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Grace College Mediation Team Finds Success at Brenau University Tournament in Georgia

The Grace College Mediation Team made a strong appearance at the 19th Annual Brenau University Mediation Tournament and Training held on Oct. 8-9 in Gainesville, Georgia, on the Brenau University campus. Fourteen teams represented seven different institutions at the competition. Several Grace students made top-five placements individually, and the school placed second overall in the advocate/client category and fourth in the mediation category.

“We made a strong appearance at the tournament,” said Dr. Mark Norris, the Mediation Team’s faculty mentor and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and mediation coach at Grace College. “Our students represented Grace well — embodying our team verse in Matthew 5:9, ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God,’” he said.

The Mediation Team at Grace meets weekly to practice honing their skills in peaceful conflict resolution by studying many actual cases and taking part in mock mediation on all sides of the process: client, advocate, and mediator.

Six students from the team attended the tournament: Edward Bowald, Sydney Victa, Toni Green, Hannah Mast, Destini Pimental, and Jamall Smith. Mast and Smith both placed first in the top advocate client category. In the top mediator category, Pimental placed fourth and Green placed ninth.

Mediation Team President Pimental has been a strong force behind the success of the team.

“I think one contributing factor to our success was the way that we bonded as a team,” said Pimental. “Establishing strong connections with each other allowed us to play off of each other’s strengths and support each other in our weaknesses,” said Pimental.

According to Pimental, the Mediation Team is an ideal way to gain valuable experience for those pursuing pre-law.

“Mediation is a valuable skill because it forces you to think of yourself as a villain. We live in a world where we assume that we are the main character — that we are always right. But in mediation, you have to own the fact that sometimes you are wrong and learn how to compromise,” said Pimental. “This extracurricular help you see the humanity in others and forces you to tap into your inner creativity.  Traditional solutions are for television. When you are dealing with the public, you need to be innovative and ingenious,” she said.

The Mediation Team will participate in the annual Peacemaker Mock Mediation Tournament, hosted virtually by Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa, on Oct. 22-23.

For more information on the Grace College Mediation Team, contact Dr. Mark Norris at To learn more about the pre-law minor at Grace, visit

The Grace College Mediation Team (From left to right): Sydney Victa, Hannah Mast, Jamall Smith, Toni Green, Edward Bowald, and Destini Pimental.

Tagged With: Campus Life, School of Arts & Sciences, Department of Humanities