Texas Tech Names New RISE Director
Brittany Todd, who served as associate director in the Office of Student Conduct, will lead the Risk Intervention & Safety Education office beginning today.
Newswise — Texas Tech University has named Brittany Todd, associate director of the Office of Student Conduct, as director of the Risk Intervention & Safety Education (RISE) office. She will begin in the new position today (Aug. 1), filling the spot left when Kimberly Simón was named the university’s Title IX administrator in April.
“Brittany brings with her a great deal of knowledge and experience on student wellness initiatives and student behavior,” said Dean of Students Matt Gregory. “At Texas Tech University, Brittany has established herself as a proven administrator within Student Affairs. I am thrilled to have Brittany join the RISE family as the new director and have full confidence that she will work with the RISE staff to continue to support our students.”
The RISE office was established in 2015 to provide prevention education and services to students on topics like alcohol, drugs, relationship violence and suicide prevention. Todd said the office serves as an important resource that contributes to students’ holistic development.
“I strongly believe that a college education goes much further than just the classroom doors and preparation to pass tests,” Todd said. “To me it’s a whole student and a whole person, and RISE is an integral component to developing well people with good life skills, helping our students stay safe and avoiding risks associated with things they may encounter in college life.”
Todd said the office also serves as a haven where students can feel safe and accepted when discussing difficult issues or choices they face.
“It’s a nonjudgmental place to talk about drugs and alcohol, relationships or sex,” she said. “It’s a great place where students can feel really comfortable to do that, and having that space on campus is really important.”
Todd earned her master’s degree in the administration of higher education and is pursuing a doctorate in the same field from Auburn University. She has completed Title IX, campus violence prevention and advanced behavioral intervention team training from the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, and emergency response training as part of a FEMA Campus Community Emergency Response Team.
In January 2013, Todd arrived at Texas Tech as assistant director of academic integrity within the student conduct office. In that role, she facilitated a collaborative adjudication process for faculty, department chairs and associate deans; performed annual assessments of student learning outcomes through the academic integrity conduct process; and educated student and employee groups about the “Code of Student Conduct” and academic integrity.
As associate director in the student conduct office, Todd trained staff as investigators and hearing officers; selected and trained university hearing panels for Code of Student Conduct allegations; helped create investigation and adjudication processes for handling conduct allegations; and developed and implemented the training of associate deans as appellate officers in academic integrity cases. She was responsible for creating the conduct officer and investigator resource guide; helping revise and update the “Texas Tech Student Handbook” and “Code of Student Conduct;” and creating and overseeing the Academic Integrity Blackboard Course.
She also investigated and adjudicated alleged violations of the “Code of Student Conduct” and served as the primary hearing officer for Title IX-related offenses; the primary investigator and administrator for academic integrity; and as a representative on the Behavior Intervention Team.
She said her work in the Office of Student Conduct parallels the work she’ll complete in RISE, aside from one major difference.
“The work in student conduct mostly occurs after an incident has occurred,” Todd said. “In the RISE office, you have this great opportunity to intervene and educate before something goes wrong and hopefully prevent some of those negative occurrences. We’re focused on keeping our students safe and preventing situations so they might not occur in the first place.”
Her work before Texas Tech also prepared Todd for the work she’ll complete at RISE. At Auburn University, Todd served in multiple roles in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness Services, including health promotion specialist, sexual assault survivor advocate and alcohol education facilitator. While there, she helped develop a peer-health education and outreach program, a campus wide health and wellness plan, a bystander intervention training program and a sexual wellness initiative.
“We had a similar mission to that of RISE,” Todd said. “We worked with campus partners to promote student wellness and facilitated prevention and education efforts at the university, and I’m looking forward to that here. There are a lot of opportunities to collaborate at Texas Tech because so many student organizations and academic department are interested in the work RISE does.
“I’m most excited about working one-on-one with Texas Tech students and really getting to know the student body in a different, exciting and proactive way. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with passionate students who are committed to creating an inclusive campus environment and a culture of wellness at Texas Tech.”
Todd said she also is looking forward to working with two new professional staff members, safety and wellness coordinator Elena Sanchez-Freeman and alcohol and other drugs coordinator Joseph Pfund. She said team conversations will help them develop priorities about what the future will hold for RISE and how to best serve Texas Tech students.
“Prevention education and wellness promotion, that is really where my passion lies. I’m looking forward to the opportunity for building upon the great work that has been done in this office in the past and also bringing some new ideas,” Todd said. “I’m hoping to build upon the groundwork that’s already been laid and further developing the peer education program. I believe strongly in the value of peer education in RISE, and I’m confident that our peer educators will continue to be leaders in inspiring our student body to make good choices, be careful, respect themselves and others, and become great Red Raiders and good people.”