In life, a code of ethics serves to provide a static and unchanging standard by which ones actions can be appropriately judged. It provides and stable platform from which decision can be made in times of ease as well as when decision making can become difficult due to outside influences of pressures whether societal, financial, emotional, etc. For individuals, these personal code’s of ethics often go unwritten or unspoken but guide us in the way we interact with others on both the micro and macro levels. In engineering, a code of ethics works to achieve similar checks and balances on the personal level, but also serves to unite cooperating parties under a unified vision of what is ethically righteous. It also helps individuals from many backgrounds and beliefs to work together cooperatively by providing a standard outside of each prospective party member’s individual ethical ideals. In this way, a code of ethics can serve to frame the way in which we as individuals work as well as limit or control the way we work together as a society and facilitate peaceful, efficient, and effective cooperation. Finally, following or acting upon a code of ethics also provides a framework for decision making during times of stress or ethical dilemma and can help ensure these dilemma’s are quickly met with an appropriate level of subjectivity and objectivity.
So then, what are our ethics composed of? Many things to be sure, but I believe three key virtues play a large part in our ability to act and behave ethically. First, I believe honesty is crucial. To be ethical we must be honest with ourselves and with others. We must seek to find and provide truth at every turn and must never convince ourselves that what is easy or popular is always right. How can we as individuals or as a society behave ethically if we do not value truth enough to seek it out and have enough intellectual and moral honesty to follow those truths each day. Secondly, I believe a proper code of ethics demands responsibility. For any code of values to have real value it must enforce a standard of personal responsibility and conviction so that those individuals who subscribe to it will feel the weight of their obligation to follow it both in easy decision and in decision which present acute ethical dilemmas. Such a responsibility should spur us to act with integrity, that is act ethically for ourselves, as well as empathetically, that is to understand perspectives of others and value them enough to act beyond our own self interests. Finally, I believe any true code of ethics must include the virtue of self-discipline. Any ethical code which lacks this value will inevitably be treated as guidelines rather than as rules for decent living. We must have the discipline to pursue what is righteous even when it is difficult and may put ourselves or our interests at a disadvantage.
When faced with an ethical decision I personally turn to a number of different but supporting and complimentary code’s of ethics. In most cases I rely upon my own integrity and gut instinct of what is right in any given situation. I, like most of us, was raised to respect a certain ideal of personal responsibility, honesty, and compassion and strive to achieve those standards whenever possible. I’m very thankful that I was raised to appreciate these values and they serve me well each and every day. Additionally, I often consider the interests of the stakeholders involved in whatever ethical dilemmas I may find myself in occasionally. It is often helpful to consider the view points of these various stakeholder and compare and contrast them. Similarities in these interests can often serve to inform an appropriate course of action, and in cases where there are many different interests expressed I often weigh those issues against the possible benefits and consequences of their implementation. Finally, I as a Christian fundamentally rest in the belief that I can trust the infallible and never changing truths of my creator. I believe that ethical standards must always be derived from a moral standard which is not a societal construction but rather a gift given to us by our creator. These views might seem outdated in the present climate but I find it extremely comforting that, ultimately, truth isn’t up for interpretation and it isn’t limited by our finite understanding of situations and circumstances. In the end, then, our ability to interpret those truths in wisdom and our conviction to implement them in practice are of upmost importance. As a result, I strive to live in such a way that my life would be marked by evidence of real wisdom and conviction.
Although now in Ames, Iowa, I am originally from the small town of Spencer in the northwest corner of the state. I grew up on a small family farm and acreage with my parents Eric and Jean and brother Josiah. When I was young our summers consisted of baseball in the yard, and our winters of snow forts in the grove behind our house. Some of my fondest memories as a child all revolve around growing up in the country with my brother. We would frequently build toy boats out of spare bits of lumber and sail them down the creek next to our house or spend the afternoon at our grandparents after riding our bikes the mile to their house. As I got older my interests and passions changed. I became very involved with my high school music department, took very quickly to mathematics and science, and found myself fascinated with the topics of audio synthesis and visual design.
I have always been fascinated with the way things worked. As a child I frequently took things apart and put them back together. I still remember constantly rearranging our entertainment systems and computers in the house and was always fascinated with how these devices and systems functioned and worked together. So, when I decided that the career of fighter pilot might be a little too risky at the age of ten or so, I decided becoming an Imagination Engineer for the Walt Disney Company might be a more attractive opportunity. I was also extremely fortunate to have had a number of teachers who challenged me to pursue advanced mathematics and science courses and instilled in me a great love for knowledge. My interests in audio engineering helped focus my pursuits to the area of electronics making the electrical engineering program at Iowa State extremely attractive. However, as I learned more about various engineering career fields and reflected more deeply on my own interests, I realized computer engineering might be a more fitting major. Its combination of software and hardware design was both easily applicable and extremely interesting to me. As I approach the conclusion of the program I can safely say I made a great decision and love the field I have entered.
Iowa Cubs - Summer 2015
This summer my family took a trip down to see me while I was working in MODUS’ Des Moines office. As big baseball fans we decided to see an Iowa Cubs game together while they were in town and were even lucky enough to watch the fireworks after the game from MODUS’ roof garden. My office looked directly over the field offering a fantastic view.
Salt Company Band - Spring 2016
While here at Iowa State I am fortunate enough to exercise my audio engineering talents with The Salt Company campus ministry. I routinely get to work with an extremely talented group of musicians, many of whom are professionals or students in their respective disciplines, as well as some of the highest quality production equipment available today.