Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics

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The Ethics Table

Ethics Table Fellows, 2015-2016

The Ethics Table has been a key initiative of the Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics. It has been a metaphor that has many institutional forms. Since spring semester 2013, it has taken three. In all these forms, “ethics” is meant broadly in the original sense as ethos, a way of life, and so includes politics as well as more private matters.

Ethics Table Fellows

The Ethics Table Fellows is a group of students, staff, and faculty selected from an application process that focuses on a project to improve the ethical learning environment of Case Western Reserve University. The fellowship is periodic, based on perceived need and interest.

Across the year, the fellows meet monthly, reading and discussing ethical theory, working on individual projects, and preparing for an open symposium at the school year’s end. Fellows are given some research money and a stipend or other appropriate form of compensation at year’s end for their work. If you are interested in applying to be a fellow, please contact:

2017-18 Fellows

Heather Clayton-Terry

Heather Clayton Terry, MPA, is an advocate, coach and philanthropist. She currently works as the Philanthropy Coordinator for Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. She previously worked at the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women at Case Western Reserve University as the Associate Director for Women in Science and Engineering.   Her project will look into potentially recommending or establishing an ethics committee and/or an ethics convening program for Dominion Energy. Currently, Dominion Energy has a safety committee in place at every facility and a mandatory safety meeting for all employees twice a year.
Emily Dragowsky [forthcoming]

Emily Jennings

Emily Jennings is an Accounting Clerk in the Office of Research Administration, Sponsored Projects Accounting and a frequent member of the Ethics Table and the Moral Inquiries.  Her project is to help incoming students think about what it means to make an ethical home, and empower them to make ethical decisions in their private lives. Illuminating the ethical choices inherent in creating a living space will help student make better choices and and improve their lives and their communities. Furthermore, it will help them think of themselves as moral actors capable of changing systems for the better.

Annie Pecastaings

Annie Pécastaings teaches writing-intensive courses at CWRU. Her interests include the Gothic novel and travel literature.  Her project is to construct a physical, written and communal practice of walking in Cleveland as a way of constructing the cartography of the city from the standpoint of lived experience and as a way of translating different senses of home across the ocean from France and between people here.  Her work relates to classes she teaches.

Natalie Snyder

Natalie Snyder is a senior studying philosophy and political science. Her interests are in health, animal rights, environmental justice, feminism, the sublime, and public policy.  She hopes to get her PhD in Philosophy or work in government and policy.  Her project is to examine and address -at least as proposals- the sources of profound dissatisfaction with CWRU that students were reported to have in the CUE report of 2017, focusing especially on systemic silencing and a lack of a comprehensive and spiritual understanding of health.

Peter Whitehouse

Peter J. Whitehouse, MD-PhD,  is a Professor of Neurology and former or current professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Bioethics, History, Nursing and Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and President of Intergenerational Schools International. Peter is a prevention oriented, life course, developmental neurologist. He is the author of hundreds of academic papers and book chapters ranging from genetics, to clinical dementia to public health and bioethics.  His project is the design of an intergenerational course on wisdom, aimed for both SAGES and the Siegel lifelong learning program.


2017-18 Ethics Table Fellows Application

Ethics Table Fellows, 2015-16

Ethics Table Fellows, 2013-14

Chat -n- Chew Lunches, 2017-18

In the 2017-2018 academic year, the Chat-n-Chew lunches will meet approximately once a month on Fridays during Common Hour, starting in January.  The Fall schedule involves a hiatus as the Philosophy Common Hour starts up. The chat-n-chews may also be convened as topics arise. They are open to any member of the campus community.


Fridays 12:45-2PM

September 15th, Inamori Ethics Prize panel with Marion Wright Edelman

October 13th, Inamori Center Classroom with Kyle Powys Whyte, 2017 Beamer-Schneider Lecture in Ethics & Civics, “Indigenizing Futures, Decolonizing Our Lands: Indigenous Methods for Transformation”

January 26th, Guilford House Lounge, Is ‘diversity’ a cop-out word for the task of equality?

