Instructor Spotlight: Kara Hunter
Kara Hunter is the executive director at the Yolo Conflict Resolution Center, a non-profit organization that offers accessible services to anyone needing assistance with a dispute, disagreement or other situations that yield conflict and distress. She has nearly two decades of experience in non-profit administration, has taught conflict resolution for five years and enjoys serving the community in various ways. Hunter joins UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Conflict Resolution Program as the instructor for Introduction to Conflict Resolution.
How did you become interested in conflict resolution?
I have had personal and professional experiences in which conflict has been a gift to a relationship or a situation and allowed for growth and new opportunities.
Why do you teach?
I teach to exchange wisdom and experience with students and to create a space for honest conversation and open dialogue.
Why is education or training in conflict resolution important?
Conflict is part of the human experience. There are not too many opportunities to really reflect on our current conflict habits and practices and learn how to improve or refine our approach.
How will learning conflict resolution positively impact a student’s life or career?
In many ways, conflict can be a destructive force. When we can start to manage conflict as an opportunity to strengthen a relationship and learn from it, it can be life changing. I hope this course puts students on a journey to make conflict productive instead of destructive.
What do you want students to take away from your course?
I want them to take away essential concepts for self-awareness and tools to help improve communication and conflict resolution skills.
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What are the necessary skills for someone considering a career (or career advancement) in conflict resolution?
Patience, persistence and practice are vital traits for an individual considering this path. I would argue that we all have room to grow in our approach to conflict. However, with patience, persistence and practice, improvement is open to us all.
What jobs or career advancement opportunities are available to those with conflict resolution training?
Training in conflict resolution can be useful in any career or job. Conflict arises in almost every aspect of our lives, and if we can bring about positive and meaningful approaches to managing conflict, there are numerous ways we can benefit. Specifically, if folks are interested in helping others manage conflict, there are many avenues that one can pursue in mediation, restorative justice and peace-building work.
What’s trending in the field of conflict resolution that students should be aware of?
Developing mutuality and understanding interconnection.