Although Manager of Operations is Pearl Bell's official title at The Conflict Center, her job encompasses much more. Everything from building and maintenance to class registrations and court reporting are a part of her responsibilities. In addition, she manages the Positive Peer Norming Program at The Conflict Center, which began as a Bullying Prevention Program using social norming techniques. This program identifies gaps between perceived and actual acceptable behavior among students and educates them through "positive peer pressure." Pearl and The Conflict Center hope to expand this program for use with other social violence issues like teen dating violence and gang violence.
Pearl considers herself fortunate to also be able to teach classes in adult anger and conflict management, youth emotional intelligence, and critical decision making.
Pearl graduated from the Conflict Resolution program with a dual degree in International Studies and a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution in 2005.
When asked how her work at the University of Denver helped prepare her for her current position, Pearl replied "My knowledge and background in conflict resolution directly applies to the skills that we teach at The Conflict Center. Knowledge of theory and research has assisted me in our program evaluation efforts and helps strengthen The Conflict Center's credibility and status regarding best practices in the field."
"Not only are these skills [obtained in the MA program] directly related to my profession, they also help me every day in working with coworkers on problem solving and building relationships. The conflict skills are a cornerstone for the daily operation of The Conflict Center in every way we interact with clients and with each other."
Pearl's internship was at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy in Washington, DC, where she worked with dialogue groups and grant writing. She considers the skills gained there as key in helping her obtain her current position, and the experience of working with groups of people and in a team helped prepare her for the work environment.
Her advice for current students:
I. Get practical experience applying the skills and theories you are learning. The more you are able to get such experience, the more effective and proficient you will become at modeling this behavior for others.
II. Self awareness. Practice. Patience. These are the three cornerstones for improving conflict resolution skills and being able to assist others.
Pearl was featured in the Winter 2009 Newsletter.