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About Us

Patrick J. Borchers
Professor of Law and
Director, The Werner Institute

Prof. Borchers is an internationally recognized expert in private international law and international arbitration.  He is the former Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Creighton (2007-2013) and served as Dean of the Creighton Law School (1999-2007).  He received his B.S. in Physics, with honors, from the University of Notre Dame in 1983 and his Juris Doctor degree in 1986 from the University of California, Davis, graduating in the top 2% of his class.  He has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the Order of the Coif and the American Law Institute.  He is the author of seven books and approximately 60 scholarly articles, including Hay, Borchers & Symeonides, Conflict of Laws (5th ed. 2010) and Hay, Weintraub and Borchers, Cases and Materials on Conflict of Laws (14th ed 2013).  He was formerly employed at Albany Law School and as Professor (1990-99) and Associate Dean (1993-99).  He was in private law practice (1987-90) and served as a clerk for the Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Cir. (1986-87), who now serves as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court.

Jacqueline Font-Guzmán, M.H.A., J.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Jacqueline has a B.A. from Coe College, a Masters in Health Care Administration from Saint Louis University, her law degree summa cum laude from the Interamericana University of Puerto Rico, and her Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University. Jackie is an experienced mediator, attorney, and healthcare administrator who has done substantial work in the field of conflict studies. Prior to joining the Werner Institute she was a practicing attorney and mediator within her own law firm.

Jackie was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in April 2011 and served as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the Carlos III University Law School in Madrid, Spain in Spring 2012. She is a certified mediator and arbitrator by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. She is a highly accomplished mediator in Puerto Rico and has been very involved in the training of third party neutrals. She has actively participated in the field of conflict studies through national and international conferences and workshops, and has conducted a wide variety of trainings and seminars in the field, throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America.


Jackie's research interests include conflict engagement in healthcare, socio-legal approaches to colonial conflicts, theories of ethnicity and nationalism, terrorism, education of reflective practitioners, connection between conflict theory and practice, bioethics, cross-cultural perspectives in conflict resolution, relationship between culture and oppression, role of history and memory in conflict, mediation and dialogue processes, human rights, legal anthropology, countercultures and law, the socio-legal construction of citizenship and identity, gender theories, and qualitative research methodologies.

Courses Taught:


Mediation Process (LAW 404)

Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Conflict Resolution (NDR 606)

Engaging in Bioethical Conflict (NDR 700)

Human Rights, Poverty, Medicine, and Health: An international perspective (NDR 694)

Culture, Gender, and Power Differences in Conflict (NDR 767)

Directed Independent Study (NDR 795)

Practicum (NDR 614)

Thesis Project (NDR 616)



Bryan Hanson
Assistant Director

Bryan Hanson, the Assistant Director of the Werner Institute received his Master of Arts degree in Organizational Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, his graduate certificate in Organizational Conflict Management from John F. Kennedy University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Communications from Minnesota State University - Mankato.

Bryan is a practicing mediator with well over a hundred hours of training in various mediation contexts. He is an approved Parenting Act mediator and Specialized ADR mediator by the state of Nebraska. Bryan provides many workshops regarding conflict engagement skill development for various organizational contexts. Bryan also is an experienced facilitator and has provided his services to assist organizations with visioning processes, the development of strategic plans, and other collaborative processes that necessitate the voice of multiple stakeholders.

Bryan served as the founding President of the Board for the Nebraska Mediation Association (www.NEMediation.org) from 2010 to 2012. Bryan assisted with the development of and continues to manage the conflict resolution web resource www.adrhub.com. He also contributes to the Creighton community with his involvement on the Distance Education Review Committee and by providing guest lectures regarding conflict engagement for a variety of programs. Prior to joining the Werner Institute, Bryan resided in the San Francisco Bay Area where he devoted his time to mediating, facilitating dialogue and providing training in conflict resolution.

Courses Taught:

Systems Design and Consulting for Conflict Specialists (NDR 757)

Principles of Organizational Consulting for Conflict Resolution Professionals (NDR 653)

Practicum: Campus program (NDR 614)

Practicum: Online program (NDR 778)



Bernie Mayer, Ph.D.
Professor of Conflict Resolution

Bernie is an icon in the world of conflict resolution. With over a quarter century of experience in the field, he was a founding partner at CDR Associates, the internationally recognized mediation and conflict resolution organization, and originally trained as a psychotherapist. He has worked across the globe as a mediator, facilitator, teacher, trainer, dispute systems designer, and program administrator. A true scholar as well as leading practitioner in the field, Dr. Mayer is the author of many works including the book Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution, and has taught courses for Notre Dame, University of Missouri, University of Colorado, Antioch University, the Budapest College of Economics, University of Warsaw, and Colorado State University, among others. He earned his Ph.D. in Social Work with an emphasis on conflict resolution.

