An Ethics Conference for Undergrads, by Undergrads - National Ethics Project

Award-winning journalist and Washington and Lee graduate Roger Harrison Mudd (pictured right) delivering a speech at the Mattingly House, home of the Mudd Center and Undergraduate Ethics Conference.

The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics at Washington and Lee University (W&L) is concerned with advancing dialogue, teaching, and research on  ethical issues. While the Mudd Center implements curricula and hosts public events for each of the university’s schools, its unique contribution is the annual Undergraduate Ethics Conference–the only conference of its kind in the country dedicated to the academic study of ethical issues.

The Undergraduate Ethics Conference and Mudd Journal not only elevates undergraduate voices in the ethics space, but its leadership is also composed of undergraduates. The editorial board of undergraduates is completely responsible for the journal. Director Karla Murdock describes the structure as one driven by students at every step. “This board solicits paper submissions, corresponds with student authors from all over the world, uses a rubric to evaluate papers, and provides editorial feedback for essays that will be published.”

The student board is also responsible for coordinating the Annual Undergraduate Conference by assembling the conference schedule and speaker list and serving as moderators. “Every year I am freshly inspired by the quality of this process and the shared intellectual experience that it provides for students,” says Murdock. She hopes to offer ethics students first hand engagement with tomorrow’s philosophers. “Conference participants are treated to a preview of the next generation of innovative thinkers in the field of ethics.”

The Center publishes past journal volumes and conference details on its website. More information on how to register for the upcoming conference can be found on the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics at Washington and Lee University website.

Has ethics made a difference at your institution over time? Contact Alexis Jimenez Maldonado,, with ideas for forthcoming Spotlights.

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