Brenau Regional Mock Mediation Tournament Tunes Up for National Event

Oct 9, 2012
Brenau Staff

Brenau University scored the most points in team competition and Amy Broome from Gainesville State College won the top individual performance honors at the 10th annual Brenau Invitational Mock Mediation Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6.

The tournament, a regional program that has been regarded as a limbering up for teams that participate in national competition each November, featured representatives from colleges and universities in three states: two teams each from Brenau, Gainesville State, Georgia State University, Middle Tennessee State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Western Carolina University, Clayton State University, and Brenau University.

Broome, a business administration major from Oakwood, Ga., earned the Elizabeth Baumgardner Peacemaker Award for both mediation and advocacy after she demonstrated superior talent at all phases of the competition with the highest combined scores. The prize was established by Vivian B. Lord, chair of the criminology and criminal justice department and the coach of the mediation team at UNC-Charlotte, in honor of her mother.

Brenau’s team of Shantel Francis, Melanie Fain and Carmen Hughey finished first in the team scoring, followed by second-place Gainesville State’s team of Amy Broome, Scott Fuller and Gina Schwartz; Middle Georgia College’s team of Dylan John, Mario Watson and Alana Thygesen in third, and another team from Middle Georgia comprising Kavan Marambe, Deanna Thompson and Petter Ersbo in fourth. Gainesville State’s team of Amanda Seden, Kat Stallcup and Penny Hollis finished in fifth place.

Students representing Gainesville State College included Broome; Fuller, a business administration major from Flowery Branch; Schwartz,  a human services administration major from Flowery Branch; Seden, a theater major (design tech) from Clarkesville; Stallcup, a criminal Justice major from Nicholson; and Hollis, a social work major from Gainesville.

Brenau representatives were Shantel Francis, a senior conflict resolution and legal studies major from Norfolk, Va.; Melanie Fain, a junior majoring in conflict resolution and legal studies from White County, Ga.; and Carmen Hughey, a senior in conflict resolution and legal studies from Gainesville.

Among the 48 mediators who participated, the top five individual competitors were No. 1 Bertha Amosu, Clayton State University;  No. 2 Ashley Williams, UNC-Charlotte; No. 3 Amy Broome, Gainesville State College; No. 4 Shantel Francis, Brenau University; and No. 5 Melanie Fain, Brenau University.

The top advocate/client teams were: No. 1 Middle Tennessee’s  Allison Crain and Danielle Horn; second place Brenau’s Carmen Hughey and Melanie Fain; Middle Tennessee’s Mariah Schiff and Allison Crain in third; Amanda Seden and Penny Hollis from Gainesville State College in fourth; and, in fifth place, Sabrina Green and Walter Gray from Clayton State University.

Kennesaw State University Professor Susan Raines, a well-known author on mediation and the editor-in-chief of the Conflict Resolution Quarterly, conducted the training for the students and mediators.

The 16 teams then paired off in the three-round mediation performances. The judges for this tournament were mediators, legal professionals and others trained in mediation who volunteered their time to evaluate the performances of the student participants as they mediated and advocated for their clients in the various role plays.

Many of the participants will return to Gainesville on Nov. 1-3, 2012 when Brenau hosts the 13th Annual National Intercollegiate Mock Mediation Tournament, the first time the tournament has ever been held outside of the Midwestern United States.

The national tournament will feature 30 to 40 teams from colleges and universities across the country. During the tournament, participants will have further training in mediation and advocacy skills and compete in a tournament evaluated by mediation and legal professionals, including Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, Georgia Appeals Court Judge J.D. Smith and noted mediation authors Richard Calkins and Fred Lane.

The eight teams making the finals will be invited to attend the International Law School Mediation Tournament in London or Dubai in March 2013.

For more info about the national tournament, call (770) 534-6297 or email