Center for Dispute Resolution Staff

Char Berquist

Dr. Charlene Berquist is the Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and a professor in the Department of Communication at Missouri State University. Dr. Berquist teaches graduate-level courses in a number of areas, including conflict, mediation, family communication, and research methods. She is also an experienced mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, trainer, and presenter. She works extensively with students as the program director for the conflict certificate programs, coordinating internship experiences for students through the CDR, and advising practicums and theses. She also maintains the CDR's collaborative partnerships with community organizations and institutions, supervises the training and support of volunteers, and oversees the research work of the CDR. Dr. Berquist has received numerous awards for her teaching and service at the University and beyond, including Missouri State University's Board of Governors' Award for Faculty Excellence in Public Affairs and the Award for Excellence in Short-Term Education Abroad Programming.

Heather Blades

Heather Blades is the Associate Director of the CDR. She works full time at the CDR and has been with the Center since 2006. Ms. Blades holds a master’s degree in professional writing and a graduate certificate in conflict and dispute resolution. Ms. Blades is an experienced presenter/trainer, mediator, conflict coach, and family group conference facilitator. She oversees the day to day operations at the CDR and works closely with students and community volunteers. Additionally, Ms. Blades teaches in the conflict certificate programs. Ms. Blades received Missouri State's Staff Excellence in University Service Award in 2007 and in 2019 was honored with Missouri State's Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Public Affairs

Graduate Assistant

Kaitlyn Killingsworth is the Center for Dispute Resolution's Graduate Assistant. Kaitlyn is pursuing a Master's in Early Childhood and Family Development and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. Kaitlyn works extensively with the CDR's Victim Impact Program for Youth, as well as the CDR's other community programs. 

Student Workers

Da'Jah Broyles is a Leaders in Community Service member working with the CDR. She is in her second year at the CDR and works with the CDR's Circles for Girls program and provides office support. Da'Jah is majoring in Gerontology. 

CDR Opportunities

The CDR also offers internship and practicum opportunities as well as work study positions to both undergraduate and graduate students every semester. These students may work in the CDR office, or they may participate directly in the CDR’s programs, be involved in research, or help develop new programs and/or curriculum.

The work of the CDR would not be possible without the generous support of many volunteers who give their time and expertise to the Center’s various projects and programs. Volunteers include Missouri State faculty and students, professional mediators, and community members.