2014 CMM Learning Exchange Fellowship

The following 8 fellows, including graduate students from Columbia and other schools, and alumni of Columbia University’s Masters in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program, participated in the CMM event in Oracle, Arizona during October 18-19, 2014.


Christine Straw
Columbia University

Chris was recently awarded a Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University, School of Continuing Education. This follows 20+ years experience in government, private, and non-profit sectors. She is known for her project management, business operations, and consensus building skills. Chris has worked in large US federal government organizations (Department of Defense and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), consulting, and NYC independent school environments in a variety of line and management positions with a focus on information systems project management. Current interests focus on mediation and conflict systems within community and organizational contexts. Chris is currently working at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity at the Earth Institute, Columbia University on a variety of projects revolving around applying a complex systems view to conflict, social change and peace. Chris mediates regularly at Community Mediation Services, a community mediation center in Jamaica, Queens, NY.


Erika Jacobi
Fielding Graduate University

Erika is the founder and President of LC GLOBAL™. Erika specializes in large scale organizational change and global leadership. She is devoted to creating vibrant organizations that act with integrity, foresight and a desire to impact our society in a positive way. She works collaboratively to identify the values and success factors of individual employees as well as the overall organization. She builds on the positive resources she finds to ensure that every individual understands how to do more of the things that bring them and their organization to life. Erika has conducted projects in Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. Originally from Germany, she now resides in New York City. Her Ph.D. research focuses on the role of narratives in organizational change. In particular, she is interested in the question which factors help transform “frozen” or problematic meta-narratives of organizational identity transform to include more diversity and ambiguity.


Erika Hedman
University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Eerika is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her dissertation focuses on management team communication and the development of communication competence. She also works as a consultant and her work interests include workplace communication, organizational change, and leadership development. Communication and dialogic OD are at the core of her work.


Jill Strauss, Ph.D. 
University of Ulster in Northern Ireland

Jill Strauss, PhD is Assistant Professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY where she teaches conflict resolution and communications. Her research involves Restorative Practices and the visual interpretation of narrative and difficult histories. Jill completed her doctoral work at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland in 2010 where she designed an innovative fieldwork project integrating storytelling and visual art for empathy and validation as one way to address a history of mutual humiliation and historical conflict with an intergenerational group of Catholics and Protestants. The artwork that came out of her doctoral fieldwork was exhibited several times both in Northern Ireland and in the United States. Jill has a Master of Education in Peace Education from Teachers College Columbia University.


Robin Frkal
Fielding Graduate University

Robin is an established executive with 19 years of operations management and organizational development experience. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Professional Communications from Clark University and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Foreign Affairs from Assumption College. She is an adjunct professor at Bay Path College, Northeastern University, and Wentworth Institute for Technology where she teaches topics in Management, Organizational Communication, and Leadership. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree at Fielding Graduate University, her research interests are at the intersection of transformative learning, communication, and leadership education especially for adult women.


Tzofnant Peleg-Baker
Hebrew University, Indiana University, Rutgers University

Tzofnant Peleg-Baker is a conflict resolution scholar and a practitioner, who is driven to construct sustainable social realities for stakeholders to thrive through meaningful collaborative engagement. Recognizing the importance of being mindful of prevalent automatic reactions that inhibit collaboration and benefiting from differences, she has been researching, developing and implementing a relational PsyComm (Psychological & Communicative) approach to increase awareness to and transform modes of relationships and communication.

Tzofnat holds a B.A in Sociology and Communications from the Hebrew University, an M.A in Communications from Indiana University, and an M.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University. As the Head of the Strategic Department of the Conflict Resolution and Mediation Center at the Ministry of Justice in Israel, and a member of the national Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) team, she introduced and promoted ADR and mediation in the country in diverse domains, including government, family, organizational and business, and restorative justice.


Michelle Jackson
Columbia University

Michelle founded the creative collaboration consultancy, Snap Indigo. Snap Indigo works as your connector across sectors and manages complex projects with multiple partners. Services include Insight Gathering, Creative Sourcing, Negotiation, Production, and Project/Conflict Management. Snap Indigo recognizes that small actions matter and a well-managed creative process can make anything possible (yes, a nod to building social worlds together).


Ann Ritter
Fielding Graduate University

A native of the South Carolina Lowcountry, Ann Ritter has made her home in the Atlanta area for nearly 35 years. She is a versatile performer, storyteller and business woman in addition to a published author of non-fiction, fiction and poetry. After a business career of some 25 years, Ann is pursuing her PhD in human systems at Fielding Graduate University and teaching in the Robinson College of Business at GA State University. She also teaches and practices Kundalini Yoga, and Integrative and Kundalini Yoga therapies. A board member of Beacon Dance Company, Decatur, GA, Ann dances with Beacon, and regularly volunteers for CORE Dance and Synchronicity Theatre.

Ann’s academic interests include somatically-based learning and development models, and the intersection of business communication and modalities such as yoga and meditation.

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