John M. Rezendes Ethics Initiative

Thanks to an extremely generous gift from Dennis and Beau Rezendes, each year the University is able to host the John M. Rezendes Visiting Scholar in Ethics and to offer the John M. Rezendes Ethics Essay Competition.  For the first three years of this initiative, it was administered by the Department of Philosophy.  Coinciding with the inauguration of the Honors College, the initiative was relocated here for the 2002-03 academic year.  We are exceedingly grateful to Beau and Dennis Rezendes for their generosity which enables us to bring these visitors to the University of Maine and provide these opportunities for all students at the University.


The John M. Rezendes Visiting Scholar in Ethics

The Visiting Scholar in Ethics is a scholar who can address ethical issues of national importance.  During her/his stay, the visitor is asked to conduct a seminar with selected Honors College students, conduct a seminar with selected students in a department or college related to the visitor’s field of interest, and present the John M. Rezendes Ethics Lecture to the University community and the public.

2017-2018

Mick Smyer

Professor of Psychology Bucknell University

(4 April 2018)

2016-2017

Sherri Mitchell

Lawyer and activist for indigenous rights. Founder of the Land Peace Foundation.

(19 April 2017)

Christine Mitchell Poster2015-2016

Christine Mitchell 

Executive Director of the Center for Bioethics and Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School

(20 April 2016)

 

 

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2014-2015

J. Baird Callicott

University Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Texas. Co-editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy.

(22 April 2015)

russell3_g2013-2014
Mary Doria Russell
Author of The Sparrow, 2013 Honors Read
The Age of Discovery from Spain to Space
(16 April 2014)

 

2012-13serota4
Arthur Serota ’66
Co-Founder and CEO of the United Movement to End Child Soldiering
To Look the Other Way or Not:  Ethical Choices We Make
(2 April 2013)

2011-12
Robert Kenner
Award-winning filmmaker
Food Inc. The Ethics of How We Eat
(19 April 2012)

 

   2009-10
Dick Hill
Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering
Good v. Evil: A Bag of Scary Mush

(21 April 2010)

 

2008-09
Robert Shetterly
, Creator of the Americans Who Tell the Truth series of portraits
The Ethic of Collateral Damage
(24 April 2009)

2007-08
Dr. Bernard Lown ’42
, Recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize
On Global Activism in an Ailing World
(26 March 2008)

2006-07
Christopher Hedges,
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author
War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning
(3 April 2007)


2005-06
Lily Yeh
, Professor of Art and Art History at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia
Beauty, Ethics, and Community Building
(19 April 2006)

2004-05
Dr. Eric Meslin
, Director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics
Lessons from Dolly, Stem Cells and Biobanking
(18 April 2005)

2003-04
Professor Lijun Yuan
, Texas State University – San Marcos
The Ethics of Care and Social Policies: A Dialogue on Gender Across China and the U.S.
(22 April 2004)

2002-03
Professor Sut Jhally, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: News Bias in the Israeli/Palestinian Crisis (10 April 2003)


The John M. Rezendes Ethics Essay Competition

The Ethics Essay Competition began as an opportunity for undergraduate students to compose an essay on the theme of “Ethics in the Public Domain.” Starting in 2010, students are asked to address a theme related to the topic of the Rezendes Lecture. The essays should describe a problem and the ethical issues at stake, presenting a carefully reasoned and informed argument about how the problem should be approached and resolved while responding to serious objections that might be offered to the author’s point of view.  The submissions are judged by a panel of faculty members from the University, and the winning essayist is presented with a $2800 award and an original engraved sculpture.  For more information about entering the competition, click here.

Links are to Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) versions of the winning essays.

2018

Theme: Age and Aging 

Rachel Emerich (Nursing)

Our Ethical Responsibility for Preventing Elder Abuse and Caring for those Affected

2017

Theme: Citizenship, Conflict and Democracy 

Sarah Dean (International Affairs)

Ningún Ser Humano Es Ilegal: The Ethical Implications of the Deportation of Undocumented Immigrants

2016

Theme: Bioethics 

Connor Smart (Accounting & Finance)

Using Utilitarian Theory to Improve Our Food System, Our Planet, and Ourselves 

2015

Theme:  Impacting Nature: The Ethics of Energy, Ecology and the Environment

John William Mukose (Chemical Engineering)

The Ethics of Using Indoor Residual Spraying of DDT to Control Malaria in Uganda

2014
Theme: The Ethics of Discovery
Kate Spies (English)
Voices: Morally Addressing the Conflict in the DRC Through Kantian Ethics

2013
Theme:  The Ethics of Globalization
Gwen Beacham (Molecular and Cellular Biology)
The Ethics of the United States’ Clinical Trials in India

2012
Theme: Ethics & Food
Katie Brochu (Philosophy and Psychology)
Golden Rice: A Genetically Modified Solution to Global Malnutrition and Vitamin-A Deficiency through the Biosynthesizing of Beta-Carotene

2011
Theme: Ethics & Business
Andrew Tomes (Botany and English)
Mapping the Moral Geography: Indigenous Rights and Pharmaceutical Exploration

2010
Theme: Ethics & Technology
Andrea Gammon
10 (Biology and Philosophy)
Google’s Panopticon

2009
Samuel Tate 09 (Journalism)
The Ethics of Direct to Consumer Marketing of Prescription Drugs

2008
Seth Toothaker 11 (Food Sciences and Human Nutrition)
Free from the Cave: From Cruelty to Compassion

2007
Ashley E. Schumacher ’08 (Women’s Studies and Nursing)

Mandatory Report of Intimate Partner Violence Injuries by Health Care Professionals: An Ethical Dilemma for Nurses

2006
Anne Mathieson
06 (Philosophy)
The Language of Social Relations and Exploring Truth Therein

2005
Dylan Montgomery
07 (Chemistry)
A State of Equality: The Legislation of Same-Sex Marriage in Maine

2004
Aimee Hoffmann (Business)

The Beauty Ideal: Unveiling Harmful Effects of Media Exposure to Children

2003
John Bell
07 (New Media)
Legalization of Physician Assisted Suicide

2002
Hunter Tzovarras
02 (Philosophy)
Why We Ought Not to Execute Criminals

2001
Nicholas Robertson
03 (Philosophy)
Wittgenstein, Education, and the Value of Literature