I was very touched by all the congratulations and the ceremony at the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution conference where I received the award for outstanding scholarly work.

My good friend, Susan Yates, received the D’Alemberte Raven Award at the conference, and she gave these very thoughtful remarks.  She described a series of “small” acts that others did for her that made significant contributions to her career.  These included responding to her emails and phone calls, engaging her at events, being a guest speaker in her classes, inviting her to lunch, accepting her job offer, and nominating her for an award.

Section Chair Ana Sambold and Susan Yates

Her speech really touched me.  I have helped a lot of people over my career in many different ways.  I don’t think much about it because it’s a normal part of what I do.  Listening to Susan’s talk reminded me how valuable this can be for people getting help, which I too often take for granted.

People may not express appreciation for our teaching, writing, advice, etc., and we generally have to take it on faith that they do appreciate it.  So the flip side of Susan’s suggestions about helping others is expressing appreciation, which is a quintessential, low-cost way to create value.

Indeed, during the conference, I was surprised by the number of people who thanked me for help they have gotten from me.  This included using my publications in their teaching and scholarship, getting resources or advice, and maintaining the DRLE listserv and website.  At dinner one night, I learned that Brian Pappas decided to get a PhD as a result of taking my Dispute System Design course, which included a substantial unit on social science research methods.

Hearing how people had valued my help was as moving as the congratulations and award itself.  Like most people in our field, I want my work to help others, and so it was very gratifying to hear from people who valued my help.  And I realized that they felt good to thank me and hear me accept their thanks.

In the first post expressing my appreciation, I described the annotated bibliography of the Real Practice Systems Project.  I hope that the various pieces – most of which are short blog posts – will help scholars, teachers, practitioners, and students in your work.  It is organized to make it easy to find things of particular interest.  I was gratified to get commitments from the audience to check it out in the next month or two.  Hey, it’s got attitude and it’s actually fun to read!

Some Acknowledgments

Brian Pappas gave the most wonderful introduction imaginable.  I couldn’t have written it better myself.

In the first post, I provided a long but incomplete list of people to thank for helping me during my career.

At the ceremony, I wanted to highlight my #1 supporters.  Ilhyung Lee, the director of Missouri’s Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, is my #1 supporter who is not my wife.

with Brian Pappas and Ilyhung Lee

Ann Harrell is my #1 supporter AND is my wife (not to mention videographer — see below).

with my #1

A Public Service

I have taken photos at our conferences going way back and I posted photo albums here.  As you may know, I have a patented process for producing the appearance of merriment in the photos.

This tradition is too important let it become extinct.  So I used this ceremony as an opportunity to practice it and record a training video to preserve this tradition for generations to come.  Here’s a preview photo to pique your interest.

Here’s the video, with a bunch of talking at the beginning.  The best part starts just before the 14 minute mark.  As you will see, pandemonium erupted.

Thanks again.