Concurrent Session Abstracts

Concurrent Session 1 
Monday, April 11, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

 
1. Effective Outreach: A New Model for Delivering Training Effectively
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Julie Showers, Director, Office for Conflict Resolution, University of Minnesota;
Jan Morse, Ombuds and Director, Student Conflict Resolution Center, University of Minnesota

Instructor-led training and case studies are perhaps the most common training techniques used in workplace programming. But are they the most effective? Often, time does not allow for a thorough analysis and discussion of the scenarios presented. This session presents a model workshop that has been used effectively at the University of Minnesota and can be adapted for use in any workplace.

2. How Prison Helped Prepare Me to be an Ombuds
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenter: Tyler Smith, Associate Ombudsman, National Institutes of Health

Through stories, discussion and activities, this interactive session will demonstrate how working inmatesemphasized, the importance of listening, working on understanding without judgment, honoring self-determination,and being able to work with diverse and difficult populations. The session will inviteparticipants to engage in discussion and activities to reflect on the ways in which those topics directlyapply to their work as ombuds.

3. Opening an Ombuds Office From the Ground Up and Beyond — The North Carolina State Faculty Ombuds Office
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: Academic
Presenter: Roy Baroff, Faculty Ombuds, North Carolina State

Opening an ombuds office has many challenges and this program will provide answers. While the focus of this program is on opening a Faculty Ombuds office at a large public university, many of the sameissues will translate to other settings. In this program, Roy Baroff, North Carolina State’s Faculty Ombuds,will share his experience opening the office from start to finish. Leave the session with your own action plan and get that office open!

4. Title IX and the Role of the Ombudsman
Level: 
Intermediate
Sector: Academic
Presenters: Karey Barnes, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, South Texas College; Olga Moran, Ombudsperson, South Texas College

A discussion of how the ombudsman can serve a valuable role in helping to resolve issues pertaining to Title IX which includes pregnancy, sexual misconduct, harassment and stalking.

5. Yea, Nay, and Everything in Between: Disparities Within the Academic Ombuds Field
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: Academic, Corporate, Government, and Non-Governmental Organizations
Presenter: Tessa Byer, Graduate Student, Brandeis University

Through surveys and interviews with university ombuds officers for my Master’s degree thesis, I discovered how many times ombudspersons answered questions in the complete opposite way, sometimes vehemently opposing something that another respondent fiercely asserted. What do these disparities mean for the field, and what is a way forward? This session demonstrates that while disparities within the field are a challenge, they are also an opportunity for rich discussion and a broader view of ombuds work.

6. Tough Cases
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenter: Francine Montemurro, Boston University Ombuds, Boston University
Panelists: Doris Campos-Infantino, Ombudsperson, Inter-American Development Bank; Thomas Zgambo, Ombudsman, World Bank Group; Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman, National Institutes of Health

This is a case-based approach to learning in which a panel of experienced ombuds will each present a “tough” case. Tough case is defined as one in which the options available to him/her (as ombuds) appeared less than ideal, the best course of action may be less than obvious, and the standards of practice do not provide clear guidance.

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Concurrent Session 2
Monday, April 11 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

7. Emotional Intelligence: You Can’t Ombuds Without It!
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Tom Ward, Ombuds of Staff, Clemson University; Susan Casino, Director of Ombuds Services, Apollo Education Group, Inc.

This session is designed to help ombuds insert a practical definition of Emotional Intelligence (EI) into their organizational work and apply the body of knowledge related to EI to better equip their practice. The history behind this rapidly growing science and how EI fundamentals and ombuds competencies are intricately interwoven will be explored at length.

8. Happiness Interventions in the Workplace
Level: 
Intermediate
Sector: All
Presenters: Vikram Kapoor, ADR Attorney Advisor, Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA); Arthur Pearlstein, Director of Arbitration, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS); Daniel Ellenberg, Principal, Rewire Leadership Institute

This interactive session will draw on leading research in positive psychology to develop a theoretical framework for application. We will focus on tools and strategies that can lead to shifts in the workplace. The session will include discussion in small groups.

