Cheryl teaches conflict studies in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Since coming to Carleton in 1989, and in addition to her academic responsibilities, she founded the Mediation Centre, a teaching, research and service centre in 1992; in 1997 she established the Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution program, and through her efforts the Centre for Conflict Education and Research was established in 2003. Her teaching and research led to the development of Insight Mediation, a learning-centered method of mediation. Cheryl has been involved in conflict resolution and mediation work for over three decades, and has mediated many one-on-one conflicts and facilitated collaborative problem-solving within small and large groups. She brings a relational ideology to her teaching and conflict resolution practice, which means she views people as connected to each other through complex webs of relationships, patterns of interaction and meanings. In 2008, Cheryl was one of 50 women from across Canada recognized for long standing peace work by the Department of Peace Initiative in collaboration with the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and the Civilian Peace Service Canada. That same year she was recognized by Family Mediation Canada with the prestigious annual FAMMA Award of Excellence for outstanding achievement in education and training, and a year later was nominated in the category of education and training for the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award.
Off-campus, Cheryl is active locally, nationally and internationally promoting conflict resolution and mediation initiatives. Notable activities include her work with the Coalition for the Protection of Children in Bermuda to implement school peer mediation and conflict management curriculum programs and teach mediation to working professionals. Her work in Cuba furthers non-violent collaborative problem-solving at the grass-root level through the teaching of conflict resolution, mediation, and coaching skills to Cuban professionals and community leaders, as well as civil law arbitrators and judges through the Cuban Chamber of Commerce. Cheryl has taught at the Teachers College Columbia University, the Law University of Lithuania, and she has lectured in the United States, England and New Zealand. In her early years, she founded a victim-offender mediation program in Halifax, and implemented one of the first high school peer mediation programs in Canada.
Cheryl has written or co-written a number of books including: Transforming Conflict through Insight (2008), a theoretical look at Insight theory and its application to conflict; The Art and Science of Mediation (2004), a university text; and Mediating Interpersonal and Small Group Conflict (2002), an introductory primer that has also been translated into Spanish. She was founding member and first Chair of Conflict Resolution Network Canada; Board member of the Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution, now the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), and NCPCR (National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution). In 1995, she helped found the Neighbourhood Coalition for Conflict Resolution, a non-profit, multi-cultural community based conflict resolution program in an Ottawa social housing community.