Brenau Brings National Tournament to Gainesville

Continuing to enhance Brenau’s stature in the intercollegiate mediation and arbitration field, the International Academy of Dispute Resolution selected the Gainesville, Ga.-based institution as the site for the 13th Annual National Undergraduate Mediation Tournament, Nov. 1 – 3, 2012.

Brenau University seniors Christina Poole and Heidi Cranford win All-America honors at 2011 National Undergraduate mediation Tournament in Des Moines

The selection marks the first time the tournament, which usually goes to Chicago or Des Moines, Iowa, has ever been held anywhere outside the Midwest.

The tournament is expected to draw more than 40 teams from colleges and universities from around the nation. Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, is an increasingly popular and often court-mandated form of legal problem-solving in which a trained negotiator guides conflicting parties toward a mutually acceptable agreement.

The intercollegiate tournaments are an important teaching tool for students to give them experience outside the classroom in employing their skills.

“The 2012 tournament should open the door for participation for schools that have been unable to travel to Chicago or Des Moines for previous events,” said Dr. Ken Frank, chair of the Brenau Humanities Department and a member of the IADR board. “We are honored to be chosen as the first site outside the Midwest.”

Frank developed the university’s Conflict Resolution and Legal Studies major 13 years ago, making Brenau the only institution in Georgia – and one of just a few in the country – to offer an undergraduate degree in the subject.

The university has fared well in past competitions, winning top honors in 2002 and seldom ranking below the top 10. A dozen Brenau students have been honored as “All-American Mediators,” including seniors Christina Poole and Heidi Cranford, who were added to the All- America rolls following their stellar performance in the 2011 national tournament in Des Moines in November.

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