Today@Sam Article

How Identity Impacts How We Engage In Differences

Oct. 1, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Gene Roberts

Student Legal and Mediation Services will host the sixth annual Conflict Resolution Month at Sam Houston State University in October. Conflict Resolution Month is a time to equip the SHSU community with useful insights and tools to effectively resolve disputes.

“Conflict is inevitable within any relationship or community – friends, roommates, coworkers, and even between governments,” said Gene Roberts, director of Student Legal and Mediation Services. “Unresolved conflict can damage relationships, decrease productivity, and reduce commitments to organizations. The key is having the knowledge and tools to address conflict in a healthy and productive way, and that is what our office will provide this month.”

Conflict resolutionPatricia M. Porter, a noted conflict resolution expert, will provide a keynote on “Who Are You? How Identity Impacts How We Engage in Differences” on October 23, 2018, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Room 110 of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences building. The event is free and open to the public.

“Pattie is an extraordinarily competent conflict resolution professional and a leader in our field. Her reputation is known throughout Texas and the world, and we are excited that Pattie will share her knowledge with the Sam Houston community” Roberts said.

Porter is a licensed clinical social worker and the president of Conflict Connections, Inc., based in San Antonio Texas. She is a past president of the Texas Association of Mediators and is experienced in a number of conflict resolution processes, including mediation, conflict and abrasive behavior coaching, and group dialogue facilitation. Her training experience is extensive, including training professionals at universities, businesses, and federal agencies. Porter is a recipient of the Academy of Advanced Practitioners designation from the Association for Conflict Resolution and is an abrasive leader coach from the Boss Whispering Institute. She is also a CINERGY certified conflict coach-mentor. She serves as an adjunct instructor at the graduate program in dispute resolution at SMU and is a certified cross-cultural dialogue facilitator for Soliya and the United Nations Habitat Virtual Connect program, facilitating conversations between university students in western and predominantly Muslim countries.

A community-created mural will be created in the mall area in front of the Lowman Student Center on October 9, 10, and 11 between 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. This is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to express the role of conflict, and its resolution, in their lives. The mural will then be on display in the SLMS office for the year.

In addition to Porter’s keynote, SLMS is co-sponsoring with SHSU’s Office of Graduate Studies and the Division of Student Affairs a presentation by Luke Archer, author of Verbal Aikido, for Student Affairs professionals on October 23.

Other presentations during Conflict Resolution Month include conflict management for emerging student leaders in collaboration with Leadership Initiatives, conflict resolution training for university managers in collaboration with Human Resources, and a workshop on difficult dialogues with the College of Education.

For more information, visit

About SLMS

Student Legal and Mediation Services is committed to serving SHSU students by providing them with high-quality legal advice and equipping them with techniques to resolve disputes so they can focus on their educational goals. You can learn more at


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