UPDATE: An Additional Winner of the 2019 Abraham J. Briloff Prizes in Ethics
April 1, 2020
An Additional Prize Winner
Owing to communication and editing confusions that were not helped by viral uncertainties, previous announcements of this year’s winners of the Abraham J. Briloff Prizes in Ethics managed to leave out one of the winners: Paul Butterfield, a member of the adjunct faculty in the Philosophy Department is one of three (not two) co-winners of the faculty prize for 2019. (Since we usually award prizes for work written at least a few months previously, the date of the prize has always reflected that earlier date instead of the year of the deliberations.) As always, we thank the members of the prize committee.
Here then are what we believe will be the final results of this year’s competition (if there are further changes, they will appear eventually on the Briloff Prize site in the Faculty Handbook):
Winners of the 2019 Abraham J. Briloff Prizes in Ethics
Each year we announce the winners of the Abraham J. Briloff Prizes during Ethics Week. For obvious reasons the public events of Ethics Week were cancelled this year, but the members of the Briloff Prize Committee completed their work, the results of which we are pleased to announce today. Links to the works celebrated below soon will be posted to the Faculty Handbook.
These prizes are funded by a gift from alumnus Charles R. Dreifus (’66, MBA ’73) in honor of the late Abraham J. Briloff, Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Professor of Accountancy Emeritus. There are prizes in three categories: undergraduate student, graduate student, and faculty. This year the members of the committee declared a tie among two members of our faculty for that prize.
Samta Abrole, a senior at Baruch majoring in Political Science, and minoring in English, has won the $500 prize for undergraduates. She wrote “United Nations’ International Accountability: Peacekeeping Forces’ Sexual Abuse Crimes” for Prof. Alexander Panayotov’s class POL 4900: Global Governance and Institutions. The members of the Briloff Prize Committee wrote of this essay: “The United Nations is commonly treated as a force for good, which may be true in many instances. However, it is not always good. A reputation for goodness can be a mask to hide bad behavior. This paper discusses the wrongful behavior of some of the United Nations Peacekeepers and the United Nations’ failure to accept responsibility.”
Graduate Student Winner
Joshua Nagel, who won the $500 prize for graduate students, is enrolled in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Ph.D. program and anticipates graduating in 2023. He wrote “When do stretch goals, outcome framing, and incentive structures lead to unintended consequences? Tradeoffs between task performance and ethical behavior,” and plans to submit the essay to an academic journal. Members of the Briloff Committee wrote: “This paper describes an experiment examining the effect of goal difficulty, outcome framing, incentive structure, and their interactions on task performance and unethical behavior. Goal difficulty and the interaction of goal difficulty and outcome framing had a significant effect on task performance. The interaction between incentive structure and outcome framing had a significant effect on unethical behavior.”
Faculty Co-Winners (listed alphabetically)
Lauren E. Aydinliyim, Assistant Professor, Narendra Paul Loomba Department of Management, will receive a $750 prize for members of the faculty. Her essay, “The Case for Ethical Non-Compete Agreements Executives Versus Sandwich Makers,” has been submitted for publication. The committee wrote: “The essay about prevalent non-compete agreements balances the concerns of corporations about unfair competition against employee concerns for freedom and autonomy. The author concludes that the lower down the employee fits into the corporate structure, the less rationale exists for the imposition of non-compete agreements. At higher levels, non-compete agreements are often justified, as they cannot (as many contend) be easily supplanted by alternative non-disclosure agreements.”
Paul Butterfield, a member of the adjunct faculty in the Department of Philosophy, will receive a $750 prize for members of the faculty, for “Focusing on the Gap: A Better Approach to the Morality of Humor.” The committee wrote: “This philosophical essay draws on resources from the Philosophy of Language to determine that, in many cases, a joke is not an assertion, and therefore it is not an assertion about any individual or about any group. ‘It’s just a joke,’ in many cases, will excuse language that would otherwise be inexcusable. The author has provided, in this essay, a little elbow room for the human imagination, otherwise threatened by overreaching attempts at correctness.”
Don Waisanen, Associate Professor, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, will receive a $750 prize for members of the faculty. He submitted the first chapter of his forthcoming Improv for Democracy: How to Bridge Differences and Develop the Communication and Leadership Skills Our World Needs (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2021).
Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President
Baruch College, CUNY