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Thomas V. Wolfe, Louis Kriesberg honored for commitment to interfaith, cross-cultural dialogue

May 16, 2012

Jill Ouikahilo
(315) 443-8568

The Reverend Thomas V. Wolfe, senior vice president and dean of the Division of Student Affairs at Syracuse University, was honored at the 2012 InterFaith Works Leadership Awards Dinner, “Courageous Conversations,” on Tuesday, May 15, at Onondaga Community College. Wolfe was one of five individuals who were recognized by InterFaith Works for their notable careers and contributions to the community, including Anis Obeid, Ahmad El-Hindi, Louis Kriesberg and the Hon. Minna Buck. 

WOLFEKRIESBERGThis year’s honorees demonstrated distinguished careers in academia, medicine, business and law, and a lifetime dedicated to the engagement of interfaith and crosscultural dialogue as a tool toward deeper understanding of social injustices and action for change. All have participated in SAMED, a 25-year dialogue project of addressing critical issues in the Middle East, and specifically the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

In addition, the award winners embodied the mission and vision of InterFaith Works—building bridges of understanding to affirm the dignity of all people and all faith traditions, to address deeply embedded social divisions and find common ground on difficult issues that lead to actions for the creation of a more equitable and loving community. They have done this using the important tools of sustained dialogue, engaging in courageous conversations and supporting others to do the same. 

Wolfe was appointed senior vice president and dean of Student Affairs by Chancellor Nancy Cantor in June 2008. Prior to his appointment, he served as the fifth dean of Hendricks Chapel, starting in January of 1999, when he was the interdenominational Protestant chaplain. Wolfe has also served as pastor of United Methodist parishes in Moravia and Ithaca, in Upstate New York. 

Among his civic interests, Wolfe was the former board president for InterFaith Works of CNY. He holds a B.A. degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., a master’s of divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif., and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from SU. He is an ordained elder with the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church and was ordained in 1980. 

Kriesberg is professor emeritus of sociology, Maxwell professor emeritus of social conflict studies, and founding director of the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (1986–1994), all at SU. He is also the founder of the Syracuse Area Middle East Dialogue with Ahmad El-Hindi of Syracuse, who is also a 2012 InterFaith Works honoree. Syracuse Area Middle East Dialogue is a local group that seeks a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict. 

In addition to more than 160 book chapters and articles, his published highlights include: “Conflict Transformation and Peace Building” (co-ed, 2009), “Constructive Conflicts" (1998, 2003, 2007, 2012 4th Edition, co-authored), “International Conflict Resolution" (1992), “Timing the De-Escalation of International Conflicts” (co-ed., 1991), and “Intractable Conflicts and Their Transformation” (co-ed., 1989). 

He was president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (1983–1984), and he lectures, consults and provides training regarding conflict resolution, security issues and peace studies.

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