Tyler G. Olson Receives the 2022 APSA Community College Faculty Award

The APSA Community College Faculty Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) to honor exemplary contributions that advance the multi-faceted goals of community college faculty.  

Tyler (Ty) G. Olson, Pd.D. manages and teaches in the Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cleveland, Ohio.  He teaches political science and humanities courses focused on conflict resolution, peace studies, and civic engagement.  Additionally, he is a founding partner of (re)Frame Conflict, an LLC, which works with local organizations to address community and organizational conflict in constructive ways.

Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington states) Ty relocated to Cleveland, Ohio, in 2013.  He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change (2022), Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University (2012), and a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from George Fox University (2007).  His primary research and teaching interests relate to political and social psychology.  His doctoral dissertation is titled: “Navigating Conflict During Periods of Change in Higher Education: Deconstructing Academic Leaders’ Construction of Meaning”.  He is currently looking how individuals’ construction of meaning influences their decisions, actions, and behaviors in political and social conflicts.

From 2007 to 2009 he lived and worked in Honduras, Central America, which solidified his passion for teaching conflict resolution and conflict transformation (he lived in Honduras right up to the military coop of 2009).

Ty’s core aim is to empower individuals to critically understand political and social conflict and reframe this often-misunderstood concept as an opportunity for constructive change and growth on communal, social, and political levels.  He views social and political conflict as concepts that can be beneficial to society (though he recognizes that this is a difficult task).

From his professional and research-based perspective he posits that constructive conflict “engagement” does not always lead to “resolution,” but the opportunities for resolution — and even transformation — are higher when intentional relationship building, careful management, and/or conative empathy are employed.

Ty is dedicated to promoting social justice, facilitating healthy community building and engagement, and empowering folks to create positive and sustainable change in their social contexts.  He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, with his wonderful and brilliant partner and their cat.  He practices yoga, loves traveling, and reads a lot.  He also loves quasi-political TV shows, and a has been influenced by series such as The West Wing, The Wire, Game of Thornes, and Westworld.

Citation from the Award Committee: 

The APSA Community College Award Committee has selected Tyler Olson to receive the 2022 APSA Community College Award.  Tyler (Ty) Olson holds a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and is a Ph.D. candidate in Antioch University’s Leadership and Change program, with an anticipated graduation of June 2022.  His doctoral work focuses on understanding how consciousness plays a role in leaders’ capacities to navigate conflict constructively during organizational change periods (specifically in higher education).  Alongside his doctoral studies, Ty utilizes his background in conflict resolution, dialogue processes, higher education, and leadership to manage and teach in an academic certificate program in the Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies program at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio.  At the College, he also serves in leadership roles on the Racial Justice Committee, the Advancement of Women in Equity and Inclusion Taskforce, and the Sustained Dialogue Initiative.  In addition to his work at the College, Ty is the founding partner of (re)Frame Conflict, LLC, an organization that specializes in consulting and training on conflict resolution and conflict transformation processes for organizations and communities. Ty’s guiding values are intrinsically linked to the advancement of social justice (e.g., racial equity and justice, gender equality and inclusion, and criminal justice reform).  He promotes these values by teaching and training, facilitating community building and engagement, and empowering folks to create positive and sustainable change in their own contexts.

APSA thanks the committee members for their service: Wendy L. Johnston (chair) of SUNY, Adirondack Community College, Dr. Shawn L. Easley of Cuyahoga Community College, and Dr. Tatyana Tuba Kelman Kisin of Tarrant County College-South Campus.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.