George Mason Ombuds Office Anniversary and Ombuds Day Celebration Reflection

By, Sarah Ahmed Atif,
Program Coordinator, George Mason University Ombuds Office

The current George Mason University Ombudsperson, Kimberly Jackson Davidson, was introduced in February 2022, and the Office Charter was signed in October of the same year by University President Gregory Washington. We identify this moment of a signed charter as the official act of launching the Office. This October, completing one year of operations, the Office celebrated its anniversary by hosting various programs for different audiences.

The office hosted an Ombuds Gathering for academic ombuds from the DMV area at the beautiful Potomac Science Center on October 20. This program was an effort to bring the academic ombuds in one room to have a dialogue on events pertaining to the field. Following were the program topics: 

  • Ombuds work (Internal and external consideration),
  • work with visitors (How do we set the stage),
  • branding, and outreach (How can we get our name out there?),
  • change, program evaluation and reporting (How can we use data to tell our story),
  • beyond the Academic Ombuds Gathering (Where might we go from here?).

Mason’s Ombuds office hopes to strengthen the connections among academic ombuds in the region by fostering regular meeting opportunities. 

This event was attended by Amanda Monaco, Billy Struemke, Carey Williams, Daniela Brancaforte, David McGraw, Dawn Clements, Elizabeth Stone, Geetha Ravindra, Karen O'Brien, Kathy Murphy, Kimberly Jackson Davidson, Mashanda Mosley, Monique Bookstein, Nazish Salahuddin, Reese Ramos, Sabrina Nail, Sarah Ahmed Atif and William King (Photo above is from the event).

On October 12, to celebrate Ombuds Day, the office hosted an Open House for the Mason community, followed by an online panel discussion on Ombuds work. The open house featured the opportunity to converse with the Ombudsperson, visit the office, enjoy a healthy snack, play a game, participate in a scavenger hunt, and engage with art. Through the various activities and events, Mason's community learned about what the Ombuds does and does not do.

On the evening of Ombuds Day 2023, the George Mason Ombuds Office engaged in a panel discussion with the Virginia Mediation Network. The Ombuds panel discussion was held as part of the annual Virginia Mediation Network (VMN) conference. Discussion panelists included Kimberly Jackson Davidson from Mason, Amanda Monaco from UVA, and Reese Ramos from VT. Sarah Ahmed Atif moderated the panel from Mason. The discussion questions were structured to cover essential considerations for an ombuds office. Conference participants favorably received the Ombuds discussion moderated by Atif. This online event was open to conference participants.

In addition to these programs, the office had several tabling activities at different Mason locations, online conversations, and a scavenger hunt. The Ombudsperson was present to engage with members of the Mason community during the tabling activities on the Fairfax, Mason Square, and Mason Science and Technology campuses. Mason ombuds office can be reached at [email protected]. Learn more about our Office at

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