George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Conflict Resolution Youth Summit

The Conflict Resolution Youth Summit is a one-week summer day program for rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students where students explore some of today’s toughest problems through the lens of conflict analysis and resolution. Located on the beautiful Fairfax Campus of George Mason University, the program is close all the Washington, D.C. has to offer. 

CRYS Students in a workshop

The program will touch on topics aligned with our undergraduate major concentrations, such as 

  • Social and Political Action

  • Global Engagement

  • Justice & Reconciliation

  • Collaborative Leadership

  • Interpersonal Dynamics

Participants will learn through simulation labs, field trips, workshops, and by engaging with experts in the field. Students will develop skills in leadership, problem-solving, effective communication, and cross cultural awareness.

This program is offered by the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, a preeminent leader in innovative teaching, cutting-edge research and engaged practice. 

Dates and Times

Dates: July 16-20, 2018

Times: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Program Cost: (includes lunch, snacks, and fees for recreational activities)

Cost: $400   Need-based scholarships are available! 
​Transportation is not provided to/from the Summit. 


Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors
Interest in ​leadership, social justice, and community engagement.

We are now full. If you are interested in the Summer 2019 Summit and would like to be added to our mailing list, please fill out your information HERE. 

Meet our Staff

Sandra Tombe, CRYS Program Director
Sandra is a second-year doctoral student at S-CAR, where she holds a teaching and research assistantship. She studies questions surrounding gender, the United Nations human rights architecture, and diaspora transnational politics. Her community engagement with diaspora groups, includes mentoring and working with young students in high school and college. She also has teaching experience with middle, high school, and college students from her time in Kpalime, Togo, at the University of Louisville, and at George Mason University. Sandra obtained her bachelor of arts in International Relations and French from Berea College in 2014, and her master of arts in French Language from University of Louisville in 2016.


Ryan Mu-Chiao, Program Staff
Ryan is currently a master’s student working on the Chinese-Taiwan relations as a facilitator while researching the impact of workshops and events designed for youth. His work as a facilitator has given him broad experience in engaging with youth enthusiasm while his prior work in Taiwan has involved mentoring and building relationships with youth groups.He enjoys both energetic and calming activities to educate and learn. Ryan has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from National Dong Hwa University, from the rural east of Taiwan.

Emma Schmelzer, Program Staff
Emma love's tightly crafted sentences, cribbage, and catalytic conversations. She is an MS student at George Mason University, where she studies empathy at the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution and eventually hopes to pursue her PhD. She currently works with undergraduates in Mason’s Off-Campus Student Services and Leadership, Education and Development offices. Emma has lived in Montana (where she grew up and served as a victim advocate in the local Sheriff’s Office), Vermont (where she earned her BA in Education, Mediation and Public Action at Bennington College and mentored high school students around their college aspirations) and Northern Ireland (where she worked at peace and reconciliation center called Corrymeela, which hosted groups including cross-community students, the Northern Irish Deaf Youth Association and an All-Ireland youth peace summit).

Sewit Beraki, Program Staff
Sewit is a senior studying Sociology with a concentration in Inequality and Social change and minoring in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and Legal studies. She is a peacebuilding fellow and cherishes that experience. She has facilitated youth groups for middle and high schoolers on the role youth have in transforming society and their role in their communities through discourse and social action. She truly believes in the capacity and potential youth have in changing the world. She is currently working on a research project that is examining the effects of solitary confinement.

Isabella Strom, Program Staff
Isabella graduated in May from S-CAR with a B.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, with an international concentration, and minors in education studies and youth sociology. Most of her experience is in the development of peer and workplace mediation programs for places such as Stockton University and Northern Virginia Mediation Services. While at Mason, Bella was involved in Mason Ambassadors, the Alzheimer’s Association, and was a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. Bella is currently in the process of completing her Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Mediation certification and her goal is to someday be able to work internationally with youth in conflict-stricken areas.


Mara Schoeny, Executive Director
Mara is an associate professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and the Director of the School's Graduate Certificate and Undergraduate Program. She teaches courses in research and evaluation methods, practice skills and the integration of interdisciplinary approaches to conflict analysis and resolution. She was a 1998 USIA Visiting Fellow in the Curriculum Development Exchange Program, in residence at Yerevan State University, Armenia. As part of the grant she developed and taught simulation courses for undergraduate and master’s level sociology and social work students in family, organizational, political and community conflict. She is a former youth camp director with experience in traditional camp settings as well as dialogue and co-existence camps for youth from conflict areas. Her research and practice interests include nonviolence, education and training and dialogue processes.

Lisa Shaw, Director of Students Services and Field Experience
Lisa is the Director of Student Services and Field Experience and an Administrative Faculty member with the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University. She has been instrumental in the institution and growth of the S-CAR Undergraduate Program as well as the Mason’s Peer Mediation Partners, a partnership between Mason students and peer mediators at local area middle schools and high schools focusing on the development of conflict resolution skills. She co-developed and co-facilitated the Post Conflict Peace Building Field Experience in Liberia, and currently facilitates the Transitional Justice Field Experience in Colombia. She is also responsible for the internship program at S-CAR, as well as the Master's International and dual-degree Master of Social Work and Master of Conflict Analysis and Resolution program. Ms. Shaw has twenty years of experience in experiential education and community-based programs at the international, national, and local levels. Her experience includes education, environmental stewardship and wildland firefighting as an inaugural member of Americorps-NCC, creating curricula and traveling nature trunks for the Chattahoochee Nature Center, teaching for High Touch-High Tech, a hands-on learning program focused on strengthening national science standards, and directing primary and secondary after-school and summer programs for the City of Decatur Recreation Department. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Philosophy, and Environmental Science at Regis University in Denver, Colorado and received a Master of Science degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from the Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Arlington, Virginia.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are you looking for in an applicant?
​We are looking for rising Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors who are eager to participate in a hands-on learning experience on a college campus.
Do I have to be interested in the field of Conflict Analysis and Resolution to attend this summit?
​No, we believe that the skills and experience that you will gain from this summit are versatile and transferable to anything you put your mind to.
What does the program cost cover?
The program cost covers transportation for field trips, lunch, a t-shirt, and recreational activity fees.
Is transportation provided to and from the program?
No, transportation is only provided during field trips. Daily transportation to and from the program are not provided.
What is a typical day like?
Students will attend hands-on seminars, participate in simulations and field trips and collaborate together to work on various projects.
Who are the people running the program?
​This program is led by the professional staff and faculty of George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
Is this a good program to put on a college application?
Yes, this program is a great opportunity to highlight academic and co-curricular experience.
Is this program a gateway to George Mason University admission?
The CR Youth Summit is a recognized university activity but does not guarantee admission to George Mason University.
What is the staff - student ratio? 
The ratio is 1 staff per 10 students.
Can dietary restrictions be accommodated?
Yes, once admitted we will collect information regarding dietary restrictions of participants.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
Give us a call or email us at 703-993-4165 or

George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 35,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.

Photo of George Mason University Campus

Centers and Publications