Mediation Day 2013: Managing conflict in a changing world- lessons from Oregon and beyond

Mediators Beyond Borders OSU chapter is hosting a panel presentation and networking luncheon on our Corvallis campus, May 24th from 9:30am-2:00pm (Memorial Union Journey Room).  The theme of this first Mediation Day is “Managing Conflict in a Changing World: Lessons from Oregon and Beyond.”


We hope to establish Mediation Day as an annual event that builds relationships and our regional capacity for inter-campus, intersectoral collaboration in conflict resolution research and practice.

Panelists include:

  • Carie Fox – Fox Mediation

A former soil scientist and lawyer, Carie has a private mediation and facilitation practice in Portland, Oregon. She specializes in public policy work—usually large, complex, multi-party issues. She also mediates workplace disputes. Carie teaches a graduate class at Portland State University and gives workshops around the country on such topics as collaborative negotiation, humor in conflict resolution, and decision science. In the last few years, Carie has been exploring the frontiers of technology in mediation, trying to involve more people than the usual 30 who can fit around the table.

  • Kevin Grant – Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program Manager

Kevin manages programs and coordinates volunteers in Benton and Linn Counties for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Mediation. Programs include Community mediation (including manufactured home parks), Small Claims mediation, Restorative Justice (including victim-offender mediation), and Youth & Family mediation (aka parent-teenager). In partnership with MBB-OSU, Kevin conducted a 32-hour mediation training to build conflict resolution capacity on the OSU campus in 2012.

  • Tim Hicks- University of Oregon, Director of the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Masters Program

Tim was a mediator in private practice for 14 years before coming to the University of Oregon to direct the Masters program in Conflict & Dispute Resolution. As a mediator, Tim worked in three primary sectors – family and divorce, workplace/organizational, and multi-party, environmental/public policy. He also consulted with and provided training for businesses and organizations in conflict management.

  • Laurel Singer- Portland State University, Oregon Consensus Director,

Laurel directs Oregon Consensus (OC) and manages the National Policy Consensus Center (NPCC) collaborative governance training and internship program. She brings a 16-year history as a mediator, facilitator, and trainer in private practice, with expertise in designing and implementing the most effective process possible to assist an organization, public body, or collection of stakeholders in making decisions and resolving conflicts constructively and collaboratively. Laurel teaches courses in conflict and collaborative governance, and she helped pioneer the first parent-adolescent mediation program in the Northwest.

  • Sue Theiss- Oregon State University Ombudsperson

Sue became the first Oregon State University Ombudsperson in February 2012. She served as a volunteer Ombudsperson at the University of Arizona for eight years while employed as the Department Administrator for Family and Community Medicine. Sue co-chaired Arizona’s Ombuds program before becoming the University of Arkansas’ first Ombudsperson, where she served for over nine years. She holds degrees in Business Administration and Communication, is a professional mediator, and serves as a mentor for the International Ombuds Association.

  • Gregg Walker- Oregon State University & Walker Consulting

Gregg is a professor at Oregon State University. He teaches courses in conflict management, bargaining and negotiation, mediation, international negotiation, natural resources decision making, and peace studies. Off campus, Gregg conducts training programs on collaborative decision making, designs collaborative public participation processes, facilitates collaborative learning community workshops about natural resource and environmental policy issues, and researches community-level collaboration efforts. Gregg serves as an Executive Team Leader for Mediators Beyond Borders’ Climate Change project. He travels to the international Climate Change COP meetings, promotes sustainable conflict resolution capacity, and advocates for the inclusion of mediation into legally binding instruments.

Thanks to generous funding from the OSU Educational Activities Committee, we can provide free registration (including delicious free food) to the first 60 registrants. Registration closes May 15, so please spread the word quickly and register here ASAP if you plan to attend!

If you have any questions, please email MBB-OSU President Miriah Russo Kelly at

We look forward to seeing you in Corvallis on May 24!


Where We Are: One Year Later

Dear MBB members, friends, & colleagues:

I returned to the blog to announce our big event of the year– Mediation Day— but coming back to the blog (seeing our last post was almost exactly one year ago, announcing Ken Cloke’s visit), I wanted to share some of our accomplishments, challenges, and transitions over the last year.

First, you should know that our first president, Harmony Paulsen Burright, finished her Master’s degree and moved onto a sailboat she and her husband made sea-worthy.  They battled inexperience, weathered storms, and conquered boat repairs, making their way down the West Coast from Portland to the Baja Peninsula.  They’ve been anchored in Topolobampo, Mexico, but just resumed their travel south towards El Salvador.  The best part?

  1. They have a cat on board.
  2. They’re blogging about the whole thing!

Harmony’s departure was a hard hit for the group.  Turns out that she is Superwoman: able to do the work of 10 people in half the time, all with a smile!  We said goodbyes to several other members who departed for jobs or international research, which led the remaining members to the conclusion that recruitment should be a big priority for 2012-2013.

When Miriah Russo Kelly (president), Julie Elkins Watson (me, VP), Kara DiFrancesco (Event Planner), Ali Marshall (Secretary), Pablo Alvarez Tostado (Outreach), and Mousa Diabat (Treasurer) assumed the leadership this year, we decided to condense efforts and focus in on skills and relationship capacity-building.  We loved doing the Conflict Resolution Speaker Series last year, but decided this year to condense our efforts into one big event: Mediation Day.  (Check out my next post to learn more about the event!)

In the meantime, we’ve done several conflict resolution skills-building workshops, including: transformative listening (Julie Elkins Watson), building collaborative capacity (Gregg Walker), and multi-stakeholder group facilitation (Geoff Huntington).

We continued our collaboration with EWB-OSU.  We had two great achievements:

  1. The team we trained in community conflict capacity building went to Lela, Kenya to begin their project!
  2. MBB and EWB members went to the Engineers Without Borders regional meeting in San Louis Obispo and co-facilitated capacity-building workshops for EWB members from around the world!  The strangest part– there were participants (independent of the OSU EWB connection) from Lela, Kenya at the workshop!
MBB-EWB Workshop at the Engineers Without Borders Regional Meeting

MBB-EWB Workshop at the Engineers Without Borders Regional Meeting

We also used our community collaboration skills to meet new friends, start dialogue, and draw a vision of campus sustainability at OSU’s 2013 Earth Day Fair!

2012-2013 MBB-OSU President Miriah Russo Kelly making friends at the MBB Earth Day activity table

2012-2013 MBB-OSU President Miriah Russo Kelly making friends at the MBB Earth Day activity table


Earth Day 2013: MBB's 20-20 Wall of Campus Sustainability

Earth Day 2013: MBB’s 20-20 Wall of Campus Sustainability

Finally, we’ve fostered a relationship with the brand new Ombuds Office on the OSU campus!  We look forward to working with Sue Theiss, the Ombudsperson, to continue to build sustainable conflict management capacity in OSU and across the Corvallis, OR community.

As we start looking forward to next year, we hope that the relationships we’ve fostered and the rising conflict resolution stars we’ve nurtured will continue to build upon our short but growing legacy of conflict resolution capacity-building on the OSU campus and beyond!