Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society


Who We Are. What We Do.

"Inspiring new dimensions in decision making through professional responsibility​"

The Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society leads the discussion about society’s expectations for a professional’s responsibility at both the individual and organizational level. It promotes the development of responsible professional behavior in today’s students, enabling them to become effective leaders in constantly changing and challenging business environments.


The Center strives to inspire new dimensions in organizational decision making through the conceptual development, research, and practical application of professional responsibility through the creation, delivery, and sharing of academic research and educational materials. Each year, the Center provides grants and funding for graduate student and faculty research projects.


Since its inception, the Center has designed, funded, and instituted multiple undergraduate academic courses including Business 101: An Introduction to Professional Responsibility, Business 302: Principles of Professional Responsibility,  and Business Administration 340: Ethical Dilemmas of Business. Over the past decade, thousands of students have benefited from these courses.

Public Engagement

In fulfilling its mission, the Center works cooperatively with multiple audiences including university faculty, students, and staff; professional and academic organizations; corporations; and governmental and non-governmental agencies. Each of these audiences utilize an extensive collection of resources offered through the Center.

Center News & Current Events

Four Former Business 101 Section Leaders Receive Class of 2020 Dean’s Scroll Designation

Each year, the Gies College of Business recognizes ten graduating seniors who have displayed dedicated leadership and leave a lasting impact on the college and community. Among the ten students recognized for the class of 2020, four of them (Agastya Brahmamdam, Drew Danko, Kayla Santucci, and Sarah Jaeger) served as past Section Leaders for Business 101. Throughout their time in the classroom they inspired others as passionate leaders and mentors, conveying the importance of ethics and professional responsibility throughout college and beyond. Further, they have encouraged many to follow in their footsteps and continue serving the Gies community. See below for personal statements from each individual:

Agastya Brahmamdam (Finance and Accountancy) –

"I loved being a part of the Business 101 team, an experience I will cherish forever. My Friday mornings will never be the same!"

Drew Danko (Finance and Hoeft Technology & Management Minor)

"I am so thankful for all of the experiences I’ve had and the relationships I’ve built through Business 101. Business 101 will certainly be one of my brightest memories looking back on my college experience in the future! Being a section leader provides an incredible opportunity to teach and mentor younger Gies students and certainly should not be taken for granted. If you are a younger section leader, always remember the lasting impact you can leave on your students for years to come and throughout their professional careers!"

Kayla Santucci (Accountancy) –

"Serving as a Business 101 section leader was certainly one of my most valuable and rewarding experiences of college. Being a section leader is a unique privilege and I am very grateful I had the opportunity to give back to Gies in this way!"

Sarah Jaeger (International Management and Economics) –

"I am most proud of teaching transfer students in an introductory course titled Business 101: Professional Responsibility. It has been great to see the successes my former students have achieved during their undergraduate careers. I am also proud of my affiliation with the course because the content centers around ethical decision making; a concept that I personally feel is immensely important when transacting in business." (Poets & Quants, 2020). *See below story on Jaeger for additional details.

*For additional information on the Gies College of Business Deans Scroll Award, please visit the following link: Learn More »

**In addition to Dean's Scroll designation, Drew Danko and Kayla Santucci were also awarded Honorary Senior 100. The full Senior 100 list can be accessed HERE

Emily Yates, former Business 101 Section Leader, Receives Class of 2020 Bronze Tablet and Senior 100 Designation

Since 1925, the University of Illinois has maintained a tradition of inscribing the names of the top 3% of each college's graduating class based upon academic achievement. Each year, a new "Bronze Tablet" is hung along the walls of the Main Library showcasing these individuals. Bronze Tablet recipients demonstrate continued academic excellence and achievement throughout their time at Illinois. This is the highest academic honor awarded at the University of Illinois and Gies College of Business. Former Business 101 Section Leader Emily Yates, a 2020 graduate with a degree in finance, is among this year's top students to receive this prestigious honor. Further, like Drew Danko and Kayla Santucci (noted above), Yates was recognized as a Senior 100 recipient at the University of Illinois. Below, Yates describes her experience as a Business 101 Section Leader:

Emily Yates (Finance) –

"Working as a Business 101 section leader for two years defined my collegiate experience most significantly with regard to both professional and personal development. It provided a great opportunity to give back to the College of Business in an incomparable way. I developed meaningful relationships with my students and fellow section leaders while enhancing my abilities to lead, communicate, and mentor. These valuable skills and wonderful memories will stay with me and support my future endeavors."

