Faculty and Staff

Dr. L Randolph LowryL. Randolph Lowry
Lipscomb University President and Professor

Dr. L Randolph Lowry, President of Lipscomb University, is the founder of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution where he served as the director and a professor for nineteen years. That work is the basis for the newly formed Lipscomb University Institute for Conflict Management. In addition to his work as a mediator and educator, Lowry has worked, literally, around the world. He is an annual visiting faculty member at Vermont Law School and City University of Hong Kong. He has also taught at Shantou University, in Beijing, China; Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia; Hamline University. His consulting and training practice has included work for the legal community in The Netherlands, training for judges in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as consultation with lawyers for Freshfields, an international law firm in Asia.

Steve JoinerSteve Joiner
Managing Director and Dean

Dr. Steve Joiner is the Managing Director of the Institute for Conflict Management at Lipscomb University and is a professor in areas of systems design, negotiation, conflict in religious settings, and leadership. Joiner has extensive experience conducting management and staff trainings, courses, and workshops in conflict management skills. Joiner has conducted these seminars in business, community, and religious settings. He has also served as a university dean and has taught conflict management and leadership skills in Guatemala, Germany, Brazil, Uganda, and throughout the U.S. Joiner has a special interest in generationally generated conflict.

Nancy Magnusson DurhamNancy Magnusson Durham

Dr. Nancy Magnusson Durham, a clinical psychologist, began her career at Pepperdine as an assistant professor. She also served as interim department chair, assistant dean, dean, overseas program director, vice president, interim provost, and senior vice president before moving to Lipscomb and assuming her current role.

At Lipscomb, Nancy serves as senior vice president for strategic initiatives. She is a member of the senior leadership team, as well as the academic leadership team, and her responsibilities include developing strategy and implementing vision. Her current areas of focus are the new College of Professional Studies and managing the university’s institutes and campus school. Nancy regularly speaks at various leadership and spirituality seminars and conferences on behalf of Lipscomb.

Phyllis D.K. HildrethPhyllis D.K. Hildreth
Academic Director
Associate Professor

Phyllis Hildreth joined the Institute for Conflict Management in May 2010 and now serves as Academic Director and Adjunct Professor, as well as Adjunct Professor for Lipscomb’s Institute for Law, Justice & Society. Her experience includes serving as a Chief Counsel in the Office of the Public Defender for the State of Maryland, as Deputy Secretary for the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice, and as the first Managing Director for the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the University of Maryland, and completed a gradate certificate in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management. Hildreth served on the adjunct faculty of the University of Baltimore School of Law in the Legal Analysis, Research and Writing Program. She currently serves in Nashville as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), as a member of the board of The Women’s Fund, and the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee. Hildreth is a fiber artist, an entrepreneur, and a member of the Leadership Nashville Class of 2011.

Dr. Tracy AllenTracy Allen
Adjunct Professor

Dr. Tracy Allen is an international professional mediator, arbitrator and ADR trainer. As a litigator and business tax attorney for many years, she now specializes in conflict resolution and ADR. Ms. Allen acts as a neutral service provider in other ADR areas such as early neutral evaluation, summary jury trials, special master, meeting facilitator and litigation support analyst. She also serves as independent resolution counsel for litigants. Ms. Allen's ADR practice is heavily focused in national and international commercial and business disputes although she regularly conducts mediations and arbitrations involving securities, employment, real estate, family, environmental, insurance, health law and public policy matters. Annually, she conducts many basic and advanced mediation and arbitration trainings worldwide for advocates, mediators, arbitrators and the judiciary. Ms. Allen has taught the ICM's Mediation course.

John LowryJohn Lowry
Assistant Professor

Dr. John Lowry is the assistant dean of the Lipscomb University College of Business and founder of the School of Executive Education. In addition, he serves as assistant professor of Management for Lipscomb University’s College of Business and regularly teaches negotiation and dispute resolution courses.  Lowry also serves as vice president for the Strategic Resolutions Group, LLC (SRG). At SRG, he provides negotiation, mediation, and conflict management training for major insurance companies, healthcare organizations, and legal services providers. Throughout Lowry’s career he has trained and consulted with thousands of professionals throughout the country.

Dr. Nina MeierdingNina Meierding
Adjunct Professor

Dr. Nina Meierding is a national leader in the field of conflict resolution and has been providing training and mediation services for over twenty two years. She is a former president of the Academy of Family Mediators and served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Conflict Resolution and many other organizations. She is an adjunct professor at both Pepperdine University and Southern Methodist University. She was the Director and Senior Mediator at the Mediation Center for Family Law in Ventura, California from 1985-2007 where she mediated over 4,000 disputes. She is a consultant for the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS). Nina has trained thousands of individuals in businesses, courts, school districts, governmental agencies, medical centers, corporations and universities throughout the United States and abroad. Prof. Meierding has taught the ICM's Cross Cultural Conflict course.

