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Conflict Resolution Community of Practice Working Group

"Solving conflicts, creating peace, and making a difference!"

The Conflict Resolution Community of Practice Working Group (CPWG) is a Graduate Student Working Group that focuses on the applied practice of conflict resolution including Mediation, Facilitation, Conflict Coaching, Dispute Systems Design, and Peace-building across contexts to improve the human condition.

Who we are

The Conflict Resolution Community of Practice Working Group (CPWG) is a Graduate Student Working Group that focuses on the applied practice of conflict resolution including Mediation, Facilitation, Conflict Coaching, Dispute Systems Design, and Peace-building across contexts to improve the human condition.

The working group establishes and manages short- and long-term projects that allow students to improve their conflict resolution craft and competencies by engaging them in Praxis as they translate their program of study in theory and research into best practices. This working group provides students with real-world experiences to tackle local and international issues through the application of conflict resolution practices. Our working group help to develop sustainable education, prevention programs, and intervention training.

The faculty Director and Advisor for the CPWG is Professor Alexia Georgakopoulos, Ph.D. who is a Professor in the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies at Nova Southeastern University.

What we do

Our goal is to spread non-violent conflict resolutions skills and promote a culture of peace within the entire community, outside of the classroom, at work, and home. We offer training to adults and working-age student mentors on workplace bullying to foster community buy-in to non-violent conflict resolution principles. In addition to providing conflict resolution services, we train students developmental competencies they can apply across contexts. This includes topics like:

  • Youth Violence Prevention
  • Bullying in Schools
  • Workplace and Adult Bullying
  • Working as a Mediator to resolve disputes in Communities
  • Supporting peace literacy in schools
  • Peer Mentoring & Peace Ambassador Projects


The purpose of the Conflict Resolution Community of Practice Working Group is to tackle significant social issues and conflict within communities and society. It is part of our mission and vision to promote a culture of peace within communities, reaching out and sharing with others, ways we all can more peacefully address and effectively resolve problems in our diverse communities.


Dr. Alexia Georgakopolous, Director & Founder

Alexia GAlexia Georgakopoulos, Ph.D., is currently a Professor in the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies at Nova Southeastern University where she advises and teaches masters and doctoral students. She is the Director of the Institute of Conflict Resolution and Communication, a premiere mediation and conflict resolution training, consulting firm specializing in delivering educational training in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation Certification to the public. She provides Florida Supreme Court Mediation Certification and continuing mediation education.

She is the Editor of the Handbook of Mediation: Theory, Research, and Practice that was released by Routledge Publishers in 2017. The handbook is the most contemporary handbook of mediation in the field, and it features nearly 60 thought leaders, forefront authorities, and notable practitioners in the areas of mediation, peace studies, justice, human rights, and conflict resolution. As a professor, trainer, researcher, practitioner, and world-class expert in mediation and conflict resolution with two decades of work in the field, she is a nationally and internationally sought out speaker and trainer.

She has worked with Nonprofits like the Children's Movement of South Florida Organization to promote and aid in their advocacy of children initiatives, legislation, issues, and programs. Also, she works closely with the South Florida Crime Commission to support safer communities with her work on workplace bullying, community policing, illicit narcotics, and at-risk youth programs. She is an authority on Conflict Management Systems, Adult Workplace Bullying, and Workplace, Wellness/Safety, and along with her research in this area, she regularly delivers training workshops on these topics for organizations.

Dr. Georgakopoulos conducts extensive research in conflict resolution and works as a professional practitioner, trainer, and conflict resolution specialist in the following contexts: multinational organizations, school systems, healthcare organizations, family systems, governmental agencies, religious organizations, community-based organizations, and international organizations. She delivers a wide range of alternative dispute resolution programs. She is committed to offering quality educational programs to her students.

