Meet Our Students & Alumni

As a graduate of the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s Program, you are equipped with skills and knowledge that employers increasingly value. Our alumni are spread throughout the country, and the world, working in professions as broad as the field of conflict resolution itself.

Employers today recognize the value of people who can communicate, facilitate, solve problems, negotiate, and assess and resolve conflict. The best thing about this expertise is that it is valued everywhere – so your options are wide open! Alumni of the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s (CRES) Program work in a variety of settings, including; business, community organizing, education, government agencies, healthcare, non-governmental organizations, nonprofits, public policy, private practice, and research centers.  

Gordon Levitt

Gordon Levitt, Class of 2016

Climate Law Fellow, Our Children's Trust (Eugene, OR)
Gordon supports lawsuits by young people against governments around the world for violating the rights of current and future generations to a stable climate system.
"The CRES program opened my eyes to a variety of indispensable communication techniques and negotiating tactics, each of which helps me to be a more effective advocate for the environment and future generations.”



Elizabeth Merchant Elizabeth Merchant, Class of 2017

Superior Court Coordinator, Island County Superior Court( Coupeville, WA)
Elizabeth serves as a judicial assistant and coordinates the operations of the court, which includes the budget and communication management between superior courts and judges in Washington. 
"I chose the CRES Program because I wanted to improve how I work with people and how people interact in common conflict-producing situations. The CRES program gave me a foundation in understanding and enacting procedural fairness and confidence, communicating with people in difficult situations.”


Devin Howington

Devin Howington, Class of 2016

Senior ADR Associate, ICM Resolutions, Inc.(Portland, OR)
Devin mediates disputes in a variety of contexts, develops articles and training materials for practitioners, and assists with writing proposals for facilitation and other organizational projects.
"The CRES Program gave me so many skills that I use in my job every day, from facilitation techniques to mediation skills to arguing about the philosophical and ethical issues that arise in our work. I chose to add the CRES program to my graduate studies in psychology for applied, skill-based training, and I’m so glad I did.”



Awab Al-RaweAwab Al-Rawe, Class of 2017

Case Manager, Family Coach, Oregon Department of Human Services (Springfield, OR)
Awab works with families applying for state and federal assistance programs, providing counseling, coaching, and eligibility assessment and education.
"I chose the CRES program because it gave me the opportunity to specialize in an area that is much needed in the world while giving me the possibility to shape my program goals and outcomes."


Elaine Phillips


Elaine Philips, Class of 2012

Regional Programs Director, Alternative Dispute Resolution Office, District Court of Maryland (Annapolis, MD)
Elaine oversees the court-connected mediation programs for four Maryland counties.
"The on-going support — with the job listserv, mentoring, references, and community connections — I receive from the CRES Program helped me land the position I now hold.”


S. Aaron Weah-Weah III, Class of 2017

Program Director, Naymote-Partners for Democratic Development (Paynesville, Liberia)
Aaron designs and supervises programs dedicated to strengthening and promoting positive youth and community engagement in support of democratic governance and sustainable development in Liberia. 
"Through the CRES program, I had the opportunity to understand conflict and its dynamics. My thesis research provided a deeper understanding about what prompted the Liberian civil war and how we can begin a process of national reconciliation and rebuilding."


Emily HeizerEmily Heizer, Class of 2015

Graduate Advisor, Mediator, Civil Rigths Coordinator, St. HOPE Public Schools (Sacramento, CA)
Emily manages complaints, in-house mediations and facilitations, and she provides guidance and coaching to incoming teachers and administrators. She also serves as a civil rights coordinator for the district, handling compliance issues related to sex, gender, race, color, national origin, and disability.
"CRES was a perfect blend of all my intersecting interests. The thought processes I learned in the program literally changed the way I think — in a positive way."


Melanie Knapp

Senior Program Associate, Udall Foundation, U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (Tucson, AZ)
Melanie provides situational and program assessments, facilitates collaboration, capacity-building, conflict resolution, and technical assistance and training.
"Through my graduate coursework and internship, I gained knowledge grounded in the realities of the field, grew my network, and was well-prepared to hit the ground running in my current position."

Mason Hines

Program Associate, Health Programs, RESOLVE (Washington, DC)
Mason facilitates collaborative dialogue and decision making between industry, consumer, government, NGO, community, and other stakeholders on issues related to food and drug safety, agriculture, disease prevention, and healthcare.
“Having real facilitation training set me apart as a candidate and helped me land this position. My current employer seemed to appreciate that I spoke to specific problem-solving processes and divergent and convergent thinking during my interview. And that’s all courtesy of CRES!”

Kouang Chan

Director & Student Ombudsperson, University of Texas (Austin, TX)
Kouang assists students in navigating university structure and policies. He provides systemic policy and procedure feedback to the office of the president and conducts campus workshops and presentations on negotiation, communication, and conflict management.
“The CRES program provided an opportunity to explore other areas of the field I would never have imagined such as consulting, facilitation, nonprofit, community organizing—ultimately leading me to my current position.”

Katie Staton

Tribal Liaison, Oregon Youth Authority (Salem, OR)
Katie works directly with Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes, as well as Tribes throughout the nation and other Native American communities. She provides technical assistance to agencies and employees, and offers direct services to Native American Youth involved with the juvenile justice system.
“I use my conflict resolution skills every day, in my personal relationships, working with youth in stressful situations, and within the bureaucracy of a state agency.”

Lili McEntire

Student Discipline Specialist, Arlington Independent School District (Arlington, TX)
Lili oversees integration of restorative practice into existing school behavior management frameworks.
“In the CRES program, I had people around me who helped me learn more about the field, grow as a professional and discover my passion for working with restorative programs that also look to address equity issues.”

Carrie Bennett

Founder/Senior Facilitator, Learning Through Difference, LLC (Fort Collins, CO)
Carrie provides facilitation and mediation services for city governments, nonprofits, schools and small businesses.
“The CRES program gave me specific knowledge and skills to effectively support my clients with more complex and charged cases. The degree and the strong reputation of the university, have opened doors that would not otherwise be open. My CRES experience gave me invaluable professional connections. These continue to fuel both my client base and my professional learning.”

Kristi Riley

Program Associate, Vera Institute of Justice (New York, NY)
Kristi conducts research, analyzes and writes policy papers, and works with local jurisdictions to reduce the overuse of local jails.
“I chose the CRES Program because I would be able to take an interdisciplinary approach to the conflicts I saw in the criminal justice sector. The CRES program was most useful in developing my communication and listening skills, which are key when working with a diverse set of stakeholders and colleagues to develop solutions to mass incarceration.” 

Nolan Kane

Brand Specialist, Strategic Vendor Services, (Seattle, WA)
Nolan manages vendor agreements, in-stock functions, and marketing for strategic vendors for Amazon Canada.
“I chose the CRES Program because I valued the interdisciplinary approach to disputes and recognized the broad applicability to business and vendor management.”

Claire Chase

Associate, Triangle Associates (Seattle, WA)
Claire is a facilitator and mediator for a firm that specializes in collaborative governance and problem-solving based education.

Johari Efendi

Researcher, Habibie Center (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Johari compiles data about violence and conflict from 34 Indonesian provinces. He writes reports and policy briefs and disseminates them to policymakers and non-governmental organizations.

Sarah Altemus-Pope

Executive Director, Southern Willamette Forest Collaborative (Oakridge, OR)
Sarah manages administrative duties, external communications, and community outreach for a nonprofit environmental planning and conflict resolution organization.