AcademicsBusiness EssentialsEthics alive through creative communication

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Ethics Alive through Creative Communication Competition!

Team 3 - Samantha Alto, Mackenzie Lenahan, Zachary Garcia 

Team 7 - Ritika Eda, Summer Natour, Josephine Veserat

Team 8 - Ragda Awad, Sharon (Viva) Chapman, Zahira Hernandez, Katherine Le Pham

Team 1 -Jackie Coughlin, Kelsey Watlington

Team  2 -Julia Duxbury, Brian Glessner, Shaiann Sarkosh


What: Challenge yourself and improve your appreciation for ethical decision making 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 virtual 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 5th, 4-6 PM, the main event takes place Friday, March 5, 5-10 PM, and Saturday, March 6, 9:30 AM-5 PM.

How will it work? The competition will begin with a Kickoff Event on Friday, February 5th from 4-6 PM. At the Kickoff Event, registered students join the festivities via Zoom at 4PM, 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 competition and the main event, teams have time to receive mentoring via Studio BE. Throughout the evening of the main event on Friday, March 5th, teams will design a compelling virtual presentation (with support from presentation consultants), team outlines are due by 10 PM. (There’s a prize for best outline!)

Saturday morning, teams will arrive back on Zoom to begin rehearsing under the guidance of presentation coaches. Early in the afternoon, all teams compete in Round 1 in front of a panel of judges from the business community. Top presenters in each topic 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 category. 

All team members must be enrolled as VCU School of Business Undergraduate major or minor.
Participants are required to be present for the entirety of the event, Friday, February 5th, 4-5 PM, Friday, March 5, 5-10 PM, and Saturday, March 6, 9:30 AM-5 PM.
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 for Day 2, Saturday, March 6th, for rehearsing and competing. (Friday is casual)

Registration: There is no fee to participate in this experience.
Click here to Sign-Up as a competitor in the 2021 VCU School of Business Ethics Alive through Creative Communication.

Workshops: Every Friday leading up to the competition, there will be FREE workshops for participants in Studio BE.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

You are welcome to utilize Snead Hall to ensure you have a stable internet connection and a quiet environment to present. Please email to request this accommodation.

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 5th at the Kickoff Event.


Yes. All participants must be in the on Zoom for the entirety of the competition, including the Kickoff event on Friday, February 5th from 4-6 PM, as well as the main event on Friday 2/19, 5PM - 10 PM & Saturday 2/20, 10 AM-5 PM. There are faculty and peer consultants on duty Friday night to work with participants.


Your slide show must be ready to go for reviewing during your coaching session. You will be given further instructions during coaching.


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 via Zoom.



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 Category.

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. You can discuss what to wear during your coaching session on Friday evening. Friday is casual.

Yes! Participants who don’t make it to the Finals Round are eligible for the Best First Draft 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!