My name is Kristen O'Connor and I graduated with a B.S. from the ILR School in 2007. I participated in an Institute research project for the board of directors of several hospitals in the Boston area. This project provided information to help the board decide whether to adopt a neutrality agreement and recognize SEIU 1199 as representative of health care workers.
I conducted extensive research into service industries, such as the hotel industry and the airline industry, to be included in a larger report capturing general information about the function of unions and historical trends of unionization in the United States. The purpose of the report was to provide information about the effects of unionization across a broad spectrum of categories including wages, worker satisfaction and industry performance. This research afforded the board an opportunity to think critically about the effects that unionization had on other industries and to foresee possible union effects on their hospitals. The report culminated in a presentation by Dean Katz and Professor Lipsky to the board of directors, who presented key information about the research and answered questions of board members.
While at Cornell I took several dispute resolution courses including Negotiation: Theory and Practice and Managing and Resolving Conflict. Both of these courses provided information about dispute resolution that broadened my knowledge of the field. This coursework provided me with a window into the evolving world of dispute resolutions and the types of issues solved by ADR. I am currently pursing a law degree, and have an interest in ADR. I have found the skills I developed through these classes, especially in mock negotiations, extremely helpful and am excited to apply them to future scholastic and employment situations.
- Kristen O'Connor