Greetings from AC4 Research Coordinator, Nathanael Andreini
Thank you for tuning in to the AC4
Monthly Newsletter. Autumn in New York has already proven to be an incredibly enriching season, hasn't it? Last month's Sustaining Peace: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
conference was a huge success. We are still talking about how palatable the energy was - the level of engagement among visitors, AC4 Fellows, workshop leaders, and students was truly powerful. If you were not able to make it to the conference, you can watch Leymah Gbowee's keynote speech here
and the Attracted to Conflict book launch here
. We sincerely hope you continue to visit the AC4 website
and contribute to our growing community
Interview with Beth Fisher Yoshida, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Master's Program Director and AC4 Co-Director
What motivations and/or life experiences led you to the field of conflict resolution?
It wasn't as though I woke up one day and said, "You know, I think I will go into the field of conflict resolution." It was through my experiences with intercultural communication and conflict, plus intercultural negotiation, both from living and working in Japan, that led me to this field. As an independent woman from New York with a very direct communication style, living in Japan posed a challenge in being able to communicate effectively and build relationships. I have an art background and studied art in Japan and the manner of teaching and learning is so different between Japan and New York. I had so much resistance for the first six months and was becoming very angry. One day I took a step back and realized that as long as I remained angry I prevented myself from more fully engaging in the culture, the people, and my art mentors, so I let go and gained so much more.
In addition to teaching in and directing the M.S. program at Columbia University, you also have your own well-established practice, FYI Fisher Yoshida International. What is the relationship between your academic and professional practices? How do these experiences compliment one another?
They absolutely do complement one another and the third component to this puzzle was when I went back to school to get my doctorate. There is a wonderful synergy and exchange between engaging in scholarship, putting it into practice in the field, and then trying to educate others to do likewise. I think practice informs theory and theory informs practice; and the challenge of being able to educate others and bring them along on their own learning journey in a way that is meaningful, keeps me on my toes. I treat all audiences as learning partners. I am more familiar with what I can contribute as compared to what others can contribute and even then, I am also surprised because in these processes I learn so much. I am always asking myself the question, "How can I use this?" I have a deep belief that people mean well. They sometimes don't show it, but have a tremendous reservoir of untapped skills, talents and resilience, and it is a matter of creating opportunities for them to showcase and develop these abilities even further. That is where I come in.
At FYI Fisher Yoshida International one of the foundational influences is the use of Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM). Please explain the tenets of this approach and why it is an important component in your work.
CMM takes a communication perspective and this claim supports that we create our social worlds. How we relate to others, how we interact and "act into" situations and relationships is fateful and determines what comes next. We are constantly setting the stage for the next act and the quality is dependent on what comes before. We cannot control others directly; we can only try to develop ourselves. The better we become, the better we become in relationship to others, the better our relationships become as a whole, and the better our social worlds.
How has your experience as a long-term resident in Japan influenced your interest in and approach to intercultural communication and/or transformative learning?
The experience of living in Japan for many years has enabled me to sit with silence. I experienced so much growth and learning from my encounters in Japan with Japanese people, as well as with people from all around the globe. It is something I probably could not have gained from remaining in New York City. As a person who deeply loves NYC, I think it is also good to get out once in a while and realize that there are other places in the world that are good to live in and that different environments develop you in different ways! When I came into contact with cultural habits and patterns that are so different from my own, it forced me to step outside of myself and look at my own assumptions about life, about people, about everything. I could say I had several "disorienting dilemmas" as per Mezirow's transformative learning.
If you were only given 140 characters to pen a unique statement about your scholarly interests, teaching philosophy, or (fill in the blank) what would you write?
This sounds like a Tweet ! OK, here goes at under 140: We are what we make so why not continue evolving to make a world that is really fun, creative, interesting, inclusive and good?
[If you'd like to share this message, click the button below!]
AC4 Graduate Student Fellowships
Each year, the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4
) funds as many as 10 Columbia University graduate students conducting interdisciplinary research
in areas addressing conflict, violence, peace-building and sustainable development (such projects might include- but are not limited to- doctoral students’ dissertation research, master’s students’ thesis research, or capstone projects). This year AC4
will fund 10 students for up to $3,000
and one team of students for up to $6,000
. Team applicants must present a truly interdisciplinary research proposal. Students may not apply to both. The online application will be available on December 1st. Please check the AC4 website for details.
The deadline for submissions is February 3th, 2014.
Fellows will be announced in March 2014.
Questions may be directed to Nathanael Andreini at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for papers!
10th Annual Morton Deutsch Awards for Social Justice
The International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Teachers College, Columbia University, is sponsoring the 10th annual Morton Deutsch Award for an Outstanding Graduate Student Paper on Social Justice
. Morton Deutsch, one of the world’s preeminent psychologists, has made significant contributions over the many years of his career in the areas of conflict resolution and social justice. The Morton Deutsch Awards are designed to recognize innovative scholarship and practice in the area of social justice. A trophy award plus $500
will be awarded to a graduate student within the Columbia University system for an outstanding paper.
Deadline: February 14, 2014 (by 11:59pm ET).
For requirements and information check out the ICCCR website