16 Colleges to Explore Ethics in Contemporary Society

Artificial intelligence, mental health, and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) in the art world are a few of the topics that may be debated under the umbrella of Ethics in Contemporary Society as part of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) annual Ethics Bowl. Students from 16 private college and university campuses across North Carolina will participate in the event on February 10 and 11 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

 “This is NCICU’s 12th annual Ethics Bowl, and the first in-person event since 2020.

The broad theme of Ethics in Contemporary Society presents timely and important topics for discussion,” said NCICU president Hope Williams.

 “The Ethics Bowl is both academically challenging and an individually rewarding experience for our students,” she continued. “Determining ethical responses to complex situations leads to personal awareness and valuable discussion among team members and participating business and community leaders.”

 Each Ethics Bowl team has four-to-six student members. A campus coordinator works with the students to help them prepare for the competition which consists of four rounds over the two days, plus semi-final and final rounds. In each round, a specially developed case study outlining a complex ethical situation related to the theme will be presented to the teams for debate. Each match is awarded to the team that makes the most sound, persuasive presentation.

 Three judges and one moderator participate in each match. Approximately 60 business, non-profit and government professionals have volunteered to fill those roles.

 A banquet for campus participants, judges, moderators, and sponsors will be held Friday evening at the North Carolina Museum of History. Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of NC Campus Engagement, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. NC Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities that champions civic and community engagement in higher education. 

Garvin has worked with the organization for 18 years and was named executive director in 2015. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social and economic development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African and African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Garvin is a former White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow, and an AmeriCorps alum. She is currently a Fellow with the University of California Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Garvin also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forum and co-chairs the State Summits & Networks Subcommittee of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.  

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is made possible by sponsorships that allow students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.  

“Students consistently cite the NCICU Ethics Bowl as a highlight of their college experience,” Williams said. “We deeply appreciate the corporate and civic leaders who make this event possible through financial contributions and by volunteering their time as judges and moderators.”


Barton College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Campbell University
– Sponsored by SageView
Catawba College – 
Sponsored by Catawba College Alumni Association
Chowan University – 
Sponsored by Southern Bank Foundation
Gardner-Webb University
– Sponsored by Cherry Bekaert
High Point University
– Sponsored by the Wren Foundation
Johnson C. Smith University
– Sponsored by Duke Energy
Livingstone College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Mars Hill University – Sponsored by NC Electric Cooperatives
Methodist University – Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas
Montreat College
– Sponsored by Coca-Cola Consolidated 
NC Wesleyan University  Sponsored by Mindstream
Queens University of Charlotte – Sponsored by BHDP
University of Mount Olive – Sponsored by Mount Olive Pickle Company
William Peace University
 Sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Wingate University
– Sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions



Governor Cooper’s Budget Provides Funds for NCICU

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his proposed budget this week which includes strong support for education, including $31 million for NCICU campuses and students. The Governor’s budget is a recommendation to the General Assembly from the Executive Branch and has been presented to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

The Governor’s recommendations to the General Assembly include:

  • $5m in additional recurring funding for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NCNBS.)  If enacted, this would increase the NCNBS from $91.1m to $96.1m in recurring funding.
  • $10m in non-recurring funds for assistance to NCICU institutions for Growing the Healthcare Workforce.
  • $16m in non-recurring funds from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to assist NCICU HBCUs and MSIs with their critical infrastructure needs.

“On behalf of our 36 independent colleges and universities, I want to thank the Governor for his support of our colleges and universities and, especially, our students,” said NCICU president Hope Williams. “North Carolina families are still recovering from the pandemic and the additional financial aid will be critical in making college possible for many students. In addition, we are committed to responding to the state’s significant need for more healthcare professionals which these funds would support. We also deeply appreciate the recommendation of funds to address infrastructure needs at our minority-serving institutions to support their historic missions.”

The budget also includes an average 18% teacher raise over the biennium, a $1 billion plan to support mental health, and major funding for childcare, job training, and economic development.

The General Assembly’s budget is being crafted first in the House of Representatives and is expected to be passed by April 6 before being sent to the Senate, which will also pass a budget before the two chambers meet jointly in conference committee to determine the final budget plan.

Queens University of Charlotte Wins NCICU Ethics Bowl

Queens University of Charlotte is the champion of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) 12th Annual Ethics Bowl. The Queens team faced Wingate University in the final round. The theme this year was Ethics in Contemporary Society, and the topic debated in the finals concerned voting rights.

