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The Mary Parker Follett Award is presented to an individual who has shown a passion and willingness to take risks, is confronting a contemporary problem or opportunity in the field of dispute resolution, has used innovative and experimental techniques, and draws upon the talents and ideas of all persons involved. An early advocate of encouraging parties to consider interests when negotiating, Follett shifted her focus from community group processes to the field of business during the mid-1920s. Business leaders sought her advice on how to manage their enterprises, and she became a featured speaker at national and international business conferences.
Rifkin is Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and former Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She served as Ombudsperson of the college from 1992-1996, and has served as Director of the University of Massachusetts Mediation Project. Rifkin is co-founder of the National Association of Mediation in Education, an advisor to the American Bar Association Committee on Dispute Resolution, and a member of the board of the National Association of Community Justice.
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