFEI Collegiate Program at UCCS launched an ethics champion pilot program to expand best practices in ethics education. Each participating school has educators serving as Ethics Champions on their campus to expand principle-based ethics education and resources throughout southern Colorado. The program has since expanded to include a large variety of events and programs for educators, students and business members throughout southern Colorado. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu/businessethics.