CRI was fortunate to have Cynthia Savage as a Practitioner-in-Residence for Spring Quarter. Ms. Savage recently retired as Director of the Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) for the Colorado Judicial Branch. As ODR Director for 12 years, she contracted with dispute resolution professionals to provide services to Colorado courts, as well as education and training in dispute resolution. She also collaborated with other organizations to promote the use of dispute resolution throughout the state, advised the judicial branch in developing dispute resolution policies, and worked with the courts to design, administer, and evaluate dispute resolution programs.
For her project as CRI Practitioner-in-Residence, Ms. Savage developed the framework for the new Practicum training track within the Conflict Resolution Institute Master's degree program. Many Conflict Resolution programs throughout the country have internship and practicum courses as a part of their curriculum, however few of these are supervised directly by practicing faculty in order to link theory and practice. Ms. Savage has made several recommendations as to what such courses would look like for the
Ms. Savage has a long standing relationship with DU. She developed and was the first director of the Mediation and Arbitration Center at DU's Sturm College of Law (a program she helped develop) for eight years and a Clinical Law professor and is now on CRI's Advisory Board. Her experience in practicum design and teaching, as well as her knowledge of the CRI Master's Program, made her an ideal candidate for designing the practicum program. In addition to designing and setting up the practicum track, Ms. Savage contributed to the Institute community in several ways. Drawing on her many years of supporting programs across Colorado and studying programs elsewhere, she gave a public talk at DU entitled "Nurturing Quality in Mediation Programs: Challenges and Opportunities." The presentation addressed questions about what quality is with regard to mediation, as well as how to nurture quality in mediators and mediation programs.
In October she will be presenting on two topics at the Colorado Statewide ADR Conference: Reflective Practice, as well as Developing Awareness and Artistry in Mediation. Ms. Savage is also expected to teach a pilot class in connection with the practicum and will be a speaker in an upcoming panel about CRI's practicum course. She is very excited about the future of CRI's practicum program, as she believes practicum experience is essential for training to become a conflict resolution practitioner.
-- Fernando Ospina