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Resolving Conflict in St. Lucia

When Charlene Alexander learned that St. Lucia was instituting a mandatory secondary education program and anticipated increased conflicts in its schools, she saw an opportunity to benefit both students in St. Lucia and her counseling psychology graduate students.

Alexander, associate professor of counseling psychology, contacted the ministry in St. Lucia and was invited to assist in training school personnel and students in conflict resolution.

She recruited a group of graduate students to join her. She also brought in high schools students from Burris Laboratory School to work with their peers in St. Lucia. The group received peer mediation training and then traveled to St. Lucia to teach the conflict resolution program to teachers and students in the schools.

“This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” says Alexander, who is originally from the Caribbean. “Our students did an amazing job working with students, staff, and administrators.”

Alexander hopes to return to St. Lucia in May 2010.