Lizyvette Ramos

Lizyvette Ramos is a Ph.D. Candidate for the Conflict Analysis and Resolution Program at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Lizyvette Ramos has a Master in Forensic Psychology, a Law Degree (Foreign - Venezuela), and a Bachelor in Psychology. She is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator. She completed the BRDGES Intercultural Certificate. She is Bilingual (English & Spanish). She currently works as a Graduate Assistant at NSU. She has experience working for Resolution Mediation & Arbitration and ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Academy [ADRACEU]. Further professional expertise includes the provision of services as a Parent Liaison in order to have the opportunity to guide and empower parents to become collaborative, promote family involvement, support families navigating transitions, and facilitate effective communications between families and schools. She also has experience working as a Forensic Case Manager where she was able to assist in the preparation of child custody evaluations and conducting interviews. Also, Lizyvette has experience working as a Victim Advocate, where she helped victims of trauma related to sexual assault/domestic violence.

With the purpose of creating awareness, Lizyvette Ramos published a book in April 2015 in both English and Spanish versions: “Sexual Assault [Rape]: Moving from Victim to Survivor” and “Asalto Sexual [Violación]: De Víctima a Sobreviviente.” This book was acknowledged by Joe Biden [former Vice-President of the United States and current President of the United States], who sent a letter to Lizyvette to thank her for her writing, as her book covers such important issues as domestic violence. Biden emphasized the importance of changing attitudes and changing people’s lives. Furthermore, Lizyvette Ramos has presented at Conferences such as The Speed of Need 2023 ACR-GNY Conference with the topic “Challenges in Parenting Plans: Interventions from Dispute Resolution Professionals” and the DRC Conference 2023: Helping you Help Others Resolve Disputes with the topic “Intervention Strategies for Mediators: How to Address and Tackle Interpersonal Violence.”

Eileen Petzold-Bradley, President of Student Working Group

EileenEileen Petzold-Bradley is currently a doctoral candidate and student specializing in Conflict Analysis & Resolution at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ms. Petzold-Bradley is an American and native of Panama and has more than 20 years of successful leadership experience in coaching, policy advising, intercultural training, communications consulting, educational empowerment and English language training.

In 2016, Ms. Petzold-Bradley founded her consultancy called The Cultural Diplomat (TCD). The core vision of TCD is to bridge cultural divides, mend communication breakdowns, and help clients resolve their conflicts. Currently, she offers women and youth empowerment sessions, career and life coaching, diversity training and cross-cultural training for companies and organizations. Her core passion is to teach, guide others through intense coaching, and help clients find new solutions which allow for transformation and growth. As a hands-on change agent, she aims to concentrate more on youth, organizations, diverse teams and executives to find constructive and creative solutions to conflicts or disputes by building new stories of understanding, fostering respect, and practicing collaboration.

Previously, Eileen was for over 12 years, Managing Director of the Helen Doron Learning Center Pankow, and Master Franchisor for Berlin and Brandenburg for the Helen Doron Educational Group Helen Doron. She also led various projects for research think tanks and non-governmental organizations including the Institute for Biodiversity, Adelphi Research, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency, and Ecologic. She also coordinated and organized conferences and workshops for the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Ministry of the Environment and worked for the US Army as a Latin American security analyst.


Mediation is one of the many tools available to communities in need of peaceful conflict resolution. Our trained mediators are available to help promote peace within your community.

About Mediation

Conflicts happen to everyone. Mediation helps by giving people involved in conflict a chance to come together to talk things out. It's voluntary, confidential, planned around your schedule and provided at no cost to you. Mediation can help with any conversation you need to have. Some people come to mediation before there is a conflict, to talk things through. Others turn to mediation to have what they know will be a difficult conversation. Many come after a conflict has developed to air feelings, consider options and make agreements. Mediation can help before court action has been taken or after papers have been filed with a court.

Most often mediation results in agreements. However, it does much more. Mediation gives you a chance to get a better sense of the situation you face, consider the point of view of others involved, and figure out next steps, whether or not you reach an agreement.

You may find that mediation helps you:

  • Improve communication
  • Increase understanding
  • Empathize with another's point of view
  • Improve a relationship
  • Clarify areas of agreement and disagreement
  • Define next steps
  • Avoid, minimize or enhance your involvement in the judicial system
  • Work toward a mutual understanding of the situation you face
  • Resolve a specific problem you face or a conflict you're caught in
  • Prevent similar issues from recurring in the future

Whatever situation you face, contact us to find out how we can help.

How Mediation Works

What are the steps involved in mediating, who can benefit from mediation, and more?

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential, no-cost process in which a third party, the mediator, assists you and others involved in having a conversation about how to resolve the issues between you.

