“Why study peace and Conflict? Throughout human history, we have always had conflicts in our families and communities.
For the first time, however, we are now able to use our technology to either destroy
all of humanity or to co-create a sustainable world characterized by economic and
social justice for everyone. The only way we can deal effectively with such global
survival threats as climate change, overpopulation, water and air pollution, and mass
casualty war and terror is to learn to develop the kinds of relationships necessary
for non-violent cooperation across the differences that divide us. Our graduates learn
the skills, knowledge, and values that will help them work in many different local
and global service settings, from settling disputes in family court to helping to
negotiate services for refugees in civil wars. Peace and conflict studies students
also graduate with what Dean Dianne Harris identifies as the core Humanities skills,
including; communication skills, fluency in multiple languages and cultures; group
facilitation skills, dialogic skills, the ability to empathize, and critical thinking
Dr. Derezotes, or “Dr. Dave” as his students call him, is Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS) Program. He is also Professor in the College of Social Work (CSW) where he is the Chair of Mental Health, as well as the Director of the Bridge Training Clinic (BTC). He is currently developing a clinic for transgendered and other GLBTQ clients at the on-campus BTC, and supervising a BTC-West site in cooperation with University Neighborhood Partner, in order to work with and help empower under-served and minoritized populations, including our growing aging and refugee populations.
Dr. Derezotes teaches on the PhD, MSW, and undergraduate levels across campus. As Chair of Mental Health at the CSW, he is especially interested in helping students develop both artistic and scientific factors in micro, mezzo, and macro practice, and utilize all ways of knowing in informing practice (including both what is called “practice-based evidence” as well as “evidence-based practice”). He developed and teaches all of the new PCS classes. Teaching and mentoring of students and practitioners is especially important to him, and Dr. Derezotes strives to incorporate experiential learning in the classroom and community. He was given the University Distinguished Teaching Award last year, as well as the Philip and Miriam Perlman Award for Excellence in Student Counseling, from the University of Utah Alumni Association.
As Director of PCS, he is currently working on many service projects, including the “Radical Middle” program on KRCL radio and the “Dialogue Training Group”, a group that focuses on social justice and diversity issues, co-sponsored by the University Women’s Resource Center. He is also involved in the community-based “Bridging the Religious Divide” dialogue project, which has provided opportunities for community healing for over a decade in Salt Lake City, as well as a dialogue group that focuses on deconstructing and transforming white male privilege.
Dr. Derezotes has focused much of his scholarship in model building, and has published five textbooks, including the most-recent “Transforming historical trauma through dialogue” (Sage, 2014). In his model building, Dr. Derezotes has especially looked at “Ecobiopsychosocial-spiritual” approaches to work with the interrelationships between human well-being, eco-system sustainability, and spirituality.
Finally, on days when he is not working, David can often be found somewhere in the Utah deserts, where he loves to wander and wonder in the wild beauties of our state.
Program Director, David Derezotes
discusses Peace & Conflict Studies on local public radio
The Doug Wright Show
Director Derezotes plugs Peace & Conflict Studies during interview on KSL's The Doug Wright Show. Click on the icon to listen to the interview titled "Beyond Police Shootings".