Texas Association of Mediators Honors Hartsell with Profession’s Highest Award

Tom Hartsell, J.D., clinical professor in the Department of Dispute Resolution and Counseling, received the 2021 Susan C. Adams Award from the Texas Association of Mediators during its annual conference. The award is the organization’s highest recognition and honors exceptional efforts in promoting and furthering the use of mediation in the state.

Hartsell is a lawyer and mediator in private practice with a specialty in family law and mental health practice issues. He has been active in the mediation field since 1986. He is a co-author of “The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals, an A-Z Guide to Protecting Your Clients, Your Practice and Yourself” and “The Portable Ethicist, An A-Z Guide to Responsible Practice” published by John Wiley & Sons and is a frequent lecturer to mental health professionals and organizations.

Zippia. com Asks Potter About Pandemic’s Impact on Graduates and Careers

John Potter, clinical associate professor in the Department of Dispute Resolution and Counseling, joined a Zippia.com panel of experts to assess the pandemic’s impact on graduates starting their careers.

He sees positive outcomes from the pandemic that include adopting different ways of learning. Gaining these kinds of skills is important he says.

For him, the knowledge his students have acquired to resolve conflicts will benefit them any where they go.

To read the article, click here.



Faculty Promotions in Simmons

With the conclusion of the spring semester the Simmons School is happy to announce the following faculty promotions:

Congratulations to Michael Harris (Education Policy and Leadership) who was promoted to Full Professor, and to Sushmita Purkayastha (Applied Physiology and Wellness) and Meredith Richards (Education Policy and Leadership) who received tenure and were promoted to Associate Professors.

Clinical faculty promotions include four who moved from Clinical Assistant to Clinical Associate status:  Roxanne Burleson (Education Policy and Leadership), Greta Davis (Dispute Resolution and Counseling), Amy Ferrell (Teaching and Learning), and Diane Gifford (Teaching and Learning).  Three faculty were promoted from Clinical Associate to Clinical Full: Margaret Jacome (Dispute Resolution and Counseling), Misty Solt (Dispute Resolution and Counseling, and Ashley Tull (Education Policy and Leadership). Plaudits to them.

Tips for Leading and Managing Stay-at-Home Groups

The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives. Educational institutions, companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies have implemented social distancing policies and mandated telecommuting. Schools have closed and children are engaging in at-home learning alongside parents who may be remotely working for the very first time. What can managers do to lead effectively?

 Embrace Technology: Get out of your comfort zone to lead in new ways using technology.

  • Take advantage of online trainings to learn how leverage existing and new technologies to connect virtually with employees.
  • Model effective online meeting behaviors by utilizing features such as polling and chats.

 Nurture Relationships: At this time of physical distancing, your people need to know you care about them.

  • Through existing or new technologies, take time to visit with them to find out about their situation and how they are handling the disruption.
  • Provide them with resources to support their emotional and physical well-being.
  • Encourage your people and praise them for their work efforts and flexibility.

Establish New Norms: Let your people know you will be reaching out to them more often and why.

  • Your people need to understand that increased communication and monitoring does not mean you are trying to micromanage their work. You no longer have the luxury of walking down the hall to check in.
  • Get comfortable with real life being part of your communication. Relax your expectations regarding formal communication via phone and other technologies. Children, pets, and partners may suddenly walk into the room in a video call.
  • Shifting to a 100% remote workforce means that social norms of communication and interaction have to evolve. Clarify with your team about how information will be shared and the best ways to communicate for urgent and non-urgent messaging.

Reassess Priorities: What was important two weeks ago may no longer be as urgent or relevant.

  • Adjust goals and expectations to determine where to focus time and attention. Communicate these changes to your team. Take time to help your people think through the rationale for the adjustments.
  • Monitoring of key performance indicators may need to be altered and new metrics may need to be developed.

Update Procedures: It’s no longer business as usual.

  • Determine how processes need to change and invite your employees to generate solutions that meet the demands of your environment.
  • Ensure people understand the critical junctures and decision-points of key procedures.

Greta Davis, Ph.D., specializes in career counseling and serves as department chair and clinical faculty member of SMU  Simmons’ Dispute Resolution and Counseling program.


From Dispute Resolution: How to Apologize the Right Way

As of late, grievances are getting aired publicly, and so are apologies. But what goes into saying, “I’m sorry?” John Potter, clinical associate professor in dispute resolution, spoke with Dan Godwin @Fox4 about  how to construct an apology.