Meet Our Ethics Fellows

Trinity Hal capped off a year-long design fellowship project with formal student presentations to an esteemed panel of judges from Georgetown University. For the past year these students have been working with the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University (Washington, DC) on a design fellowship concerning hunger. On Friday, April 15, 2016, eight Trinity Hall students pitched their year-design projects at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ to culminate their Ethics in Action program experience. The objective of the Ethics in Action program is for students to develop new approaches and solutions to complex real-world issues using methods adapted from the ethical decision-making model and design thinking.

Trinity Hall was represented by two teams to tackle this year’s program theme of Food Ethics. “Food – clearly essential to human existence, yet feeding the world presents complex ethical issues that warrant exploration.” (Ethics in Action, 2016) Among the issues considered by the program are humanity’s relationship with food; the socioeconomics of eating healthy; the disconnect between agricultural production and human consumption; and the debate regarding GMOs and world hunger.

“Foodel,” consisting of Jacqueline Fletcher (‘18), Lillian Scott (‘17), Courtney Vadon (‘18), and Kaitlyn Vogel (‘17) presented an approach to the redistribution of wasted food in Monmouth County. The primary objective of Foodel is to connect local eateries, which may have an excess of unwanted food, to local food banks through an easy method of donation. Brennan’s Delicatessen in Rumson served as the group’s beta trial partner and food donor. More information and participation opportunities can be found at www.foodelmc.com.

The “F.A.T.hletes,” consisting of Pallavi Kawatra (‘17), Emily Knepple (‘18), C.C. Jakub (‘18), and Grace Modderman (‘17) shared their desire to promote awareness and prevention of the Female Athlete Triad medical condition in teenage student-athletes. The team spread awareness via their Twitter handle, @Fathletes_, by distributing F.A.T. hair ties and business cards, and by reaching out to professional athletes, doctors, schools and athletic personnel.

“Our students were forced to navigate the ethical decision-making and design thinking process simultaneously while solving real-world issues. This proved to be a difficult, lengthy, winding and ongoing road. Fortunately, Trinity Hall’s interdisciplinary academic program is designed to prepare our students for these challenges, and this was clearly evident at the presentations on Friday. Our girls delivered their presentations with confidence and left a panel of ethics, design, and branding professionals very impressed,” shared Dr. James Palmieri, Trinity Hall’s assistant head of school. Palmieri and Kristy Geoghan, director of development, served as the faculty leaders to the Trinity Hall students throughout the program.

“It is not an easy thing for teenage girls to expose themselves intellectually in front of their peers, family, faculty, the judges’ panel, and a packed auditorium of about 250 people,” said Elizabeth Scott, a Trinity Hall parent. “I know this experience will inspire those who attended – especially their peers – and I am sure this experience will resonate and foster critical life skills with these young ladies for many years to come.”

Trinity Hall plans to participate in the next iteration of the Ethics in Action program when it resurfaces in 2017.

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