Master of Management at Aquinas College

Shannon Lynn Burton, Ph.D.

Shannon Burton
Adjunct Professor of Management


Shannon Lynn Burton, PhD became an Adjunct Professor of Management in early 2020 for Aquinas College.  In her full-time role as University Ombudsperson at Michigan State University, she seeks to make the office a touchpoint for building trust within the organization by creating a space where individuals can freely discuss their concerns in an environment that adheres to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice: confidentiality, informality, neutrality and independence. At the center of this, she aspires to:

  • Treat individuals as conscious beings able to actively participate in creating solutions through reflection;
  • Increase capacity for conflict resolution and engage processes that build democracy; and
  • Develop critical thinking skills and create lifelong learners.

Ultimately, her goal is to develop human capital in managing conflict and improve communication skills in line with the role and purpose of the ombuds office, as well as in line with the university's mission.

Dr. Burton serves the broader professional community through her work as one of the International Ombudsman Association's (IOA) inaugural co-chairs for the Research and Assessment Committee and as Editor for the Journal of the IOA (JIOA). Previously, she served on the IOA Title IX Task Force. Dr. Burton is an active member of the Michigan Caucus of Educational Ombuds, as well as the American Bar Association's (ABA) Ombuds Committee where she serves as the Editor for the Ombuds Edition of the Just Resolutions newsletter. More recently, she became one of the ombuds for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in addition to her other roles. Finally, she regularly presents, researches and consults on organization and administration, learning theory, conflict resolution, and dialogue and deliberation.


Dr. Burton earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education with a Specialization in Global Urban Studies from Michigan State University. She also has a Master of Science in Academic Advising (Kansas State University), a Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration (Michigan State University), as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Sociology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (Grand Valley State University). In 2018, she also completed a graduate certificate in Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement (Kansas State University).