UB Ethics Bowl Wins Regionals; Heads to Atlanta in Spring 2020

Dr. Fred Guy, UB Ethics bowl coach and philosophy professor (l), Daniel Gellasch, JC Lloyd, Jayla- Rae Foster, and Hugh Norko (r). Photo credit: University of Baltimore Office of Government and Public Affairs

UB Ethics Bowl team members will be packing their bags for Atlanta soon as they placed first in the regional ethics bowl contest in Jacksonville, Florida last month.

On November 9, 2019, students Jayla Rae Foster, J.C. Lloyd, Hugh Norko (who is also Baltimore editor for the UB Post), and Daniel Gellasch led the team to an upset victory over schools over schools like Seton Hall, Auburn, and Georgia State. Coming in first place, the four will proceed to nationals in Atlanta in February. 

“I had a big smile and was delighted and in disbelief that we won the whole thing,” said Dr. Fred Guy, the team’s coach for the past 16 years. With a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia and decades of ethics teaching experience, the former Auburn basketball player turned Australian Olympian brings unique skills to the UB Ethics Bowl Team. is almost made for the job of leading the team to victory. 

“Dr. Guy is a very hands off coach but he alwaysd gives constructive feedback,” said Hugh Norko. “He emphasizes authenticity on our team which I think carried the day during the competition.” 

Authenticity came a long way as students faced ethical dilemmas ranging from the student loan crisis to the legalization of marijuana. Initially, team members were concerned that the judges were biased in their selection of the 12 cases that they gave to students. The team, however, decided to remain calm and continue to work diligently.

What does a round in ethics bowl look like? Well, for starters, the match begins with the moderator asking an opening question to the teams with judges presenting follow-up questions. Winners are determined not by who won the argument, but rather by the clarity, thoughtfulness, and systematic nature to their answers while pointing out weaknesses in the opposing team’s analysis of the problem. 

Jayla Rae Foster believes that their decision to remain calm and employing a laid-back, conversational style was crucial to their success. 

“It was so surreal when we were sitting across from Seton Hall in the final round,” explained Foster. “UB is always seen as the underdog, and I think we were all just so proud of one another and so excited.”

Yet, both the team and Dr. Guy felt as if they had “won the Super Bowl” when the University of Baltimore was called as the winners of the regional competition. All of the contestants will know us now like they never did before. 

Kenneth Lyle is a contributing writer at the UB Post.

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