Romano Discusses Conflict Resolution & Analysis Nov. 11

| November 4, 2013

The Webster community is invited to a collegial conversation with Arthur Romano, assistant professor at the George Mason University School of Conflict Resolution and Analysis, on Monday, Nov. 11, at 3:30 p.m. in the Faculty Development Center. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is co-sponsored by the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs (MCISA) and the Faculty Development Center (FDC).

Romano has developed experiential learning activities for the classroom, including conflict simulations on oil drilling in the Mediterranean, on coal mining in West Virginia, and integrative writing activities for students to reflect on images of conflicts.

For more information, please contact Bethany Keller at or ext. 7649, MCISA; or Chris Jones at or ext. 7867, FDC.

Romano will discuss two activities in particular:

  • Can We Drink the Water? Simulating Conflict Dynamics in an Appalachian Mining Town

This role play focuses on a conflict that emerges when contaminated water is discovered at an elementary school near a mine. Students take on the roles of people involved in the conflict, such as the school principal, a mine company official, and an environmental activist. Roles are unscripted, and through films, readings, and their own research, students prepare to participate in meetings to resolve the conflict. After the role-play the debrief can focus on multiple learning goals, including experience with facilitation or deeper understanding of community dynamics.

  • Self and Other in the Social World: Exploring Identity Through Interviews

This exercise begins with the instructor presenting theories of identity for discussion in class. Students then prepare to conduct original research on identity by learning and practicing interview techniques. Each student interviews three close friends or family members and analyzes the interview by using theories of identity learned in class and by reflecting on how their own identity shaped the interview process.

Note: Faculty are welcome to request the manual for the “Mountain Top Coal Mining Simulation” in advance and come with questions about implementation. Please contact Chris Jones, Faculty Development Center, to request a copy. “The Self and World? manual is under construction.

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