Queens had faced Campbell University in the semifinals, as Wingate met Montreat College. The case for that round considered the ethics of removing Russia from the Security Council of the United Nations. Additional topics covered during the initial four-rounds of competition included Germline Editing, Food and Energy Shortages, Artificial Intelligence and Our Changing World, and Mental Health.

“All the participants demonstrated a high level of understanding of and insight about the complex issues presented,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was apparent that they had done significant research in preparation for the Ethics Bowl. Judges and moderators of the event said the students’ commitment to the
integrity of the event and the issues in the case studies presented instills them with great faith in these future leaders.”

Sixteen of North Carolina’s private colleges competed in the event which was held at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh. More than 60 corporate, nonprofit, legislative and community leaders served as judges and moderators for the two-day event.

At a banquet held Friday evening at the NC Museum of History, Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Engagement, told participants that to be a citizen of the United States is to choose to live ethically.

Participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, NC Wesleyan University, Queens University of Charlotte, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is supported by sponsorships allowing students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.

Students Receive Stipends for Research

More than 400 students from colleges, universities and community colleges in North Carolina will participate in the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium (SNCURCS) which will be held Saturday, December 3, on the campus of UNC-Wilmington. The annual symposium showcases NC undergraduate student research and creative work and provides undergraduate scholars in all fields a forum to share the results of their work through posters, presentations, performances, and works of art.

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) awarded stipends to seven students to support the research that they will showcase at the symposium. The stipends ranged from $400-$600. The students and their research projects are:

Emma Ahrens, Wingate University senior, Fetal Microchimerism in Sheep:  Determining patterns of fetal cell transfer in the ewe during pregnancy and beyond; faculty advisor, Dr. Alison Brown.

Jalen Garner, Catawba College senior, Mining the root microbiome for antibiotic-producing bacteria; faculty advisor, Dr. Amanda Rushing.

Jacob Hiatt, Catawba College senior, Identification of antimicrobial synthetic genes in a novel Pseudomonas strain; faculty advisor, Dr. Amanda Rushing.

Heidi Jensen, Chowan University junior, The fungicidal activity of nanoemulsion particles derived from thymol on belowground pathogens of wheat; faculty advisor, Dr. Torrence Gill.

Kasey McLamb, Catawba College senior, Molecular effects of BPA on invertebrate cell models; faculty advisor, Dr. Erin Witalison.

Hunter Sjobom, Catawba College sophomore, Screening soils near aquatic sources for antimicrobial-producing bacteria; faculty advisor, Dr. Amanda Rushing.

William Roque, Catawba College junior, Characterization of antimicrobial metabolites produced by a novel Pseudomonas strain; faculty advisor, Dr. Amanda Rushing.

“We are pleased to reward the intellect and creativity demonstrated by these undergraduate students,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “Each year we get to witness the passion and resourcefulness that could lead to game-changing research.”

NCICU Fall 2022 Newsletter

Our fall newsletter includes updates on grant-funded projects, our upcoming Ethics Bowl, and welcomes new presidents and Business Affiliates.

NCICU Fall 2022 Newsletter

NCICU Educator Prep Programs Make Strides in Implementing the Science of Reading

In April 2021, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation requiring college and university Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) to provide coursework in the Science of Reading, recognizing that reading and comprehension are keys to student achievement. In December the Goodnight Educational Foundation awarded North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) $1 million over two years to support the implementation of this initiative – $500,000 in the first year and another $500,000 in the second year. NCICU is the statewide office representing 36 private, nonprofit colleges and universities, 31 of which have EPPs.

To implement this important curriculum, NCICU established a task force made up of representatives from nine colleges and chaired by Dr. Monica Campbell of Lenoir-Rhyne University and Dr. Mary Knight-McKenna of Elon University. The Task Force has been meeting monthly developing strategies to strengthen preparation in the science of reading, including holding a two-day Summer Faculty Institute in June.

NCICU recently disbursed a total of $248,000 in subgrants to the 31 EPPs to support the work of the faculty in each individual program. The work will include enhancing, redesigning, and developing effective literacy coursework, practica, and internships based on the Science of Reading.

Participating EPPs are at the following colleges: Barton College, Belmont-Abbey College, Bennett College, Brevard College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Duke University, Elon University, Gardner-Webb University, Greensboro College, Guilford College, High Point University, Lees McRae College, Lenoir Rhyne University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Meredith College, Methodist University, Montreat College, Mount Olive University, NC Wesleyan University, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, Salem College, Shaw University, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine’s University, Wake Forest University, William Peace University, and Wingate University

Each of NCICU’s 31 EPPs received $8,000 in grant funds following an application and review process. Subgrant funds are being used for faculty stipends, external reviewer costs, curricular revision, relevant teaching and learning materials, student evaluation, and other professional development supports. EPPs are also using their subgrant funds to support their local communities to use the Science of Reading when teaching young children. EPP faculty are offering virtual, onsite, and mobile tutoring programs and professional development sessions open to the public.

