Jarrett Hill: MSCM Cohort VIIt's been an amazing 13 years since graduating from the program. I've been employed by Cox Enterprises for over 10 years and now and lead a Value Strategy team in the Automotive side of the business. I haven't necessarily used my conflict management skills in a direct job function; however, I'm sure concepts I learned in the program have influenced my leadership capability when managing people and the associated conflicts that can arise in our daily work. I'm known around here as a relatively even keeled person and handle direct conflict with clients and sometimes executives with a pretty neutral approach (i.e. I don't get riled up). I wonder if that also comes from understanding the nonconstructive nature of emotions during conflict. Interesting now that I think about it. Also, I'm confident the Master's degree in a discipline like conflict management has added to the multiple opportunities I've had to advance in my career, regardless of the job function. Most people's reaction to hearing that is "Woah!"
Kerri-Ann Edwards Forde: MSCM Cohort XIV,
Vice President, ADR Association of Barbados, Inc.
I chose this program particularly because I love mediation but felt that I didn't just want to be a mediator; I wanted a strong conflict management foundation along with it. I wanted to have the ability to do more than mediation if life took me in that direction. This program was one of the best decisions of my life. I've learned so much and found passion in areas in which I never thought I'd be interested. Also, within a month of returning home, I've been elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the ADR Association of Barbados. I would advise anyone interested in Mediation as a career or who has a healthy interest in resolving conflict to take the MS in Conflict Management program at KSU. You won't regret it!
Joshua Lee Floyd: MSCM Cohort XII
When I first discovered the MS in Conflict Management program I was excited to learn how the curriculum is similar to studying law. I wanted the skill set of an attorney, but I did not feel that law school was the best option for me. The MS in Conflict Management program proved to be the right choice.
I found myself learning some of the same concepts as my friends who were in law school - negotiation, facilitation, and mediation just to name a few. However, the focus was more on the alternatives to court and how to resolve conflict without the use of legal bureaucracies.
The trip we took for field study was one of the most unforgettable times of my life. My cohort was fortunate enough to go to Ireland and Northern Ireland to study international conflict resolution. The lessons I learned and memories we created will never fade away.
The use of a field experience or internship was priceless. Once I found my internship opportunity, I found my career. Using my internship experience, I gained employment within the first 6 months of graduation in the exact field of work I desired – healthcare. This degree helped forge a path in my professional career that otherwise I could not have achieved. The degree also improved my personal life, as it equipped me with the tools needed to effectively resolve conflict with anyone, anywhere. I can honestly say the MS in Conflict Management program completely changed my life, my only objection being that the program didn’t last longer.
Beth White: MSCM Cohort V
Beth entered the MS in Conflict Management program thinking her goal was to develop skills that would help her manage customer complaints in her healthcare career. After enrolling, she discovered that the opportunities for conflict managers in healthcare far outreach customer service and training venues.
What she found after graduation was an opportunity to use her conflict management skills in the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Supply Chain Department. As a Supply Chain Project Manager, she developed a value analysis process to manage costs while maintaining a high standard of care. Competing interests, limited funds and intense emotions are just some of the challenges Beth faced in her new role. Using her conflict management skills, she found an opportunity to implement a collaborative approach for obtaining supplies while ensuring quality of care and managing the bottom line.
After only two years, Beth was promoted to Purchasing Manager for Supply Chain. By mapping current states, identifying barriers, leveraging stake holders, facilitating process improvements, driving change and monitoring outcomes through data management and reporting, Beth has been able to not only improve customer satisfaction and overall efficiency, but has also grown a team that feels valued and supported by its leadership while consistently exceeding its annual goals and objectives. Beth continues to invest in the development of and investment in the Purchasing Team, and partners with customers to problem solve and build trust.
Marcel Maglo: MSCM Cohort X
Marcel, a native of Togo, brought a wealth of experience and first-hand knowledge of international conflict to Cohort X. While a student in the MS in Conflict Management program, Marcel was an active member of the KSU Model African Union Team (MAU), which simulates the proceedings of the African Union.
