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    Student places third in national mediation contest

    A University of Massachusetts Lowell graduate student who hopes to some day bring stability to his native Nigeria recently placed third in a national contest built around mediation skills. Ikechukwu Ikerionwu, who is pursuing a master’s degree in the university’s peace and conflict studies program, competed against about 80 other students from 17 universities in the 2013 Cyberweek eMediation Competition, hosted by Cornell University. Competitors used real cases and acted as mediators, corresponding online with parties representing the plaintiff and defendant. Judges included the chief of staff of the National Mediation Board and other alternative-resolution experts through a partnership with UMass Lowell and the Middlesex Law Center at Lowell District Court. After graduation, Ikerionwu said, he hopes to help Nigerians find nonviolent ways to settle conflicts.