Matz Fellowship

Honoring David Matz

In 1986, David Matz established the Graduate Certificate Program in Dispute Resolution at UMass Boston, a curriculum offering negotiation and mediation training and an introduction to conflict theory for mid-career professionals.    Today 400 alumni use their education to mediate complex conflicts both domestically and on the world stage. No one has had more impact on students in the program than teacher, colleague, mentor, and friend David Matz. 

The David Matz Fellowship Program honors his remarkable contributions in building the program. The fellowship will engage students and alumni through continuing education and career workshops and will provide student scholarships.  


Congratulations to the 2017 Award Winners 

Saadia Ahmed

Saadia Ahmad is a 2014 graduate of Providence College, where she began her work in interfaith dialogue and peacebuilding. Since then, she has been studying, practicing, and writing about the ways to engage with religious diversity more positively and productively in a world often torn apart by religion. Her Master's thesis is investigating how Muslim leaders in America react and respond to Islamic-claimed terrorism. 

Saadia utilized the fellowship funds to participate in the Summer Institute in Community Peacebuilding in Armagh, Northern Ireland.  Direct exposure to and interaction with a community that has directly grappled with and emerged out of the peace processes that she has studied provided her a concrete guideline to explore the ways in which she can continue to combine theory with application within her own subfield of peacebuilding on religious and interfaith matters.  She was especially interested in closely studying the ways in which religion has played a role-for good and for ill-in the N. Ireland conflict.

Cherif Ag Mohamed Ibrahim

Cherif Ag Mohamed Ibrahim is a Fulbright scholar from Mali. He is interested in ethnic and identity conflict, immigrant-host society’s conflicts, civil society and International organizations’ role in the resolution of armed conflicts. Prior to embarking on graduate study in the conflict resolution program at UMass Boston, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in private law from the University of Bamako in Mali and a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Constantine, Algeria.

Cherif planned to use his Fellowship award to participate in the Summer Institute on Conflict Transformation Across Borders in Quito, Ecuador. Due to unforeseeable circumstances and a delayed visa, Cherif was unable to travel to Ecuador. Should he have been able to participate, he was most looking forward to enhancing his knowledge of disarmament, demobilization and re-integration, all conditions his home country is currently grappling with in the aftermath of a peace agreement between the Malian government and rebel groups.    

Enrico E. Manalo

Enrico E. Manalo is a Conflict Resolution master’s student and recipient of the 2015 McCormack Scholarship.  By day, he is an ESL teacher focusing on advanced level proficiency and learner autonomy. By night (or ideally late afternoon) he is currently researching the impact of equity and inclusion training on the handling of intra-organizational conflict. He is also interested in the links between organizational conflict and community conflict, particularly in regards to resilience.  Manalo is also a 2007 graduate of Emerson College, with a degree in Writing, Literature & Publishing, where his work centered on the poetry of misunderstanding.

Enrico used his fellowship award to attend the Summer Institute in Northern Ireland where he explored ways to utilize his master’s thesis research in professional practice.  He can now better understand the connections between workplace diversity and community diversity.  This is significant for post-conflict societies as the reduction of organizational conflict through workplace training may have broader effects on community-based diversity conflicts.  

Josephine Patterson

Josephine Patterson has worked in informal education, public broadcasting and cultural tourism in the Boston area for several decades. Her interest in conflict resolution theory and practice developed over time in response to personal, professional and global problems. She often focuses school projects and research on the ways people view their identity from a cultural perspective, and studies how that interacts with their professional responses to expanding inclusiveness in communities. Josie is especially interested in developing more political support for arts and history organizations as she believes they inhibit violence by encouraging local engagement and proving many economic benefits from tourism.

Josephine utilized her fellowship award to participate in the Summer Institute in N. Ireland.  She was able to learn more about what the community peacebuilders do for programming that addresses the past, but is focused on a peaceful future.  She explored the potential of tourism to beneficially impact local culture, which will advance her professional goal of establishing a Cambridge Historical and Cultural Center in Cambridge, MA.