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Meet our 2015 National Dialogue Award Winners!

Sen. George J. Mitchell, Peacemaker and 2015 Keynote Award Speaker


Mitchell served as a U.S. Senator from Maine form 1980 to 1995 and as a Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995. Since retiring from the Senate, Mitchell has been active. He has taken a leading role in negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, being specifically appointed U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (1995-2001) by President Clinton and as U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace (2009-2011) by President Obama. He was a primary architect of the 1996 Mitchell Principles and the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, and was the main investigator in two “Mitchell Reports,” one on the Arab-Israeli conflict (2001) and one on the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball (2007).


Brittany Chung, Case Western Reserve University, Class of 2016                                                   Majors: Chemistry and History, Career Plans: Law


In 2013, Brittany attended her first Sustained Dialogue training where her eyes were opened to the world of dialogue’s benefits. She returned to campus to help establish SDCN there. That year several local and national issues were brought to her attention. After consulting with Naomi Sigg, her mentor (and her nominator for this award), Brittany embarked on her journey to spark change through dialogue.

During her time at CWRU, Brittany has been involved in several diversity-oriented groups. She founded The International and Multicultural Exchange (TIME), an organization dedicated to promoting cross-cultural exchange. The group’s hope is to break down social barriers through conversations around culture on campus. Along with fellow student leaders, she also co-founded CWRU’s Undergraduate Diversity Collaborative conducive to the growth and development of students from all backgrounds. Brittany’s passion for true equality pushes her to continue working for positive social change. Her long-term goal is to return to her home country, Jamaica, to help push the country forward.


Lane Busby McLellandThe University of Alabama, Faculty Member & Director, Crossroads Community Center


Responsible for fostering diversity and inclusion on campus through intercultural engagement opportunities such as SD, cultural heritage months, and the Better Together Interfaith Initiative, she brings to her work 30 years of experience in community dynamics and diversity. Previous to her appointment at Crossroads, McLelland served as the Assistant Director in New College, the University’s interdisciplinary studies program, teaching cross-cultural ethics and principles of deliberative democracy. Her classes and research focus primarily on moral development and civic engagement models for sustainable social change.

McLelland received her BA in International Studies and Conflict Management from The University of Alabama. She then taught English at Tunghai Univeristy in Taiwan and followed her years in Asia with three years working with China-related organizations in Washington, DC. Her interest in cross-cultural ethics sent her to graduate school at Pacific School of Religion, where she received both a Master of Divinity degree and an M.A. in Ethics. In addition to serving as a United Methodist minister at Chinese Community United Methodist Church in Oakland, California, and Trinity United Methodist Church i Tuscaloosa, Alabama. McLelland also worked as a bioethicist at the Emory Center for Ethics in Atlanta, Georgia, before returning to academia. She is pursuing a doctorate in the social and Cultural Studies Program in the College of Education at The University of Alabama. McLelland was doubly nominated by students, Dorothy Beck and Bre Swims.


Taylor Sawyer, Ohio State University, Alumna                                                                                                                                Development and Grant Associate, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services


Taylor Sawyer received a B.A. in Public Affairs from The Ohio State University. She co-founded Ohio State’s Sustained Dialogue chapter and has served as president, head moderator, and alumni chair. During her time at OSU, she completed two yearlong research projects: the first focused on land rights and indigenous political involvement in Ecuador after the ratification of the 2008 constitution and the second on the role of American Indians in the U.S. policymaking process. After graduating, she began working as a grant writer and youth program manager for a refugee agency in Central Ohio. Taylor will begin her MSc in Nationalism Studies from The University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 2015. Her graduate research will concern conflict resolution and democratization practices in Latin America., looking specifically at indigenous politics and the role of soccer. Taylor looks forward to engaging with the dialogue community and integrating SD theory and parctice into her career. While Taylor was unable to be present for the night of the award due to her studies, the award was accepted on her behalf by a member of the OSU SD team. Taylor was nominated by collaborator and fellow OSU SD alum Chase Ledin.


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