Students

Learn about student opportunities to engage with the Tarriff Center.

Business Ethics Case Team

Smeal’s ethics case team is comprised of a select number of undergraduate students that work together to develop their ethical decision-making skills, and strategically incorporate ethics and social responsibility into solutions for current challenges in business. Students on our business ethics case team increase our college’s reputation of developing ethical leaders by representing Smeal at a number of international competitions, such as the Collegiate Ethics Case Competition at the University of AZ, the Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition at Stetson University, and the International Business Ethics Case Competition.

The application process for the team takes place in the spring, the team looks forward to reviewing your application then. With any questions regarding the team, please inquire with Anna Shimek (annashimek@psu.edu), Sarah Hunt (slh6222@psu.edu), or Megan Martin (mjm8660@psu.edu).

 Highlights of the team’s more recent successes include:

  • 2021: 1st place at the International Business Ethics Case Competition
  • 2021: 4th place at the Eller Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition
  • 2020: 3rd place at the Inter Collegiate Business Competition, Ethics stream
  • 2020: 5th place at the Eller Intercollegiate B-Ethics Case Competition
  • 2019: 2nd place at the Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition

Ethical Literacy Initiative

Understanding and acting on our ethical and social responsibilities is not always an easy task. Ethical literacy broadly refers to the ability to demonstrate knowledge about ethical responsibilities, but more pragmatically that entails a series of skills including awareness of contemporary issues, the ability to critically reflect on experiences and positions held by others, and both develop and present cogent arguments to defend one’s own judgements related to ethical and social responsibilities. As part of our efforts to increase ethical literacy more broadly, select students have the opportunity to serve as Tarriff Center Scholars, who work to develop their own critical thinking and communication skills while creating written works to engage others in the development of their own ethical literacy. Contact us if you would like to learn more about our Ethical Literacy Initiative.

Smeal’s Mentoring Program

The Smeal College of Business continuously affirms its commitment to a culture of honor and integrity and aspires to cultivate ethical leadership by challenging community members to strive for greatness while demanding that our successes come only from fair and ethical means. To further its emphasis on business ethics and social responsibility, the Tarriff Center supports Smeal’s Mentoring Program, which pairs students with mentors who are seeking to develop strong ethical leadership skills.

Entering into a mentoring relationship offers the opportunity to explore a variety of topics related to professional success, including leadership development, with an alumni mentor. Mentors can share their perspectives on the role of ethics in business and guide you on how to strategically fulfill social responsibilities. Through the Tarriff Center, students can attend events and webinars with their mentors to strengthen relationships and prompt additional conversations that encourage development into ethical leaders.

Smeal Ethical Leadership Challenge

Logo for Smeal Ethical Leadershop Challenge.

The Smeal Ethical Leadership Challenge, organized by the Tarriff Center and other academic departments within Smeal, focuses on improving students’ self-leadership. The challenge has multiple levels, beginning with a focus on building skills and experiences and creating new relationships that will support students’ development into strong leaders—all while putting into action their commitment to the Penn State values. Engagement in a number of defined activities culminates in achieving badges, which yield access to special events with alumni and recruiters. Students completing the challenge will be able to highlight the experience on their resumes, distinguishing them as future leaders. Contact us for more information about the Smeal Ethical Leadership Challenge.

Kohl’s Business with Integrity Case Competition

The Smeal College of Business is excited to be partnering with Kohl’s to provide Penn State undergraduate students an amazing opportunity to analyze a contemporary issue in business and recommend a strategic plan that demonstrates business with integrity. In addition to being involved in a great educational experience to refine skills that are critical for ethical leadership in business, qualifying participants will have an opportunity to interact with executives representing a number of outstanding organizations. Learn more here.