As the mediator supports your conversation, you get more precise about what's going on for you as well as a better sense of what's going on for the other person. The information and perspectives that are shared can help you figure out next steps and, often, agree on some or all of the issues involved.

Not all parties involved need to agree to mediate before we are contacted. After one person has contacted us, we will reach out to others involved and encourage them to give mediation a try. Once everyone involved has agreed, we schedule a mediation session at a time and date convenient to all. A two-hour block is set aside for the mediation, with the option of planning another session if needed.

Mediators will support you in having the most productive conversation you can. You'll decide what to talk about, what guidelines, if any, will help you communicate and whether or not there are agreements to be made. If you reach an agreement, you'll decide whether or not to write it down.


Some community issues involve multiple parties and require a customized approach rather than the typical community mediation process. We offer facilitation services to bring all the affected parties together to work toward a solution.

Who Can Benefit

If you are part of a group or community (church, sports club, neighborhood association, school) that needs some help to improve communication and reach agreement on a complex issue, you may want to consider our facilitation services.

What Is Facilitation?

Facilitation is a way to help a group accomplish its goals. A facilitator trained in group dynamics helps participants understand their everyday needs and goals and guides them in planning to achieve those goals, without having a position on the issues or an emotional stake in the outcome. The facilitator also helps the group work through disagreements.


Bullying Prevention Training for Schools

School Administrators & Teachers

Our program is intended for K-12 school administrators and teachers as an introduction to the prevalence and implications of bullying on school campuses. Depending on the time allotted for this program, there is the opportunity to facilitate these activities with school administrators and teachers as a form of practice for future anti-bullying curricula. The lectures and activities all have a focus on student involvement, as well as a whole-school approach to combating bullying.

The first step to implementing an anti-bullying program in any school is to unite the administrators and teachers on the issue at hand, and this program is designed to do this. The program begins with an introductory lecture on bullying awareness. This lecture aims to inform school teachers, and administrators about the impact bullying can have in school environments today. Not only is bullying prevalent everywhere, but the impacts are also severe. In order to combat bullying, there must be a clear understanding of the problem.

Next, the program addresses bullying and the law. The goal of this lesson is to inform school administrators and teachers about the role that the law plays in bullying on school campuses. It is crucial for school administrators and teachers to know about the resources that are there for them to use when needed.

Finally, the programs offer a whole school approach to combat bullying. The goal of the whole school approach is to raise awareness and knowledge about the issue of bullying, as well as create a plan for dealing with bullying in the school. This process must be tied to the school and its philosophy.

Student Activities

Student activities can be used as a part of the program for teachers and administrators as a form of practice for future anti-bullying curricula. These activities can also be implemented school-wide as a pilot anti-bullying program. The activities begin with a session on defining bullying. The goal of this exercise is to help the students identify or name what they are seeing, feeling, hearing, and experiencing. It is much easier to get to the root of the individual problems if the students have a vocabulary in which to share what is going on.

The next activity allows the students to decipher if a comment is joking, teasing or bullying. The goal of this lesson is to let the students decide if the vignette would be considered bullying or not. This activity allows for an extended discussion about the types of bullying and helps students identify bullying within a relevant context.

Finally, the students can create and sign a bullying contract as a group — the final step in understanding and combating bullying in an anti-bullying contract. The goal is to come up with a contract that the student population as a whole would be willing to sign to combat bullying in their school. Our program is mainly based on the principles of the Bullying Project.

Supporting Peace Literacy in Schools

This program is designed for those interested in promoting peace practices starting with K-12 students. Our primary aim is to address both lack of adequate literacy skills, and poor conflict resolution skills in primary-aged children, through a promising mentoring-based program. Mentoring programs can be seen as a formal mechanism for young children by establishing a positive relationship with at least one caring, adult. A mentorship program that encourages a partnership with a local community and its schools to promote literacy and peace education would better equip children with life-long skills they need to be successful in life and as a result would profit the community. This site hopes to provide resources necessary to spread increased literacy and conflict resolution skills within communities.