Dr. Peter RobinsonPeter Robinson
Adjunct Professor

Dr. Peter Robinson is the Co-Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. He has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills courses in more than thirty states and in Argentina, Canada, England, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, and Mexico. Prior to joining the Pepperdine community, he served as the director of the Christian Conciliation Service of Los Angeles (CCS), a non-profit dispute resolution center and a staff attorney for a U.S. Government agency that insures pension benefits pursuant to ERISA. He has served on the board of CCS, Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement, Dispute Resolution Services of the LACBA, the Southern California Mediation Association (SMCA) and the California Dispute Resolution Council. The SCMA recognized him as Peacemaker of the Year in 1999. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. Since 2006 Los Angeles Magazine has recognized Professor Robinson as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of mediation. Prof. Robinson has taught the ICM's Negotiation and Settlement Advocacy course.

Tammy LenskiTammy Lenski
Adjunct Professor

Interpersonal conflict, workplace conflict, and group conflict expert Dr. Tammy Lenski is a conflict resolution innovator adept at turning conflict into growth and opportunity. For 15 years as a master mediator, consultant, speaker and writer she has ignited radical problem-solving shifts, inspired individuals to fine-tune their persuasive voice, and untangled complex states of group and interpersonal conflict. Founder and principal of Tammy Lenski LLC, a conflict resolution and negotiation firm serving organizations, groups, and individuals worldwide, Tammy has been quoted and featured in numerous media outlets, addressed conferences across the U.S, and her work published in textbooks and academic journals. Tammy has also served on several dispute resolution boards and panels, including the New Hampshire Supreme Court ADR Committee; the New England Association for Conflict Resolution board; New Hampshire Probate Court mediator panel, and SquareTrade, provider of worldwide dispute resolution for eBay. Prior to founding her firm, Tammy had more than a decade of experience as a college vice president, dean and faculty member. Tammy earned her bachelor’s degree in world literature from Middlebury College, her master’s and doctoral degrees in higher education with an emphasis on adult learning and behavior change from The University of Vermont, and her post-grad certificate (500 hours) in mediation and conflict management from Woodbury College, where she later served for a decade on the core faculty of the nationally recognized Mediation & Applied Conflict Studies program. In addition to her full-time private practice, Tammy is a faculty member in Marlboro College Graduate School’s Health Care Administration program, where she teaches organizational communication, negotiation and conflict resolution.

Dr. Jim ThomasJim Thomas

Dr. Thomas serves as the Executive Assistant to the President of Lipscomb University. In addition, he teaches in the Graduate Education and Communication programs at Lipscomb University. He has also served as Instructor in Speech, Director of Advance, Director of University 1101, Director of Student Retention, Assistant Registrar, Registrar, Dean of Enrollment, Dean of Students, Chair of the Department of Speech Communication, Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies, and Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing. He currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University in their Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution in School of Law.

Steve GroomSteve Groom
Adjunct Professor

Steve Groom joined Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in March 2001 and now serves as General Counsel and Executive Vice President.  His experience includes serving as a partner in the law firm of Stites & Harbison, PLLC, and as the general counsel for SunTrust Bank. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the University of Memphis, where he was a member of the Law Review. Groom serves on the adjunct faculty of Lipscomb University’s MBA program, teaching corporate governance and the legal and regulatory environment of business.

Dr. Edward A. DauerEdward Dauer
Adjunct Professor

Dr. Edward A. Dauer is Dean Emeritus of the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver, in Denver, Colorado. He earned his A.B. degree from Brown University; an LL.B. from Yale; and an M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management from Harvard. Prior to becoming Dean and Professor of Law at Denver he taught for over a decade at the Yale Law School, and has since held appointments as Visiting Scholar and Visiting Lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is presently Visiting Professor at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California, where he teaches Health Law and Policy in a joint program with the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine. In 1982, with his colleague Louis Brown, Dauer founded the National Center for Preventive Law and served as its first President. The National Center became a focus for professional and academic development in legal risk management, corporate compliance, and transaction planning. It continues today at California Western School of Law. Dean Dauer is admitted to the practice of law in Colorado, Connecticut, and the federal courts including the United States Supreme Court. He is an active mediator and consultant. Most recently he founded Common Good Colorado, a public interest organization dedicated to law reform with an emphasis on risk and injury reduction in healthcare. Prof. Dauer is teaching the ICM's Healthcare Policy course.

Dr. Larry BridgesmithLarry Bridgesmith
Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Larry Bridgesmith serves as a Senior Fellow and associate professor at the Institute for Conflict Management at Lipscomb University.  He is the President of Creative Collaborations LLC a consulting and training organization. He is also Of counsel with Miller & Martin, PLLC. In these roles, Dr. Bridgesmith brings over 30 years of experience in dispute resolution and innovative workplace strategies to clients, students and business entities alike. Dr. Bridgesmith integrates the practical, legal and academic "best practices" in dispute resolution strategies in service to his client relationships. Dr. Bridgesmith is listed annually in notable attorney rating publications such as Chambers USA, Americas Leading Lawyers for Business and Woodward White Inc.’s, America’s Leading Lawyers.  He currently serves as the President of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators.  He is also a member of the Tennessee Academy of Mediators and the International Academy of Mediators, both of which are invitation only associations.