“Reading is the core concept and foundation for success in all levels of education,” said NCICU President Hope Williams, “We deeply appreciate the grant from  the Goodnight Educational Foundation to support this  critical work.”

Pending continued funding from the Goodnight Educational Foundation, each of the 31 EPPs will receive an additional $7,600 in 2023 to fully implement their projects.

EPPs will present the outcomes of their projects during the 2023 Summer Faculty Institute and will also submit a final report to NCICU in September 2023.

NCICU’s Science of Reading project managers are Denise Adams and Pasts Pierce.

NCICU Receives Scholarship Challenge Grant

NCICU has received a $25,000 grant that will establish scholarships for students who are pursuing teacher education at one of NCICU’s 36 colleges or universities. The scholarships have been funded through a Scholarship Challenge Grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and requires a match of at least $37,000.

“The Council of Independent Colleges is proud to support NCICU and its colleges through CIC’s Scholarship Challenge Grant Program,” said Marjorie Hass, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. “The grant will provide additional scholarship aid for students of second-year status or higher at NCICU’s four-year colleges and universities.”

“As part of the effort of independent colleges and universities to increase the pipeline of teachers in North Carolina, these scholarships will help support our students as they intern in classrooms as part of their degree requirements,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams. “We greatly appreciate CIC’s funding of this important initiative.”

NCICU expects to begin distributing the scholarships for the 2023-24 academic year.

If you would like to support scholarships for our future teachers, you can contact Colleen Kinser, [email protected], or go online and make a gift today https://ncicu.org/give/.

$3.9 Million Contributed to Independent College Fund

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), the fundraising arm of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) received $3.9 million in cash and in-kind donations during its annual campaign which ended April 30, 2022. Of the $3.9 million, $2,401,493 will support NCICU programs, $1,022,669 came through in-kind gifts and services, and $508,496 was designated for scholarship support.

“I am excited about this year’s partnerships and the funds contributed for scholarships and student enrichment programs,” said ICFNC director, Colleen Kinser. “Thanks to the support of generous donors, NCICU will be administering new programs which address the significant challenges employers are facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse domestic and global workforce.”

One such program is the iBELONG MALE MENTORING PROGRAMSM, which was launched last fall, and is designed to increase the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of minority male students on campus.

Grant funding will also provide for a three-year Faculty-Student STEM Mentoring program which will launch in the fall of 2022. The program will seek to improve student retention and graduation rates among first generation college students, women, and students of color majoring in science, technology, engineering, or math.

In addition, grant funds will provide training and implementation strategies for faculty in the Science of Reading, a new legislative initiative impacting all Educator Preparation Programs in the state.

Program funds also support NCICU’s annual Ethics Bowl and numerous administrative group workshops provided each year for the 36 colleges and universities under the NCICU umbrella.

Hundreds of students will benefit from the scholarship funds, including 148 students who will receive named scholarships that have been established by donors.

These include:

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC
  • Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
  • CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
  • Clancy & Theys Construction Co. Scholarship
  • Dominion NC Power Scholarship
  • First Generation Scholarship
  • ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
  • Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
  • North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future Generations
  • Wells Fargo Scholarship

In-kind support received included Google Ad Grants and software support from SAS.

For more information about NCICU’s scholarships and programs.

NCICU receives $75,000 grant from Truist

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), a division of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), announced it received a $75,000 donation from Truist Financial Corporation through its Truist Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Winston-Salem Foundation, for student scholarships.

“We are so grateful to Truist for their support and for making this important investment in students,” said Colleen Kinser, director of ICFNC. “The Truist scholarship has a direct impact on helping students achieve a college degree and improve their quality of life.”

The funds provided scholarships to 25 students at 25 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in North Carolina for the current academic year. The criteria for the scholarships included full-time undergraduate student status, minimum grade-point-average of 2.5, demonstrated financial need, and first-generation or of an under-represented population college student.

