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 speaker crowd                         

Receive up to 4 hours of GODR CE Credit!


The CR Symposium will take place on Thursday October 27, 2011 from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT.

Check-in will begin at 2:00 PM EDT

Click here for the CR Symposium agenda.

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Georgia State University Student Center 
44 Courtland Street
Atlanta, GA 30303

Symposium check-in will be by the elevators in the Speaker's Auditorium lobby.

Parking will not be validated.
Driving Directions 

Cost: FREE! So hurry and get registered! 


Tahirih Varner 
Office of the Ombudsperson 

Visit our office website:

Conflict Resolution Day Essay Contest

Enter for a chance to win an iPod at the Conflict Resolution Symposium!

Open to all undergraduate and graduate students in Georgia. Click here for Essay Contest Rules. 

Deadline extended until 10/16/11 at midnight!

Session Topics will Include:

  • Solution-Focused Mediation
  • Anatomy of Influence in Conflict Resolution
  • Impact of Conflilct on Merger & Acquisition Transactions
  • Considerations for Conflict Education
  • Advanced Practitioners' Meeting
  • Don't Mediate, Facilitate!
  • Training Leaders in Cultural Competence
  • Maintaining Civility at Georgia State University: Disability Discrimination Panel
  • Leading through Conflict Panel
  • "My So-Called Enemy" Screening & Discussion

 Peacemaking Tournament 

***Are you a registered neutral or have some mediation training? Consider being a volunteer judge for one round of the tournament!***

Simply choose Mock Mediation Tournament Judge as your session choice and we'll contact you with more information. It's fun, easy and a great way to mentor future leaders of the field.


Have a business you'd like to market?

Fill out the Exhibitor's portion of the Registration Form to reserve a FREE table in the Exhibit Hall. This is where the Networking Dinner will take place, FREE of charge to registered CR Symposium participants.

For more lasting coverage, advertise your services in the CR Symposium program.

  • Business card size ad-           $25
  • Quarter-page ad-                      $50
  • Half-page ad-                            $100
  • Whole-page ad-                        $150

Make checks payable to Georgia State University and send to: Office of the Ombudsperson - PO Box 3981 - Atlanta, GA, 30302-3981                                               Send all graphics to:


Where to Eat? 

The Student Center is just a few blocks from Underground Atlanta which has a diverse selection of great eateries.


Conflict Resolution Symposium 2011

Negotiating for Success: Conflict Resolution Skills for Future Leaders

Come join new and seasoned Conflict Resolution practitioners as well as undergraduate and graduate students as they network, discuss significant trends of the field, and meet and mentor emerging leaders. As this year's theme indicates, the various presenters will be discussing the value of conflict resolution skills from the perspective of a cross-section of content areas. We hope participants will leave empowered to approach conflict as opportunity for demonstrating problem solving and leadership ability, and "Negotiating for Success!"

CR Symposium Goals:

  • Provide Conflict Resolution practitioners a forum for learning and adding to their “toolboxes.”  
  • GODR Continuing Education Credit APPROVED for registered neutrals! (Up to 4 hrs in-session time.)
  • Introduce college students to the CR field and the benefits of acquiring conflict resolution skills.
  • Offer an opportunity for advanced practitioners to meet and mentor new and upcoming CR practitioners.
  • Host a Mock Mediation Tournament for undergraduate “Peacemaking Teams” to showcase their skills.
  • View and discuss award winning film "My So-Called Enemy" by Lisa Gossels. 7 PM in Senate Salon. 
  • Provide a platform for advanced practitioners to share successes and struggles in their work, and to exchange ideas.
  • Sponsor an Exhibition Hall for local consultants, firms, higher education programs and others to market their services.
  • Networking, Networking, Networking and good fun with like-minded professionals!

Keynote Speaker:

D HookerDavid Anderson Hooker, J.D., M.Div., M.P.H., M.P.A.

Click here for more on David.

For more than 25 years, Mr. Hooker has assisted individuals, organizations, community groups, local, state and national governments to conduct important conversations on difficult subjects and he has practiced law since 1994. Before becoming a mediator and lawyer, Mr. Hooker worked in an urban adult outpatient psychiatric clinic providing family, group and individual counseling.  Mr. Hooker represented the State of Georgia as an Assistant Attorney General, primarily representing the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Division of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services.  Mr. Hooker represented the State in State and Federal courts, conducted internal investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect by juvenile detention facilities, mental health hospitals and community providers of mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse treatment.  He also developed an expertise in government ethics and civil rights.  After leaving the State Law Department, Mr. Hooker continued to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General representing the State in class action law suits brought against the State Juvenile Justice Department by the United States Department of Justice.  