9. “Wanna Be” an Ombudsperson?
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Dawn Miller Sander, Partner, Conflict Transformation Associates, LLC; Laurelyn Irving, Ombudsperson, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Session attendees will learn how to maintain their confidence in their job search, open a conversation on the phone or in person, sell the need for an ombuds office within an organization and practice skills necessary to creatively obtain an interview.

10. The Ombuds Wellness Workshop
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Nancy Deering, Ombudsman, Newark Public Schools; Mindy Eaves, Ombudsman, Jefferson County Public Schools

As ombudsmen, we are constantly attending to the needs of others, often at our own expense. Burn-out and diminished self-care are negative residuals to ombuds practice. During this interactive workshop, we will discuss your methods of relaxation and have fun experimenting with different techniques, including guided meditation and mantra meditation to help you unwind and reconnect.

11. Ombuds United States Legal Update
Level: 
Intermediate
Sector: Academic, Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Non-Governmental Organization
Presenters: Charles Howard, Partner and General Counsel, Shipman & Goodwin; Caroline Adams, Associate Ombuds, University of California at Santa Barbara

This program will discuss what is happening in the law relevant to ombuds and the legal hot topics that ombuds should know about. It will focus on U.S. legal developments over the past two years, and presenters will discuss recent court decisions and other legal developments — particularly on topics such as confidentiality and notice and in the area of employment law — that affect an ombuds’ practice and the way they operate in their organizations.

12. New Research on Ombuds Offices: Findings and Guidance
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Timothy Hedeen, Ombuds and Professor of Conflict Management, Kennesaw State University; Joyce De-Graft Acquah, Doctoral Student/Research Assistant, Kennesaw State University; Mary Rowe, Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Management,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Learn the latest research on ombuds offices! And how to design your own studies! We will present the most recent findings from the IOA’s long-awaited Practice and Compensation Survey, a study across sectors with participants from around the world. Participants will take away valuable insights and benchmarks, and will be encouraged to participate in — and lead — research both locally and globally.


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Concurrent Session 3
Tuesday, April 12 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


13. Cultivating Conflict Resolution Competency: Piloting Student Conflict Resolution Ambassador Programs
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: Academic
Presenters: Katherine Greenwood, Ombuds, University of Colorado, Denver; Lisa Nelson, Coordinator for Student Conflict Resolution Services, Metropolitan State University

An ombuds office, through a variety of means, can promote positive campus relationships. One approach is to launch programs to stimulate student participation in peer-to-peer conflict resolution activities. A pilot program, training Student Conflict Resolution Ambassadors, will serve as a pivot point for this interactive and creative session. Participants will work together to conceptualize, shape, and frame methods of fostering leadership and social responsibility in student populations.

14. Dare to Say Yes! Adding Value While Following Ethical Principles
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Bonnie Bonnivier, Ombuds, Baker Hughes; Melanie Lewis, Principal Ombuds, Baker Hughes; Josie Stiles, Canadian Ombuds, Baker Hughes; Michael Mayer, o3 Information Specialist, Baker Hughes

This interactive session reviews one ombuds office’s experience in partnering with management to conduct interviews of leaders across the company, systematically collecting and analyzing data, and developing a summary report. Results provided candid assessments and actionable information, while protecting the identities of all participants.

 
15. Outreach Initiatives of the ABA Ombuds Committee
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: Academic, Government
Presenters: Charles Howard, Partner and General Counsel, Shipman & Goodwin, LLP; Randy Williams, Ombuds/Managing Director, Redmond, Williams & Associates, LLC.; Caroline Adams, Associate Ombuds, University of California at Santa Barbara; Jonathan Stier, Senior Deputy Ombudsman, King County Ombudsman Office

Subcommittee chairs from the ABA DRS Ombuds Committee will describe significant outreach efforts undertaken by the committee. These efforts include: 1) a task force to develop suggested teaching outlines, course or lecture materials and reading suggestions designed to help dispute resolution professors provide better instruction for ombuds programs at law schools, with the hope that these materials could be adapted to other areas, such as business schools and schools of social work; 2) a report on the status of the study sponsored by the Administrative Conference of the United States on the use of ombuds in the federal government; 3) conference presentations at various conferences planned by the conference planning committee; and 4) articles on ombuds programs.

