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!


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