UCI Human Resources Meditation


The below staff have completed robust mediation training in order to facilitate unbiased and collaborative conversations. Click on a name below to learn more about the selected mediator.

Dale Cole
Gabriel Contreras
Jeff Hughes
Leslie Kleiman
Julie Lance
Mycah Lee
Bob Martin
Martha Nuñez-Flores
Monica Shaffer


Dale has worked in the HR field for over 30 years, spending his entire professional career working in the healthcare industry. Currently, he serves as the Director of Client Services for UCI Health Affairs, which includes UCI Health and College of Health Sciences divisions. Previously, Dale worked as a HR Director and HR Business Partner in hospitals and long-term care facilities. He has a degree in Human Resource Management from Michigan State University and holds multiple HR related certifications.

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Gabe has worked with the University of California as a HR professional for 11 years; three years at UC Berkeley and eight years at UCI. He first started in Recruiting, but in 2017 shifted into Employee and Labor Relations, as he found that side of HR interested him more. In both his Generalist, and now Senior HR Business Partner role, Gabe has had the opportunity to informally mediate disputes between employees, or employees with their supervisor. Coaching is an area of his role that he enjoys very much. Gabe continues to find ways to learn and grow in this area to better support leaders and employees.

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Jeff Hughes is a Workforce Relations Consultant for UCI, focusing his efforts primarily on labor and employee relations for UCI Campus. He also serves as the HR Business Partner for the UCI Human Resources team. Jeff has been working in the field of labor and employee relations since graduating law school from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA, and being admitted to practice law in MA in 2012. Jeff is passionate about supporting positive and productive workplace experiences and has successfully coached employees, supervisors, and executives, to help resolve disputes in the workplace. He is very excited to be a part of UCI’s Mediation Program and hopes it will be a great resource for all employees.

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Leslie began her career as a labor lawyer specializing in the litigation of unfair labor practice charges, arbitration cases, and other alleged violations of federal labor laws. Even as a young lawyer who enjoyed the competition inherent in trial work, Leslie understood that a system providing a clear winner and loser was not the most lasting or satisfying way to resolve disputes. Years later, Leslie undertook an intensive study of interest-based mediation and negotiation, achieving a certification as a court mediator in British Columbia, Canada. As an ardent believer in the transformative power of mediation, Leslie is thrilled to contribute to the creation of our HR Mediation Program for Staff. She fully believes that if we can learn to feel more comfortable talking about challenging issues, we will thrive as individuals while empowering people success at UCI.

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For over 20 years, Julie has dedicated her career to advancing the mission and strategic impact of the University of California. She has served the university in different capacities starting from academic program management and graduate student services, to planning and budget analysis, and finally, to human resources. Currently, Julie is the Senior Director for Client and Strategic Services where she manages HR services in executive management units, oversees internal business services, provides coaching services, and works on strategic initiatives as a member of the HR leadership team. She holds a B.A. in Economics and an MBA. Throughout her career, Julie has demonstrated a passion for helping people and advancing the University for the betterment of the community. She leads through empathy and collaboration and brings a vision of a better future to the mediations she facilitates. Julie wholeheartedly believes that, with honest and open dialogue, conflict can be overcome and an agreement can be made that guides future success of both parties.

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Mycah Lee joined UCI as the Lead Investigator for the Workforce Relations Team after completing 20 years of Active Duty as a Judge Advocate General for the United States Navy. Having assisted both management and employees with operational and personnel concerns in corporate and government sectors, she looks forward to joining UCI’s inaugural Mediation Program. Mycah believes by helping employees create a positive work environment she enables exceptional teams to make impactful changes for our future.

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Bob is an organizational psychologist with more than 25 years’ experience at UCI, UCI Health, and Boeing. He is an expert in leadership development, coaching, employee engagement, project management, organizational development, and lean six sigma methods. He encourages encourages people to try mediation because it is an effective approach for reaching mutually acceptable solutions.

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Martha is the Human Resources’ Employee Experience Center manager and has been with UCI for over 17 years, which primarily focused her time in Benefits. Her subject matter expertise has been in Workers’ Compensation (23 years), Disability and Leaves. During her years at UCI, she has assisted in various investigations with HR Labor Relations as well as participated in workers’ compensation litigation in court like depositions, investigations and much more. She has partnered with many departments on campus to provide benefit presentations as well as translated during investigations as she is fluent in Spanish. She has completed the Diversity Development Program Certification as well as various leadership and coaching programs during her tenure at UCI. Martha is very excited to be part of UCI’s Mediation team and looking forward to supporting better working relationships.

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Monica Shaffer has been with UCI for 17 years. Currently, she serves as an HR Program Strategist in the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice Chancellor providing leadership and support to various HR initiatives. Prior to this role, Monica was the Chief People Officer and Senior HR Business Partner for the Division of Continuing Education, focusing on strategic planning, diversity, equity and inclusion, employee experience and engagement initiatives, change management, and workforce planning. Monica’s passion for helping people better their lives led her to obtain a master’s degree in psychology, and coaching and mediation certifications. She is very excited to be part of UCI’s Mediation Program to continue to support individuals through challenging instances in the workplace.

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