Faculty, Staff and Coaches

Faculty and Staff

The Center is proud to have associated with it leading dispute resolution teachers and scholars. The work of the Center faculty and staff who serve on a regular basis is complemented by others who associate with the center for a variety of independent projects and programs.The following is a list of the Center’s current faculty and staff.

Debra Berman
Debra Berman is Professor of Law and Director of the Frank Evans Center for Conflict Resolution. Her course load includes the Mediation Clinic, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation Theory & Practice, and the 40-Hour Mediation Training which is open to students and practicing attorneys. She has instructed more than 900 students and local attorneys through the Evans Center mediation certification program. In 2019, Professor Berman created the Inter-School Negotiation Practicum which has brought together almost 2,400 students from 45 law schools for a unique experiential month-long negotiation opportunity.  In 2012, she established a partnership between the Mediation Clinic and the EEOC regional office. As part of this program, she co-mediates EEOC cases with students in the Mediation Clinic. In addition, she coordinates all of the ADR competition teams that South Texas College of Law Houston sends to tournaments and has personally coached a number of teams to national and international first place wins. She has presented on various dispute resolution topics for the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, State Bar of Texas, Texas Association of Mediators, and the Houston Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution. She is also co-chair of the ABA Legal Education in Dispute Resolution Committee. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law.

James J. Alfini
James J. Alfini is Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus and serves as a Senior Fellow in the Frank Evans Center. Previously, he was Professor of Law at Northern Illinois University College of Law where he taught Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility, Mediation, and related courses. Dean Alfini served as Dean of the NIU College of Law from 1991 to 1997. Prior to NIU Dean Alfini was a member of the faculty at Florida State University College of Law where he was Director of Education and Research at the Florida Dispute Resolution Center, a joint program of the FSU College of Law and the Supreme Court of Florida. He was on the original Mediation and Arbitration Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Florida and chaired the Standards Subcommittee. He has served as the chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Association of American Law Schools and the chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association. He has numerous publications in the fields of dispute resolution and judicial ethics, including two co-authored books published by Lexis Publishing: Judicial Conduct And Ethics and Mediation Theory And Practice.

Catherine Burnett
Catherine Burnett is Associate Dean for Clinical Studies and a Professor at South Texas College of Law Houston. She received a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Texas. After clerking for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, she practiced in Texas both as a prosecutor and defense attorney. She is board certified in criminal law and criminal appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Catherine teaches international, national and state criminal procedure, as well as seminars in contemporary criminal law issues. In her role as Associate Dean, Catherine oversees the law school’s clinical programs and its student pro-bono volunteer program. As a clinician she launched the law school’s first direct representation civil law clinic and has subsequently taught in the Mediation Clinic, HIV and the Law Clinic, Texas Capital Punishment Clinic, Domestic Violence Clinic, and Actual Innocence Clinic. Catherine remains an active instructor in the law school’s numerous academic internships. She has also been active in ADR training nationally and internationally, teaching both law students and practicing members of the bench and bar.

Johnathan Trimble
Johnathan Trimble is the Program Administrator for the Frank Evans Center. Johnathan graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in 2017 after attending the University of Texas for his undergraduate degree. Johnathan is a certified mediator and was extremely active with the ADR program in law school, having competed in a number of negotiation and mediation competitions. In addition to helping coach all of our ADR teams, Johnathan was the lead coach for the first place team at the 2018 International Law School Mediation Tournament and the 2020 Sports Law Negotiation Competition. In his spare time, Johnathan enjoys engaging in political volunteer work.

Roger Greenberg
Roger Greenberg is an Adjunct Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law Houston where he teaches Arbitration Law and a seminar entitled Trends in ADR & Litigation. Mr. Greenberg is a founding partner with Sponsel, Miller, & Greenberg. His practice focuses primarily on civil litigation, securities disputes, and arbitration. Among other career highlights, Greenberg was a member of the Plaintiff’s lead trial team for the Enron securities class action and has argued in front of the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Greenberg is also an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and is a member of the Chartered Institutes of Arbitrators. In 2007, Greenberg was named to the list of Texas Super Lawyers.

Robert C. Rice 
Robert Rice has regularly served as an adjunct professor at STCL for more than 25 years. Most recently, Robert has taught ADR and Arbitration. Robert is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In addition to his employment law practice primarily representing businesses, Robert is a busy arbitrator and mediator. Robert is a member of the national panel of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association and a member of the AAA’s panel of Master Mediator. Robert’s case load as a neutral includes employment related matters, commercial business to business disputes, and health care matters.

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in 2014 and is currently an Associate Attorney at McDonald Worley. Scott’s practice focuses on product liability civil litigation and settlement resolution. His experience led to his appointment on both the Plaintiff Steering Committees (“PSC”) for Ethicon Proceed and Prolene Hernia Mesh System in the New Jersey Multi-County Litigation case. Scott was recognized by Texas Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Product Liability litigation for both 2021 and 2022. Scott currently coaches the ABA Representation in Mediation tournament and serves as an Adjunct Professor at STCLH with a focus on Negotiations.


