NaBITA Newsletter
August 5, 2015


NaBITA has updated its newsletter schedule.

In order to streamline our communication, NaBITA will now send member newsletters on a bi-weekly basis. We look forward to bringing you current news, resources and expert advice every two weeks.


Join NaBITA Today!

In NaBITA's monthly newsletter we share A Note from the Experts, spotlight a resource relevant to the field, provide news, and share information about our upcoming events. In addition, each NaBITA newsletter brings you information relevant to the field of behavioral intervention and prevention, with current events and relevant resources. If you like the newsletter, we hope you will join NaBITA so that you can receive the bi-weekly version of this great member benefit. Click here for more information.

Resource Spotlight

NaBITA is pleased to spotlight Threat Assessment in The Campus Setting, the NaBITA 2014 Whitepaper, written by Brett A. Sokolow, J.D., W. Scott Lewis, J.D., Saundra K. Schuster, J.D., Daniel C. Swinton, J.D., Ed.D., and Brian J. Van Brunt, Ed.D.

A Note from the Experts

Counselors and Threat Assessment: Part 2

by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D.


Dr. Brian Van Brunt recently sat down with Counseling Today, a publication of the American Counseling Association, to reflect on the role counselors play in threat assessment.  In this 4-part series, Dr. Van Brunt will share his insight on the state of the field with regard to violence assessment, counselor preparedness and helpful suggestions and resources for supplemental training on assessment and treatment.


What are some misconceptions you feel counselors have about dangerousness in clients?


To read the complete Tip, click here.


Join us at the 7th Annual NaBITA Conference

and the 6th Annual Campus Threat Management Institute


November 17-21, 2015

The Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX



Earlybird Registration ends on September 4, 2015.

Register today!

For more information, please visit the NaBITA Conference webpage or contact:

Amanda Tarczynski, or (484) 321-3651



Thank you to everyone who submitted to the Call for Programs!

Speaker sessions will soon be added to the NaBITA Conference webpage.


Conference Keynote Speakers

NaBITA is honored to announce Dewey G. Cornell, Ph.D., as the Opening Keynote Speaker at this year's Conference. Dewey G. Cornell, Ph.D. is a forensic clinical psychologist and Bunker Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Dr. Cornell is Director of the U.Va. Virginia Youth Violence Project and a faculty associate of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. His research and teaching is concerned with the prevention of youth violence and bullying, as well as the facilitation of healthy student development and achievement through a supportive and structured school climate. Dr. Cornell has worked with juvenile and adult violent offenders, testified in criminal proceedings and legislative hearings, and consulted on violence prevention efforts. He has authored more than 200 publications in psychology and education, including studies of juvenile homicide, school safety, bullying and threat assessment. Two of his books are School Violence: Fears Versus Facts, and Guidelines for Responding to Student Threats of Violence. He is currently conducting a federally-funded study of school climate and bullying in more than 700 Virginia secondary schools.


Opening Keynote
The Evolution of Behavioral Threat Assessment: Future Directions for Violence Prevention
Presented by Dewey G. Cornell, Ph.D., forensic clinical psychologist and Bunker Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, Director of the U.Va. Virginia Youth Violence Project and a faculty associate of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. 


This presentation will examine how threat assessment has evolved from the broader field of risk assessment and what improvements are needed to establish it as an evidence-based practice. In the past 20 years behavioral threat assessment has emerged as a form of risk assessment with a distinguishing emphasis on targeted violence, attention to social ecology, and prevention through problem resolution. The advancement of threat assessment requires continued progression from an emphasis on prediction to multi-tiered prevention, from decisions guided by intuition to empirically-informed assessment, and from case reports to controlled studies. The presenter will illustrate these points with case experiences and research in Virginia public schools and higher education settings.



NaBITA is also pleased to announce Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.), as the Closing Keynote Speaker at this year's Conference. Col. Grossman is a former West Point psychology professor, Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger who has combined his experiences to become the founder of a new field of scientific endeavor, which has been termed "killology." In this new field Col. Grossman has made revolutionary new contributions to our understanding of killing in war, the psychological costs of war, the root causes of the current "virus" of violent crime that is raging around the world, and the process of healing the victims of violence, in war and peace.

