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Feb. 18, 2008

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – In a significant new development designed to create original research in the field of ethics, the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University has awarded four grants for academicians to study topics such as the ethical challenges confronted by today’s new technology and the moral obligation facing political leadership.

The Ethics in Leadership Fellowship Program, which is funded by an endowment, will give Viterbo faculty a new opportunity to infuse ethics into their areas of expertise.

“This is definitely a major step for the institute, and something we’ve wanted to do for years,” said Rick Kyte, director of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership. “We have presented hundreds of programs that have been well received by the public, and now we will also be a resource for research, which will give added recognition to the university and our emphasis on the study of ethics.”

The goal of the program is to increase the amount and quality of research conducted at Viterbo, to enhance the teaching of ethics across the curriculum in both undergraduate and graduate level courses, and to make lasting scholarly contributions in the fields of applied ethics and leadership theory and practice, Kyte said.

 Four inaugural awards have been made for the 2008–09 academic year:

  • Rochelle Brooks, associate professor in the Dahl School of Business. Project: “Ethical Challenges of Technology Faced by Organizational Leaders.”
  • Sara Cook, assistant professor in the Dahl School of Business. Projects: “Intercultural Interactions between Volunteers and Staff in Non-profit Organizations” and “Early-onset Burnout among Information Technology Professionals.”
  • Deb Daehn Zellmer, associate professor in the department of sociology, social work, and criminal justice. Project: “The Ethical Delivery of Social Services in Rural Areas.”
  • Jason Howard, assistant professor in the department of religious studies and philosophy. Project: “Conscience and Moral Obligation in Political Leadership.”

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