The Ursinus College Class of 1954 has endowed a Chair in Ethics to teach, publish, guide students in research and help them develop reflective judgment. At its January meeting the Ursinus College Board of Trustees designated Associate Professor Kelly Sorensen as the first Class of 1954 Chair in Ethics.
With an interest in countering unethical corporate activities which have permeated the business landscape in the last decade, the Class members raised money for the Chair. “This will greatly enhance our academic offerings in an important area that is becoming known as one of our strengths,” said President Bobby Fong. “Sincere thanks goes to the committee: Ben Maliken, Jay Kern M.D., Robert Hartman, Stephen Rovno, Jack Popowich, Marvin Rotman, Paula Schwenk, Richard Eshbach, Katherine Gellman, Robert Guth, Richard Glock, Ellsworth Faust, Charles Ramsey, Joan Smith, Marilyn Bernhard, Paul Shillingford and the late Ann Welch. Dr. Kern said the members’ viewpoint is that an endowed Chair could have a “meaningful, perpetual influence on campus life, and beyond.”
An Ursinus faculty member since 2004, Dr. Sorensen has had a significant impact on countless students, his field, and the College, according to College Dean Terry Winegar, Vice President for Academic Affairs. Sorensen was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009. “Dr. Sorensen is an inspiring, enthusiastic and challenging teacher, who creates new courses, mentors honors students and routinely participates in the Summer Fellows program,” said Dean Winegar.
Dr. Sorensen has been recognized for excellence in both teaching and scholarship, earning an Ursinus Pearlstine Grant in 2008, and a First-Year Advisor of the Year award for 2008-2009. He has written articles for various publications including “Effort and Moral Worth” in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice and “Genetic Enhancements in Expectations” in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
Dr. Sorensen has several scholarly works underway. A paper called “Search, Seizure, and Immunity” is under review at a law and ethics journal. He will be presenting the paper at a conference in California in June. Additionally, a paper, “Moral Enhancement and Self-Subversion Objections” is under review at an ethics journal. He is also working on a book about two importantly distinct kinds of moral evaluation: moral rightness and wrongness on the one hand, and moral praiseworthiness and blameworthiness on the other.
His students regularly present their research at undergraduate conferences each year.
He plans to accompany undergraduate students to the annual National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference next year. http://www.asbh.org/meetings/nuc/national-undergraduate-bio-conf.html.
Endowed chairs have enabled Ursinus College to recognize and support members of the faculty who have developed a proven record of professional distinction, excellence in teaching and mentoring and broad service to the College community. The Chair in Ethics will teach and publish about theoretical and applied ethics in the lives of students, the College community and global society, and help students develop reflective moral views inside and outside the classroom.