Ombuds Team

Valerie Kinloch, PhD

Valerie Kinloch is the Renée and Richard Goldman Endowed Dean of the School of Education and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to being Co-Chair of Remake Learning, she is also President-Elect of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Program Chair for NCTE’s 2021 Annual Convention (see

Her scholarship examines the literacies and engagements of youth and adults in school and community contexts. Author of publications on race, place, literacy, and equity, she has written more than eight books, some of which include a focus on poet June Jordan, on critical perspectives on language and learning, and on community engagement. Her book, Harlem On Our Minds: Place, Race, and the Literacies of Urban Youth, received the 2010 Outstanding Book of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Another book, Crossing Boundaries: Teaching and Learning with Urban Youth, was a staff pick for professional development by the Teaching Tolerance Education Magazine. Her most recent co-edited book is titled, Race, Justice, and Activism in Literacy Instruction, published earlier this year (2020) with Teachers College Press. Her forthcoming book is tentatively titled, Where is the Justice? Engaged Pedagogies in Schools and Communities.

Born and raised in Charleston, SC, Valerie completed her K-12 education in public schools there. She earned her undergraduate degree from Johnson C. Smith University, and her graduate degrees from Wayne State University.

In 2019, Valerie was inducted into the American Education Research Association’s (AERA) Fellows program, and she is a past recipient of AERA’s Scholars of Color Early Career Award. She is also a recipient of NCTE’s Rewey Belle Inglis Award for Outstanding Women in English Education as well as the Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award.

Michelle Manni, PhD / 412-648-1381

Michelle Manni, PhD, is an assistant professor in the department of pharmacology and chemical biology, where she has spent a decade focusing her research on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of pulmonary health and disease. She earned a doctorate in cellular and molecular pathology at Pitt. Dr. Manni says she chose to serve in the medical school’s Ombuds Office to create a safe, nonjudgmental, and confidential space for students to address sensitive topics and problems that arise during their training and to bring systemic concerns to the attention of school leadership for resolution. As a graduate of the School of Medicine Interdisciplinary PhD Program, she is excited to serve students in new ways and to help foster the growth of the office to maintain an engaging, respectful, and inclusive learning environment.

G. Sarah Napoe, MD, MS

G. Sarah Napoe MD, MS, is assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences and a 2012 graduate of the Pitt School of Medicine. She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General hospitals and a fellowship at Brown University. Dr. Napoe believes in an environment where every person lives with dignity and confidence that their health care will serve their needs. As a teacher, she strives to unlock and build on every student’s unique talents to help them become excellent physicians. Dr. Napoe believes in respectful and responsible global health and understands that birthplace and location should not prohibit access to care. As a graduate of the school of medicine, Dr. Napoe is excited to serve in the ombuds position to help students find resolutions to difficult situations in a confidential manner.

Robert O’Doherty, PhD / 412-999-9893 (please text)

Robert O’Doherty, PhD, is professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics. He is also director of the T32 Endocrinology Training Program. Dr. O’Doherty earned his PhD at Vanderbilt University (1995). He joined the University of Pittsburgh faculty in 1999, where he has focused his research on questions related to the association between states of overnutrition and resulting metabolic disturbances, most notably obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes. Dr. O’Doherty has a wealth of experience in mentoring students, postdoctoral fellows, and young faculty. He sees the ombuds position as an opportunity to listen to and assist students in finding resolutions to the sometimes complex issues they encounter in a safe, confidential, and respectful setting.

Laurel Roberts, PhD / 412-624-4291

Laurel Roberts, PhD, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, where she has also served as an assistant dean for undergraduates. From 2020-2021, she served as a Provost Fellow for Faculty. She has been a course director for the School of Medicine’s Summer Pre-Med Academic Enrichment Program since 2002. Dr. Roberts is an academic advisor for the Pre-Med Organization for Minority Students, Panthers Educating and Advocating for Children in Homeless Situations, and FROGS, the peer mentoring organization for males underrepresented in science. She earned her PhD in behavioral ecology in 1992 at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Roberts chose to serve with the Ombuds Office because of her long-standing commitment to the success of her students from their first biology lecture, to their first professional appointment.

Daniel Devor, PhD / 412-383-8755

Daniel Devor, PhD, joined the Pitt faculty in 1995 and is professor of cell biology at the School of medicine. He received his PhD in physiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Devor’s research interests focus on the regulation of channels and transporters that control membrane trafficking and organelle biogenesis. He has made seminal contributions to the understanding of both the basic science and its relevance to disease, particularly cystic fibrosis.


If you are interested in serving as an ombudsperson, contact Molly Powers, in the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor at or 412-648-8229.