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At the Bennington College Mediation Clinic all disputes are mediated by one of our lead mediators, often in conjunction with a professionally trained co-mediator. With the consent of the parties, committed undergraduate mediation students may also attend as observers.

Peter Pagnucco, director

Peter Pagnucco is director of the Bennington College Mediation Clinic and visiting faculty at the College. He is also the principal in Pagnucco Dispute Resolution, a conflict resolution practice in Manchester, Vermont. He offers training and seminars in conflict resolution skills and his mediation practice involves litigated and non-litigated matters in a variety of subject areas including business, construction, divorce, family, education, employment, land use, real estate, and relationships. Pagnucco is also a contract mediator for the Vermont Department of Education and the Vermont Attorney General’s office. He previously practiced law in Vermont and New York, including serving as an assistant district attorney in Westchester County. Pagnucco holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lafayette College and a law degree from Boston College Law School.

Daniel Michaelson

Daniel Michaelson is a mediation faculty member at Bennington College where, with faculty member Susan Sgorbati, he created Bennington’s mediation curriculum. He is a certified Mediation Trainer and is co-director (with Sgorbati) of Quantum Leap, a program for truants and at-risk students in Bennington County. In 2010, Quantum Leap received the Excellence Merit Award from the New England Board of Higher Education. Michaelson is a former mediator for the Vermont Department of Education, Bennington Small Claims Court, and multiparty disputes, and conducts workshops in mediation and the Quantum Leap approach. He also teaches costume design at Bennington College and previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the City University of New York. Michaelson holds a BA from Queens College and an MFA from the Columbia University School of the Arts; he also studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was Dean of Studies at Bennington from 1991–94 and has taught here since 1981.

Susan Sgorbati

Susan Sgorbati is a mediation faculty member at Bennington College, where she currently supervises the curriculum in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. She has a long history as a professional mediator, facilitator, and practitioner in all forms of conflict analysis and resolution. For many years, Sgorbati served on the Vermont Attorney General’s mediation panel and currently is a mediator for the Vermont Human Rights Commission. In 1999, Sgorbati and colleague Daniel Michaelson created Quantum Leap, a mediation program for the Bennington County school system, which reconnects truant and at-risk public school students to their education. In 2010, Quantum Leap received the Excellence Merit Award from the New England Board of Higher Education. In recognition of this work, Sgorbati also received the First Annual David G. Rahr Community Service Award from the Vermont Community Foundation. Sgorbati received both her BA and MFA from Bennington College. She was the dean of faculty at Bennington from 1991–94 and now holds the Barbara and Lewis Jones Chair of Social Activism. She has taught at Bennington since 1983.