Children's literature is a viable and abundant resource for teaching conflict resolution and peace education by introducing peace education and conflict resolution skill-building early in children's education in ways that they can understand and enjoy, this generation of children may be more inclined to learn how to tackle creatively with conflict and promote peace that can benefit everyone. The goal of this research is to build a mentorship program with a sustainable literacy curriculum that incorporates peace education.

Our goal is to teach peace education at the community, school, and individual levels. Through peace education training and workshops, we will prepare a curriculum and methodology of knowledge which can be expanded to develop school and community cultures of peace. This will require students and teachers to act as role models for nonviolent conflict resolution, and the conscious inclusion of marginalized or bullied student populations. Additionally, community partnerships will allow students to apply their conflict resolution skills outside of the classroom. This culture of nonviolence will ultimately reduce conflict and promote a healthier environment for everyone.

Peace Day Program

The Peace Day Program is a four-hour community improvement seminar where students are paired with volunteers to read relevant books about peace studies and taught to apply to conflict resolution skills. Participants in Peace Day will be assigned to various partner facilities to lead small groups in three thoughtful one-hour blocks of instruction including both a seminar and practical application of peace and conflict resolution techniques. The Peace Day program is built on these building blocks:

  • Peace Art: Through visual arts, writing and reading, participants are asked to draw a picture of what “peace” looks like. They will then be asked to explain their illustrations in a mentor-led discussion comparing, contrasting and understanding what peace means. The session’s objective is to visually represent conflict resolution, peace or anti-bullying, as well as understanding different points of view.
  • Youth Violence and Prevention Essay: Participants answer one of three questions on preventing youth violence, personal responsibility or personal examples of bullying. The essay is intended to facilitate an understanding of each person's responsibly in preventing violence. The Violence Prevention Essay also serves as a springboard to a facilitator lead braining storming session on resolving youth violence.
  • Peace Day Reading: This builds on the self-generated solutions of the previous two blocks by providing outside reviews of peace values for participant consideration. Peace Ambassadors and Peace Participants are given thirty minutes in this session to read a book on peace and conflict resolution. Reading is followed by a guided discussion to discover new ideas about peace values and increase understanding of different views through dialogue. Peace Day Reading concludes by asking participants to tie what they have learned from other peace values to the pictures they drew and essays they wrote earlier.
  • Peace Video Homework Assignment (optional)

Local Communities

Conflict Resolution Education

We offer professional powerpoint presentations and mini-workshops for community groups, businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools, and public agencies. Our outreach and educational programs allow for a cross-germination of ideas, resources, and referrals with community partners. Our services include:

  • Explaining the benefits of mediation and other positive alternatives to resolving problems and allowing for Q&A sessions.
  • Providing tips on how individuals and groups can better approach conflicts.
  • Role-playing through mediation skits, short, fun exercises on communication & problem-solving.
  • Organizing and staffing information booths at festivals & fairs on conflict resolution topics.
  • Facilitating field trips for youth to our Community Resolution Center offices

Peace Ambassador Program

Peace Ambassadors work with NSU and visit K-12 schools, community centers, places of worship, colleges & universities, even businesses, and corporate offices and co-present bullying and suicide prevention program. This is a leadership program comprised of students and community members who serve as advocates, upstanders, and leaders in the efforts to prevent bullying, suicide, and violence in their various schools and communities. After intensive training, students co-facilitate workshops in K-12 public and private schools, speaking to parents, teachers, students, administrators, support staff, faith-based communities and more.

Studies have shown that youth are more likely to listen and respond to other youth in educational interventions, setting the stage for them to serve as role models. Education is an essential component of how we engage families and communities in moving towards social change. Peace Ambassadors are dedicated to empowering other students and participants to help create a safer and more inclusive environment for the community as a whole. Peace Ambassadors attend leadership training throughout the school year on various topics including but not limited to:

  • distinguishing bullying behavior vs. conflict,
  • laws & legal ramifications of bullying,
  • kinds of bullying (mean girls, frenemies, anti-gay bullying, etc.) and the effects of bullycide,
  • how to talk to parents and trusted adults about bullying and self-harm,
  • how to address bullying when it happens, and
  • how to prevent bullying before it even starts.

