You are here

Meet the Team

Anthropology, Sociology & Criminology

Emily Gaarder, University of Minnesota Duluth Site Director 

Emily Gaarder is the site director for the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD). A scholar and practitioner of restorative justice for more than 15 years, she is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Criminology at UMD.

Since 2003, Emily has taught restorative justice at the university level and also for community groups and organizations. She loves to share how restorative justice can be used in daily life by everyone. She has trained hundreds of volunteers in the circle process, circle keeping, and restorative dialogue. 

She has published widely on restorative justice and specializes in issues of gender. She helped establish the Domestic Violence Restorative Circles Program in Duluth, Minnesota, one of the only programs of its kind in the U.S. that specifically works with cases of intimate partner abuse. Her current research focuses on an evaluation of the program (with Dr. Scott Vollum). Read a sample of her research here

Emily first learned about the power of restorative justice while working with girls in the juvenile justice system. She has also worked in victim services and has led restorative dialogues and circles with juvenile probation programs, the Arizona Attorney General's Office of Victim-Offender Mediation, civil mediation units, and the innovative juvenile and adult restorative programs of Men as Peacemakers. She earned her Ph.D. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University, her M.A. in Women's Studies from the University of Cincinnati, and her B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Morris. Her website and contact information can be found here

Ted Lewis

Ted Lewis has been a consultant and trainer with the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking (University of Minnesota) since the summer of 2013. Since 1996 he has done a variety of work in the fields of restorative justice and conflict resolution, including work as a practitioner, program manager, trainer, writer, director, teacher, and consultant. Most of this work has been done through and for nonprofit organizations that have partnered with government agencies. He has also taught the Restorative Justice course as an adjunct professor at UMD Duluth campus.

As a Communications Consultant, Ted's primary work for the center is to provide trainings for new programs. His specialty is to do Victim Offender Conferencing trainings for facilitators. He also assists with helping new programs with referral protocols and program management resources. Ted also provides center activities that include creating training and program management manuals for agencies that have contracted for services with the center, writing procedural protocols based on best-practices in the field, assisting with co-authorship projects taken on by the center, co-presenting at center-sponsored trainings, and writing content for the website.

From 2009 to 2013 Ted was Executive Director for Barron County Restorative Justice Programs in Wisconsin, a program of Goodwill North Central Wisconsin, overseeing a staff of nine for comprehensive restorative programming. From 2000 to 2009 he was Program Manager for the Center for Dialogue and Resolution (formerly Community Mediation Services) in Eugene, Oregon, where he oversaw programming in both dispute mediation and restorative justice. He still leads an annual 16-hour training in victim offender mediation for Oregon programs every spring. Prior to that Ted was the first program manager for the VORP of Central Kansas (Victim Offender Reconciliation Program) which was modeled after the original restorative justice programs that started in the late 70s and early 80s. He received a master's degree in Religious Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Given his dual-background in mediation and restorative justice, Ted has adapted both intervention and prevention work for faith-based church communities. In Oregon he provided mediation and reconciliation services through the Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference. He currently does workshops for churches that emphasize healing and growth in the context of relational hurts. For more information on this, see his website:

Ted currently serves on the Executive Committee as Secretary for the NACRJ (National Association of Community and Restorative Justice). A top passion of his is to document and share stories of positive restorative dialogue processes. He currently lives in Duluth, MN.

Scott Vollum

Scott Vollum is Associate Professor and Department Head in UMD's Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Criminology. At this time, his primary areas of academic interest and research are violence, the death penalty, restorative justice, media and crime, and moral disengagement. He is currently working on a variety of research projects including an evaluation of a restorative justice program for domestic violence offenders, an examination of death penalty attitudes and the impact of wrongful convictions in capital cases, and a qualitative study of people who kill.  He is author of the book Last Words and The Death Penalty: Voices of the Condemned and Their Co-Victims and co-author of the book The Death Penalty: Constitutional Issues, Commentaries and Case Briefs. His previous research has been published in a variety of scholarly journals, his most recent ("Gender Politics and The Walking Dead: Gendered Violence and the Reestablishment of Patriarchy") in the journal Feminist Criminology. He lives right here in Duluth with his son Kai and their dogs Milo & Cooper.