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Our Team

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Lisa Yamagata-Lynch

University Ombudsperson and Director

Lisa Yamagata-Lynch PictureLisa is the University Ombudsperson and Director for the Office of Ombuds Services. Lisa joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) as a faculty in 2011. In 2019 she was appointed as the ombudsperson and was promoted to director in 2021. Lisa is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® (CO-OP) and a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability. Additionally, she is a Tennessee Rule 31 General Civil and Family Mediator. As a faculty Lisa holds the rank of Professor in the Educational Psychology and Counseling Department, where she served as a program coordinator, associate department head, and director of graduate studies. Prior to joining the faculty at UT, Lisa was a faculty at the University of Utah from 2001 to 2004 as an Assistant Professor and Northern Illinois University from 2004 to 2011 as an Assistant and Associate Professor. Lisa received her doctoral degree in Educational Psychology as well as Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University, Bloomington. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from 聖心女子大学—The University of Sacred Heart in Tokyo, Japan.

Brooke Wichmann

Associate Ombudsperson

Brooke Wichmann PhotoBrooke is the Associate Ombudsperson at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT).  Having worked in the alternative dispute resolution field for more than a decade, she has extensive experience assisting with wide variety of interpersonal, procedural, and organizational challenges. Prior to joining UT, Brooke served as the Associate Director of Conflict Resolution Services at Colorado State University.  She is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner® (CO-OP), a Cinergy Conflict Management Coach, a Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), an MTI Workplace Mediator and Trainer, a trainer in Crucial Conversations, and an administrator of the Conflict Dynamics Profile. She also has in-depth practice and training in Social Justice Mediation and Non-Violent Communication.  Brooke obtained an M.A. in Peace Education from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace and is working on a doctorate in Education and Human Resource Studies.

Duren Thompson

Educational Program Coordinator

Duren has coordinated education and outreach programming for the UT Ombuds since Aug, 2022. She is a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue, an administrator of the Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP), and holds a certificate in Cognitive Coaching Foundations from the Thinking Collaborative. An instructional designer focused on systems-change initiatives, Duren has twenty-five years’ experience supporting educators, staff, and students in higher education, adult literacy, and K-12 contexts to improve learner experiences and outcomes. Prior to her work with the UT Ombuds, she designed, lead, and supported grant-funded educator professional development as a content expert in a wide variety of research-based topics focused on respectful, inclusive, engaging, and technology-enhanced learning experiences delivered via in-person, hybrid, and online modalities. An advocate for extended, job-embedded, and evidenced-based professional development, Duren is currently pursuing a doctorate in Learning, Design, and Technology and a Qualitative Research Certification at the University of Tennessee. She also holds both an MS in Education for Instructional Technology and an MS in Education –Special Education from UT, as well as a Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning. Focusing on implementation research, Duren explores experiences and support needs of educational professional developers, particularly in adult foundational education systems-change.

Shovon Alam

Graduate Research Assistant

Shovon (ne Mohammed) joined the Office of Ombuds Services in August of 2023 to help build and implement an Ombuds research plan focused on both academic publication and program improvement. He is currently a doctoral student in Nutrition Sciences, enrolled in the Implementation Science in Community Nutrition program. His published research focuses on the cross-talk between lifestyle factors and non-communicable diseases with a special focus on the effect of health promotion and lifestyle interventions on obesity and associated non-communicable disorders. Prior to coming to UT, Shovon worked as a faculty member in the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition Science at the Noakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh. Shovon graduated with a BS (Honors) in Nutrition and Food Science from Dhaka University, Bangladesh, and completed his MSc in Nutrition and Biomedicine from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany.