Who We Are
Lt. Tony Haga serves as investigations lieutenant of the Virginia Tech Police Department. He manages the investigations unit, oversees the Threat Assessment Team, and serves as primary case agent for most threat assessment cases. As primary case agent, he communicates with reporting parties, departmental representatives, faculty members, victims, subjects, and relevant offices across campus. This position is important to the team because it allows for centralized fact gathering and consistent communication with members of the Virginia Tech community. Haga partners with the individuals involved in a situation to work through the situation and reach a favorable conclusion.
Byron Hughes serves as the Dean of Students. His office provides advocacy to students on a wide range of issues. His office chairs the university’s Care Team, is responsible for case management of student advocacy cases, cultivates relationships with academic departments, advises and consults with employees, and serves as the university connection for parents and family members. Both parents and academic departments can provide valuable insight into student behavior. Hughes also serves as a student advocate and works to ensure that students are receiving the resources necessary to be successful at Virginia Tech.
Rodney Irvin is the director of employee relations in the Department of Human Resources. Human Resources provides employment policy information, assistance to employees, makes referrals to on- and off-campus service providers, and supports the partnership between employees and the university. Human Resources staff interact with employees and supervisors daily and assist in facilitating solutions for issues that may arise. Irvin ensures that employees are offered the services they might need.
Rick Sparks serves as the associate vice provost and university registrar. The Office of the University Registrar manages academic records, interfaces with faculty and department administrators, and serves as the university’s FERPA compliance officer. The University Registrar is important to the threat assessment team because of his access to student records and his relationship with academic departments. Sparks also provides significant knowledge of university policies and procedures and ensures that student privacy is protected in all cases.
Christopher Flynn serves as the director of the Cook Counseling Center. He oversees and manages the student counseling services provided on campus. This position is important to the team since counseling services can serve as an important part of a management plan for students. Flynn also provides his clinical judgment for cases as necessary and provides the team with consultation about mental health issues, needs, and concerns. A mental health professional is one of the positions required by state code to be on a Threat Assessment Team.
Kay Heidbreder serves as legal counsel for the university. In this position she advises senior administrators, offers guidance on relevant federal and state laws, and defends the university in court. This position is important to the team because it insures that all team decisions fall within legal guidelines. Legal Counsel, if available, is one of the positions required by state code to be on a threat assessment team. Heidbreder offers a broad perspective on cases and considers the wider implications of possible decisions.
In addition to serving as deputy to the vice president for student affairs, Frank Shushok provides leadership for five departments: Career Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Housing and Dining Services, Student Conduct, and Residence Life. These departments offer services that impact almost every student who attends Virginia Tech. Students in distress often seek assistance from offices reporting to Shushok and his enthusiasm for holistic and developmental interventions make him a natural fit for the Threat Assessment Team.
Rachel Holloway serves as the associate dean for undergraduate education. In this position she influences the academic vision for undergraduate education, advocates for its role in the university's mission, and advances the contributions of undergraduate education in the university's strategic plan. This position is important to the team because the person in it has intimate knowledge of the educational experience and serves as a liaison with academic departments on issues affecting students and faculty. Holloway offers the team a broad view of the potential impacts of a decision and partners with appropriate administrators to create solutions.
Kelly Oaks serves as the vice president for equity and accessibility. In this position, Oaks oversees the university's affirmative action, equal opportunity and accessibility efforts, including the Title IX process. This position is important to the team because Oaks serves as an advocate and provides guidance on creating an inclusive, accessible and discrimination/harassment-free environment with every decision.
Det. Robert Taylor serves as detective with the Virginia Tech Police Department, specializing as a case agent for threat assessment cases. As case agent, he communicates with reporting parties, departmental representatives, faculty members, victims, subjects, and relevant offices across campus. This position is important to the team because it allows for centralized fact gathering and consistent communication with members of the Virginia Tech community.
Caroline Green serves as Threat Assessment Team coordinator. In her role, she records case information, organizes team meetings and trainings, manages case data, and provides outreach presentations. This position is important to team operations as a whole because it ensures cases are effectively managed and reviewed in a timely manner. The Threat Assessment Team coordinator continually works towards addressing gaps in process and creates ways for the threat assessment process run more efficiently.