Engaging Ethics Conversation

The Engaged Ethics Conversation (EEC) is an annual event that brings together students, faculty and members of the community for an insightful and thought-provoking conversation on personal and professional ethics.

Designed to give audience members an up-close and personal look at both ethical and unethical behavior from a variety of viewpoints, the goal of the event is to reinforce support for ethical decision-making across the curriculum.

The EEC format is a moderated discussion with three speakers who would not usually share a stage, but each have unique perspectives on ethics. Audience members are encouraged to participate in the conversation, both live and virtually.


2020 Theme: Digital Ethics - Doing the Right Thing with Data

Controversies abound around the lack of transparency and disclosure on how firms, both private and public as well as for profit and not-for-profit, are collecting your personal data and how that is data is analyzed and subsequently used and by whom.


Event Details

Join the Conversation live on Tuesday, February 25, from 4:30-6:00 P.M. CST, or stream on Zoom.

Submit questions on Twitter or Facebook using #WSUEngagedEthics or via Zoom while watching the live event. 

The event will be held in Stark 103, with a reception immediately after in the Atrium.

The event is open to all WSU students, faculty and staff as well as the Winona community.


Toby Schmidt photo 






Toby Schmidt has an undergraduate focused on Business Administration and a Masters in educational leadership… with multiple Information Technology (IT) acronyms subsequently earned, his past 20 years have been invested in building enterprise IT infrastructure and securing them from being used inappropriately. He represents higher education and the mass quantities of data that are collected and processed, from admissions to philanthropy, and how we govern each process.



Deanna House 






Deanna House, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity in the Sykes College of Business and the Associate Director of the University of Tampa’s Center for Ethics. Deanna currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Cybersecurity and previously taught courses in the areas of Operations Management, MIS, and Business Analytics. Deanna worked in Human Resources as a Business Systems Analyst prior to her time in academia. Her research interests are related to the behavioral aspects of cybersecurity and the protective and preventative measures performed by users and organizations. Deanna presents at the regional and national level on topics related to the intersection of technology  and ethics.

The state of technology is changing at a rate that is faster than our society is prepared for. Data is collected and stored in organizations which has both benefits and risks. Dr. House explores the increased risks associated with collecting and retaining sensitive data and the responsibility of organizations to protect it. The ethical implications of hoarding data are still being sorted out, but conversations such as these are pivotal to adapting for the future.


J. Hunter Downs III 






J. Hunter Downs III, Ph.D., CEO, has post-doctoral training in Neuroscience, a Doctorate in Medical Physics, and a B.S. in Computer Science, Systems Design, and Mathematics. His research and development experience includes nuclear medicine computer and algorithm development; functional MRI for neurosurgical and brain mapping purposes; functional NIR sensors for communication and real-time control of devices; medical and non-medical robot control; medical visualization; wearable device creation and signal processing; machine learning and intelligent algorithms; and mobile apps for a variety of medical conditions. He is currently a Founder and CEO of Area 10 Labs and has developed several additional technology companies with successful exits.

As a developer of human systems technologies, the technologies I develop have and have had the opportunity to affect millions of people; usually at critical junctures in their lives. Yet, working with data signals emanating from the human body is fraught with uncertainty. Decisions made, in the presence of this uncertainty, that can affect whether a person dies, whether people lose their jobs, or whether a class of people is inherently biased against, are at best statistically justifiable and, at the worst, only guided by a good moral compass. This is the space I have been working in for 30 years and why I now own a coffee shop.