Rotary Scholar Alumna features in University Annual Report

Carson Smith studied at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in the Faculty of Law in Oxford

Carson Smith
Carson Smith

18th May 2023

This article was first published in the Annual Report for the Centre of Socio-Legal Studies for 2021-22. It is reproduced in full here with permission of the Centre Administrator and Carson.

Read other articles from the report on the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies webpages.

Carson Smith was a Rotary Scholar for 2019/20, funded by Rotary in Distirct 5170 in the USA and hosted by Oxford Rotary.

‘While at CSLS, I researched the structures and strategies of community mediation centres that navigate conflict across ethnic groups.  Upon finishing my MPhil at the Centre, I moved back to the United States and began a Conflict Resolution Fellowship at Stanford University. During this fellowship, I focused on the teaching, design and implementation of alternative dispute resolution strategies on Stanford’s campus. Throughout the autumn of 2021, I taught two courses for undergraduate and graduate students – an Indigenous Peacemaking course and a course on grievance structures used by academic institutions. Simultaneously, I partnered with campus administrators, faculty and students to map and redesign conflict resolution practices at the University. Finally, I helped lead mediation and restorative justice events for campus students, faculty and staff in need of support. 

I have also continued to sit on the Advisory Board for the Native American Rights Fund’s Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative. Through this organisation and in partnership with Indigenous organisations across the country, I co-chaired the 2021 Annual Peacemaking Colloquium, a gathering of alternative dispute resolution professionals as well as judges and community leaders from tribes in the United States. 

Currently, I am studying for my Juris Doctorate at Stanford Law School and was awarded the Knight-Hennessey Scholarship. My main area of focus is mediation and tribal law, and, in the future, I hope to use my skills and career to design community-based and culturally informed peacemaking processes in collaboration with Indigenous and tribal communities. I am so grateful for the mentors and peers I encountered while at CSLS. My time and research there have been critical to my career and further educational opportunities!’

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