Thursday, November 1, 2018
By Rebekah Tilley

University of Iowa students Hira Mustafa and Abby Haynes took home the top honor at the 16th Annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition hosted by the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

This invitation-only competition plays host to a select group of 24 teams from top public and private business schools from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This year’s prompt challenged participants to weigh the ethical implications of a hypothetical company developing artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition technology for law enforcement.

“Not only did I get an opportunity to network with students from across the continent, but I gained real-world experience of what it means to ground your decisions in ethics,” said Mustafa, president of University of Iowa Student Government. “The research we did helped me understand what types of ethical considerations need to go into business decisions and how to communicate that decision calculus effectively to our audience.”

Haynes, a senior majoring in marketing, said the competition win was a capstone to her undergraduate experience at the Tippie College of Business and underscored the power of a positive mindset and effective teamwork.

“The most critical tool in our preparation was having two teammates who were not afraid to provide constructive feedback,” said Haynes, president of Tippie’s Business Student Ambassador Organization. “Towards the end of our prep work, Hira and I were picking each other apart on the tiniest of details, but not once did either of us get defensive. We always heard what the other person was saying and used this feedback to improve.”

In preparation for the competition, Mustafa and Haynes said they drew on guidance from Professor Diane Jeske and Assistant Professor Asha Bhandary in the UI Department of Philosophy in addition to support from Tippie Associate Dean Ken Brown, Frank Business Communication Center Director Pam Bourjaily and Assistant Director Mark Petterson, and Assistant Director of Student Leadership Development Tevin Robbins.

Student participation in this competition was sponsored by the Greg and Lou Meyer Fund for Ethics and Leadership. Greg Meyer received a B.A. in political science in 1979 and an MBA in 1988. He and his wife Lou established this fund to support students who attend ethics competitions and leadership conferences.

Watch their winning presentation here