*As noted above, the full Senior 100 list can be accessed HERE

Sarah Jaeger, former Center for Professional Responsibility Student Intern and Business 101 Section Leader, receives Poets and Quants Best and Brightest 2020 Designation

Sarah Jaeger, currently completing her senior year as a Gies College of Business and Liberal Arts & Sciences student, has served as a leader and an inspiration to many throughout her time at Illinois. In recognition of her many accomplishments and contributions to the Center and university, Poets and Quants highlighted Jaeger among 99 other outstanding senior business undergraduates in the top 50 business schools across the country.

In an article recently published by Poets and Quants and featured on the Gies College of Business homepage, Center Executive Director Gretchen Winter provides her own description of Jaeger and her unique attributes which have left a lasting impact on campus: “Sarah is a passionate, focused planner who dreams big and executes well and with integrity…. Sarah pursued her interest in professional responsibility and business ethics by applying for and then becoming a Business 101 Section Leader. In that role, I watched her lead insightful and engaging discussions, sharing various aspects of professional responsibility in business… It’s been a pleasure to know Sarah as a student, and I look forward to staying connected with her as her life and career continue!” (Poets & Quants, 2020).

At another point in the article, Jaeger describes Winter as a main source of influence and inspiration throughout her time in college. As Jaeger put it, “she represents a stellar example of what it means to be an ethical leader; her mentorship along the way has been instrumental in becoming the person I am today.” (Poets & Quants, 2020).

For additional information on Sarah Jaeger and her impact at the Center as well as the Gies College of Business, please visit the following link:

Learn More »

*Additional details on Jaeger is also available under the "Deans Scroll Designation" information below:

Current Illinois Law Student Brian Nasala Attends Ethics & Compliance Initiative Event and is Named a 2020 Northrup Grumman Scholar

Brian Nasala, current student in the College of Law at the University of Illinois, was selected as a recipient of the 2020 ECI Ethics Academy Scholarship funded by the Northrop Grumman Foundation. Each year, the ECI Ethics Academy highlights the ethics and compliance (E&C) field and further seeks to educate students through the support of academics, researchers, and other practitioners involved in E&C. Graduate business and law students in addition to researchers and academics may apply for scholarships to attend the annual event. This year’s conference was scheduled for April 20–23, but due to the Coronavirus, was held virtually instead.

Below, Nasala offers his thoughts and experiences on this year’s event:

What did you find to be most impactful during the experience?

“The highlight of the ECI Ethics Academy Scholarship was attending the ECI IMPACT conference which brings together practitioners and top experts to share about trends and how to improve E&C in organizations. Due to Covid-19, however, the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI) had to adapt its strategy and held a virtual conference. This of course inadvertently limited networking opportunities. Even then, I was able to interact with experts through a chat platform with the system that was being used. The Northrop Grumman Scholarship is worth more than attending a conference – it has given me access to E&C learning and training materials for one whole year.”

“On the whole, ECI IMPACT 2020 was highly informative… I had a fantastic time while virtually attending the conference.”

Are there any practitioners or industry professionals in particular you found interesting?

“There are several that I found interesting, especially Yan Tougas. He is the Global E&C Officer at Raytheon Technologies. I was able to connect with him in a separate conversation after the conference and we spoke about the importance of organizations getting the right balance between law and values. We discussed how these can be leveraged to drive highly impactful E&C programs… Other professionals worth mentioning are; Karen Clapsaddle, Director Ethics Core Programs & Services at Lockheed Martin Corp., Andrene Bresnan, Director, Ethics and Business conduct at the Boeing Company and Steve Scarpino, Director Ethics and Compliance at BP.”

What information or advice did these practitioners impart?

“In a session on Corporate Culture in Transition, a panel consisting of Andren Bresnan and Jeff Oak, Ph.D. spoke about the dimensions of an ethical culture and how it’s connected to daily E&C work. The richness of their experiences enabled me to identify some cultural management tips like, trust is the soil in which strong culture grows and actions that strengthen culture are sometimes not apparent until after the fact.”

Moving forward, what are some of the next steps and plans you are considering after attending the event?

“I have always known that Ethics and Compliance is a field I am very interested in. I will be taking full advantage of the one year subscription to learn as much as possible, grow a network, and possibly find organizations where I can help build and implement great E&C programs.”

What advice do you have for anyone who might be considering applying for the Northrup Grumman Scholarship and ECI initiative or similar opportunities?

“It is so worth it! And if one gets it, they should intentionally position themselves to build relationships, learn and engage.”

To learn more about Nasala, the ECI event, and how to apply for future events and scholarships, please visit the following link:

Former Section Leader finds inspiration from her time in Business 101 to serve the community while fighting the Coronavirus pandemic

The Gies College of Business recently featured a story on Rachel Jacoby, a 2018 Gies graduate who has co-founded Feed the Front Line Chicago. The organization provides healthcare workers with meals from local, family-owned restaurants. Feed the Front Line Chicago is providing assistance for those most in need during a time of crisis and uncertainty.

