Mary Campbell is an attorney and mediator in the high desert region of Southern California, and an instructor for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Conflict Resolution program. With over a decade of experience in conflict resolution, her current focus is supporting families in transition. In addition to mediation, Campbell has also worked with organizations and community groups to address larger-scale issues such as regional environmental impacts, climate change and commercial fishing. As part of her practice, she mediates disputes for the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the California Certified Agricultural Mediation Program.
“I appreciate that I can bring something to learning about conflict resolution that I found lacking in other courses—the study of self.”
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Teaching reminds me why I get excited about what I do. Teaching also helps me stay current in my area of expertise and strive to communicate about it in a way that is effectively transmitting information. In law school, I was a tutor for a wonderful professor, Fritz Juenger. He told me once that if you ever want to really learn about something, write about it or teach it. I ended up doing both.
How would a student describe your teaching style?
I don't want to presume someone else's experience, so I'll just say that I hope students find it accessible, stimulating, relevant and even fun.
Describe a moment where, as a teacher, you feel like you had an impact on a student’s life.
I recently got feedback from a student that my course changed their life. Now that is something! I teach about communication, and if I can positively impact someone's ability to connect with people in their lives more effectively and compassionately, then I feel good about teaching. I did have one student, a neighbor at the time, take the class and it helped her decide to pursue a career in graphic recording. Now she does it professionally and has assisted me at facilitations. What a blessing to be a part of someone's new life path, and then to connect professionally and bring our skills together.
In your opinion, what separates the UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Conflict Resolution program from other programs?
I appreciate that I can bring something to learning about conflict resolution that I found lacking in other courses—the study of self. You can learn a million techniques, but conflict resolution is ultimately about knowing who you are and being present with another without getting in your own way. I like that I am able to start students from that foundation, and I have not seen that in many other trainings that I have taken.