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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’s Office of Ombuds Services in the fall of 2021, Brooke served as the Associate Director of Conflict Resolution Services at Colorado State University.  Brooke is certified as a Cinergy® Conflict Management Coach, Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), MTI Workplace Mediator and Trainer, and administrator of the Conflict Dynamics Profile®. She also has in-depth training in restorative justice, Social Justice Mediation, trauma-informed practices, and Non-Violent Communication®.  Brooke obtained an M.A. in Peace Education from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace and is in the process of writing a dissertation on restorative justice in higher education towards fulfillment of a doctoral degree in Education and Human Resource Studies.

Duren Thompson

Educational Program Coordinator

As an instructional designer focused on systems-change initiatives, Duren has supported educators in K-12, adult literacy, and higher-ed to improve learner experiences and outcomes for over 20 years. Through state, regional, and nationally-funded projects, she has designed, lead, and supported 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 –for Special Education from UTK, and a Certificate in Cognitive Coaching Foundations from the Thinking Collaborative. Her research explores experiences and support needs of professional developers for educators in adult foundational education.