2011 recipient: Betty Pries

The Alumni Committee of Conrad Grebel University College is pleased to announce the selection of Betty Pries (Master of Theological Studies, 2005) as this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Service award.

Betty has been a mediator since 1993 and has been leading and designing workshops and training sessions on conflict resolution since that time. Betty is appreciated as a respected instructor in the Conflict Management certificate program which is part of Grebel’s Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. In this program she teaches the core courses on "Understanding Conflict" in addition to courses for church leaders on change, discernment, vision and conflict. She is also a regular lecturer in core Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) courses in Grebel’s undergraduate program.

She has worked as a consultant in a variety of congregational settings and is an active member and co-director of Associates Resourcing the Church (ARC). In this setting she has assisted congregations from various denominations in vision setting, managing conflict and training leaders in communication and conflict management.  

Her work has also included business and professional sectors and she has published in magazines and has authored several training manuals. She has led seminars at the Centre for Family Business, and has received her designation as a Chartered Mediator through Alternative Dispute Resolution Canada.

Sue Baker who manages the Conflict Management certificate program notes that Betty’s teaching is well received. Course evaluations consistently say "she is an excellent teacher/facilitator," and "she brings years of examples of practical experience in all types of mediation". Others note appreciation for her "spiritual underpinnings."

As a student in the Master of Theological Studies program, Betty was known for combining heart and intellect in her theological reflection. Tom Yoder Neufeld, noted that "she was a delight as a student, and a pleasure to work with as a colleague in the PACS Conflict Management program."

He adds, "what I find so impressive is the theological and biblical depth of understanding Betty brings to her field of expertise - able to integrate this for the benefit of the church, as well as in her teaching in the PACS certificate program."

Beyond her professional life, Betty and her husband Paul Fieguth (Bachelor of Applied Science, 1991) are parents to three young children. They enjoy spending time on a farm property near Palmerston and are very involved in creating a sustainable lifestyle. They attend Waterloo North Mennonite Church and volunteer readily in a variety of programs there. Betty is a member of Mennonite Church Canada's Faith and Life committee.

Wendy Cressman Zehr, who chairs the Alumni Committee of Conrad Grebel University College assisted with the presentation at the college’s convocation on April 10.