|Carol and Phil Bosserman|
That afternoon, members of the Bosserman family and University officials dedicate SU’s Center for Conflict Resolution in memory of its founder, Dr. Charles “Phil” Bosserman, and in honor of his wife, Carol. This year marks the center’s 20th anniversary.
Bosserman, who passed away in 2011, was a professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at SU for nearly 20 years. He joined the faculty in 1975.
During his tenure, Bosserman taught Sociology of War and Peace, a course that inspired many students and led to a peace studies minor. In 1992, he founded the Center for Teaching Peace, which sent students minoring in peace studies to teach conflict resolution skills to over 4,500 local elementary and middle school students in its first year.
Renamed the Center for Conflict Resolution in 1994, it has since expanded to involve the Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution Department, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The thriving program provides mediation and conflict resolution skills training to the community and supports a nationally-recognized research team. Bosserman remained an active participant in the center’s work after his retirement from SU in 1994 and continued on its board of directors until his death.
In 1962, early in the days of the Peace Corps, Bosserman served as the director of education for the Gabonese Republic in Equatorial West Africa and oversaw the construction of some 40 schools. He went on to become a professor of sociology, first at the University of South Florida, then SU, and finally Jogakuin (Christian Women’s) University in Hiroshima, Japan. Through the course of his career, he also taught at Baker College, which he attended as an undergraduate; Dartmouth College; and the University of Paris (Sorbonne).
His wife, Carol, was involved during the Center for Conflict Resolution’s early years as a community mediator and was trained by its first director, Mike McCormick. Today, she is considering returning to assist with mediation. She is an active member of its board of directors. For nearly two decades, she served SU in the Academic Affairs Office where she helped develop and implement the academic advising system still in use by the University today.
The reception, which includes remarks from SU administrators, family members, colleagues and students, honors the Bossermans’ legacy. For more information call 410-219-2873 or visit the Center for Conflict Resolution Web site at www.conflict-resolution.org.