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Community Response Team

Cornell is committed to maintaining the safety of its campus. In doing so, Cornell aims to provide staffing to serve a broad range of individuals in crisis situations and collaborate within the campus’ larger system of care to address the needs of community members.

Role of the Community Response Team 

Community Responders will respond to the needs of students, approach the work with cultural humility, understanding of gender identities, understanding of trauma and mental health issues, and empathy for each individual involved in order to: 

  • De-escalate conflict or a distressing moment 

  • Co-create a coping plan for immediate future 

  • In most cases, respond without law enforcement accompaniment  

  • Collaborate and coordinate with law enforcement, emergency medical services, and other first responders when situations warrant further escalation 

  • Connect individuals to higher levels of care as needed through warm hand-offs and coordinating transportation if situations warrant transition to off-campus facilities 

  • Provide partnership to CUPD when welfare check is requested 

  • Serve as a Campus Confidential Resource for Policy 6.4 related incidents

Specifically, the Community Response Team will:  

  • Meet individuals in an environment where they are comfortable 

  • Help de-escalate individuals in crisis  
  • Provide navigational support to appropriate Cornell and community resources 
  • Avoid unnecessary law enforcement involvement, ED use, and hospitalization


Meet the Team

Reba McCutcheon

Associate Dean of Students

Reba is Associate Dean of Students, Care and Crisis Services, serving as a Senior member of the Crisis Management Team and oversees the Community Response Team. She serves in an advisory capacity for both Body Positive Cornell and Nature RX, and is a member of the Tompkins County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Reba served on the university’s Mental Health Review, has presented at national conferences such as CIVSA and IVY+ and holds memberships with NASPA, ACHA, and NAMI.

Jo Ann Molnar-Kieffer

Assistant Dean of Students

Most recently, Jo Ann served as Assistant Dean of Students, member of Care and Crisis Services Team, and serves as a senior member of the Crisis Management Team. She is also a University Event liaison, Title IX Hearing Committee member, and Students with Families Committee member. Jo also oversees the Student Child Care Grant, and represents and supports the various programs offered by the Office of the Dean of Students.

René Plevyak

Community Response Team

René has many years of experience working in the human services field, and was most recently serving survivors and individuals in crisis as an advocate/counselor at a domestic violence and sexual assault support organization in Tioga County. Through this work, René was able to provide trauma-informed support to all intersecting identities as they sought healing and justice while advocating for individuals in crisis.

Ana Riley

Community Response Team

103 Appel

Ana Riley is a Community Response Coordinator, part of the CRT. Ana has several years of experience in the human services field, having worked as both a family caseworker and subsidized housing caseworker prior to coming to Cornell. Committed to social justice, Ana deeply cares about helping others through times of crisis in a way that honors their identity and own measure of success.