EAPS Ombudspersons - Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - Purdue University Skip to main content

EAPS Ombudspersons

The ombudsperson/listener is an informal, neutral, and confidential resource who advocates for fairness and equity in the department. Faculty, staff, post-docs, graduate, and undergraduate students in the department are all encouraged to meet with an ombudsperson to voice their concerns. A good way to think of an ombudsperson is as a “Thinking Partner” who will listen to you, give you some perspective and feedback on your concern, and help brainstorm ways to cope with and/or overcome this concern. Concerns may include but are not limited to: academic difficulties, lab dynamics, personality conflicts, advisor-student interactions, personal problems, stressful work environments, and time management.  


The only exceptions to the confidentiality rule are: if there is an imminent threat of serious harm to oneself or another employee, cases of research misconduct, sexual harassment, sexual violence, or if the concerned parties request or permit the information to be shared. Faculty ombudspeople are mandatory reporters. Graduate student ombudspeople are only mandatory reporters if they serve as a teaching assistant for a student seeking their guidance.


Any of the ombudspeople would be happy to:

  • Listen to concerns
  • Provide feedback, suggest appropriate on campus resources, and explore options to resolve those concerns (either following paths on the department flowchart or through alternate pathways)
  • Facilitate dialogues, or serve as liaisons, between the concerned parties to resolve concerns and reach an informal resolution
  • Recommend and advocate for relevant changes in policy and/or work procedures at the department or College of Science level to create a more amenable work environment


You can directly e-mail your ombudsperson of choice to schedule an appointment with them. Please remember that the confidentiality of email messages cannot be guaranteed, so we advise against including sensitive information in your e-mail.


EAPS has five ombudspeople of different academic rank and experience available for you to choose from:


 Ken Ridgway (ridge@purdue.edu) is a sedimentary geologist that has been a faculty member in EAPS since 1992.  He is co-leader of the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Program at Purdue and has received CoS awards for mentoring graduate students and for diversity.  His door and Zoom account are always open if you would like to talk.


chavasDaniel Chavas (dchavas@purdue.edu) is an Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science. He is Safe Zone trained and the chair of the EAPS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. His research areas include natural hazard physics, tropical cyclones, weather and climate variability, climate change, risk analysis, and societal impacts.



 Michelle Thompson (mthompson@purdue.edu) is a third year Assistant Professor at Purdue and studies planetary materials. Michelle is Safe Zone trained and is currently the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in EAPS. She is always available to students, staff, and faculty to listen and offer confidential advice and other resources as needed. 


 Adeene Denton (denton15@purdue.edu) is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Planetary Group within the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. During her PhD, she has developed extensive experience in student-faculty relations and mediation, and is available at any time, either in person or virtually to provide confidential advice and resources to graduate students during this critical, and sometimes difficult, phase of their academic life. 


 Disha Okhai (dokhai@purdue.edu) is a second year PhD student with a focus on Geology and Geophysics. As an international student, she is familiar with the challenges that come along with being far away from home, family, and friends, in an unfamiliar city or country. She is always available (both in person, and virtually) to listen, offer confidential advice, and direct you to the appropriate campus resources, if needed.


 Hannah Weaver (weave150@purdue.edu) is a second year Masters student in the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department within the Geology and Geophysics research area. She received her ombuds training through the graduate school and is available to listen to any concerns other graduate students, or faculty, in the department may have. As a student herself, and having recently undergone the transition from undergraduate to graduate studies, she understands the challenges that arise in grad school and she strives to help other students resolve these.



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