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Contact Person: Lourdes Robles   
Email: lrobles@nhu.edu 

Telephone: 408-273-2683
               April 10, 2008
For Immediate Release

The National Hispanic University Debate Team becomes First National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference Champions with win over University of Miami


(San Jose, CA)— The National Hispanic University is proud to announce that its Ethics/Debate team defeated the University of Miami to become the 1st National Undergraduate Bioethics Debate Champions. The NHU Debate team participated in a 6-team competition hosted by Union College on April 4-5, beating University of Miami, Dartmouth, Union College, Williams College and Southern Methodist. This win means much more than what one might think as it is truly a story of David vs. Goliath as the team from the 26 year old, little known university serving 600+ nontraditional college-going undergraduates defeated the team from a premier institution with 15,400+ undergraduates and graduates for the title.

The NHU Debate team was founded in 2003 by a group of 5 students that were interested in creating a discussion group outside of the classroom where a variety of philosophical and ethical issues could be discussed. The team has faced obstacles including inexperience, a lack of confidence and the fact that more than half of the team had to debate in their second language - English.

Asked what motivated the team, captain Luis Ruelas stated, “The love of arguing, the challenge to better our English and the need to increase our vocabulary was the main motivation. In the end, that challenge and the great effort we put behind it was what made us winners.” Added the other team members, “We can’t forget the confidence our coach instilled in us and the words echoed by our familia at NHU, SI SE PUEDE! We have just demonstrated that it can be done if you truly believe in yourself.”

This is NHU 9th competition in the Ethics Bowls. The team is now preparing for the California Regional Ethics Bowl Championship to be held on December 6th and hosted by NHU. The top teams from this event will advance to the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.

When asked about the impact of this win, Coach Michael Jordan replied, “This has been one of the highlights of my career. I feel very honored to have worked with such a dedicated and passionate group of students. The team worked very hard to prepare for this event and it paid off. Their victory over the University of Miami in the final match was brilliant. It was only their second event, which makes this win an amazing accomplishment. I could not be any happier.”

Students informed that the cases debated on dealt with the Morality of the mandated HPV vaccine among school age girls and the Morality of denying medical care for late stage Alzheimer’s patients. NHU won by 3 points.

The NHU team consists of sophomores: Ana Castro, Alondra Cardenas, Eric Morales, Jose Candia and captain Luis Ruelas.

The National Hispanic University is a private, accredited, 4-year university authorized to grant degrees since 1981. For more information on NHU, please log onto www.nhu.edu or contact Lourdes Robles at (408) 273-2683.


Team Members

Professor Michael Jordan (Coach)
Graduate of California State University, Chico in 1997 with a B.A in Philosophy and earned his M.A in Philosophy at San Jose State University in 2000. Faculty member at the National Hispanic University since the fall of 2000; faculty advisor for the Philosophy Club and coach for NHU’s debate team. His philosophical interests are in the areas of ancient philosophy, phenomenology, ethics, and the philosophy of education.

Alondra Cardenas
Age 21, sophomore, Major - Biology.
Born in Mexico, arrived to the US at the age of 3
Graduated from Willow Glenn High School in 2005
Plans to become a Nutritionist

Ana Castro
Age 20, sophomore, math and philosophy
Born in Mexico. Arrived to the US at age of 10
Graduated from Pioneer High School in 2005
Plans to attend Graduate school

Jose Candia
Age 19, sophomore, Major - Mechanical Engineering
Born in Mexico. Arrived to the US at age of 2
Graduated from Mount Pleasant in 2006
Plans to work in the automobile industry as a mechanical engineer

Eric Morales
Age 27, sophomore, Major - Computer Science
Born and raised in San Jose CA
Graduated from Willow Glenn in 2000
Veteran of the United States Navy

Luis Ruelas (Team Captain)
Age 23, sophomore, Major - Materials Engineering
Born in Mexico. Arrived to the US at the age of 15
Graduated from Independence High School in 2002
Plans to be a Materials Engineer and work on renewable clean energy

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