Dr. Charlene A. Berquist


Role: Faculty Emeritus
Campus: Springfield


Dr. Charlene Berquist is the director of the Center for Dispute Resolution (CDR) and a professor in the department of communication at Missouri State University.

Berquist teaches graduate-level courses in a number of areas, including conflict, mediation, family communication and research methods. She has received numerous awards for her teaching and service at the university and beyond, including MSU's Board of Governors' Award for Faculty Excellence in Public Affairs, MSU’s Foundation Award for Service, SMSU's Foundation Award for Teaching and the Missouri Governor’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Berquist has also led several successful short-term study abroad programs to Ireland and Northern Ireland between 2015-2019 and was nominated in 2019 for the Excellence in Short-Term Study Away Programming award.

In addition to her work as a teacher, Berquist is an experienced mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, trainer, presenter and researcher. In her role as the CDR’s director, she maintains the CDR's collaborative partnerships with community organizations and institutions, supervises the training and support of volunteers, and oversees CDR's research work. She also works extensively with students as the program director for the undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in conflict and dispute resolution, coordinates internship experiences for students through the CDR and advises practicums and theses.

Additionally, as the CDR’s director, Berquist has been awarded more than $450,000 in grant funding to develop and offer a number of high-impact programs that bring university knowledge to address pressing concerns in the community and on campus, while providing experiential learning and volunteer opportunities for students.



  • PhD, University of Minnesota
  • MA, University of Montana
  • BA, Western Washington University


  • COM 495 Communication Internship
  • COM 607 Family Communication
  • COM 611 Conflict and Communication
  • COM 621 Communication, Mediation and Negotiation
  • COM 623 Contemporary Topics in Conflict
  • COM 714 Qualitative Analysis/Communication Research Methods
  • COM 718 Applied Communication Research
  • COM 794 Conflict Internship
  • COM 796 Independent Study
  • COM 799 Master’s Thesis

Professional experience

  • Served on Greene County’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (which developed the local statutes and rules for mediation in family court matters).
  • Developed and maintains Greene County’s Victim Offender Mediation programs (one of the first juvenile programs and the first adult program in the state).
  • Serves as an advisory council member for the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice.
  • Served as a board member and president of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Missouri Chapter.
  • Served as a board member and chair of the Missouri Restorative Justice Coalition.
  • Chaired the committee to offer Missouri’s first statewide restorative justice conference (which was hosted at Missouri State).

Research and professional interests

  • Family communication
  • Conflict communication
  • Research methods

Awards and honors

  • Missouri State University Board of Governors Faculty Excellence in Public Affairs Award, 2016
  • Recognition in Faculty Research, Mind’s Eye Research Magazine, Missouri State University, 2015
  • Association of Missouri Mediators President’s Award, 2014
  • Missouri State University Foundation Award for Service, MSU Foundation, 2009
  • Association of Missouri Mediators President’s Award, 2008
  • CIEE International Faculty Development Seminar recipient, 2006
  • Southwest Missouri State Foundation Award for Teaching, 2005
  • Missouri Governor’s Outstanding Teacher Award, 2005
  • Southwest Missouri State University Graduate College Award for Excellence in MSAS Online Instruction, 2004
  • Southwest Missouri State University Outstanding Thesis Advisor, 2001

Additional resources

Area of expertise


Media appearances

Man sentenced for causing panic at a Walmart will meet with customers, employees impacted
MSU's Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution Dr. Charlene Berquist explains how a victim offender dialogue will take place.

Civil and family medication training at local university
MSU's Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution Dr. Charlene Berquist shares highlights of the training.

Don't Let Conflict Ruin Your Holidays
Communication expert Dr. Charlene Berquist address how to deal with holiday conflict.


Victims and offenders meet face-to-face to tackle the tough questions