Bryan Hanson has been hired as the Virginia Tech graduate student ombudsperson.
Hanson served for almost 10 years as the assistant director of the Werner Institute for Negotiation & Conflict Resolution at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. As an educator at the institute, he designed and taught courses on conflict management, provided support to students and faculty, and provided training in conflict resolution skills.
The Graduate School established the Office of Ombudsperson in 2007 to help graduate students resolve issues and address concerns that arise within the university setting. The ombudsperson acts as an advocate for fairness, provides students information about institutional policies, and works to help students manage conflicts, understand the university system, and learn more productive ways of communicating.
Hanson is president of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) Board of Directors, on which he has served since 2013. Previously, he served on the board of directors for the Nebraska Mediation Association and was inaugural president of their board.
He also is a member of the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution’s advisory council, appointed to that role by that state’s Supreme Court.
In his work as a conflict practitioner, he conducts mediation, facilitation, and consulting services in a variety of contexts where conflict creates impasse. He has conducted numerous workshops on mediation and conflict resolution and has presented at several national conventions on the role of mediators and conflict specialists. He has also published articles on dispute resolution and the conflict field.
Hanson earned a bachelor's degree in speech communications from Minnesota State University, a master’s degree in organizational psychology and a graduate certificate in organizational conflict management from John F. Kennedy University, and a doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership from Creighton University. In his dissertation for the doctorate, he studied the development of coping mechanisms for hospital nurses experiencing stress from work-family conflict.
Anne McNabb, professor emerita of biological sciences and associate dean emerita of the Graduate School, served as interim ombudsperson for the fall 2016 semester.
“We greatly appreciate Dr. McNabb’s work with and in support of graduate students,” said Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education Karen P. DePauw.