Skip to Main Content

You are in the main content

Thomas J. Masterson Ethics Essay Competition

ABOUT THE COMPETITION: Each year, the Gilliam Center runs the annual Thomas J. Masterson Ethics Essay Competition. Now in its twelfth year, the competition is sponsored by Rich Masterson, a 1982 JMU College of Business alum and highly successful entrepreneur, and Rich's sister, Beth Masterson Beahm, a 1983 JMU alum and strong JMU supporter (along with her husband and JMU alum Mike Beahm). The contest is named in memory of their father, Thomas J. Masterson. The competition is also sponsored by Leslie Gilliam (JMU 1982) and Richard Gilliam, benefactors of the Gilliam Center for Free Enterprise and Ethical Leadership.

AWARDS: There are ten (10) scholarship awards for the best submissions (up from just 3 or 5 in prior years) – a total of $12,500 will be awarded. Awards will range from $500 up to a first place award of $5,000!! Winners will have their awards applied directly to their JMU student accounts in the fall!!

PURPOSE: The primary purpose of this competition is to engage participants in a brief exercise that encourages them to deeply ruminate about ethical issues and consequences of a case or news story with business implications. The hope is that participants engaging in this exercise will in the future be more tuned in to ethical issues and act appropriately in ways that, for instance, reflect honesty, integrity, moral courage, and interpersonal respect and dignity.



Lea Walsh ($5,000 scholarship)
Tess Rosenthal, Brian Nickel, Brianna McCarthy, Amaranta Prieto Aguilar, Julie Anderson, Hannah Johnson, Christopher Petersen, William Romov, & Kelly Starry


Previous Thomas J. Masterson Scholarship winners:  

2012 Winners:
Brianna McCarthy ($5,000 scholarship), David McKinley, Jordan Molnar, Kyle Rose, & Zachary Mortensen

2011 Winners:
Rachel Lewis ($5,000 scholarship), Meridythe Fallon, Ghizlaine Mallek, Victoria Groene, & Anthony Hwang

2010 Winners: 
Nick Harris ($5,000 scholarship), Katie Manges, & Sarah Blake

2009 Winners: 
Ryan Farrell ($5,000 scholarship), Chelsea Sasala, & Brett Abrams

2008 Winners: 
Alek Mikasinovich ($5,000 scholarship), Jessica Dante, & Kathleen Billington