Noam Ebner
Assistant Professor and Online Program Chair


Noam received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in law from Hebrew University. Originally from the U.S, he now divides his time between his home in Jerusalem, Israel and his teaching, training and consulting activities in the U.S. and abroad. After practicing as an attorney, Noam shifted focus and established Tachlit Mediation and Negotiation, which deals with a wide spectrum of issues, including commercial, divorce, business partnerships and employment disputes. In addition, Noam trains mediators for the Israeli court system, conducts corporate training for the private sector and consults to several community mediation programs. Before joining the Creighton faculty, Noam taught conflict resolution and negotiation at universities around the world. He is a regular visiting professor at Sabanci University in Turkey, and a senior fellow and visiting professor at the United Nations? University for Peace in Costa Rica. His research and writing focus on negotiation pedagogy and on negotiation and mediation processes conducted online.


Palma Strand
Associate Professor of Law

Associate Professor Palma J. Strand has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.  Prof. Strand clerked for Judge J. Skelly Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Byron R. White on the United States Supreme Court.  Prior to joining the Creighton faculty in 2007, she taught at the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Maryland Law School.  Professor Strand was also a Hewlett Fellow in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Legal Problem-Solving at the Georgetown University Law Center from 2002-2004.

Professor Strand's primary research and practice interests relate to facilitating civic process and dismantling systemic inequalities in race/ethnicity, gender, and economic.  Professor Strand was the co-founder and principal of the Arlington Forum, a civic organizing initiative based in Arlington, Virginia, that worked with community institutions to broaden and deepen civic engagement in the area of schools, land use, youth, and government processes generally.  She also worked with the Arlington Public Schools to close gaps in student achievement based on race/ethnicity.  Gaining on the Gap: Changing Hearts, Minds, and Practice (Rowman & Littlefield 2011), co-authored with 5 other contributors to that effort, describes initiatives, including cultural competence training, to eradicate institutional racism and bring about systemic change.

Courses Taught:
Civic Organizing and Democracy: Practice and Theory (Werner Institute)
Local Government Law
Professional Responsibility
Street Law
Trusts and Estates I


Mary Lee Brock
Assistant Professor

Mary Lee Brock, Instructor and Chair of Clinical Programs, holds a BA in Psychology from Creighton University and a M.Ed. in Counseling from South Dakota State University. She is recognized by the Nebraska Supreme Court Office of Dispute Resolution as a Lead Trainer of Mediation and Facilitation Skills Curriculum. Mary Lee is also accomplished as a trainer and practitioner in Family Mediation, Special Education Mediation, Victim Offender Mediation, Family Group Conferencing, Specialized Alternative Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice.

Mary Lee was the founding Executive Director of the Concord Center, a private non-profit conflict resolution center which offers mediation and facilitation services, as well as conflict management trainings to the Omaha community. In that role, she developed dispute resolution programs based on community needs, best practices and effective use of resources. Mary Lee collaborated with the Nebraska Health and Human Services Department, the judicial system, educational institutions, human services organizations, the Omaha Neighborhood Center, Creighton University Legal Clinic, Legal Aid and other community groups and organizations. She has been an advocate for conflict resolution systems in the local and state governments and at public forums. Mary Lee has been engaged in assessment, process design and facilitation of numerous public projects, among them Governor Johann?s Task Force on Child Death, Omaha Public Schools Links to Success and the National Park Service Corp of Discovery.

Mary Lee is a graduate of Leadership Omaha. She serves on the board of directors of the Non-profit Association of the Midlands. She is also a trustee of St. Johns Parish at Creighton University where she co-chaired the recent church renovation project.

Courses taught:
Mediation Residency (NDR 787)
Special Topics in Conflict Resolution: Advanced Facilitation (NDR 720)



Ran Kuttner
Research Fellow

Ran Kuttner, Research Fellow at The Werner Institute, received his Ph.D. at the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He received his MA in philosophy of education and BA in philosophy, both cum laude, from Tel-Aviv University, Israel. For the past five years Ran has been an Assistant Professor and an Associate Professor at the Werner Institute. Prior to joining the Werner Institute, Ran has been a Visiting Researcher and an Associate at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, where, among other research projects, he helped redesign and teach the Harvard mediation course, a joint course for law and MBA students. In his research and teaching, Ran explores relational aspects of conflict engagement and aims to improve both the philosophical understanding and the practice of transformation of adversity into dialogue through mediation, negotiation and facilitation. Ran is a certified mediator and highly regarded mediation teacher and trainer in Israel, where he also designed a mediation certification program and has taught numerous mediation courses for Israeli educators, companies and general public, as well as in graduate-level academic programs. He currently lives in Israel.



Theresa Thurin
Program Supervisor

Theresa comes to the Werner Institute after spending six years as Curriculum Coordinator at Creighton University School of Medicine and Office Coordinator in the School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. Prior to coming to Creighton, Theresa spent six plus years in customer service management with Borders, Books & Music, in New York, Alaska and Oklahoma and later with Thomas D. Mangelsen, Inc., in Omaha. Theresa graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a B.A. in Political Science. She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at The Werner Institute.