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Graduate Student Stressors: Resolving Conflict and Meeting Expectations

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Texas Conflict Coach

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The University of Michigan’s Rackham School of Graduate Studies has created a position of Resolution Officer which is responsible for assisting graduate students and faculty members who have issues and conflicts with each other to resolve those conflicts.  The Resolution Officer works directly with both faculty and students, and also facilitates conversations between them and mediates.  Her job includes counseling students about available options, supporting students through difficult situations, and connecting students to appropriate resources.

Darlene Ray-Johnson, M.A., has been employed in higher education for 35 years.  She has served as student affairs professional at the University of Michigan for 27 years.   She currently serves as Graduate Student Affairs Officer and Resolution Officer in the Dean’s Office at Rackham Graduate School.  Her professional areas of expertise include social justice mediation, dispute resolution, conflict management and diversity issues.  

Zena Zumeta, internationally known as both a mediator and trainer of mediators.  She is president of the  Mediation Training & Consultation Institute, Zena Zumeta Mediation Services, and The Collaborative Workplace in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Zena is a lawyer and a former president of the Academy of Family Mediators.  She is the recipient of the Michigan Lifetime Achievement in Mediation Award; the National Education Association/Saturn Corporation Award for Union-Management Collaboration; the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award; and the Kumba Award from the National Conference on Minorities in ADR.