LCCC students take second in business ethics competition

From left to right, Jace Kappeler, team member, Danielle Adams, faculty advisor, and Spencer Lowry, team captain, made up LCCC’s team in the Wyoming Collegiate Business Ethics Case Competition April 7 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.CHEYENNE, Wyoming – Laramie County Community College students came in second place and took home cash prizes in the third annual Wyoming Collegiate Business Ethics Case Competition on Apr. 7 in Laramie. 

The competition is hosted by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program under the direction of the Center for Principle-Based Leadership and Ethics at the University of Wyoming College of Business. Five Wyoming community college teams traveled to UW to compete. LCCC students Jace Kappeler and team captain Spencer Lowry received $200 each for their second-place win in the competition. 

The students were given a real-world case study to analyze and then present as a consulting firm. The case study stemmed around ethical dilemmas a company could face. In the scenario, an automotive maker was trying to revive a company’s culture after the death of the longstanding CEO. Some of the issues included a toxic culture in the sales department, suspected expense reporting fraud, unresolved customer complaints and conscious bias. The students created “JS Consultants” and presented to a panel of judges their ideas that covered the ethical, legal and financial implications of the company culture.

Lowry said their Business Ethics course at LCCC helped them to prepare for the competition, and that they learned valuable skills they will be able to apply in their post-college lives. For Kappeler, being able to interact with students who came up with unique, different and creative solutions to the case made it a remarkable experience. 

“It was really cool seeing how there is no direct right or wrong answer for certain ethical dilemmas,” Kappeler said. “There are so many ways to interpret business situations and the best thing you can do is offer your judgment based on your ethical principles, values and beliefs in a practical manner. The event also allowed me to practice delivering and communicating ideas well in a group setting.”

The team practiced multiple times a week and met weekly with their adviser for weeks leading up to the competition. Danielle Adams, LCCC Business and Accounting instructor and team adviser, said the drive to compete can “set a fire under students to succeed.”

“They work harder, and in turn, prove to themselves that they can do it,” she said. 

Kappeler and Lowry said they’d encourage students in the future to seize the opportunity to grow outside the classroom by participating in the competition.  

“It is an incredible opportunity to develop a comprehensive strategy, interact with other business students and faculty, strengthen your resume, and apply your knowledge of ethical principles in a real-world situation,” Lowry said. “And of course, the cash incentive and opportunity to interact with UW faculty makes it a truly unforgettable experience.”

A team from Eastern Wyoming College took first place and $300 each for team members. Third place went to students from Central Wyoming College.

Go to lccc.wy.edu/Business for more information about LCCC’s Business and Accounting Pathway.