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MBA Students Receive Business Ethics Scholarships
Two Cameron School of Business MBA students –Scott Saleski and George Sackllah – were awarded a $1,500 scholarship from the Greater Houston Business Ethics Roundtable (GHBER). The students were nominated for the scholarship based on their participation in UST’s Center for Business Ethics, the Business Ethics Society and their joint research on the business ethics behind organ donation.

GHBER is a voluntary professional organization dedicated to promoting ethical business practices and serving as a forum for the exchange of information and strategies regarding implementation, administration and compliance of ethical business conduct programs. Each year, GHBER awards a $3,000 scholarship to students who show promise as future leaders in business ethics at University of St. Thomas, University of Houston, Rice University, Houston Baptist University and Texas Southern University. The $3,000 scholarship may be split between two students.

“Our University and our MBA ethics courses are designed to educate the whole person,” said Dr. Michele Simms, director-elect of the UST Center for Business Ethics. “George and Scott displayed this integration in their work on the need to develop a comprehensive and cohesive understanding of the moral and ethical implications of organ donation. By addressing the challenges between faith and reason and the need to respond to this issue as responsible citizens, George and Scott have earned distinction as individuals certain to be leaders in business ethics.”

The students were in Dr. Irwin Horwitz’s MBA Ethics course when they came up with the idea to research organ donation rates in the United States and abroad. At the time, Sackllah was interning at Methodist Hospital System Supply Chain Management Program. Through their research, Saleski and Sackllah discovered that while the United States pioneered organ donation programs and procedures, other countries now surpass U.S. rates of organ donation. The project quickly revealed industry practices which posed ethical dilemmas on how to balance the rights of decedents and their families with the business of helping transplant recipients in need. Saleski and Sackllah are working with Simms to revise the paper to prepare it for publication.

Saleski, who will complete his MBA in August, said business ethics courses were some of the most compelling courses he took at UST. As he completes his remaining courses, he is looking for jobs in the oil and gas and health care industries.

“The classes really allow you to apply theories to real life situation,” Saleski said. “We don’t just discuss the problems, we discuss possible solutions and ways to prevent or recover from unethical business practices.”

Sackllah said he hopes to continue working in the medical field and he will apply what he learned about business ethics wherever his career takes him. He said there is no rule of thumb or rubber stamp solution to ethical business dilemmas.

“Once you are faced with a gray area and your ethics are being challenged, you have to assess every situation on a case-by-case basis. But you always approach each situation in an ethical manner with integrity and due diligence,” Sackllah said. “Business ethics has taught me that no matter what predicament you are faced with you have to keep your values in tact. If you go off course of your ideals you then put yourself in a problem.”

The Center for Business Ethics at the University of St. Thomas strives to help business people and students make good choices that benefit themselves, their businesses and their community. The Center offers ethical leadership education programs and symposia, public lectures and conferences on business ethics, co-hosts the Ethical Leadership in Action Award and participates with the Greater Houston Business Ethics Roundtable whose annual scholarship award recognizes student contributions to the field of business ethics and leadership. The Center for Business Ethics was previously directed by Dr. Daryl Koehn. Irwin Horwitz, visiting professor in management and marketing currently serves as Interim chair and director of the Center for Business Ethics. Simms will take the reins in August.

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