NJCU Mediators Shine in City of Light

NJCU Mediators Shine in City of Light

Three NJCU students, Justin Davis, Leman Kaifa, and Kaylee Saltos, recently traveled to Paris, France, to flex their negotiation muscles at the 12th ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition. Each year, a select group university teams from around the world are invited to participate in this globally-renowned event, a week-long series mock mediation sessions that allows students to put their classroom knowledge into practice and interact with some of the world’s top mediators. Hundreds of prestigious schools vied for a spot in the competition; only 66 schools were accepted.

Although students from any discipline are welcome to apply to the ICC event, the preponderance of mediation in legal matters favors law students. Indeed, out of the colleges and universities invited to the Paris competition, NJCU was the only business school in the U.S. to be accepted.

The NJCU students were in good company but—armed with both classroom and life experience—proved more than capable of holding their own throughout the rigors of these negotiation sessions.

“Our participants represent the best in leadership and international cultural sensitivity,” noted David Weiss, Director of the NJCU School of Business Institute for Dispute Resolution (IDR). “Each of them has demonstrated skill sets well established before this competition.”

Davis, an accounting major, previously served as a comptroller chief in the U.S. Marine Corps. He also served as the fiscal liaison during the development and implementation of the Global Combat Support System, which replaced the Marine Corps aging supply and logistics systems.

Kaifa, a political science major, is the president of the NJCU Student Government Organization and an active figure in Model UN. Last year, he earned “Most Effective Opening Address” honors at the prestigious Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) in Vienna.

Saltos, a dual major in global business and biology, is the executive vice president of the NJCU Student Government Organization. Recently representing NJCU at an economics competition in India, Saltos secured awards for both “Critical Thinking” and “Best Q&A Session.”

The team was coached by Christian Corrales and Karen DeSoto. Corrales, an NJCU graduate and program alumnus of NJCU’s IDR, coached both the ICC and CDRC competitions in 2016. DeSoto, the co-director of the IDR, is the founder of the Center of Legal Justice and serves as a legal analyst for NBC’s Today Show and on MSNBC.

Despite the talent NJCU had to offer, the University would not have been able to participate in the ICC competition without generous support from Connell Foley, LLP; Genova Burns, Attorneys-At-Law; Archer & Greiner PC; Hudson County Bar Association; The Justice Marie L. Garibaldi American Inn of Court Foundation; and the Honorable Deannne Wilson (Ret.).

“This competition is an incredible opportunity for our students and for NJCU’s stature as a dispute mediation leader,” said Weiss. “Our donors made it possible.”