16. Embracing Ombuds’ Side Effects: Enhancing Outcomes with What You Have
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: All
Presenters: Brittany Linton, Director and Student Ombudsperson, University of Texas, Austin; Sean Banks, Director and Company Ombuds, Shell Oil Company-Ombuds Services

This session provides opportunities for organizational ombuds (OOs) to refine a core technique — active listening theory and skills. Building upon other related disciplines (e.g. psychology) and interweaving OO practice, this session will dynamically foster professional skill development. Research identified benefits associated with active listening will be examined, specifically the concepts of gratitude, connectivity and meaning making. Discussion will focus on numerous beneficial side effects of OOs role in active listening for visitors and organizations.

17. What Would You Do? Navigating Ethical Principle Dilemmas
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Dolores Gomez-Moran, Ombudsman, Pan American Health Organization; Lynne Chaillat, EMEA Ombuds, McKinsey & Company; Melissa Connell, Director, Ombuds Office, University of Colorado, Denver; Donna Douglas Williams, Director, Ombuds Program,
MD Anderson Cancer Center; Mary Beth Stevens, Ombudsman, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Ronnie Thomson, Corporate Ombudsman, Haliburton; Shreya Trivedi, University Ombuds Officer, University of Central Florida

Designed as an interactive session for relatively new practitioners, this workshop presents participants with practice scenarios — challenging one or more IOA ethical principles — and invites discussion on possible approaches in a group format. Intended to give ombudspersons in their early years of practice an opportunity to dialogue with more experienced practitioners on questions of practice, reflect on handling of “real-life” cases, as well as discuss other challenges in the ombuds role.

18. Paradoxes in Practice: A Clinic on the Paradoxical Approach to Conflict Intervention
Level:
 Intermediate/Advanced
Sector: All
Presenters: Bernie Mayer, PhD, Professor, The Werner Institute, Creighton University; Jan Morse, Ombuds and Director, Student Conflict Resolution Center,
University of Minnesota; Jim Wohl, Ombuds, University of Connecticut; Howard Gadlin, Former Ombudsman, National Institutes of Health; Jenna Brown, Ombuds, University of Denver

Dr. Mayer will work with participants in examining how the paradoxical approach can be applied to specific conflict interventions from their practice. Dr. Mayer will also discuss how he applied this approach to specific challenges he has faced in his practice.

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Concurrent Session 4
Tuesday, April 12 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


19. Adding Circle Processes to Your Repertoire
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Laurelyn Irving, Ombudsperson, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Dawn Miller Sander, Conflict Transformer, Mediator and Ombudsman, Transformation Associates

Participants will start the session in a circle after a brief introduction. The presenters will discuss when to use circles and where to learn more about them. There will be an overview of the role of the circle keeper and how it differs from mediator, therapist, and other roles. While the best way to learn about circles is to experience them, this session does not train attendees on how to run circles.

20. Going Viral: The Ombuds Office in a Virtual Society
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: All
Presenters: Anamaris Cousins Price, Senior Ombudsman, Haliburton; Charmhee Kim, Ombud-Asia, McKinsey & Company; Ronnie Thomson, Corporate Ombudsman, Haliburton

Employment and disciplinary decisions are being impacted by all the virtual communication tools available and how individuals are utilizing them. As ombudsmen, how are we adapting to this trend and should we? This session will take a magnifying glass to our informality standard and how it would apply to this new reality.

21. Emotional Intelligence and Diversity: Tools for Developing Inclusion and Engagement
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: All
Presenters: Anita Rowe, Partner, Emotional Intelligence and Diversity Institute; Lee Gardenswartz, Partner, Emotional Intelligence and Diversity Institute; Jorge Cherbosque, Co-Director Staff and Faculty Counseling Center, University of California, Los Angeles

This session presents a powerful new model of Emotional Intelligence and Diversity and proves the opportunity to experience tools and approaches that build skills critical for professional effectiveness and organizational engagement. Participants will leave with knowledge and processes they can immediately apply in working with individuals and work teams.

