Dordt College News

Dordt students win ethics competition

October 23, 2013

A Dordt College engineering team took first place in the annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 4 Student Leadership Conference this month. Senior John Stam of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and Junior Craig Disselkoen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, made up the two-person team competing at the conference held at the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities.

“I think that we won largely because of our ability to link specific elements of the case to the IEEE Code of Ethics,” said Disselkoen. “We were able to demonstrated a thorough understanding of their code and present our findings in a clear and organized fashion with logical progression.”

This is the second time that Dordt students have attended the conference on behalf of the college’s IEEE Student Branch. Both times, Dordt took the top honor in the ethics competition. In 2011, the Dordt College winners were then seniors Nathan Gross and Joshua Pearson, both engineering majors.

The competition presents a realistic case study to the students and is similar to gaining on-the-job experience. Teams were given two hours to analyze the case study for ethical issues in light of the IEEE Code of Ethics and then create a PowerPoint presentation of their findings.

“Craig and John are strong students and no doubt that is one reason they won the competition,” said Engineering Professor Dr. Douglas De Boer. “I also know that the breadth of Dordt’s engineering curriculum and the way it is interwoven with the core curriculum and other non-engineering courses make our students thoroughly equipped for the competition. Students see a bigger picture than just the technical aspects of a situation.”

Both students serve as leaders in the college’s IEEE club: Stam is president and Disselkoen is secretary. For their win, they earned a $500 prize for the Dordt College Branch of IEEE.

The conference included engineering students from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Dordt’s engineering majors have an exceptional record of industry placement, graduate school acceptance, and performance on the nationally administered Fundamentals of Engineering exam. To learn more about the engineering program at Dordt College, visit

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