College Mediation Team Sweeps Top Spots at IIMT

The College mediation team finishes the fall semester with trophies in hand. Back row, from left: Chris Ajuoga, Boone Steele, Isaac Oribariho, Luke Nutwell. Front row, from left: Ibukun Dawodu, Avery Smith, Grace PĂ©check, Oscar Ssemujju.

THE COLLEGE MEDIATION TEAM ended its fall season on top, taking first and second places in Team Mediation at the International Intercollegiate Mock Mediation Championship Tournament (IIMT). This is the third consecutive year that Principia has taken home a first-place trophy in the Team or Top Mediator categories. Principia also earned third in Team Advocacy and a slew of individual awards.

This year’s in-person tournament was hosted on Principia’s home turf and featured fierce competition from nearly a dozen university teams, including University of San Diego, University of Texas Dallas, University of Dubuque, and Maharishi International University.

Chris Ajuoga, Ibukun Dawodu, and Isaac Oribariho—all new to the team this season—all placed in the top ten in individual awards. Ajuoga teamed up with co-captain Avery Smith to win fourth place in individual advocacy. Oribariho made a strong showing with eighth in individual mediation and Dawodu clinched tenth in the same category. Team veteran Grace Pécheck was awarded fourth place in individual mediation.

Co-captain Luke Nutwell wasn’t sure that he’d be able to participate in this tournament, but he formed a last-minute bye team to contribute to the team’s top mediation awards and placed fifth in individual advocacy. The senior, who plans to attend law school next year, is certain what he practices in this tournament is directly applicable to his future career. “I’ve learned a lot about negotiation and client counseling,” says Nutwell. “I think these skills will be very valuable for me going forward.”

Spring mediation is already underway: The team recently added to their trophy haul at a tournament in Florida and is currently preparing for this month’s International Law School Tournament in Bologna, Italy.



Alumni Perspective: Mediation Launched Me To Berkeley Law


When a friend convinced me to join the College Mediation team as a freshman, I didn’t think much of it. However, with each tournament, I fell more in love with the strategic thinking, problem-solving, and intellectual challenge mediation presented. Even more importantly, I found that I resonated deeply with the notions of advocacy and justice. As a result, while I searched for the right career path after graduation, I couldn’t stop thinking about mediation! Now, I’m a second-year student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and I use my mediation foundation daily. Along with classes, I also engage in advocacy work on behalf of immigrants, refugees, and domestic violence survivors, in human rights and war crimes investigations, and soon, in practicing international litigation and arbitration at a major global law firm. The Principia Mediation team was an incredible launching point for me, and I can’t wait to see what this current generation of mediators will do with their experiences!