Birthe’s experience includes over 15 years of conflict engagement, higher education, and non-profit work in the United States and Germany. As an Ombudsperson and Director of the Office of the Ombudsperson at Georgia State University, she uses mediation, facilitation, and coaching processes to assist individuals and groups with managing interpersonal and organizational conflicts. She is a certified family and community mediator who has facilitated school-site conflict management trainings and victim offender restitution processes. Birthe has also been trained in Kingian Nonviolence by Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Bernice King.
Birthe holds a PhD in International Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a M.A. in African American Studies with a concentration in Psychology from UCLA, and a B.A. in Education, English, and French from the University of Hamburg, Germany. She has been contributing to the advancement of the conflict management field by developing the Comprehensive Conflict Engagement Model (CCEM) and pioneering the use of the Photovoice methodology as a practical conflict engagement strategy in diverse communities.
Birthe has published and presented in national and international journals and conferences on topics such as post-conflict social identity reconstruction and the interconnectedness of community engagement scholarship, practice, and pedagogy.
Sophia is your first point of contact with the Office of the Ombudsperson – even before you know it! Not only will she take your calls and greet you at the door, but she is also the creative powerhouse behind the digital presence of the office. As the Administrative Coordinator at the Office of the Ombudsperson, Sophia uses her expertise in digital media and design, outreach, and customer service to introduce the campus community to the Office of the Ombudsperson and its services. She has developed her community building skills working with student organizations, advocating for LGBTQ+ and Latinex populations. She continued her advocacy as a legal assistant in the Midwest to aid Latinex workers.
Sophia is a proud Alumna of the University of Wisconsin La Crosse where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is continuing her journey at Georgia State University’s MPA program, concentrating in Nonprofit Organization. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, language learning and cooking.
Incoming Graduate Research Assistant
Graduate Research Assistant
Alex Johnson works with the OOO as a graduate research assistant and is entering her 2nd year as a doctoral student in the Educational Policy Studies program with a concentration on Social Foundations. She hails from Cincinnati, Ohio where she earned her B.A. in Spanish and M.A in Higher Education Administration at the University of Cincinnati. Her professional experiences include teaching elementary school, and working with students with disabilities, minority affinity groups, and advocacy organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Her research interests include access and retention, leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion, and cultural exchange in higher education.
Julie and Payton were our inaugural student ambassadors aka Ombassadors during their freshman year in the Honors College. Julie is a student in Public Health and Payton in Political Science. If you see them on campus and have any questions about our office or services, please feel free to ask them as they remain our Legacy Ombassadors and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.