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K-State Today

October 14, 2013

McCants, O’Conner receive 2013 Stowe Award to study family conflict

Submitted by Jane Marshall

Terrie R. McCants and Nancy T. O’Conner received the Dean Barbara S. Stowe Endowed Faculty Development Award for 2013. Their project is "Elder Decisions: Adult Family Conflict Resolution."

McCants is program director for the graduate and undergraduate certificates in conflict resolution and co-coordinator for the conflict analysis and trauma studies minor. The instructor also is facilitation coordinator for K-State's Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy.

O’Conner is clinical director of the Family Center in the marriage and family therapy program. Both are in the School of Family Studies and Human Services.

The award supports outstanding faculty in the College of Human Ecology in their pursuit of professional growth in advancement of the college mission, said John Buckwalter, dean. Stowe was dean from 1983 to 1998.

McCants and O’Conner are using the award to further their specialized training for elder mediation.

“There’s a new reality for families today characterized by a dramatic increase in adult family conflict,” McCants said. “Many adult siblings are having a difficult time as they face their parents’ aging and related decisions regarding care giving, health care, property distribution, estate planning and more.”

“Mediators trained in issues related to estates, eldercare and social gerontology can help facilitate family discussions about matters relating to safety, finances and capabilities while keeping in mind the senior’s desire for individual control and respect,” O’Conner added.

They will use their specialized training to expand the curriculum in the conflict resolution program and add a specialty for mediation services at the Family Center.

The award was established to honor former College of Human Ecology Dean Barbara Stowe. A progressive and innovative national leader, she enhanced the stature and productivity of the college.