Col. Grossman co-authored Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence, which has received international acclaim. He is the author of On Killing, as well as On Combat; both books are on the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant's Required Reading List, as well as required reading at the FBI academy and numerous colleges and universities. He has presented to over 100 different colleges and universities worldwide, and has trained educators and law enforcement professionals, in the field of school safety, at the state and regional level, in all 50 states and over a dozen foreign nations. He helped train mental health professionals after the Jonesboro school shootings, and he was also involved in counseling or court cases in the aftermath of the Paducah, Springfield, Littleton, Virginia Tech, and Nickel Mines Amish school shootings.


Closing Keynote
Learning to Kill: The Impact of Media Violence
Presented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Professor of Military Science and Psychology at West Point, co-author of Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence, and author of On Killing:  The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.


This presentation will address several diverse topics which were brought together by the author’s experiences as:  (1) a military and law enforcement trainer and psychologist, (2) a trainer of health professionals, law enforcement personnel, and first responders in the aftermath of the Jonesboro, Springfield, Littleton, Nickel Mines Amish School, and Virginia Tech school shootings, (3) a consultant in the Paducah school shootings and other major murder cases, and (4) a speaker to the annual conventions of the AMA, APA and AAP.


Initially, Col. Grossman will examine the magnitude of violent crime in the US and around the world, the factors that all the school killers had in common, and the role of media violence as a new factor contributing to this phenomenon.  Then he will address powerful new data demonstrating the actual impact of media violence upon the brain (Indiana University Brain Scan Study) and a powerful new study demonstrating a significant reduction in violence and bullying through media reduction in children (the Stanford SMART Curriculum).  Finally, he will address the role of violent visual imagery in TV, movies and video games in causing the current 'virus of violence' in families, and in developed nations around the world.


Campus Threat Management Institute


Dates: November 17th - November 21st, 2015 (Tuesday evening to Saturday afternoon). The NaBITA Institute runs concurrently with the NaBITA Annual Conference, and then continues for two additional days. Institute registrants will attend the NaBITA Conference (included in the Institute registration fee), in an optional special track for Institute registrants. Attending the 2015 NaBITA Conference is a pre-requisite to attending the 2015 NaBITA Institute. You are not able to register for just the weekend sessions.

The NaBITA conference begins with the Opening Keynote on Tuesday, November 17th, at 7:30pm. The conference runs until 1:00pm on Thursday, November 19th. The Institute continues for the remainder of Thursday the 19th, all day on Friday the 20th, and then concludes at 1:00pm on Saturday, November 21st, 2015.

Institute Session Descriptions

Confidentiality & Contributing: Navigating the Unique Roles Counselors Play on BITs

Presented by Amy Murphy, Ph.D., Aaron "Chip" Reese, Ed.D., and Josh Gunn, Ph.D.
This presentation will help counselors and the other BIT members better understand the unique roles counselors find themselves playing on the team. Counselors will gain knowledge and skill needed to contribute to the their BIT, while also remaining true to their professional ethics and licensing laws. Other BIT members will walk away with a better understanding of the role of counselors and how to optimize their participation on the team. Specific topics of focus will include the intersection of mental health and licensure laws with FERPA and HIPPA; information and documentation on BIT software programs and in the counseling center; mandated assessment and tools that counselors use to assess risk; and postvention practices supporting the community and reporters. We will also review relevant case law and share personal experiences to further illustrate concepts and expand participants’ knowledge and skill.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe multiple roles that counselors play on a BIT.
  • Participants will be able to articulate how mental health law, FERPA, and HIPPA relate to counselors ability to share information with the BIT.
  • Participants will be able to list common tools counselors use to asses risk.
  • Participants will practice case studies and learn how to navigate the various mental health scenarios presented in cases.

Structured Interview Violence Risk Assessment Tool (SIVRA-35)
Presented by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D.
This training offers participants with a detailed exploration of risk assessment by behavioral intervention and threat assessment teams. The Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment (SIVRA-35) is a thirty-five-item inventory designed by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., that is used to assist Behavioral Intervention Team members and clinical staff in conducting a more thorough and research-based violence risk assessment. The SIVRA-35 is designed to assist with individuals identified as elevated, severe, or extreme risk by the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool (available for free at or using similar methodologies. During the morning session, participants will review the concepts of structured professional judgment, violence risk factors and review the items used in the SIVRA-35 to assess risk.

Getting Proactive: Building Resilience with At-Risk Students
Presented by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D. and Nicola Wilson, BSc (Hons), Cert. Ed., PGDip
This course will offer BIT members insight into how to build resiliency with at-risk students. We are often faced with at-risk students who seem to lack the basic confidence and dedication to reach their goals and remain engaged in their academics. Van Brunt and Wilson will bring together their experience in working with difficult students and highlight how to develop proactive skills to improve the likelihood of success, both for staff and students. This session will weave together the concepts of staff burnout prevention and proactive motivation for at-risk students. Additionally, Wilson will bring an international perspective on how these issues are approached in the United Kingdom and outside the United States.


Session attendees will:

  • Develop an understanding of the signs and symptoms of stress and burnout and learn ways to better cope and manage these problems.
  • Understand the stress vulnerability model.
  • Learn how establish and increase resiliency skill development.
  • Understand the components of positive psychology and learn to apply these to their daily work.
  • Learn to use flow theory and develop a better tolerance for failure (or delayed success) in their daily workload.
  • Review several motivational approaches to reinvigorating employees and returning them to a more optimistic view of work.
  • Learn to implement the '5 ways to wellbeing' in an educational setting.
  • Develop an “urgent/important” matrix to prioritize and triage.
  • Receive several preventative strategies to address burnout before it happens (through support, setting appropriate boundaries, use of downtime, empathy training, cycle breathing).


The NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool
Presented by W. Scott Lewis, J.D., Saundra K. Schuster, J.D., and Daniel C. Swinton, J.D., Ed.D.

This is a session will provide an overview and some basic training on the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool, which was updated last year. Using real life case examples, participants will learn the basics about the tool, focusing on the “D Scale” (four measures of mental health related risk) and ,the nine measures for aggression. Time permitting, participants will be given some case studies to practice identifying behaviors and assessing risk levels.


Case Management and Intervention

Presented by W. Scott Lewis, J.D., and Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D.
This course will offer BIT members clear guidance and skills when it comes to intervening with an at-risk student and managing the student after the initial assessment and intervention. Intervention and case management in higher education has been a growing area within counseling centers, behavioral intervention teams, student conduct, and student affairs. The need for BIT members to develop case management skills extends beyond just the person on your team who may have “case manager” in his or her job title. Join Lewis and Van Brunt as they bring together their expertise in student conduct and psychology during this practical skill based course.

The program will offer guidance in the following areas:

  • Fundamental principles of case management
  • Foundational skills on deescalating crisis events
  • Handling mental health crisis events
  • Discussing communication and information sharing with others
  • Overview of approaches to engaging students through change theory, motivational interviewing, and harm reduction
  • Overview of approaches to helping students create and stick to a plan through cognitive behavioral therapy and reality therapy techniques

Additional session information coming soon!

Institute Faculty


NaBITA is pleased to announce Dr. Jonathan Doll as a member of this year's Campus Threat Management Institute faculty. Dr. Doll has extensively researched the topic of school shootings and prevention. Dr. Doll is also a Strategic Data Project Fellow, a program of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. His research includes a dissertation on school dropout, articles on early warning signs, and the in-press book, Ending School Shootings


Over the past 20 years, his work experience includes secondary journalism and math teaching, university teaching, state-level work, and international higher education and administration work. Dr. Doll has a column at the Huffington Post on school violence prevention, and his scholarship can be found online at


