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May Live Webinar: Research 101: Basics for All Ombuds
Thursday, May 09, 2024, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM PDT
Category: Webinars

IOA Live Webinar

Research 101: Basics for All Ombuds

Presented by: Donna Edmondson, Julie Muroff, and Lisa M. PytlikZillig, PhD. 

This webinar intends to make the topic of research more accessible, relatable, and meaningful for all ombuds by explaining basic concepts and facilitating discussion on how to address some of the barriers. Specifically, the session will help ombuds at all levels and in all sectors to gain a better understanding of: (1) what research is by providing and discussing definitions, types of research/evaluation, source materials, and how these may include ombuds' own data and reports; (2) why ombuds need research, by discussing relevance to individual ombuds, offices, and the ombuds field, including connections to ombuds' DEI and other objectives; and (3) how to develop and address a research topic, by exploring the basics of the scientific method; the processes of accessing, interpreting, and contributing to a body of knowledge; and the relevance of the IOA Framework and guidance.

Learning Objectives:

After participating in this webinar, participants should be able to:

  • Describe what research is and understand the various types of activities considered “research”
  • Discuss how research differs from evaluation and what comprises human subjects (IRB-monitored) research
  • Identify why it is important to the ombuds field that ombuds understand, reference, support, and/or conduct research
  • Describe how they are already engaged in research/evaluation through their (offices’) reports, and promote the value of that research
  • Develop a research topic, question, or project that allows the participant to add to the body of knowledge in the ombuds field and provides benefit to their office and organization


Presenter Bios:

Donna Edmondson has been with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for 28 years. She is an alumnus of the institution and currently serves as the University Ombuds. Donna has been in this role for 11 years. She spent 9 years in Student Affairs and 8½ years in Academic Affairs as a Research Assistant and Program Coordinator at the Center for Archaeological Research. Donna is an alumnus of Leadership UTSA (LUTSA) and the Women’s Professional Advancement and Synergy Academy (WPASA). She is a member of the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) at UTSA and has been a member of the International Ombuds Association since 2013.



Julie Muroff, Co-Chair of IOA’s Research and Assessment Committee, has worked in a scientific research organization for 18+ years. Currently, Julie is the founding Ombuds Director at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Previously, she worked for over 15 years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in several roles, including as Acting NIH Ombudsman/Director of the NIH Center for Cooperative Resolution. Julie has focused her career on helping professionals manage conflict and change through her work as a certified ombudsman, credentialed executive coach, mediator, facilitator, attorney, and presenter. She enjoys writing and lecturing on topics related to that work.




Lisa M. PytlikZillig, PhD, is a faculty ombuds at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Research Associate Professor and Senior Research Manager at the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center. In addition to serving as an ombuds, she is a community mediator and a faculty researcher. Her academic research focuses on institutional trust, public engagement around potentially controversial issues, and dispute resolution. More about Dr. PytlikZillig can be found at https://ppc.unl.edu/staff/lisa-pytlikzillig and https://executivevc.unl.edu/faculty/life/ombuds/contact.



Register Now

Webinar Pricing:

  • IOA Members: Free + Access to the Recording 
  • Non-Members: $250 (Live Webinar Only)

This course has been submitted for 1.5 Professional Development Hours that can be used for maintaining a Candidate for CO-OP® or CO-OP® Credential pending approval. 

View the IOA Online Learning & Virtual Event Policies.