2021 Annual Meeting Ombuds
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The AERA Ombuds is a resource that will be available to attendees during the 2021 Annual Meeting. The ombuds is a neutralconfidential, informal, and independent resource who will be available to hear meeting attendees’ concerns and can assist them by identifying options and resources to resolve conflicts or issues – including harassment, discrimination, or any violation of the AERA Ethics Code or Standards of Conduct.

The Ombuds Role at the AERA Annual Meeting is to…

  • Listen and understand your concerns, neutrally and confidentially
  • Identify and discuss the range of options available to you
  • Provide guidance and resources for understanding how to resolve conflicts or address concerns about unethical or inappropriate behavior
  • Inform you about and explain options for formally reporting misconduct to AERA
  • Offer support and guidance even if you choose not to file a formal report or complaint

How to Contact the AERA Annual Meeting Ombuds:

The ombuds will be available during the Virtual Annual Meeting for video or phone appointments. To schedule an appointment with the ombuds email your request to aeraombuds@gmail.com . You may also reach out by phone at (202) 505-3356.

Virtual Office Hours:

During the Virtual  Annual Meeting, the ombuds will be available for video or phone consultations with meeting participants during the following times:

  • Thursday, April 8:              12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 9:                     9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 10:               9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 11:                  9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 12:                9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

After the Meeting,
If you would like to contact the ombuds about an issue that arose during the meeting, you can send an email message to aeraombuds@gmail.com or phone (202) 505-3356.


Meet the Annual AERA Annual Meeting Ombuds

Shannon Lynn Burton

Shannon Lynn Burton, Ph.D., is the university ombudsperson at Michigan State University. In that role, she seeks to make the office a touchpoint for building trust within the organization by creating a space where individuals can freely discuss their concerns in an environment that adheres to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice: confidentiality, informality, neutrality, and independence. Burton serves the broader professional community through her work as one of the IOA’s inaugural co-chairs for the Research and Assessment Committee and as editor for the Journal of the IOA ( JIOA). Additionally, Burton is an adjunct professor of management at Aquinas College and an active member of the Michigan Caucus of Educational Ombuds, as well as the American Bar Association's (ABA) Ombuds Committee. She regularly presents, researches, and consults on organization and administration in higher education, student development and learning theory, conflict resolution, dialogue and deliberation, and academic integrity. Burton earned her Ph.D. in higher, adult, and lifelong education, with a specialization in global urban studies from Michigan State University.

Carol Mershon

Carol Mershon, Ph.D., is Professor in Politics at the University of Virginia. Mershon has served as interim co-PI and program director for UVA CHARGE, the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program at the university. A founding member of the steering committee of the Directors of Diversity and Inclusion in UVA Arts & Sciences, Mershon helped spearhead the creation of the pilot UVA Arts & Sciences Faculty Guides program, designed to handle concerns such as harassment, conflicts of interest, and equity. In her most recent NSF-funded project, with Denise Walsh, Mershon developed strategies for diversifying leadership and addressing bias in political science and in academe more broadly. Mershon now co-chairs the American Political Science Association’s Presidential Task Force on Examining Issues and Mechanisms of Systemic Inequality in the Discipline.