Mentoring Programs

Research has shown that peer mentoring programs help to prevent bullying and teen suicide. When youth serve as role models providing leadership and companionship to their fellow peers, this promotes the healthy development and well-being of students. Our goal is to transform our mentees into new leaders through our mentoring program. We match our mentors with mentees (a younger person) where they can offer a wide variety of life coaching skills including:

  • teaching allowing for more academic success,
  • providing for appropriate social behaviors and etiquette,
  • building self-esteem and emotional intelligence,
  • fostering teamwork and interpersonal skills.

As you and your mentee begin your communication, exploring values, interests, and goals, you will find yourself making a difference and having a positive effect on a young person's life. What you may also be surprised to see is that you will be learning more about yourself, too. Mentoring is a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Mentoring provides significant benefits. As a mentor, you will be making a difference in someone else's life, learning more about yourself, giving back and contributing to the future of our youths and having fun!

Crime Prevention in Broward County

Dr. Georgakopoulos is a member of the Advisory Board of the Broward Crime Commission and part of special TASK FORCE dedicated to providing training services to the community. These are multi-disciplinary teams that include Elected Officials, FBI, Law Enforcement, Conflict Specialists, Mental Health Professionals, Judges, Department of Justice Leaders, and Educators all charged to tackle contemporary issues, such as workplace bullying, narcotics, youth violence, and child abuse. More about this organization and its mission can be found at:

The primary modus operandi of the Broward County Crime Commission is to assess and evaluate crime in Broward County (and south Florida), and work in concert with the Criminal Justice System to derive solutions to those crimes, so that Broward County can become a safer place to live, work, and play on behalf of law-abiding citizens. The Crime Commission focuses on:

  • Juvenile Crime Issues
  • Narcotics Issues
  • Child Abuse
  • Human Trafficking
  • Behavioral Health Topics as Related to Crime
  • Consumer Protection and Contractor Fraud Programs
  • Public Safety Academic Educational Programs
  • Public Safety Technology Advancement and Incubators
  • Public Safety Leadership Programs
  • High School Criminal Justice Programs
  • Public Safety and Law Enforcement Recruitment Programs
  • Crime Commission Certifications
  • Crime Commission White Paper Studies
  • Proposed Crime Commission Task Forces
  • Proposed Crime Commission Hearing Committees

Climate Change Working Group

Climate Change is one of the most significant challenge we all face together. We are witnessing a time that climate change conditions are volatile and bringing about unprecedented changes in the history of the human race. Scientists and politicians warn us that human activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we will continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger higher migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.

The goal of this program is to inform participants to be change agents today to mitigate and respond to certain problems and conditions that involve climate change. With Climate Change or environmental variability comes global instability in that plentiful resources may become scarce, and national security may be compromised at best. Conflict resolution professionals should be part of the discourse, debates, solutions, and action plans, that impact humans during this crossroads of crisis.

Currently, Dr. Georgakopoulos is working with the Green Sharks, an NSU-wide student organization, a working group dedicated to protecting the environment and supporting sustainability. There are ample opportunities for mediators and conflict resolution professionals to impact Climate Change positively and be part of the design, training, facilitating, mediating and planning of community partnerships. Other professionals also invited to contribute are academic/research institutions, experts, policymakers, and researchers. With developing active local collaboration and partnerships, we can design programs, develop training, write grants, mediate or facilitate dialogues, and change policies and improve the environment. These initiatives and programs may range from climate policy to prevention, and response. New partnerships are needed to offer innovative and creative recommendations for U.S. policy on climate change. Goals related to this partnership include:

  • Advancing research on the topic of climate change and show how climate change is an environmental issue as well as a national security issue,
  • Supporting policy recommendations and development that will benefit the status quo of climate change,
  • Disseminating information to the public through dialogue at conferences and through research papers on the topic of climate change,
  • Collaborating with local grants or donors for funding opportunities on climate change,
  • Educating and impacting policymakers and the public about climate change

We welcome anyone with a passion for promoting change in communities to join our group. We look for local sponsors, partners, and donations for specialized conferences, workshops, and events. The Conflict Resolution Community of Practice Working Group is available to partner our highly trained and qualified graduate students with local organizations in Florida.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at for all your needs and enquires. Please contact the Director, Professor Alexia Georgakopoulos at for further information.

Local events about Conflict Resolution in Florida

NSU Department of Conflict Resolution Studies





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