By Maria Pappas
Last semester, Fordham’s Center for Ethics Education began offering an undergraduate interdisciplinary bioethics minor. Since the implementation of the minor, and the increasing popularity of the M.A. in ethics and society, the center has begun a new section of the “Ethics & Society” blog, titled “Student Voices.”
According to Dr. Celia B. Fisher, director of the Center for Ethics Education, “the purpose of ‘Student Voices’ is to serve as a space for Fordham undergraduate and graduate students to discuss, explore and analyze ethics-related current news events, scholarship and contemporary issues within the Fordham community and beyond.”
The “Student Voices” blog was initiated and developed with the help of undergraduate students Ken Ochs and Michael Menconi, both FCRH ’15. As the first student editors of “Student Voices,” they are responsible for helping authors of articles compose informative pieces on ethics-related topics spanning a wide range of disciplines.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Drs. Fisher, Fried and Yuko in moving this interdisciplinary endeavor off the ground. Though still in its initial stages, it will connect undergraduate students with each other and with their professors in discussions about relevant issues in ethics,” said Ochs.
The blog provides a unique opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to contribute to an online ethical discourse. Students are able to write articles specifically for the journal, or inspired by something that they learned in class, through in-class assignments, independent research or community service. Students majoring in both sciences and the humanities are invited to contribute to the blog in the discussion of contemporary bioethical issues. Other professionals in the community are also welcome to contribute to the journal. Menconi thinks that the journal will be extremely beneficial to the Fordham community. “The multidisciplinary aspect of the new ‘Student Voices’ section will foster academic discourse between students of all academic majors,” he said.
Dr. Elizabeth Yuko, the “Ethics & Society” senior and founding editor, is responsible for the final editing and review process of the submitted pieces, along with Dr. Fisher. Dr. Yuko also confers with students personally to discuss and edit their pieces. She emphasizes the importance of the blog as a space for the Fordham community. “It serves as a space for Fordham undergraduate and graduate students to discuss, explore and analyze ethics-related current news events, scholarship and contemporary issues within the Fordham community and beyond,” Yuko said.
“Nothing else like this exists at Fordham, as far as I know. It gives students the opportunity to explore ethical issues that arise in class, but that they may not have had a chance to fully discuss or explore,” she says.
With a readership spanning 105 countries across six continents, there is a great possibility for allowing these topics to reach a larger audience.
“Our vision for ‘Student Voices’ is one of inclusion and relevant discourse – a project that transforms the way that students across departments interact with one another, Fordham facultyand the national and global ethics communities,” Dr. Fisher said. “It is our goal that ‘Student Voices’ becomes an essential part of life for students while at Fordham and after they graduate.”