NaBITA welcomes Dr. Peter Langman as member of Institute Faculty. Dr. Langman is a psychologist whose work on school shooters has received international recognition. His book, Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, was named an Outstanding Academic Title and was translated into German, Dutch, and Finnish. His latest book, School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators was published in 2015. Dr. Langman’s research has been cited in congressional testimony on Capitol Hill and thousands of news outlets. He has been interviewed by the New York Times, The Today Show, CBS-TV, Fox, CNN, the BBC, and over 200 other news outlets in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. Dr. Langman served on Pennsylvania’s Advisory Committee on Violence Prevention. After the Sandy Hook attack, his recommendations on school safety were presented by the CEO of the American Psychological Association to President Obama. Dr. Langman has trained thousands of professionals in education, mental health, and law enforcement on identifying potential school shooters. He maintains the largest online collection of materials relating to school shooters at


NaBITA is also proud to announce Nicola Wilson as a member of Institute Faculty. A mental health professional by background, Nicola currently works as an Independent Health and Wellbeing Consultant, is dual qualified in Person-Centered Therapy and CBT and holds post-graduate qualifications in advanced and widened applications of CBT and Education. Nicola has worked mainly within demanding clinical roles in University settings, providing clinical leadership of counseling and wellbeing services over a number of years, until more recently applying her knowledge and expertise at European level working for three years as Senior European Health Specialist for the North of England EU Health Partnership. Alongside her clinical leadership skills, Nicola's skills, knowledge and experience pool includes: mental health risk assessment and management; medications commonly prescribed for mental health conditions; delivering tailored therapeutic and psychosocial interventions; training of health professionals; service design and building teams. Although her most recent European role worked across all taxonomies of health, Nicola always maintained her passion for the mental health agenda, and has successfully built pan-European networks of student wellbeing.


Pre-Conference Sessions


NaBITA will host two half-day pre-conference sessions on Tuesday, November 17th. Pre-con sessions are not included as part of your conference or Institute registration and require an additional payment. Conference or Institute registration is required in order to attend a pre-con session.


Pre-con 1: Assessing Threat on Social Media
Presented by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., Senior Vice President for Professional Program Development, The NCHERM Group, LLC; 2015 NaBITA President


This pre-conference workshop will offer clinicians, administrators, law enforcement, student conduct officers and those familiar with threat assessment principles an advanced topic review on how best to identify and assess social media threats in a higher education setting. The presenter will focus on social media posts that occur on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Yik Yak and offer guidance on how to identify, gather data, assign a risk rating and intervene.


The workshop will draw from real life cases of threat drawn from social media posts on college campuses. Central to the discussion will be sorting out the difference among true threats, angry or disenfranchised writing, impulsive utterances, assignment specific response, predatory writing, fantasy rehearsal and ‘howling’ threats with little evidence of lethality. Simply stated: How does someone conducting a threat assessment sort out who is frustrated and upset versus who is planning a violent attack?


Pre-con 2: The Dirty Dozen (DD-12): Identifying Twelve Risk Factors for Sexual Assault, Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence
Presented by Dr. Amy Murphy, Dean of Students and Managing Director for the Center for Campus Life at Texas Tech University, NaBITA Advisory Board member; and Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., Senior Vice President for Professional Program Development, The NCHERM Group, LLC; 2015 NaBITA President


We spend a good deal of time responding to and developing educational programming to prevent sexual violence on campus, but what do we really know about the underlying risk factors that contribute to these problems on campus? Join the presenters as they share their research related to the 12 risk factors that contribute to sexual violence on campus.


Campus Behavioral Intervention Teams have a clear responsibility to recognize these risk factors to better prevent sexual violence on campus. The identifying risk factors will provide participants with a better understanding of the contributing influences to sexual violence through case examples, news stories and interactive conversations.  Understanding these risk factors will provide administrators, conduct officers, law enforcement, prevention advocates and counselors insight into preventative education and better informed policy and procedures to reduce sexual assault in the college and university setting.


Register online.
Download a registration form to pay via cheque.

Click here for more information on the 7th Annual NaBITA Conference.

NaBITA Training Events

NaBITA BIT Best Practices Certification Course Dates


  • Springfield, MO
    September 9 & 10, 2015 hosted by Missouri State University
    Registration deadline is Friday, August 28, 2015.


