October 8 is Celebrate Ombuds Day, and the International Ombudsman Association is celebrating with a panel discussion that features Virginia Tech’s two Ombudspeople. On Thursday, October 8, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Bryan Hanson, the Graduate School ombudsperson, and Reese Ramos, the University ombudsperson, will join two other panelists to discuss the role of an ombudsperson in a wide range of settings, including higher education, and the importance of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) strategies.

Hanson is an Ombuds, educator, mediator, facilitator, and leader in the field of conflict engagement. Before coming to Virginia Tech in 2017, he served as the assistant director and assistant professor for the Werner Institute at Creighton University. He served on the board of directors for the Association for Conflict Resolution from 2013 to 2018 and was president of the board from 2016 to 2017.

Ramos is an active member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and has been a past IOA Board President. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, he worked as an Ombuds with the National Park Service, Earthjustice, Sandia National Laboratories and the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also been a mediator with Marin County Mediation Services and was in private practice, where he mediated disputes for Mosten Mediation Centers, the Los Angeles Superior Court, Voluntary Mediation Services, the Centinela Valley Victim-Offender Restitution Services and SquareTrade, an online mediation internet company.  

The panel will be held online and is open to the public, but attendance is limited. Registration is free via this link