New programming hits Prindle Institute for Ethics

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The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, often shortened to Prindle, welcomed a new director this year.

Andrew Cullison, '01, succeeded Robert Steele and brought a handful of ideas with him.

“I hesitate to say that I want to build on Bob Steele’s foundation because what we have is much more than a foundation,” he said.

Cullison began implementing new programming about one month after he took office. On Aug. 30, he launched a Huffington Post-style website dedicated to ethical issues in the news called The Prindle Post. The Prindle Post includes articles, video content and op-eds on ethics. 

“I wanted to have some way for the campus to engage with the ethical issues,” said Cullison.

He also noted that the website is portable,  allowing more people to take advantage of what Prindle offers both on and off campus.

Articles available now include “Ferguson and Net Neutrality,” “Social Media Experiments: Where Should We Draw the Line?” and “Should You Trust Health Apps on Your Phone.”

The primary writers are the Prindle Interns, or “Printerns,” adding a more curricular component to their responsibilities. Participation is not limited to students directly involved with the institute; anyone interested can submit a piece.

“We are looking for more student involvement through The Prindle Post,” said sophomore Printern Amy Brown.

Cullison believes that The Prindle Post could help launch the Prindle Institute beyond DePauw.

“The institute itself has the potential to be a nationally recognized center,” he said. Several Printerns echoed the sentiment.

“We’re highly unique and this is a way to put ourselves out there,” said Brown.  

The website is not the only thing Cullison hopes contribute to Prindle. He also plans to implement a “Prindle Prize Program,” which connects the curriculum at DePauw and the institute. Monetary prizes will be awarded within two categories: Citizen and Coursework. Students and faculty who do exceptional work on The Prindle Post qualify for the Citizen award, and students who explore ethical issues within the classroom qualify for the Coursework award.

“It’s not like we’re changing anything; we’re just adding," said Rachel Hanebutt, a senior Printern.

Cullison also hopes to hold summer workshops and writers retreats at the institute in the future. He once participated in a workshop at Purdue University, and calls it the "best professional experience of my life." He worked on a project with other people at the tops of their fields, breaking apart to work individually throughout the day. Cullison wants to invite DePauw seniors to joing the summits.

"I think the institute and DePauw is the perfect place to do things like this," he said. 

While Cullison is not interested in changing the entire institute, he will implement new ideas and programs. 

"I'm really optimistic and just really excited about what we can do with this place."