On October 6, 2012, the University of Dubuque Mediation Team, coached by Professor Ben Bartels, held their first annual mediation tournament. The intent of the tournament is to give students a real-life experience as mediator, an attorney, and client. Three students make up each team, and must participate as mediator in one of three preliminary rounds.
Each tournament is devoted to extensive mediation training, as well as advocacy training. Emphasis at the tournament is placed on education and fellowship, rather than competition or winning. Competitors included Loras College, UW-Platteville, and Maharishi University of Management.
As a team, Alex Kirkendall (Dubuque, IA), Courtney Neenan (Peosta, IA), and Zach Adams (Dubuque, IA) were named overall "Tournament Champion." Individually, Alex Kirkendall placed first in the "Best Mediator" category and Markus Jones, Baltimore, MD placed fourth.
"It was a very successful event. I was very proud of the students" said Professor Bartels. "They represented their University well, as did the students from Loras College, UW-Platteville, and Maharishi University of Management. In the spirit of mediation, our students were tremendous hosts. Although we have a lot of work to do, I see so much potential in our student-mediators. We have a very motivated group. I expect that we'll see tremendous growth between now and when we complete at Nationals in early November in Gainesville, GA."
Each November the International Academy of Dispute Resolution sponsors an undergraduate competitive contest, the National Intercollegiate mediation Tournament. Students participating have the opportunity to receive All-American recognition.