The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law January 2010
ADR @ Moritz

Christina 'Cricket' Nardacci

Christina Nardacci—or "Cricket", as she is known to most—knew for years that she wanted to attend law school one day. She also knew that she wanted to work in education, but at first, she was not sure how these different interests might coalesce.

Her varied interests certainly coalesce now. Cricket works in a newly created position in Student Judicial Affairs at Ohio State, as the Conflict Resolution Coordinator. Her responsibilities include providing conflict coaching and developing a new mediation program for students, in which Moritz ADR students will provide their services as volunteer mediators. She also serves as a hearing officer for Student Judicial Affairs, addressing matters of alleged student misconduct.

Cricket considers herself remarkably fortunate to be able to combine her interests in dispute resolution, law, and educational policy while working in service to others. She also intends to complete her Ph.D. Not surprisingly, her dissertation investigates another topic of conflict in higher education; she is surveying the state of the law regarding the inclusion of affirmative action policies in U.S. public law schools’ admissions programs, in the wake of the Supreme Court decisions in Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) and Grutter v. Bollinger (2003).

After working full-time in higher education for over a decade, Cricket came to Ohio State in 1998, to earn an M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the School of Educational Policy and Leadership, in what was then Ohio State's College of Education. She graduated in 2000 and immediately thereafter began Ph.D. studies in the same area. She entered the Ohio State Moritz College of Law in 2003 as a dual-degree student. Having worked for more than fifteen years as a higher education professional, she knew by then that she wanted to cultivate skills in her law school studies that she could bring to bear on her future employment as a higher education administrator, particularly in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution. She recognized that higher education environments would benefit from a more flexible approach to managing conflict, and sought out opportunities both academically and outside of the classroom that would enhance her background.

In addition to participating as a member of several law school organizations, including OutLaws, PILF, and the Labor and Employment Law Association, Cricket served on several committees both within and outside of Moritz. She was appointed to the Dean's First Amendment Committee, which was charged with helping identify effective responses to identity-based conflict that emerged from changes to Ohio State student organizations' non-discrimination policies. Cricket held an elected SBA position on the Committee for Academic Affairs; was appointed by the university president to membership on Ohio State's Design Review Board; represented Ohio State students' multi-million dollar investment in the RPAC building project until its completion; and served for ten years on the University Recreational Sports Committee, or URSC—in essence, the advisory board to Ohio State's Department of Recreational Sports. In recognition of her contributions through the URSC, the Cricket Award was named after her in May 2009; future recipients will be recognized in part for their leadership in problem-solving and advocacy for diverse constituents who use Ohio State's recreational sports facilities and programs.

Cricket graduated from Moritz in 2006, with the Certificate in Dispute Resolution. She values the efforts she made in obtaining the Certificate in Dispute Resolution, writing, “In classes that included a practicum component, I especially benefited from the opportunity to apply what I was learning and get feedback that helped me evaluate and refine my developing skills. The externship experience further extended these learning opportunities, and has also helped me build relationships that I have continued to value and benefit from since law school.”

In August 2006, she began working as a graduate assistant in what is now UCAT: the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Ohio State. Her responsibilities included providing consultations about course construction and design, instruction, and management to Ohio State teaching instructors. Starting in 2007, she also managed the department's web site; among many web pages she developed were some that intentionally highlighted different resources for responding to conflict at Ohio State. Additionally, Cricket contributed to various programs that addressed issues about classroom management, culturally and identity-based conflicts, and concerns related to diversity, such as those arising from the generation gap, from political and religious differences, and regarding disability.

In July 2009, Cricket left UCAT to begin her work at Student Judicial Affairs.

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The Caucus, the newsletter published by the Moritz Program on Dispute Resolution, is designed to share ADR news with the Moritz community and beyond, as well as provide Moritz students with information regarding externship and employment opportunities. Questions regarding this publication should be directed to Erin Archerd, Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution.