Marta Novoa graduated from ILR this past May. She chose to attend Cornell and specifically the ILR School in large part because of her interest in alternative dispute resolution and conflict management. Prior to attending Cornell she participated in conflict resolution programs including a summer at Georgetown University.
As a student in ILR, she took various courses dedicated to negotiation, conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution systems. One of her favorite courses in this vein of study was ILRCB 610 Negotiation: Theory and Practice because it gave her an opportunity to learn about all types of negotiation from employment contracts to car sales and provided opportunities for practical experience.
In her senior year, she also had the opportunity to work at the Institute for Conflict Resolution on a project led by Professors Lipsky and Seeber. In this role, she was responsible for filling in missing data on a database covering various organizations involved in collective bargaining and dispute resolution, including the FMCS, NLRB, NAA, AAA and LERA, and then create graphs to highlight the evidence. She enjoyed working at the Institute because it gave her an opportunity to learn more about the administrative structure and vibrancy of the various organizations.
While at Cornell, she also worked at the Employment and Disability Institute as part of the student administrative staff at the DBTAC—Northeast ADA Center during the school year, and at Convergent Care, LLC and Easter Seals Central California during the summers. In each of these positions, she found opportunities to practice what she had learned in class, such as when she acted as an informal mediator for camp counselors in her first summer with Easter Seals.
In September she will return to Easter Seals Central California as the Program Services Coordinator where she hopes her experiences in conflict management and resolution will be useful in addressing existing issues involving both staff and clients. Ultimately, she plans to attend law school and explore further the fields of conflict resolution and disability advocacy.
- Marta Novoa