The recipients are:

Ms. Jhaydan Davis, Barton College, from Fayetteville, NC, majoring in Business Administration
Ms. Destinee Allen, a senior at Greensboro College, from Marshville, NC, majoring in Art
Ms. Amina Osman, a senior at Guilford College, from Charlotte, NC, majoring in Health Science & Psychology
Ms. Maranda Wallace, a senior at Lenoir-Rhyne University, from Gastonia, NC, majoring in Psychology
Ms. Ciara Moorman, a senior at University of Mount Olive, from Essex, MD, majoring in Exercise Science
Ms. Kiara Hemphill, a sophomore at Wingate University, from Blythewood, SC, majoring in Biology
Mr. Sambujang Conteh, a junior Belmont Abbey College, from Gastonia, NC, majoring in Psychology
Mr. Job Williamson, a senior at Chowan University, from Burlington, NC, majoring in History
Mr. Shauntrel Hendrix, a freshman at Louisburg College, from Batesburg, SC, majoring in Business
Mr. Camden Sanderson, a freshman at Pfeiffer University, from Kernersville, NC, majoring in Business Administration
Mr. Saiquan Bell, a sophomore at Warren Wilson College, from New Bern, NC, majoring in History
Ms. Anna Wei Peters, a junior at Lees-McRae College, from Charlotte, NC, majoring in Wildlife Biology
Ms. Rachel Gunnis, a senior at Brevard College, from Goose Creek, SC, majoring in Health Science
Ms. Catherine Smith, a senior at Methodist University, from Clinton, NC, majoring in Elementary Education
Ms. Lillie Siniard, a junior at Montreat College, from Brevard, NC, majoring in Communications
Ms. Kristin Cirone , a junior at Queens University of Charlotte, from Charlotte, NC, majoring in Elementary Education
Ms. Anyssa Lanier, a senior at Salem College, from Clemmons, NC, majoring in Education
Ms. Kandon Luquer, a senior at St. Andrews University, from Laurinburg, NC, majoring in Communication Studies
Ms. Danny Grace Jones, a senior at Meredith College, from Mount Olive, NC, majoring in Political Science
Ms. Regina Alexandra Mendoza Martinez , a sophomore at Campbell University, from Fayetteville, NC, majoring in Biology
Ms. Jenifer Castillo Pacas, a junior at Catawba College, from Salisbury, NC. majoring in Spanish
Ms. Christina Kennedy, a senior at Gardner-Webb University, from Lawndale. NC, majoring in Nursing
Ms. Jazmin Valdovinos, a junior at N.C. Wesleyan College, from Rocky Mount, NC, majoring in Psychology
Mr. Daniel Loredo, a freshman at Mars Hill University, from Marshall, NC, majoring in Computer Science
Mr. Chason Royal, a freshman at William Peace University, from Bailey, NC, major Undeclared

“Helping provide access to education is at the heart of Truist’s purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities,” said Chris Bell, Triangle regional president for Truist. “This grant will support new opportunities for higher education across North Carolina and is an investment in the futures of these students, their families, and our state.”

About Truist Charitable Fund
The Truist Charitable Fund is a donor-advised fund created by Truist and administered by The Winston-Salem Foundation.

 About Truist
Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. Truist has leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending; and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is a top 10 U.S. commercial bank. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at Truist.com.

NCICU Spring 2022 Newsletter

NCICU Spring 2022 Newsletter

Dominion Energy donates $25,000 to NC Independent College students, STEM mentoring program

The Dominion Energy Foundation has donated $25,000 to The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC) for scholarships and program support. Twenty-one thousand of the gift is designated for student scholarships and four thousand will fund a career workshop for North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) Faculty-Student STEM Mentoring Program. ICFNC is part of NCICU, the statewide office for North Carolina’s 36 private colleges and universities.

Scholarship recipients must be full-time students majoring in Business, Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Construction Management or Environmental Sciences and hold a minimum grade point average of 2.5, that reside in Dominion Energy’s service territory.

Winnie Wade, External Affairs Manager for Dominion Energy, serves on the ICFNC Advisory Board. “We know these scholarships will lend the extra support to help make students’ educational goals a reality and create the pipeline of talent we need for our growing state,” said Wade. “Dominion Energy is proud to support these students that will become our next generation of leaders and problem solvers.”

Dominion Energy has supported North Carolina’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities for 60 years. The company has also started a scholarship fund for underrepresented minority students called the Dominion Energy Equity Scholarship.

Colleen Kinser, director of ICFNC, expressing appreciation for this support said “ICFNC is honored to partner with Dominion Energy to provide opportunities that have the potential to develop the capacity of the future workforce, especially in STEM and energy fields.”

PHOTO: (pictured l to r) ICFNC Assistant Director Lexie Daniels, , Winnie Wade, NCICU President Hope Williams, Colleen Kinser, and STEM Mentoring Project Director Marilyn Sutton-Haywood.