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Meet the Graduate and Professional Student Ombudsperson - Rebeka Campos-Astorkiza

The Graduate School is very excited to announce the creation of the new Ombudsperson for Graduate and Professional Students.  

Recently, the esteemed Associate Professor from the Department of Spanish and PortugueseRebeka Campos-Astorkiza, was appointed to the position.

The primary mission of this newly created position is to support students in addressing issues and challenges they may face within their graduate careers at OSU. This means that the Graduate and Professional (GPS) Ombudsperson is an independent, confidential*, neutral, and informal resource for all graduate students to utilize when resolving issues and conflicts, and for exploring options and making important decisions.


To support the relationship between the GPS Ombudsperson and students, we have asked Associate Professor Campos-Astorkiza to provide some insight into her passion for supporting graduate education and students at OSU.

What services does the GPS Ombudsperson provide to interested students? 

“First and foremost, the ombudsperson provides an independent, confidential* space to be listened to and receive informal counsel and advice. I help students explore options and make decisions to address problems by gathering information and resources to aid in the process. I also guide students in identifying and reframing issues and help them develop solutions and strategies to resolve conflict by thinking creatively. I work with students to empower them with the tools to solve problems by themselves. In some cases, I might informally facilitate communication among the parties involved. *the ombudsperson has reporting responsibilities until Title IX.

Apart from this main role, I will also be in charge of writing reports (maintaining confidentiality) and sharing them with the university to advocate for systemic change. The Ombud's reports will identify patterns in the issues that I am consulted on and will recommend ways to improve policies and procedures.”
 

What was the personal reasoning behind why you choose to serve as the Ombuds for graduate and professional students at OSU?

“I find a lot of satisfaction, at a professional and personal level, from working with graduate students, and I look forward to expanding my experience with grad and professional students across campus since I am truly committed to finding positive ways to bring about structural changes that will improve their experience at OSU. I think that grad and professional students have been under a lot of pressure in recent years and they are looking for ways to make their voices heard and find solutions to their issues – I empathize with this and believe that OSU can definitely work towards a better learning and working environment for them.” 
 

What positive benefits do you see the GPS Ombudsperson adding to the overall graduate experience at OSU?

“The graduate and professional student (GPS) ombudsperson addresses issues and challenges that graduate and professional students may face with faculty and advisors, within their programs or within the university at large. The goal is to support a positive learning and work environment and to advance fairness and equity for graduate and professional students.”

 

If there is a single message you would like to convey to graduate students as the Ombuds, what would that be?

“If you are not sure where to take a concern, the ombudsperson offers a safe and confidential place to start and gives students the opportunity to speak and be heard by a neutral listener.”


As graduate and professional students, the Graduate School encourages you to become acquainted with the GPS Ombudsperson as Associate Professor Campos-Astorkiza is an invaluable resource appointed to work with you and guide you through many of the challenges of your graduate career at OSU.

To read more about the Office of the Ombudsperson you can visit https://ombudsman.osu.edu or if you would like to schedule an appointment or ask a question, send an email to gradomduds@osu.edu.