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WMU-Cooley Opens Center to Help Business Professionals and Students Deal with Conflict tactics in how to get a positive result from their clients. Participants receive advice on setting up in-house procedures to resolve conflicts in their professional environment. Participants also have the opportunity to observe dispute resolution efforts with actual clients.

“WMU-Cooley launched the Center for Study and Resolution of Conflict to teach business professionals and law students how to rise above conflict and achieve a win-win outcome for them and their clients.” GRAHAM WARD

Graham Ward, director of WMU-Cooley’s Center for Study and Resolution of Conflict


WMU-Cooley’s Center for the Study and Resolution of Conflict offers seminars and specific undergraduate and graduate-level courses that teach participants how to improve the way they deal with conflicts.

to create a deeper understanding of the art of negotiation, including its history, societal contributions and how it has evolved through time.

“While we all engage in negotiations, virtually every day and Center officials demonstrate irrespective of our how to improve listening personal relationships skills, explain the benefits and employment of understanding the responsibilities, few have opposite point of view been formally trained and teach the value of in the art and science addressing conflict in a of negotiation,” Ward timely manner. Participants said. “Our four goals master best practices are to provide historical for the selected process, background, introduce consider the decisionmodernized win-win and making process, develop principled-negotiation an appreciation for creative concepts, demonstrate and alternative options, various negotiating and learn how to minimize styles, and identify damage and improve the specific conflicts within relationship among the those styles.” involved parties. Instructors introduce The center’s director, participants to the various Graham Ward, hopes negotiating styles and

The center offers participants the expertise of practitioners experienced in problem-solving skills and sciences, supplemented by academics, consultants, and the synergies of working within a major research University, forming a collaborative effort with Western Michigan University. The center’s programs are not only beneficial for law students and attorneys, but can help judges, business leaders, managers, government leaders, community members, and anyone who would like to improve conflict negotiation skills. The center is also able to customize courses and seminars as needed by corporations, institutions, and government entities. More information about the program can be found on the law school’s website at

WMU-Cooley Innocence Project Works to Get Compensation for Michigan’s Wrongfully Convicted Kenneth Wyniemko and Donya Davis, both exonerees who were represented by the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project, along with the clinic’s director and law school Professor Marla Mitchell-Cichon, recently appeared before the Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee to support Senate Bill 291, which would provide compensation for wrongfully convicted Michigan citizens, and House Bill 5815, which would provide for re-entry services to exonerees. Following the hearing the committee voted unanimously to send the bills to a full vote of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Michigan exonerees Kenneth Wyniemko and Donya Davis join Marla Mitchell-Cichon and the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project team at the Lansing Capitol building.

“Take a minute to consider all that you might lose during the years of wrongful incarceration. Then consider how you would begin to put your life back together. Where would you live? How would you support yourself? How would you explain where you have been when you apply for a job? These are just a few of the challenges that Michigan citizens who have been wrongfully convicted face on a daily basis.” MARLA MITCHELL-CICHON

The WMU-Cooley Innocence Project is part of the national Innocence Network, which has been credited with the release of more than 344 wrongfully convicted individuals, mainly through the use of DNA testing. WMU-Cooley’s Innocence Project has exonerated three men: Wyniemko, Davis, and Nathaniel Hatchett.

Marla Mitchell-Cichon with Ken Wyniemko (left) and Donya Davis (right).


Benchmark | Winter 2016  

This issue of Benchmark prominently features our dear friend, alumnus and nationally renowned artist Gordon Boardman, who has made a monumen...

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