 As a mediator and facilitator, Mr. Hooker has developed a specialty in multiparty, politically charged and emotion laden conflicts.  He has worked with congregations, communities, local and state governments in structuring and implementing community dialogue around issues of environmental justice, race ethnic and class inclusion, post-riot community reconciliation, prejudice reduction, community visioning, health care policy and various other issues of public policy and social concern.  His experience allows him to work simultaneously with diverse populations with divergent interests and structure and facilitate meaningful conversations about complex, technical and often highly visibility issues.  He previously served as the Sr. Program Officer for the National Institute for Dispute Resolution in Washington, D.C. and as Vice President of Community Building for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Center for Working Families, Inc. (TCWFI).  At TCWFI, he established leadership development programs which allow members of currently marginalized, primarily minority (African-American, Hispanic, Asian and poor) communities to define, lead, own, benefit from and sustain the change they desired in their communities.  For eight (8) years, Mr. Hooker has also taught a variety of courses in peacebuilding, community building, conflict transformation, trauma healing and restorative justice as Associated Faculty at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Mr. Hooker has designed, taught and delivered leadership development, conflict transformation and community development processes in Bosnia, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Southern Sudan.  He is also involved in the design and delivery of several innovative programs to heal the historical harms of racialized enslavement and segregation in the US South.

Mr. Hooker earned a B.S. degree, cum laude, with majors in Biology and Psychology from Morehouse College. He also received a MA in Minority Mental Health from Washington University in St. Louis; a M.P.H. and M.P.A. from University of Massachusetts in Amherst; and both his Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Emory University. He currently serves on the Board of the Atlanta Beltline Partnership, Inc and coordinates the local and global service work for his church, First Congregational Church (UCC) Atlanta, GA.

Other Featured Presenters Include:


Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution

GODR Director, Shinji Morokuma, will explain the history and functions of GODR and do a Question and Answer session for all interested in the work of registered neutrals and GA's court connected ADR.

Click here for more information on GODR.


R RawlsRaye Rawls, J.D.

Ms. Rawls is a member of the faculty at the Fanning Institute, a public service and outreach institution of the University of Georgia. Ms. Rawls is an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator and holds a Masters Degree in Human Resources. Additionally, she holds the status of Advanced Practitioner/Advanced Educator with the Association for Conflict Resolution. She is also an Associate at the Public Conversations Project, an organization out of Boston, Massachusetts whose mission is to guide, train, and inspire individuals, organizations, and communities to constructively address conflicts relating to values and worldviews.

Ms. Rawls has mediated and arbitrated thousands of cases in government institutions, court systems, corporations, and with private parties. Since 1983, she has traveled extensively throughout the United States offering courses in mediation (basic and advanced), arbitration, conflict management, designing conflict management systems, and valuing diversity. Her courses have been approved by various state bar associations, the National Association of Social Workers, and other professional organizations. She has facilitated numerous meetings on issues of diversity, public policy and strategic planning. In 2002, the Supreme Court of Georgia appointed her to the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution—the body responsible for establishing ADR policies and procedures in the courts of Georgia.

Currently, Ms. Rawls is serving as lead faculty member on the writing of the statewide water management plan. She is assisting in facilitating meetings on the rewrite of the Juvenile Court Code, community economic development academies, stakeholder input on strategies to overcome persistent poverty and leadership development. She is currently conducting training sessions on becoming an arbitrator, becoming a certified grievance hearing officer and facilitating difficult conversations.

Ms. Rawls was the founding president-elect of the Georgia Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution. She received her J.D. degree from Georgia State University and is admitted to the Georgia Bar. She was an Administrative Law Judge in the State of Georgia, and a former assistant dean of the Georgia State University College Law. She is currently serving on the editorial board of Conflict Resolution Quarterly.


G Geiger  

Georgia Geiger



Georgia Geiger has been a registered mediator in the State of Georgia since 1993. She has mediated cases in Superior Court, Juvenile Court, Probate Court, and Magistrate Court in Cobb County and in the Seventh and Ninth Judicial Districts as well as private cases. Additionally, she has mediated in the field of special education and charter schools with the Georgia Department of Education and is an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Family Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution.

