SW/Cyber Engineering Ethics Conference (SWEEC)

Virtue in a Virtual World

October 22, 2022

Collaborate with Your Fellow Catholic Engineers

Franciscan University of Steubenville is hosting the Virtue in a Virtual World conference for software engineering, cybersecurity, theology, philosophy and other interested professionals.

The conference will specifically explore the theological and philosophical approaches to Ethical Debt, defined as the unpaid cost of deploying software that causes societal harms, particularly the loss of Catholic virtues. This includes all areas surrounding the ‘profound consequences’ modern software-enabled capabilities have upon the psychological, moral and social development of persons and society, and upon the perception and transmission of values, world views, ideologies, and religious beliefs.

Attendees can register to attend the SW/Cyber Engineering Ethics Conference (SWEEC) Virtue in a Virtual World Conference in-person on our Ohio campus or as online participants.

In-person attendence: $100

Virtual attendence: $10


Conference Schedule

All times shown are EST.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM


CODA Foyer

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Greetings from the Chair

Welcome: Virtue in Engineering

Deacon Stephen Frezza


9:15 AM - 10:15 AM


Virtue as a Competitive Edge: Leveraging the Lessons of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Dr. Deborah Savage


10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Paper 1

Everything Distracts Them: A Thomistic Analysis of the Neuroscience of Internet Use and Human Flourishing

K.T. Brizek


10:45 AM - 11:25 AM

Paper 2

Using Catholic Social Teaching to Create Virtuous Social Technologies

L. Conwill, M. Lewis, W. Schierer


11:25 AM - 11:45 AM

Paper 3

A Model for Virtue Education in Engineering

Deacon Stephen Frezza


11:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Lunch Break

CODA 109

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Paper 4

Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should

J. Wessel


1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Paper 5

Internet Feudalism, Digital Maoism, and Structural Ethical Debt: Can the Moral Person Be Recovered in the Online Anti-Commons?

J. Morgan


2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Panel Session

Panel: Ethical Principles to Guide the Rightful Development of Technology for Society

A. Plato, T. Harwood, R. Macnamara


3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Paper 6

Encounter and the Philosophical Foundations of Ethics

M. D'Antuono


3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Workshop Session

Workshop: Drawing the Lines for Privacy and Ethics for Networks and Apps

B. Meyer


4:30 PM


Father J. McElhone

Junipero Serra Chapel

For those wishing to come to Franciscan’s campus for the Conference, Franciscan offers a variety of accommodations and local amenities. For those attending the livestream version of the Conference, your confirmation email will be sent to you with a link to access the livestream page as well as a reminder email in the days leading up to the Conference.

Franciscan University looks forward to hosting engineering professionals exploring the important topics of ethics, virtue, and ideology within software engineering and cybersecurity with you. There is financial support available for attendees. Those who are in need of financial assistance to attend should contact the conference organizers directly.


If you have questions or would like more information, please contact:

Deacon Stephen Frezza, Ph.D.

Professor of Software Engineering

[email protected]