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.

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 conflict coach, presenter/trainer, 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.


Graduate assistants

Tina Pham is Graduate Assistant with the Center for Dispute Resolution. Tina is pursuing a Master's in Communication and holds a Bachelor's in Public Relations. Tina completed a PR internship with the CDR as an undergrad and also volunteered with the CDR's Circles for Girls program as a facilitator. 

Ellen Pate is a Graduate Assistant with the Center for Dispute Resolution. Ellen is pursuing a Master's in Communication and holds a Bachelor's in Psychology. Ellen's involvement with the CDR started as an undergraduate when she volunteered with the CDR's Victim Impact Panel program. 

Kathleen NOrman

Kathleen Norman is a Graduate Assistant with the CDR. Kathleen is originally from O’fallen, Missouri and came to Missouri State to pursue a bachelor’s degree in child and family development. She became involved with the CDR as an undergraduate while completing an internship with the Center. She has facilitated family group conferences for the CDR for over a year and has also facilitated Girls Circle groups. She is currently working towards a master’s in school counseling, and during her free time she enjoys running and baking delicious treats.


Student workers

Taylor Friedli is a student worker with the CDR. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Morgan Cavanaugh is a student worker with the CDR. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in physical education and the undergraduate certificate in conflict and dispute resolution. 

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.