Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Introducing Becky Saunders - Graduate Assistant at the CDR

I graduated from Missouri Southern State University in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. I am now pursuing a Masters in Communication along with the Graduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. I am not sure of my exact career path at this point, but I have always been interested in diplomacy, mediation and law to some degree. I am seeking the experience and confidence in this field that I know the certificate will provide. In fact, the sole reason that I chose to pursue my degree here at Missouri State University is because of this certificate program and the Center for Dispute Resolution. I felt that my degree would be worth more to me with the many opportunities in the conflict/dispute resolution field that Missouri State offers. Having an assistantship at the CDR is definitely a bonus!

So far one of the most interesting things I've discovered about the CDR is the range of programs offered. In the past, "conflict resolution" brought negative images to mind of large-scale international conflicts and bitter divorce cases involving children. While these extreme examples are part of conflict resolution, they are not the entire picture. The Center addresses the conflict in our everyday lives by offering trainings, Restorative Justice programs and Girls Network programs, to name a few. Conflict is an opportunity to strengthen relationships and empower others as well as yourself. I have quickly realized that if handled effectively, conflict can be a very positive experience.

I plan on pursing a career in conflict resolution and will use my experience at MSU and the CDR to research the many options available in this field. I would recommend getting involved in the CDR to anyone, whether or not you are planning a career in this field. The skills acquired while volunteering, interning or taking classes at the CDR translate into all areas of life and are very attractive to potential employers. 

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