February 23rd,Guilford House Lounge,The anti-empathy, anti-humane, anti-personal folk

March 23rd,Guilford House Lounge, TBA

April 27th, Guilford House Lounge, TBA


Chat-n-Chew Lunches, 2016-17 / 2015-2016 Brown Bag Lunches / 2014-2015 Brown Bag Lunches / 2013-2014 Brown Bag Lunches / 2012-2013 Brown Bag Lunches

Members of the Ethics Table at the Moral Inquiries, Mac’s Back’s Books, Cleveland Heights, 2017

The Moral Inquiries ~ a Heights gathering

The Ethics Table generated a group that meets in the historic Coventry neighborhood of Cleveland Heights at Mac’s Back’s Books, the much-loved independent bookstore that adjoins Tommy’s. Called “The Moral Inquiries ~ a Heights gathering,” this community group discusses moral issues and is co-organized with members of the community. For more information, please see its website. You can join the hosting platform easily if you want to sign up for it.

Next meetings

February 15th, 6:30-8:30 PM, How does one action affect your entire life?

February 17th, 6:00-8:00 PM, Mark the city, fill the space! A call to action around the right to safety at Guide to Kulchur


Special civic event of the Moral Inquiries, SPACES Gallery, July 2016

The first Ethics Table

In the mid-1990s, Bob Lawry from the School of Law convened a summer ethics institute that allowed Case Western Reserve University faculty to explore incorporating ethics into their classes. In 2011-12, supported by the Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust, the Beamer-Schneider Professorship renewed the institute in a different, evolving form–and opened the Table to staff, administration and to graduate students who in direct ways through their programs foster the ethical learning environment of Case Western Reserve University.

In its new form, the Ethics Table’s first pulse was during the year 2011-2012. The group met daily for a week in August 2011 to explore the idea of a university ethos. Readings included D.H. Winnicott’s Playing and Reality; Dan Scheinfeld’s et al., We Are All Explorers: Learning and Teaching with Reggio Principles in Urban Settings; Martha Nussbaum’s Creating Capabilities; Alice Munro’s Runaway, and the Share the Vision common reading for the year, Justice by Michael Sandel.

The group then met monthly around town — to get out of school, gain perspective and to support local businesses. We ate at the Squirevue Vallee Farm with Spice of Life farm to table catering, at Le Petit Triangle in Ohio City, Club Isabella in University Circle, Prosperity Social Club in Tremont, the Alumni House where we skyped in philosophical counselor Lauren Tillinghast, Empress Taytu in East Cleveland, Café Anatolia in Cleveland Heights, and at the Greenhouse Tavern downtown.

At each of these meetings, two members of the group presented on ethics from their perspective in the university, and a special guest gave a presentation. The special guests this year were Anthony Jack (Cognitive Science), Shannon French (The Inamori Center), Chin-Tai Kim (Philosophy), Laura Hengehold (Philosophy), Lauren Tillinghast (NYU extension branch and private practice), Rhonda Williams (Social Justice Institute), Piers Turner (Ohio State University, Ethics Center), and Dean Moyar (Johns Hopkins University, Philosophy).

Finally, the group convened for a two day retreat in May 2012, with The Montessori School of Cleveland and Roger Saillant (Fowler Center) as special guests at the Inamori Center and at the Manor House of Squirevue Vallee Farm. The group reflected on its future and on the prospect of future developing our university’s ethos. Members of the group also chose to read Simon Blackburn’s Being Good, which was given to all members of the group for their reference.

Betsy Banks, Mark Pedretti, Sue Rivera, and Mary Holmes, Ethics Table Fellows, 2011-2012

Members of the Ethics Table 2011-2012

  • Elizabeth Banks, Director, Center for Civic Engagement and Learning
  • Nicole Deming, Assistant Professor of Bioethics, Director of Medical Education, Co-Director, Bioethics Master’s Program
  • Sarah Gridley, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing
  • Mary Holmes, SAGES instructor and local foods entrepreneur
  • Megan Jewell, Director, The University Writing Center
  • Kenneth Johnson, Graduate student, Affiliate of the Inamori Center
  • Kathryn Mercer, Professor of Legal Writing, the Law School
  • Mark Pedretti, Lecturer, the Department of English
  • Adam Perzynski, SAGES instructor and medical sociologist at MetroHealth
  • Rolfe Petschek, Professor of Physics
  • Drew Poppleton, Assistant Director for Experiential Learning, the Career Center
  • Suzanne Rivera, Associate Vice President for Research and the Department of Bioethics
  • Rachel Sternberg, Associate Professor of Classics
  • Tracy Wilson-Holden, Director of Research Education
  • Jeffery Wolkowitz, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
  • Peter Yang, Associate Professor of German
Page last modified: February 22, 2018