By Dorothy Kennedy
CaTerra Townsend is a member of the graduating class of 2021, and current President of the new PCS student organization called C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T Alliance. I recently had a chance to ask her some questions about how she views Peace and Conflict studies.
DK: Why did you choose UNCG?
CT: What brought me to UNCG was the fact that the school had a PCS program. I knew that I wanted to work in the field since the end of my senior year in high school, I just needed to find a school. What brought me to the PCS program was the fact that it focuses on conflict and conflict management which intrigued me because of my life experiences. Conflict was never handled in a proper way in my family, which bred more conflict. I realized at an early age that there was an issue in how we handled conflict so it pushed me to explore various fields.
DK: What is C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T Alliance?
CT: C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T * Alliance is a student organization that wants to be a liaison between PCS students and the department. We want to give a voice to our students. We also focus on Campus outreach and educating our peers on conflict transformation and resolution, using Peace and Conflict teachings, as it is a tool that we all need to have.
“I realized at an early age that there was an issue in how we handled conflict so it pushed me to explore various fields.”
DK: How do you use the tools you’ve learned in the PCS program in the Alliance?
CT: The Alliance is an offshoot of the PCS program, so we use PCS tools all the time. When we hold meetings we use facilitation skills. When we have an issue on the board we use mediation tools to resolve it. These are just a couple of examples I can think of at the time. We plan on creating a space for PCS students to get the academic help that they need in which we
will inherently use PCS tools.
DK: Which PCS class has been your favorite?
CT: Conflict and Culture, as well as Working Through Interpersonal Conflict have been some of the best classes I have taken, so far. What makes these classes my favorites is the fact that we learn things that will be used in our lives. There will always be conflict in our personal lives as well as in our work settings, and we must know how to navigate these obstacles. We
learn these skills in these classes
“There will always be conflict in our personal lives as well as in our work settings, and we must know how to navigate these obstacles.”
DK: What does the future hold?
CT: For me, the future is very bright as I have grown so much in the PCS field and in C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T Alliance. In my wildest dreams, I would be a world-class negotiator for business and political matters. However, in the near future, I will be attending cosmetology school as beauty is my number one passion. As for the Alliance, I see it as being more than a student organization. Hopefully, it will become a city-wide organization as it is important to educate everyone on conflict transformation and resolution.
**C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. Alliance is an acronym for Community Organizers Nurturing and Fostering Lives in Conflict Transformation.