Monique McKay named Graduate School ombudsperson
Monique McKay has been hired as the Virginia Tech Graduate School ombudsperson. A lawyer and mediator, she co-founded and was executive director of the Master Mediator Institute, an internationally recognized educational institute focused on furthering interdisciplinary understandings about the brain, human behavior, conflict resolution, and facilitated decision making.
The Graduate School established the Office of Ombudsperson in 2007 to help graduate students address concerns and resolve issues that arise within the university setting. The ombudsperson acts as an advocate for fairness and provides a confidential place to discuss concerns, provides conflict coaching, discusses options to resolve conflict and ways to communicate effectively. The ombudsperson also helps clarify policies, connects students with other university resources, and may recommend changes to policies.
McKay's experience as a lawyer and mediator includes a variety of contract disputes, employment claims, construction, oil and gas, real estate and family business cases. She has also mediated community disputes, juvenile issues and victim-offender cases, and worked with Indigenous and Canadian governments and organizations on justice initiatives, education issues, self-government models, and policy.
McKay has conducted presentations and training programs on mediation and conflict resolution in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She was an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary Law School and was the faculty advisor for the Alternative Dispute Resolution team.
McKay earned a diploma in journalism, a bachelor's degree, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master of Laws degree in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University.