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NE Ohio Peacemaker Contest Features NDC Grads
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NE Ohio Peacemaker Contest Features NDC Grads

At the awards ceremony, held on May 11, 2006, two of the six finalists in the adult division were alumnae: Sister Mary Louise Trivison ’50, SND professor emerita of theology and Spanish at Notre Dame, and Sister Sally Huston ’67, SND assistant principal at Regina High School. One of the seven high school finalists was Halle Zucker, daughter of Jo Zucker, student accounts coordinator at the College. A Notre Dame grad was also the keynote speaker: Dr. Deborah Plummer ’74, director of the diversity department of the Cleveland Clinic. The contest was organized by Northcoast Conflict Solutions, a mediation, counseling, and training practice. Alumna Patti Bertschler ’81, licensed clinical counselor and founding partner of NCS, oversaw the contest, assisted by intern Tina Timmons, a senior at Notre Dame College.

The purpose of the 2006 Peacemaker contest was “to draw attention to the fact that anyone can be a peacemaker.” NCS invited nominations from schools, businesses, and community organizations, asking how each nominee had taken initiative in conflict resolution, mediation, race relations, or other difficult areas. Help in publicizing the contest and funding the awards came from ten co-sponsors, and a panel of judges selected the finalists.

Peacemaking may not be a course title at Notre Dame College, but the results of the first Northeast Ohio Peacemaker of the Year contest indicate that developing that skill is of great importance to alumni and staff.
 
Sister Mary Louise’s selection was based on her work both in and out of the classroom. As a Spanish instructor, she saw her mission as attempting to nurture “an understanding of the members of planet earth . . . [and] a deepening of respect of others.” In the early 1990s, she participated in the National Center for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem in Israel and took part in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum study tour. She has lectured on the Holocaust at various locations across Northeast Ohio. Currently, she serves on the Community Advisory Board at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Sr. Mary Louise played a key role in organizing the Tolerance Resource Center at Notre Dame College. She commented that she was honored simply to be nominated for the award, and said, “Receiving this recognition is strong encouragement for future work with the Tolerance Center, including our upcoming project to develop greater understanding among Muslims, Christians, and Jews.”

Sister Sally’s selection was based on her conflict settlement and counseling activities as assistant principal, and on her work with Regina’s peer mediation program.

For more information on Northcoast Conflict Solutions and the Peacemaker of the Year award ceremony, visit www.ncsmediation.com.

Patricia Opaskar ’65 is a free-lance writer and editor residing in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.