Melbourne High Finishes #1 in Annual Florida Tech Business Ethics Competition

MELBOURNE, FLA.—For the second consecutive year, Melbourne High School, with adviser Diane Grover, took first place in the Florida Institute of Technology Nathan M. Bisk College of Business High School Business Ethics Competition. The 15th annual event was held on March 11.

Cocoa Beach High School, advised by Georgann Savage, took second place; Merritt Island High School, advised by Julee Segert, took third place; and West Shore Junior/Senior High School, advised by Bob Sarver, came in fourth. All participating students were juniors or seniors.

In the day-long event, 14 teams from 11 schools in Brevard County and St. Edwards Upper School in Vero Beach, Indian River County, participated. All the teams developed and analyzed solutions to a business ethics problem involving the real-life Walmart Stores gender discrimination case, “Dukes vs. Walmart Stores Inc.” It was brought about by 1.6 million present and former women employees as plaintiffs.

The top four schools competed again, wrestling with another real ethics problem, the “Merck and River Blindness” case. The teams’ dilemma was whether Merck should spend the money needed to develop a drug to reduce suffering and prolong the lives of millions of poor people in third world countries, though there was little prospect for recovering their costs and making profits necessary to fund other research projects.

The event was sponsored by Community Credit Union. Judges, from a variety of career fields, included 21 Nathan M. Bisk College of Business Board of Overseers members and many prominent members of the community. Brevard County Superintendent of Schools Brian Binggeli visited the competition to congratulate the coaches and students.

“The level of performance of the teams was most outstanding,” said Robert Niebuhr, dean of the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business. “We are also very pleased by the support of our board of overseers; one member Brig Gen. (ret.) Mike Kelleher, flew down from Atlanta to be a judge.”

First place Melbourne High team members were Alexa Apt, Amura Serikyaku, Harris Krause and Kaylee Kohfeldt; second place Cocoa Beach High team members were Bernard Clevens, Benjamin Banapoor, Alexander Higgins and Anna Quincy; third place Merritt Island High team members were Justin Caron, Michael Laffitte, Erin Mccaskey and Tyler Scull; and fourth place West Shore team members were Kate Crowley, Kendra Hatt, Cayleigh Reeder and Yasmeen Elsawaf.

The awards were: $500 per member in the first-place team; $250 per member in the second-place team; $125 per member in the third-place team; and $100 per member in the fourth-place team.

Also, each member of the top team receives an award of a four-year $8,000-per-year scholarship to Florida Tech. A four-year $6,000-per-year scholarship to Florida Tech goes to each member of the second-place team. A four-year $4,000-per-year scholarship to Florida Tech goes to each member of the third-place team; and a four-year $2,000-per-year scholarship to the university goes to each member of the fourth-place team.

Other participating schools were Cocoa High School, Melbourne Central Catholic High School, Palm Bay High School, Rockledge High School, Satellite Beach High School and Edgewood Junior/Senior High School.

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