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The CR Symposium will take place on Friday, October 12, 2012 from 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM EDT.

Check-in will begin at 2:00 PM EDT

Click here for CR Symposium Schedule.

Click here for Peacemaking Tournament Schedule.

Up to 4 hours of GODR CE Credit APPROVED!

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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 is available in the M Deck for $7.

Driving Directions 

Cost: FREE for Students & Peacemaking Tournament Volunteers (at least 2 rounds)

$35 fee for all others, to cover dinner and materials       $45 if registered or mailed after 10/05/2012 (We can accept checks or money orders only- made out to GA State Univ, earmarked "CR Symposium" and mailed to Office of the Ombudsperson, P.O. Box 3981, Atlanta, GA 30302-3981. Please contact us if you are in need of an invoice.) No refunds will be given after 10/05/12.

GSU employees click here to register and pay with department speedcodes.


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 September 23, 2012 at midnight!

Session Topics to Include:

  • What Did You Just Say? A workshop about avoiding miscommunication and misunderstanding
  • What are You Doing to Manage Your Career? Be Your Own Success Story!
  • Cultivating Student Leaders through Conflict Management Skills
  • Co-Mediation: What, Why and How to Make it Work
  • Beyond Conflict: Communicating Positive Change
  • Managing Gender Role Conflicts in Divorce Mediation
  • Using Conflict Resolution to Avoid Unemployment

Peacemaking Tournament 

The undergraduate mock mediation Peacemaking Tournament will be an all day event this year. Teams only need 4 members to compete, so get some students together and come represent your school at this growing event. It's a great, fun way to practice and and polish your conflict resolution skills! View video

***Are you a registered neutral or have some mediation training? Consider being a volunteer judge for a round or three of the tournament!*** If you judge 2 or more rounds you will receive a fee waiver. 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 table in the Exhibit area located outside the dinner hall.

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 2012

From Chaos to Composure:                                                                              

Creating Positive Change Using Conflict Resolution Skills

Click here to view promo video.

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 for positive change potential in diverse areas of work and life when managed appropriately. We hope participants will leave empowered to sieze the opportunity in every ripe conflict and aid those around them to also move "From Chaos to Composure!"

CR Symposium Goals:

  • Provide Conflict Resolution practitioners a forum for learning and adding to their “toolboxes.”  
  • Offer GODR Continuing Education Credit 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 "Peacemaking Tournament" for undergraduate Mock Mediation Teams to showcase their skills.
  • View award winning film on conflict- "My So-Called Enemy," followed by a skyped Q&A session with the filmmaker, Lisa Gossels.
  • 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:

T HedeenDr. Tim Hedeen

Timothy Hedeen is an Associate Professor of Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University. He provides mediation services through court and private programs, delivers trainings in the areas of conflict resolution and communication, facilitates group and public policy decision making and planning, is published many times over and conducts research and evaluation on dispute resolution and justice policy.

He serves on the editorial boards of Conflict Resolution Quarterly and Family Court Review, as associate liaison to the Section Council of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, and is a past chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Community Mediation. He is a senior consultant to the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education, and has served as research director of a national study of the collateral consequences of criminal convictions for the ABA's Criminal Justice Section.

He earned his doctorate (awarded with distinction) from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where he was a graduate affiliate of the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts and a student in the interdisciplinary Social Science program.

Hedeen was honored to receive KSU’s 2010 Distinguished Professional Service Award in recognition to his service to the the campus, the broader community, and the field of dispute resolution.

Evening Speaker:

GosselsLisa Gossels

Lisa Gossels is an Emmy Award-winning documentarian whose films have garnered twenty awards on the festival circuit.  Her first film,"The Children of Chabannes," has been praised as "One of the most heartening Holocaust films ever made - splendid, informative and emotionally involving." "My So-Called Enemy" has been cited as "A powerful exploration of both the pain and growth that real listening brings in a situation of conflict." Lisa is currently traveling around the country with "My So-Called Enemy," teaching at high schools and universities and engaging youth, secular and faith communities in dialogue.  A member of the Selah Leadership Network, she became a documentarian because she believes in the power of film to effect social change.  Her company Good Egg Productions, based in New York City, produces documentary, corporate and educational films.  Lisa has served as a Juror for the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, The Cleveland International Film Festival, The Ivy Film Festival and The Woodstock Festival.  She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University. 