22. Ombuds as Researcher
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Lisa Witzler, Associate Ombudsman, National Institutes of Health; Shereen Bingham, University Ombudsperson, University of Nebraska, Omaha; Tyler Smith, Association Ombudsman, National Institutes of Health; Jessica Kuchta-Miller, Staff Ombudsperson, Washington University in St. Louis

During this interactive session, we will discuss the many different types of research and how ombuds can apply research techniques to our work. The panelists will briefly present the results of their recent scholarly research in the ombuds field and will discuss the challenges of ombuds research. The session will conclude with a discussion on methods for overcoming these challenges.

23. Wielding Discipline: Organizational Strength or Shortsighted Action?
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: Corporate, Government, Healthcare, International, and Non-Governmental Organization
Presenters: David Michael, Deputy Ombudsman, National Institutes of Health; Karen Dean, ADR Specialist, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Organizations use progressive discipline as a tool intended to change employee behavior. Yet discipline employed without a full understanding of the situation causes an escalation of conflict, excessive use of resources, and an undermining of the employee and supervisor relationship. Case studies and discussion will illustrate examples of problematic disciplinary actions and the assumptions that underlie them. Strategies will be explored to help those within the organization think differently about and constructively work through conflict.

24. Culture, Fairness and the Brain: Model for Effective Conflict Engagement
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenter: Shirley Nakata, Ombudsperson of Students, University of British Columbia

We work in environments where our main business in fairness and conflict management is very much shaped by the diverse population we serve. As we develop our toolkits, it is important to build both individual and institutional competencies to foster respect and minimize the destructive impact of conflict. This presentation will explore three foundational pillars of those competencies — intercultural understanding, procedural fairness and neuroscience.

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Concurrent Session 5
Wednesday, April 13 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


25. Claiming Our Seat at the Table by Going Beyond “Upward Feedback”
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: All
Presenter: Wayne Blair, University Ombuds and Director, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This presentation will deconstruct the concept of “upward feedback” as practiced by organizational ombuds and show how it may stand in the way of a fully realized ombuds program. We can claim our seat at the table by shifting the paradigm from the passive feedback method that implies it’s the end of the line for the ombuds, to a more dynamic role where an ombuds collects, analyzes, interprets and shares information.

26. A Transgender Primer for the Ombuds
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenter: Michael Steinberg, Associate Ombuds, Columbia University 

What issues must an ombuds be mindful of regarding members of the transgender community? This workshop will broadly discuss such issues as who identifies as transgender, pronoun use, and general issues an ombuds may discuss with a visitor, such as name changes, restroom and bathroom issues, and bias.

27. Ombuds Data 2.0: Influencing Your Stakeholders
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: Corporate
Presenters: Jackie Osborne, Principal Ombuds Manager, Chevron Corp.; Melanie Lewis, Principal Ombuds, Baker Hughes; Mim Gaetano, Corporate Ombudsman, Mars, Inc.; Tim Shore, Vice President and Chief Ombuds Officer, Pfizer, Inc.; Beatriz Dale, U.S. and LAC Regional Ombudsperson, American Express

Building on the benchmark study of last year, panel participants will share how and why the new study was conducted, their insights on how they are using this information to strengthen contributions to all their stakeholders, as well as how this data could be used to strengthen our profession.

28. Finding Strength: Helping Foster Resiliency Amongst Visitors
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: All
Presenter: Brittany Linton, Director and Student Ombudsperson, University of Texas, Austin

Resiliency — the ability to bounce back or manage unexpected difficulties — is imperative in resuming normal (and sometimes improved) functioning after encountering difficulties. This session will provide an avenue for ombuds to expand upon their practitioner skills, through improving their capabilities to promote resiliency in their organizations through interactions with visitors and leadership. Using psychological-based research, participants will learn to identify, foster, and leverage the strengths visitors already possess when facing challenges.

29. Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Contingent Faculty
Level:
 Intermediate
Sector: Academic
Presenter: Eugene Moan, Coordinator, Faculty Ombuds Program, Northern Arizona University

This program will focus on the issues and needs of non-tenure track faculty. Information will be presented on the increased reliance on non-tenured faculty, the issues that they bring to ombuds offices, and effective methods of assisting them in navigating the complex world of university life. The presentation of information will be followed by discussion and sharing of helpful, successful techniques for meeting the needs of this population.

30. The Cowboy Ombudsman
Level: 
Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenter: Rick Anderson, President, Rick Anderson Consulting, Ltd.

This session, provided in a combination of storytelling, analogies, pictures and video clips, will look at many of the skills and guiding philosophies that a conflict management practitioner has in common with those used on a daily basis by the cowboy out on the range. Exploring the organic “cowboy” approach can increase your skills and abilities in your own conflict management practice. You might be more of a cowboy than you thought.

 

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Concurrent Session 6
Wednesday, April 13 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


31. Addressing Abrasive Behavior: A Systems Approach
Level: 
Intermediate
Sector: Academic
Presenter: Jan Morse, Ombudsman and Director, Student Conflict Resolution Center, University of Minnesota

Abrasive conduct: You know what the problem is, so what can you do about it? Ombuds know about the toxic behavior that graduate and professional students face in the lab, clinic and classroom. Demeaning remarks, unreasonable demands, and threats of retaliation sabotage students’ best efforts. Find out how to plan a systems intervention to address abrasive behavior and improve your campus climate.

32. Expanding the Impact of Your Ombuds Office
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenters: Tom Barnette, Regional Ombudsperson, American Express; Eric Mayo, Manager-Global Office of the Ombudsman, Chevron Corporation; Nikolai Pankratiev, Ombudsman, Mars, Inc.; Steven Cordery, Corporate Ombudsman, United Technologies Corporation

Presenters will share examples of initiatives they have implemented to add additional value to their organizations. Speakers will discuss idea generation, analysis, marketing, implementation, organizational response and key advice/factors for success. The question and answer session will include soliciting ideas from the audience. The goal is for the audience to learn about multiple, transferable examples of ways to enhance value and to be motivated to develop and implement value- add initiatives for their own organization. This session will include presentations from ombuds from multiple organizations including
American Express, Chevron and Mars, Inc.

33. Short and Sweet: Applying Solution-Focused Brief Therapy to Ombuds Practice
Level:
Intermediate
Sector: All
Presenter: Emma Williams, Associate Ombuds, University of Washington

Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Ombuds often help visitors think about their problems in new ways. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) asserts that visitors are the experts on their problems. The practitioner acts as a facilitator to help visitors utilize their knowledge to find a solution. This presentation focuses on how ombuds can apply SFBT and utilize techniques that help visitors become solution-focused.

34. Dual Roles and Dueling Responsibilities: The Faculty Member as Ombudse
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: Academic
Presenters: Jim Wohl, Ombuds, University of Connecticut; Timothy Hedeen, Ombuds and Professor of Conflict Management, Kennesaw State University; Bruce Auerbach, Faculty Ombuds/Professor of Scenic and Lighting Design, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The faculty member who also serves as an ombuds is faced with challenges that are distinct from other ombuds positions. This interactive session will provide attendees with the opportunity to network with other faculty/ombuds, ask questions, and compare experiences with new and experienced colleagues with similar roles at a variety of institutions. This session will emphasize practical approaches using brief presentations, case examples and group discussion. Bring your questions and share your experiences!

35. The  Rise  in  Bullying  in  the  Context  of  Organizational  Change
Level:
 Fundamental
Sector: All
Presenter: Fred Wright, Workplace Conciliator, Government of Victoria, Australia

This presentation will use a systems psychodynamically informed approach to consider the significant breadth and complexity surrounding the issue of rising claims of bullying in organizations undergoing change. It will identify multiple factors that coincide around role, system, and context, and will encourage discussion around key issues, including the role of the ombudsman in supporting the development and implementation of effective and respectful change processes.

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