Familiar face offering impartial advice through Ombuds Office

Heather Bellisario ( BSc ’08, BEd ’08, MEd ’13) spent more than a decade guiding Brock students as they charted their career course.

Now, as the University’s new Student Ombuds, she’s offering help in a different capacity.

In her new role, Bellisario will act as a confidential and neutral resource for the Brock community, where she can help students understand Brock policies and procedures and connect them with on-campus resources and options for resolution.

With her role overseen by a Joint Advisory Committee and funded by Brock University, the Brock University Students’ Union and the Graduate Students’ Association, Bellisario says she can offer impartial advice.

“Students can come to me for anything, including a complaint about something in their courses, help finding resources on campus or for issues related to academic misconduct and appealing a grade,” she says.

Having begun her time at Brock as a student in 2003, Bellisario completed a Concurrent Teacher Education degree with the goal of becoming a guidance counsellor. However, the chance to continue interacting with students at the University made her reconsider her path.

Starting as a recruitment officer, she quickly transitioned to the role of Academic Advisor, which has allowed her to help students chart their academic journeys over the past 13 years.

Now she is ready to shift from offering advice on students’ academic paths to a more wide-ranging area of focus.

“I’m looking forward to helping students understand the policies they may not have been aware of before,” she says. “In a situation that may be stressful, it can be harder for them to find those resources on their own, and I can give them that extra confidence when it comes to taking their next steps.”

To learn more about Brock’s Student Ombuds, visit the Office of the Ombudsperson website.

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