AcademicsBusiness Essentials2022 Ethics alive through creative communication

Sponsored by Altria

What: Challenge yourself and improve your appreciation for ethical decision-making and oral communication in business! Develop, rehearse, and deliver an ethical business case study presentation with the help of professional coaches and compete for over $10,000 in prize money (the first place prize is $5,000). This mentored experience begins with the announcement of topics at the Kickoff Event and culminates with the final round of presentations on Saturday of the main event.   

When: The kickoff event takes place Friday, February 4, 4 - 6 p.m., the main event takes place Friday, February 18, 4 - 8 p.m., and Saturday, February 19, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

How will it work? At the Kickoff Event, registered students join the festivities at 4 p.m. in Snead Hall where they will meet with their assigned teams. Each team receives the same case with background research and begins to design a 5-7-minute presentation. Between the kick-off and the main event, teams have time to receive mentoring with coaches to design their presentations. Friday, February 18, teams will arrive back in Snead Hall to begin rehearsing under the guidance of presentation coaches. Saturday, February 19, all teams will return to compete in Round 1 in front of a panel of judges from the business community. Top presenters will move forward to Round 2, competing for cash prizes. Contestants who do not move forward to the second round become judges for the  Competitors’ Choice for Best Ethical Analysis category. 


  • Participants must be present in-person for the following dates;
    • Friday, February 4, 4 - 6 p.m.; Kick-off event
    • Friday, February 18, 4 - 8 p.m. workshop and rehearsal
    • Saturday, February 19, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Presentations are limited to 5-7 minutes in length.
  • Presentations must recognize and address the ethical considerations of the assigned case.
  • Participants are expected to dress in Business Professional attire Friday and Saturday.
  • Teams will select a team captain. Duties include: scheduling team meetings, communication between the team and the event managers, submissions of outlines, and managing the screen share/slideshow during the presentation.
  • Outlines are due Friday, February 11 by 5 p.m.. Feedback will be provided by Sunday, February 13. 
  • All team members must speak and the content should be equally distributed amongst speakers.
  • Slideshows are permitted but not required. See the slideshow protocol below for more information. Visual enhancements are strongly encouraged. 

Registration: There is no fee to participate in this experience.

Click here to sign-up as a competitor in the 2022 VCU School of Business Ethics Alive through Creative Communication.

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you out, we have gathered the most commonly asked questions. Click below! 

The total length of your team’s presentation should be no longer than 7 minutes. When you reach 6 minutes and 30 seconds, a timer will raise their hand to let you know you have 30 seconds remaining. If your team reaches the 7-minute mark, you will be asked to stop.


Seven minutes is ample time for your team to communicate your message. If you need more time, it means that you are unsure of what you are trying to say.


All presentations are informative. An effective and engaging presentation will take it to the next level. The best presentations will hook the audience in and leave them with a clear call to action and/or carry-out message.

Topics will be assigned to all teams on Friday, February 4th at the Kickoff Event.

No. A slide show is not required. Visual enhancements are strongly encouraged.

Yes. You will submit your slideshow in advance which will be pulled up and ready to go.

Yes. As long as you practice with them during coaching.


Yes. Presentations will be recorded. 


An emcee will introduce you and all of your team members by name.



Yes. You can expect an audience of your peers, School of Business faculty and staff, and judges.

To be announced at a later date. The judges from previous competitions include VCU School of Business Alumni and Business Professionals from the Greater Richmond area.

Yes! We hope you will!

Yes. All Finalists are eligible for the Competitor’s Choice for Best Ethical Analysis prize.

No. Only team presentations are accepted for this competition. If you sign up as an individual, you will be placed on a team.

Yes. You should plan to dress in business professional attire both Friday and Saturday. 

Yes! Participants who don’t make it to the Finals Round are eligible for the Best Outline prize.

The answer is simple. Any other way will be dry, dull, and uninspiring. If you want to sell your idea, propel your audience into action, or make them reflect more deeply on something they already know, tell them a story. Humans are hardwired to listen to stories. Stories make us feel and help us see. And, best of all, they’re easy to remember.

This is your time to make a clean break and start anew. Learn a new habit. Present it the way that the best presenters in the business do it.


Check out last year's video!  

Congratulations to the 2022 winners!

Photos coming soon

Team 2: Samantha Alto, Mackenzie Lenahan

Team 6: Jaden Lipscomb, Sofia Moghadaszadeh-Ahrabi

Team 3: Caleb Bishop, Mehak Chopra

Team 6: Jaden Lipscomb, Sofia Moghadaszadeh-Ahrabi

Team 5: Ian LeGallo-Malone and Yinghua Lei