Other Featured Presenters Include:

D. GilesDethra Giles

Dethra U. Giles is currently the Director of Human Resources and Administration for Oxford College.  She formerly served as the Director of Staff Recruitment and Retention for Georgia State University.  She is an alumnus of Mercer University and has a Bachelors degree in English and Spanish, a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Development and Human Resources Management and a Masters of Science in Conflict Management and is currently a Certified Senior Professional of Human Resources.  She has worked in both the corporate, academic and non-profit environment for companies and organizations that include State Farm Insurance Companies, Central Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates, and Allied Automotive Group.  In conjunction with the work that she does for Oxford College, Dethra is also a Registered Neutral with the state of Georgia’s Office of Dispute Resolution and has conducted mediations for the Magistrate Court of Cobb County.  She is a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC) and is a certified trainer of Workplace Mediation.  Outside of the office Dethra serves as a volunteer at the New Life Community Center and as a Board Member, dancer and choreographer for the non-profit community dance school His Word N’ Motion.





Gerald & Polly Boyd,

Peacewerks Center for Well-Being, LLC




Gerald is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II and Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, a Certified Life Coach, and a Certified Mediator, with more than 40 years in the fields of applied sociology, human development and addiction recovery. He holds a Master of Divinity in Transpersonal Psychology and has worked in civil and human rights, anti-oppression, anti-racism, grass-roots organizing, and liberation struggles. Gerald is an independent consultant specializing in diversity and conflict resolution, and personal and social transformation. He is currently a student of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Clinical Hypnotherapy.  Gerald is COO of Peacewerks Center for Well-Being, LLC - a counseling, coaching, and training business here in Atlanta.

Polly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 40 years’ experience working with families, especially women and children.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and has worked in community collaboration and resource development, child abuse prevention, diversity training/race unity work, and foster care/adoption training and support.  Polly is currently directing the development of The Parent Coach Approach, as well as providing individual, group and family counseling.  Her focus is on strengthening and maintaining healthy family relationships, and on supporting family reunifications.  Polly is CEO of Peacewerks Center for Well-Being, LLC - a counseling, coaching, and training business here in Atlanta.


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 has been a professional career coach and Registered Career Coach for the past 14 years and has 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.


C BreckenridgeCicely Breckenridge

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.


D DierksDiane Dierks

Diane Dierks is an experienced counselor, mediator and trainer, who has specialized in working with families in transition for almost 20 years. She is author of "Solo Parenting: Raising Strong & Happy Families," as well as a self-syndicated column for regional parenting magazines entitled "Successful Single Parenting." In addition to her private therapy and mediation practice, Diane is the executive director of the Center for Navigating Family Change, a non-profit that provides the court-ordered divorcing parents education classes in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties. She presents the classes several times per month and has met and interacted with more than 30,000 divorcing parents over the past 10 years.


N WoolforkNicole Woolfork

Nicole graduated cum laude from Mercer University with a dual degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice and also the Walter F. George School of Law.  During law school, Nicole served as the Regional Director of Community Service for the Black Law Students Association and the local Community Service Director for the Walter F. George School of Law.  Before going into private practice, her professional experience included two judicial externships with Judge John Beam, Jr. (Chatham County) and Judge Robin Shearer (Athens-Clarke County); clerking for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government; working with the Emory University School of Law Summer Child Advocacy Program; and working for the Ninth Judicial Administrative District Office of Dispute Resolution as the Director of Operations.  As a mediator, Nicole has mediated cases across the state of Georgia, and served on the Juvenile Mediation Sub Committee for the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.  In addition to being a co-owner of The Hull Firm, Nicole is an Adjunct Professor for Brenau University's Legal Studies & Conflict Resolution Program , a board member for Greater Works Outreach Ministry, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 


R Jones




Renee Mack Jones




Renee' Mack Jones is a registered neutral, mediator and conflict coach. Renee' specializes in interpersonal conflict management, including: pre-marital, marital and post-marital conflict, issues in co-parenting, adult parent/ adult child conflict, conflict between adult siblings, parent/teen conflict and more.

Renee' is a former private school teacher, nonprofit project manager, and small business owner who now brings the same passion, intellect and relevant research to a new area of study - navigating conflict in interpersonal relationships.


S LindenblattSteven Lindenblatt

Rabbi Steven Chaim Lindenblatt is a certified Civil and Domestic Mediator.

Steven received his J.D. from New York Law School. He is a member of the NY and GA Bar Associations. Steven received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University and has been the Rabbi of Congregation Anshi S'fard in Atlanta since 2001.

He's worked as a Chaplain for Weinstein Hospice and currently is a Chaplain for the VA Medical Center in Atlanta. Steven received a degree in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University. He is a counselor at the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia.


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