Jacoby attributes much of the organization’s inspiration to her experiences in Business 101 and at Gies: “My business ethics class at Gies taught me about the importance of a people-centered approach and radical transparency… We want to direct resources to those who are not receiving support... these people are putting their lives on the line for us every day but don’t receive the same recognition. Feed the Front Line Chicago is trying to change that” (Gies College of Business, 2020).

In a conversation with the Center’s Executive Director, Gretchen Winter, Jacoby further attests to the impact of business and professional responsibility: “Business 101 was a really influential part of my college career and has shaped the decisions I make, whether big or small, ever since. It has been an honor to find a way to give back to my community during these uncertain times. Please know that the lessons and values I learned in Business 101, which I now took nearly six years ago, have become a part of who I am today.” (Rachel Jacoby, 2020).

To learn more about Rachel Jacoby and her mission, please visit the following link: Learn More>>

To donate to the Chicago chapter of Feed the Front Line, please visit the following link: DONATE HERE>>

Professor Patricia Werhane, Center Fellow, Presents "Ethics in Global Commerce during Coronavirus" Webinar on April 22nd

On April 22, 2020 the Gies College of Business featured a webinar with Patricia Werhane who offered information regarding global ethical dilemmas faced during COVID-19 and how to effectively navigate these challenges. The event was moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Luckman, Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Gies College of Business and leader of Illinois' National Center for Professional & Research Ethics.

In a statement, the Gies College of Business reported that, "the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease has created opportunities and challenges locally and globally as we quarantine ourselves locally while still dependent on global imports and supply chains for goods and services. These contrasting views lead to serious ethical issues for those engaged in global commerce." This dichotomy served as the main point of discussion throughout the webinar. (Gies College of Business).

The webinar served three purposes:

  1. Define the various ethical dilemmas impacting global commerce due to Coronavirus.
  2. Examine, as Werhane puts it, “local identify versus the interconnectivity and dependence on global commerce.”
  3. Offer a decision-making process for navigating difficult quandaries such as those posed by Coronavirus.


“The rapid spread of the coronavirus has created opportunities and challenges locally and globally as we quarantine ourselves locally while still dependent on global imports and supply chains for goods and services. These contrasting views lead to serious ethical issues for all of us and in particular, those engaged in global commerce." (Patricia Werhane).

To learn more about Patricia Werhane and watch her discussion on ethical related issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the following link to view a recording of the original webinar: Learn More>>

To access the slides utilized in the webinar presentation, please visit the following link: Download the PowerPoint

Gies College of Business Professor Jeffrey Lowenstein and new Ph.D. Jihyeon Kim Publish New Findings on Analogical Encoding and Ethical Decision Making in the Journal of Business Ethics

Thanks to support from the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, Gies College of Business, and the University of Illinois, Jeffrey Lowenstein and Jihyeon Kim have produced new findings on analogical encoding. The title states that "Analogical Encoding Fosters Ethical Decision Making Because Improved Knowledge of Ethical Principles Increases Moral Awareness" The research seeks to determine how knowledge of an ethical principle(s) might influence moral awareness and ethical decision making. In their abstract, Kim and Lowenstein claim that their "findings provide further reasons to link work on ethics with work on expertise and knowledge transfer as well as indicate new approaches to ethics training." (Kim, Lowenstein, 1). Professor Lowenstein is a current faculty member and fellow of the center Additional information on Professor Lowenstein is accessible under "People." Jiheyon Kim received her Ph.D. in April of 2020 from the Gies College of Business.

See here for a full citation as well as a direct link to the article:

Kim, J., Loewenstein, J. Analogical Encoding Fosters Ethical Decision Making Because Improved Knowledge of Ethical Principles Increases Moral   Awareness. J Bus Ethics (2020).

The full article is accessible HERE

Global Ethics & Integrity Benchmarks – 3rd Edition

The 2020 edition of the Global Ethics & Integrity Benchmarks (GEIB) is hot off the press! GEIB serves as an assessment tool for organizations to analyze and maintain their commitments to ethics and integrity. GEIB benchmarks are derived from “foundational concerns, through ethics resources and culture, and incorporate specific ethics and reputational risks." Interpersonal misconduct is of particular importance in the latest edition which highlights “gender, diversity and inclusion expectations in the workplace” and further addresses “developmental steps for harassment, discrimination, abuse of power, bullying and shaming.” (QED Consulting) This edition was produced in part by Joan Dubinsky, a Center fellow. Additional information on Ms. Dubinsky is accessible under "People."

Anyone can download GEIB 3rd edition from the QED website: HERE

Additional Resources