Morgan Gaskin Thomas
Morgan teaches the Negotiation course at South Texas College of Law Houston. Morgan is a Senior Negotiations Manager at Accenture’s Negotiations Center of Excellence.  In her capacity as a negotiation  manager, Morgan serves as lead business negotiator on complex transactions and disputes across all business units and advises and coaches deal teams on negotiation approaches to strategic transactions.  She also conduct workshops for senior executives to help reinforce effective negotiation techniques. Prior to her role in the Negotiation Center of Excellence, Morgan was a Senior Litigation Counsel in Accenture’s Litigation and Dispute Management Team. Morgan is a 2006 graduate of Cornell Law School.

Lori Kern
Lori teaches the Collaborative Law class twice a year to current students and practicing attorneys. Lori has been practicing since 2009 and has been Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2015.  In 2018, and 2019, Lori was selected as a Texas Rising Star in Family Law by Super Lawyers Magazine, and was named a Top Lawyer by Houstonia Magazine in 2018.

Denise Peterson
Denise Peterson is a full-time mediator and arbitrator. Graduating from South Texas in 2010, she became an associate for Morgan Lewis where she worked on matters relating to the housing crisis, asbestos defense, employment, and general civil litigation. She is licensed in Texas and New York and is a qualified solicitor to the senior courts of England and Wales. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a past vice chair of the North American Branch. Denise teaches Negotiation for Litigators and co-directs the Mediation Clinic.

ADR Team Coaches

South Texas College of Law Houston is proud to have a dedicated group of alumni who donate their time to coach our award-winning competition teams.


Rachel Davis
Rachel graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in 2016. During law school, she was a member of the ABA Client Counseling Competition team and has coached the Client Counseling teams for the last several years. Prior to law school, Rachel was a paralegal for ten years and she now practices family and criminal law.


McKensie East
McKensie East graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in 2022. During her time at STCL, she was active in the Real Estate and Construction Law Society as well as the ADR Program. McKensie was named the 2021-2022 ABA Negotiation Regional Champion in her first ever competition, and now assists in coaching the ABA Negotiation Competition team. McKensie also coaches the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition Team, along with her former teammate and co-champion Vikesh Patel. McKensie is currently Legal Counsel at Caldwell Companies where she advises and assists on almost every aspect of real estate development, from acquisition and operations to disposition. 

Kimberly Fojtik
Kimberly Fojtik graduated from STCL in May 2020 and is an associate at Gieger Laborde & Laperouse, LLC. During law school, Kimberly was a varsity ADR and moot court advocate. She was also a member of the South Texas Law Review Real Estate and Construction Law Journal and a member of the Garland Walker Inn of Courts. Kimberly is currently co-coaching the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition. 

John Garza
John is currently an associate at Porter Hedges where he focuses on business and commercial litigation. During his time at South Texas College of Law Houston, he was heavily involved in the ADR program and competed in multiple negotiation and mediation tournaments. He now coaches the ABA Negotiation Competition. Prior to law school, John worked as a marketing project manager at the Houston Chronicle.X


Jayelle Lozoya
Jayelle Lozoya graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in May 2018. During law school, Jayelle was an active member of various student organizations, journals, and an advocate for the law school’s Mock Trial, Moot Court, and Alternative Dispute Resolution programs. Jayelle was previously an associate at the law firm, Brown Sims where the majority of her work focuses on complex litigation including premises liability, commercial litigation, products liability, and insurance defense.  She now works as an Assistant District Attorney at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Jayelle currently coaches the St. John’s Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon Competition.

Urvashi Morolia
Urvashi is currently an associate at Littler Mendelson where she focuses on employment law. Prior to joining Littler, Urvi worked as a Prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. During her time at South Texas College of Law Houston, Urvashi competed on numerous ADR competition teams and was the 2016 champion of the St. John’s Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon, a competition which she now coaches.  Prior to moving to Houston, Urvi worked with a boutique litigation firm in Mumbai, India. X

Elizabeth Nevle
Elizabeth Nevle graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in 2021 and is an associate at Foley & Lardner LLP.  During law school, Elizabeth was a varsity ADR and moot court advocate.  With her partner, she won the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition in 2021.  She also served as the Editor in Chief of CURRENTS: Journal of International Economic Law in addition to serving as a Langdell Scholar and research assistant.  Elizabeth currently co-coaches the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition and the ABA Negotiation Competition.  X

Vikesh Patel
Vikesh Patel graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in 2022. Vikesh is an intellectual property and business attorney at Kearney, McWilliams & Davis, PLLC in Houston. Prior to earning his JD, Vikesh got his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering, along with a minor in Business Law, from the University of Miami. In addition, he has a Master of Science in Finance. While in law school, Vikesh competed in Negotiation competitions and won the fall 2022 ABA Negotiation Competition, which he now helps coach. Vikesh also coaches the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition Team, along with his former teammate and co-champion, McKensie East.

Ashley Reilly
Ashley graduated from South Texas College of Law in May 2020 and is currently an associate practicing family law. During law school, Ashley competed in several ADR competitions including the ABA Negotiation Competition, ABA Representation in Mediation Competition, and the ABA Client Counseling Competition. Also during law school, Ashley worked in the Frank Evans Center for Conflict Resolution and assisted with all aspects of the ADR program. Ashley is currently co-coaching the ABA Client Counseling Competition.  X