Conflict resolution professor Jovonte Santos inspires Reply

Jake BellCopy Editor

Jovonte Santos is more than an engag- ing conflict resolution and negotiations adjunct professor. He is a hardworking individual, professional mediator, and, above all else, a person who cares about everyone he can help.

“I embrace people, learn about people, and realized that everyone has a story,” said Santos.

Although Santos was born in Indiana, he spent a lot of his childhood on the move.

“My father was in the Navy and I was a ‘military brat.’ I lived in Virginia, Rhode Island, and Japan before I ended up in Southaven, Mississippi,” he said.

Santos received his bachelor’s degree from Alcorn State University where he studied political science.

“Nothing could define me,” Santos said, “I took so many different classes and soaked up everything.”

He went on to do his graduate work at University of Massachusetts Boston, studying conflict resolution.

“I realized I wanted to study conflict resolution after studying abroad in the Middle East during a fellowship I did,” said Santos. “When I was getting ready to leave the Middle East to come home, I wanted to hug my house mother goodbye, but it was against their culture. I wanted to try and talk it out and figure out whether or not there was a  way around this conflict in front of me.”

Aside from being an energetic and enthusiastic professor at Lasell, Santos is also an after school teacher, a mediator for Cambridge Public Schools, and a trainer at the Cambridge Dispute Settlement Center.

“It doesn’t matter who I’m with,” Santos said. “There is no difference in capacity to maneuver through conflict. Even when I’m teaching here I’m still learning as I go about conflict.”

Santos believes in a lively classroom with real interaction that students can get into. Throughout his class, Santos goes through a series of role-playing exercises his students have to work through. Even though his students respond well to his methods, Santos wants more for next year.

“I want to keep the passion, openness, and transparency for next year,” he said. “I don’t want to just teach theory, but also manage personalities.”

Santos is looking forward to his next semester at Lasell with high hopes of reaching more into the idea of our philosophy of Connected Learning.

“I want to maybe establish a community project to really take what we learn in the classroom and bring it out there [Lasell campus]. Maybe do something with peer me- diation or offer mediation in the dorms [for disgruntled roommates],” he said.

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