Eastern Michigan University welcomes Chiara Hensley as the new ombuds.
“Students come to the Office of the Ombuds for support, a listening ear and guidance about EMU policies and procedures that affect and how and where to go to find resolution,” Hensley said.
The Office of the Ombuds is located in the Student Center room 240 and open for any student experiencing challenges on campus.
According to Hensley, the office handles a wide variety of student concerns including communication with professors, conduct issues, grade grievances, academic dismissal, tuition, medical appeals, billing issues and financial aid concerns. The Office of the Ombuds may also assist students with any other problems that they may encounter during their time at Eastern Michigan University.
Hensley grew up in Ann Arbor, but moved to Los Angeles, Calif. after graduation to work in film and television production, becoming executive assistant to model Tyra Banks. Though she enjoyed her work, she followed her calling into the field of teaching, taking night classes at a local community college. Upon returning to Ann Arbor, Hensley earned her bachelor’s degree at the
University of Michigan followed by a master’s degree from EMU.
“I headed to Pasadena, Calif. where I have spent the last 12 years as a professor, program director and counselor at Pasadena City College,” she said. “My heart is in Michigan and I am thrilled to be back home.”
Hensley received a doctorate in education from Nova Southeast University in 2013.
Her new position as EMU ombuds is a passion closer to her heart, allowing her to serve her alma mater while continuing her goals of assisting students in succeeding.
“I love helping students find their way and grow through the often complex and difficult challenges of college life,” Hensley said. “Having been an EMU student, I know the campus and can relate to the student experience firsthand, which brings a helpful lens to the work I do as ombuds.”
Since Hensley took over the position, the Office of the Ombuds has succeeded in moving from their previous location in Welch to the Student Center. The office is undergoing minor renovations to make it a more warm, welcoming and helpful environment for EMU students seeking assistance.
Hensley considers her position to be one of both personal growth and an opportunity to help EMU campus to find happiness as well as build a sense of pride.
“My main goals for the office are to get the word out to students, faculty and staff that we are here to help guide you and direct you to the appropriate campus resource to resolve any issue you may encounter here at EMU,” Hensley said. “I also want to learn more about the kinds of complaints people have with regard to EMU processes and procedures so that I can work directly with the provost to recommend improvements as a direct result of what students, faculty and staff say needs to change.”
Eastern Michigan University’s Office of the Ombuds is a valuable resource for students on campus and a place to help find guidance as students navigate the college experience.
In addition to visiting the office in person, students can find useful information about the Office of the Ombuds at emich.edu/ombuds. Any student experiencing difficulties is encouraged to take time and contact the office and find the guidance that could make all the difference.
“Every job comes with its unique set of challenges,” Hensley said. “I am totally in love with my work here at EMU so for me, every challenge is fun, exciting and helps me grow as a person and as an educational ombuds.”