Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Hackworth Research Grant Winners, Spring 2007


Christine Bachen and Chad Raphael, SCU Department of Communication, $5,000 to be split for a study called "The Ethics of Civic Engagement in Digital Games for Youth." This project by Professor Bachen and Professor Raphael seeks to assess the use of computer and video games for the development of the knowledge and dispositions necessary for civic engagement. In particular, two questions will be explored about such games now being used by schools in social studies, civics, and history classes. First, what visions of the good citizen do these games tend to offer the youth who use them? And, second, what opportunities for particular patterns of ethical reasoning do such games offer?

Laura Ellingson, SCU Department of Communication, $2,700 for a study called "Ethics, Epistemology, and Representation in Qualitative Research." In this project, Professor Ellingson will explore the ethical implications of a new method of social scientific research increasingly used in communication studies. This method relies less on such things as quantitative analysis and more on a wide range of techniques like narrative and poetry. This new method also proceeds with a greater awareness of the partial nature of all knowledge and, hence, with a greater degree of skepticism about the degree of objectivity that can be established by a researcher. In addition to her study, Professor Ellingson will also develop a related unit on ethics for a class on research methods.

Teresia Hinga, SCU Department of Religious Studies, $2,500 for a study called "Indigenous African Religions' Contribution to the Global Ethic: Gikuyu Perspectives on the Concept of Peace and Its Intersection With Justice." In an earlier study funded by a Hackworth Grant, Professor Hinga argued that the global ethic advanced by theologian Hans Kung had neglected the ethical contribution of indigenous African religions (Kung's global ethic project aims to identify ethical standards applicable to all peoples and religions). In this study, she will examine specifically how the concept of peace and justice developed by the Gikuyu tribe of Kenya could help complete the similar ethical concepts now considered as part of Kung's global ethic.

Jean Molesky-Poz, SCU Department of Religious Studies, $2,500 for a study called "Sacred Trust of the Kashaya Pomo and Reciprocity: The Foundational Ethic of a People." The Kashaya Pomo Native American tribe have lived along the North Coast of California for 10,000 years. In this study, Professor Molesky-Poz will investigate a central ethical aspect of Kashaya life: The ethic of reciprocity present in Kashaya stories, views of the environment, and ceremonial practices. She will work closely with Otis Parrish, vice chair of the Kashaya Pomo tribe.


Jeremy Herb, SCU '08 and a Communications major, $2,355 for a project called "Living in Peace, Surrounded by War." For his senior capstone project, Herb will use the Hackworth Grant funds to travel to Israel to report on the community called Oasis of Peace (in Hebrew, Neve Shalom, and in Arabic, Wahat al-Salam), where Israeli Arab and Jewish families live and work together in an intentional community dedicated to peaceful coexistence. Herb will specifically look at the challenges that the Oasis of Peace is facing in light of the current struggles for peace in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Herb is the editor of The Santa Clara, SCU's undergraduate newspaper.

Mary Leaverton, SCU '08 and a Double Major in Political Science and Religious Studies, $200 for research-related expenses for a project called "Catholicism and Islam in Hans Kung's Global Ethic." For her major paper as a senior honors student, Leaverton will examine theologian Hans Kung's work on finding common ground between Catholic and Islamic ethics as part of Kung's overall work to develop a global ethic applicable to all peoples and religions. In particular, Leaverton will apply Kung's comparative work to an analysis of the current state of Catholic-Islamic interfaith dialogue.

Jessica Meyer, SCU '08 and a Religious Studies Major, $300 for research-related expenses for a project called "The Role of Chaplains in End-of-Life Decision-Making: Spiritual and Ethical Concerns." For an independent study and major senior paper, Meyer will work this summer alongside the chaplains at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, Calif. She will be paying special attention to the different roles chaplains play given different clinical settings. In her paper, she will then consider these roles in light of a kind of ethical reasoning called an "ethics of care." Meyer is on a pre-med track at SCU.

Seth Tator, SCU MBA Student, $1,000 to support travel related to a project called "From the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to Sarbanes Oxley: How Do U.S. Business Standards Play Abroad." Tator will travel to Thailand in the summer of 2007 on an internship with the investor relations group of a large, publicly-traded Thai company. While there he will meet with a broad range of people, inside the company and out, who must assess business decisions made in Thailand in light of the requirements of U.S. anti-corruption laws. How are such U.S. laws perceived by foreign businesspeople? What are the corresponding views on anti-corruption matters within a foreign culture like Thailand's? Tator will address these and similar questions while writing a major paper as part of an independent study at SCU's Leavey School of Business.

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