Hosting a NaBITA Training Event


If your campus is interested in learning more about hosting a NaBITA training event or need information on additional training opportunities from our organization, please email Alisha DiGiandomenico, Assistant Vice President for Client Relations, or call at (610) 644-3387.


Should your campus/school/organization look to host an on-campus, public training event, NaBITA is currently collecting Request for Proposals for campus host sites for the 2016 calendar year.


For more information, click here.


A Window Into BIT

BIT Meeting Simulation and Training
Window Into Bit


A Window Into BIT is a video-based training tool to enhance campus BIT and student of concern team professional development. Watch national behavioral intervention team experts and campus practitioners model a BIT meeting as they role-play key team roles. The one-hour video comes with a detailed transcript, sample documentation from the meeting, and discussion questions for your team to use as a training tool to better understand how to develop and improve BIT meetings.


What does a Behavioral Intervention Team meeting actually look like? How do counseling, conduct and residential life talk together about cases? How is the NaBITA rubric used in a meeting? When should an assessment be required? At what point should the SIVRA-35 or other tools be utilized? How are action plans developed? In what order are cases discussed? How is documentation handled? How are conflicts between departments resolved?


Watch how team members communicate with each other and put the NaBITA threat assessment tool to use in rating over a dozen varied cases. Learn how to attend to parental notification, apply OCR guidance, the ADA and Title IX to cases. Watch how the experts model interactions designed to reduce silos while building connection between the varied departments in the simulation. Listen to the discussions around mandated assessment, how counseling works with conduct, and how the BIT chair keeps the team focused and on task.


To view the 10-minute sample preview and for more information about ordering A Window Into BIT for $299.99, please click here.


Maintain Certification with the Continuing Certification Credit (CCC) Program

Has your BIT been certified by NaBITA? Are you considering obtaining these certifications? Do you benefit from ongoing professional development from The NCHERM Group? If so, the CCC program is for you. The NCHERM Group heard your requests to update and renew your certifications online, and is proud to offer an online professional development platform called the Continuing Certification Credit (CCC) program.

Who can earn CCCs? Our CCC program allows clients of The NCHERM Group, including those certified by NaBITA, to track, maintain and extend their professional development through our programs. CCCs are a cost-effective way to stay current and maintain your certification from the nation’s leader in higher education risk management.


Learn about our program here.

Upcoming NCHERM Group Online TrainingsNCHERM Group Online Trainings

The NCHERM Group Online Trainings is an endeavor to provide quality, distance learning education and discussion opportunities to colleges and universities across the country and around the world.

Bringing experts from numerous fields, The NCHERM Group and its affiliated associations, SCOPE, ATIXA and NaBITA, will bring you quality programs that address the most pressing needs in threat assessment, prevention education, sexual assault prevention, higher education legal issues, administrative best practices and risk management.

Fall 2013, Spring, Summer and Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 Online Training Recordings Available for Purchase here


Looking for more topics? Click here for a list of upcoming Webinar Collaborations presented by The NCHERM Group experts, sponsored by Innovative Educators.

Resources Available for Purchase


Mental Health Cover_final Oct 2013book on BITA Faculty Guide to Addressing Disruptive and Dangerous BehaviorVanBruntHarmOtherscvr jpgEnding Campus Violence Book Cover


Links to Relevant Articles


Families of Virginia Tech Shooting Victims Designate UF to Pilot Campus Safety Program


Lafayette Community Looks Inward to Begin Healing After Theater Shooting


Ex-Newcastle College Student 'Plots Anders Breivik-style Massacre at Campus


After a Shooting, Reform


Upcoming Webcast: Developing a Self-Harm Compliance Protocol

Job Board

NaBITA has created a Job Board page on our website for you to share any BIT-related job openings on your campus. You can find this resource at Please email any position announcements to

Membership Renewal Reminder

If your NaBITA membership expires in July, August or September, now is the time to renew.  Renew your NaBITA campus membership or join for the very first time for as low as $639! Please download our membership renewal form here, or click here to renew online. 

For more information on NaBITA, visit or contact:

Amanda Tarczynski

1109 Lancaster Avenue  *new*
Berwyn, PA 19312
Phone: 484-321-3651
Fax: 610-993-0228