Sherry Ebrahimi (’97C) has been appointed to the newly-established position of student ombudsperson, which aims to assist students in navigating University resources and helping them become their own advocate.

Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair appointed Ebrahimi to the part-time position. She will assume the new role in addition to her current position as director of university conferences.

Ebrahimi will be responsible for assisting students in achieving resolutions to their problems and concerns while ensuring their privacy. She will also offer assistance and act a source of information and referral.

“[Ebrahimi] possesses the strong interpersonal skills and a deep understanding of the Emory community,” Senior Associate Dean for Campus Life External Relations Andy Wilson said. “Those skills and experiences will serve her well in this new role as student ombudsperson.”

Last year, both faculty and students developed the idea for the establishment of the position through the Campus Life Compact for Building an Inclusive Community at Emory, a group of faculty, students and staff with the goal of gathering feedback and subsequently developing initiatives for the future. According to a University press release, there was a need for a student ombudsperson to be established to address any hurdles undergraduate and graduate students may face.

Ebrahimi will be an “impartial, consistent and centralized point of contact,” according to the press release.

Though an ombudsperson is common at many universities, Emory recognized its need for one with a focus on the students specifically, Wilson said.

“Emory’s student ombudsperson role will focus on serving students while the position at other institutions may focus on a broader university audience that include staff and faculty,” Wilson said.

No stranger to Emory, Ebrahimi is a graduate of Emory College and has served the University in variety of capacities ranging from the Division of Campus Life to her current co-role as director of university conferences.

Wilson said Ebrahimi has experience working with students and that her qualifications make her ideal for the position.

“I hope to provide students another outlet of support here in Campus Life,” Ebrahimi said. “Sometimes students aren’t sure where to go or how to get the answers they need for their situation. I hope to help students have the same great experience I did as a student by utilizing all of the great resources available to them.”

Wilson said his goal for the position is to develop the role to give students access to a source of private support.

Students like College freshman Josh Werman have responded positively to the establishment of the new position.

“Though I have not yet heard of this new position, in the future I would definitely consider meeting with her if I had any issue which I could use her expertise with,” he said.

– By Joe Toledano

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