Georgia is a past president and past board member of Georgia Mediators Association and currently is an Associate Professor at Reinhardt College, working with the Academic Support Office, a program for students with specific learning disabilities and/or attention deficit disorder. Georgia is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She is also in private practice in Counseling and Mediation.


M KitchensMarti Kitchens 

Marti has been both a mediator and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for the past 29 years. As a mediator, she is particularly skilled in areas of custody and shared parenting disputes and cases with allegations of domestic violence. Marti has served on the Boards of Directors of the Family Mediation Association of Georgia, Cobb Mediators Association and is a past president of Georgia Mediators Association. She also has been appointed to the Commission of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and serves on the Ethics, Budget and Personnel and Liaison Committees of that organization. She has been a practitioner member of the Association for Conflict Resolution since 1987.

Marti is the co-author of the court mandated divorcing parent’s seminar, Children of DivorceŠ. This program was one of the first in the state of Georgia and is still utilized by many counties in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida, as well as internationally.

Over the years, she has presented seminars and workshops both locally and for national organizations. Teaching organizations how to work with difficult people is of particular interest to her.


D SmithDirk Duran Smith

Dirk is the Associate Director of the Career Management Center within Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business and directly coaches students in the FlexMBA program. He is a professional career coach with expertise in assessment, exploration, focus & goal-setting and overall career management and planning. A strategic thinker who has the ability to analyze a situation, develop details, and implement a strategy, he is skilled and experienced at developing and presenting workshops and trainings.

Dirk is a skilled mediator and facilitator and earned a Master of Science degree in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University.


J KauffmanJeff Kaufman

Jeff is a doctoral student at Southern Illinois University (SIU) completing his degree in Education, specifically Workforce Education and Development. Prior to attending SIU, he was a corporate trainer and small business owner. With his entrepreneurial background and Master’s degree in Conflict Management, he has consulted with a wide range of companies in a variety of fields from software design to industrial sales and construction. His research focuses on the development and application of conflict resolution techniques in medical settings as a way of increasing customer satisfaction. Jeff continues to provide consulting services for companies seeking ways to design and implement policies related to conflict management.


C BreckenridgeCicely H. Breckenridge, J.D..  

Cicely is a graduate of Emory University and North Carolina Central School of Law.  She holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Juris Doctorate degree with a concentration in Alternative Dispute Resolution.  Additionally, she is currently enrolled as a candidate for a Masters in Conflict Management degree from Kennesaw State University.  She is currently employed at Comverge, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia and she has 11 years of combined experience in the legal field with a primary focus in the corporate, healthcare and governmental arenas. She is a member of several organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Bar Association’s ADR Section and the Minerva Foundation, Inc., a non-profit community service organization. Cicely has extensive training and experience in legal research and writing, small and non-profit business development, ADR program development, strategic planning, and political awareness or involvement.  In addition, she is a trained mediator and negotiator and has participated in the resolution of community disputes, business disputes, housing and employment disputes and legislative debates.  


T NovakTerry Novak

Terry Novak has over a decade of student-related conflict resolution experience, while working as an Electronics instructor from 1997 to 2003.  He describes himself as a "Techno-Savvy" program manager, who happens to be good at resolving conflict.  He's noted by his peers as having an amazing ability to coach and mentor.  In 2001, he mentored and coached that year's Georgia Occupational Award in Leadership (GOAL) winner for the state.  First prize being, and still is, a brand new car.
Since 2001, He's been involved with and currently serves as a volunteer for JobSeekers Peachtree City, where he offers discounted mediation services to those suffering from job loss. This includes anything from exit interviews, to federally protected EEOC discrimination cases.  He also offers guidance in legally defensible HR hiring practices, employment appraisals, and exit interviews.   


D CoxDeborah Cox

Deborah L. Cox is a principal consultant for Interacting Dynamics, Inc., an independent consulting firm working with technology companies to develop and execute strategic communication plans for building trusted relationships with market influencers. Deborah has worked in the technology industry since the mid-1980’s, primarily as the liaison between a company and influential external stakeholders such as the Investment Community, Industry Analysts, Industry Consultants and the Media. While Director of Analyst Relations and PR at XcelleNet, Inc., a mobile device software company, the company made numerous acquisitions and was sold three times over a 10-year period.  Deborah is currently a graduate student in Cohort XII at Kennesaw State University, completing a Master’s in Conflict Management by the end of 2011. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of Charleston, an MBA – Finance from Georgia State University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

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