At the MAU spring 2010 national conference in Washington, D.C., Macel represented Cote-D’Ivoire in the Technical Committee on Economic Matters, and conducted negotiations centered around Water Resources and Agricultural Development, Management of Mineral Resources, Debt Relief, Energy and Development, Multilateral Trade Negotiations and Food Security. Marcel won an award for “Outstanding Delegation” and “Individual Committee Leadership.” During his final semester in the MS in Conflict Management program, Marcel completed an internship in New York at the United Nation Headquarters (Department of Field Support). Since graduating, Marcel has been hired to work at the United Nations in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. He is also a member of the International Ombudsman Association.
Nancy Brockway: MSCM Cohort XI
Nancy completed the MS in Conflict Management program in 2011. She conducted an extensive field study research project that explored faith-based encounter programs with Israeli, Palestinian and American pre-teens as a new model for track three peace building.
During her time as a student, Brock way received the KSU Foundation Fellows Scholarship, was a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, served as a guest reviewer for Conflict Resolution Quarterly, and was the MS in Conflict Management Student of the Year (2010-2011).
Brockway is currently the Chief Emergency Services Officer for the American Red Cross in Georgia. She has served on a number of disaster relief assignments around the country, including Director of the Red Cross relief operation for the World Trade Center Operation in New Jersey after 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina Relief Operations in GA in 2005.
Additionally, she is the co-founder and vice president of Kids4Peace USA, a nonprofit education for peace organization that works with families from Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities in the United States and the Jerusalem area, including Ramallah and Bethlehem.
Reginald Williams: MSCM Cohort VIII
Reggie is the President of Xepus Holdings, LLC, which provides future-focused mediation services to various municipalities, county, state and federal government agencies. His areas of training and specialization include: Domestic Relations, Specialized Domestic Violence, Deprivation, Special Education, Juvenile, 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions and Equal Employment Opportunity.
Reggie writes, "The MS in Conflict Management program allowed me to expand my options in the field of conflict management and dispute resolution. Not only does my firm offer mediation services, but also facilitation and conflict assessment, which were not options prior to the program."
Dirk Smith: MSCM Cohort X
"As a Career Coach who manages a team of coaches, I manage many relationships between multiple parties. In short, much of my job is acting as Switzerland or as a ‘neutral’ in various types of daily workplace conflicts. The MS in Conflict Management program has given me solid knowledge, tools, and skill sets of conflict theories and practices. As a result, I am very well-rounded and confident because of the education I’ve received in the MS in Conflict Management program. The program taught me how to effectively deal with the plethora of contentious moments I encounter each day in my professional role."
Osama Abukatta: MSCM Cohort III
Before joining the MS in Conflict Management program, Osama worked with numerous local and international youth organizations as well as community building institutions, yet lacked the theoretical and educational framework to help explain what he was experiencing in working with conflict situations. He says, "I was like someone who knew the intended function of an object but did not know what it was called or how to operate it."
The MS in Conflict Management helped him to make sense of his experiences, sharpen his skills, diversify his knowledge in the field of conflict management, and revolutionize his communication skills. He says, "It is not the rule that your subject of study has a direct link and can be applied to almost every facet of your daily life; however, this is the case with conflict management."
Osama credits the MS in Conflict Management degree for opening the door of opportunity for him to teach a course at George Washington University on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He continues to work his full-time job as a media analyst and is the Co-Director of The Middle East Peace Project. Osama says, "I am a strong believer that we humans are the products of our educational and accumulative experiences, and am proud to say that the MS in Conflict Management program I attended is an integral part of both my personal and professional achievements."
Lora Huntington: MSCM Cohort II
Lora works for Aetna as the Continuum of Care Manager, where she heads Aetna's Nurse Case Management program for the Mid America region, covering 17 states.
Lora says, "While it is not a conflict management title, per se, I use the principles I learned in the MS in Conflict Management program every day. I have certainly based by management style on those principles. Without this degree I would not be where I am today."
In addition to her role as a Continuum of Care Manager, Lora was selected by Aetna to serve as a clinician lobbyist to the US Senate.