CARE TEAM

The CARE Team is a multidisciplinary proactive campus threat assessment and behavioral intervention team dedicated to improving campus safety through a coordinated, objective approach to prevention, identification, assessment, intervention, and management of situations that may pose a threat to the safety and well-being of  individuals and the university community.

 

Fostering a safe and supportive campus environment is the work of all university employees. The CARE Team was created to formalize the university’s existing processes for greater communication, collaboration, and coordination of concerns regarding student, employee, or other persons’ behavior.

The primary work of the CARE Team (Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation Team) is to collect and assess all reports of threats or other alarming behaviors by any student or employee as well as others who might impact the safety or well-being of the university community. By gathering information about individuals of concern, assessing the information in a systematic manner, determining the most effective response, implementing a plan to address the concern, and monitoring the effectiveness of the response, the team seeks to prevent disruptive or harmful incidents. Central to this process is enhancing and connecting campus communication to effectively detect patterns of behavior that in isolation my seem insignificant but when viewed in totality signal a more serious problem. By modeling effective behavioral intervention practices, this proactive approach seeks to address concerning behaviors before situations become critical.

CARE Team Mission Statement

The CARE Team is a multidisciplinary proactive campus threat assessment and behavioral intervention team dedicated to improving campus safety through a coordinated, objective approach to prevention, identification, assessment, intervention, and management of situations that may pose a threat to the safety and well-being of individuals and the university community.

CARE Team Policies and Procedures

The CARE Team is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of university personnel representing a variety of campus departments. Individuals selected from these areas have experience in law enforcement, threat assessment, medical and mental health evaluation, human resources, university operations, and student affairs. The members selected have regular contact with campus community members and hold positions that have multiple daily touch points with the majority of campus departments which will aid in assessment of persons of concern, and/or provide the authority to receive a CARE Team referral and take the appropriate action.

Core Group

Amy Pennington, Chair
AVP/Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator

(479) 968-0407 - office
(479) 264-0250 - cell
apennington@atu.edu

Will Cooper, Vice Chair
Associate Dean for Student Conduct/Deputy Title IX Coordinator

(479) 968-0334
wcooper@atu.edu

Dr. Keegan Nichols
Vice President for Student Affairs

(479) 968-0238
knichols@atu.edu

Dr. Jason Warnick
Assistant Vice President for Student Success Initiatives and Associate Professor of Psychology

(479) 356-2005
jwarnick@atu.edu

Colette Tobias
Assistant Dean for Residence Life

(479) 968-0376
ctobias@atu.edu

Kristy Davis
Associate Dean for Student Wellness

(479) 968-0329
kdavis51@atu.edu

Josh McMillian
Chief, Director of Public Safety

(479) 968-0222
jmcmillian1@atu.edu

Marika Lederman
Director of Academic Advising and Retention

(479) 964-0843
mlederman@atu.edu

William Titsworth
Assistant Dean for Student Conduct/Lead Title IX Investigator

(479) 498-6083 
wtitsworth@atu.edu 

 

Additional Members

Sam Strasner
Director of University Relations

(479) 498-6045
sstrasner@atu.edu

Carrie Phillips
Director of New Media

(479) 880-4041
cphillips@atu.edu

Tammy Marcoe
Assistant Chief, Public Safety

(479) 968-0622
tmarcoe@atu.edu  

Bob Freeman
Director of Human Resources

(479) 968-0396
rfreeman18@atu.edu

Craig Witcher
Counselor/LAC

(479) 968-0329
cwitcher@atu.edu

Richard Harris
Chief Student Life Officer/Ozark Campus

479-508-3310
rharris1@atu.edu

Peter Clifton
Maintenance Assistant/Ozark Campus

479-667-2117
pclifton@atu.edu

Kristie Moore
Librarian/Ozark Campus

479-508-3321
kmoore36@atu.edu

Lynn Washington
Workforce Education Faculty of Human Services/Ozark Campus

479-508-3319
lwashington@atu.edu

David Spicer
Public Safety Officer/Ozark Campus

479-667-1707
dspicer1@atu.edu

All members of the university community play an important role in helping others get the assistance they need. There may be signs or indications that a person is experiencing problems and needs assistance.

Examples of the types of observed behaviors sometimes exhibited by distressed persons that should be referred to the CARE Team include:

  • Extreme anxiety
  • Prolonged and significant difficulty with the demands of college
  • Tearfulness, frequent crying
  • Loss of temper or outbursts of anger
  • Destructive behavior, including self-destruction such as cutting
  • Displays of physical and/or domestic violence
  • Expressions of self-blame, guilt, or shame
  • Extreme sadness or depression
  • Deteriorating classroom performance
  • Disruptiveness, overly confrontational, aggressive with disregard for others
  • Impulsiveness without giving thoughts to consequences of actions
  • Withdrawing from or avoiding others, isolating
  • Expressionless face
  • References to suicide along with statements of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Speaking or writing that is violent in nature, seems bizarre, or is out of touch with reality
  • Violent fantasy content, expression of dark or jarring themes or images
  • Fascination with weapons
  • Homicidal ideation
  • Stalking
  • Non-compliance or disciplinary matters
  • Interest in previous shooting situations
  • Victim/martyr self-concept, allusions of grandeur   
  • Paranoia
  • Violence or cruelty
  • Recent police contact
  • Unusual interest in police, military, terrorist activities and materials
  • Excessive use of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Recent and dramatic life changes, including changes in personality, eating habits, hygiene/appearance, sleep patterns
  • Publishing a video or communicating a plan of harm to self or others

 

Presentation of these types of behaviors in isolation may or may not indicate a more serious problem. However, persons of concern may be exhibiting the same or similar behaviors in other areas of campus. Reporting information to the CARE Team may assist in the observation of a larger pattern of behaviors that may need intervention when the totality of the cirucmstances is taken into consideration. When in doubt, please submit a report and allow the CARE Team to review.

The behavior of distressed individuals may come to your attention in a variety of ways, including:

  • Direct observation of the behavior in the classroom, including in written form through assignments
     
  • Direct observation of the behavior outside of the classroom, including such places as the residence halls, library, cafeteria, or at student activities and events
     
  • Reports regarding online or social media platforms, via posts, blog entries, Tweets, etc.
     
  • Reports from other students, roommates, faculty, staff, or other members of the university community including family members
     
  • Direct communication with the individual, via in-person conversations, email, or phone calls/messages

 

Anyone can report concerning, disruptive, alarming, or threatening behaviors to the CARE Team.

NOTE: Even with the existence of a CARE Team, the actions and responsibilities of this team do not replace those of emergency responders or the police. Some behaviors require immediate emergency assistance. If an incident is currently an immediate threat to self or others, please report directly to the Department of Public Safety by dialing 911.

NOTE: The list of behaviors provided is not exhaustive or inclusive of all behaviors that should be reported but is intended to be a useful educational resource or guide.

Anyone can report concerning, disruptive, alarming, or threatening behaviors to the CARE Team by:

  • Speaking directly to a team member, or;
     
  • Submitting an online referral.

 

To submit an online referral, please visit this link:

http://j.mp/1hD95f5

If you have any problems or concerns with the online reporting form or you wish to make a report in person, please contact Amy Pennington, AVP/Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator and CARE Team chair, by phone at (479) 968-0407 or via email at apennington@atu.edu.

 

CARE Team Reporting Form

If an incident is currently an immediate threat to self or others, please report directly to the Department of Public Safety by dialing 911.