Cornell Health names new director of counseling services

David Reetz, director of counseling and psychological services at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), has been named Cornell’s new director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Reetz will join Cornell in mid-December.

As part of the leadership team within Cornell Health, Reetz will provide operational oversight for the university’s comprehensive clinical mental health services for students.

David Reetz

“David’s depth of experience in implementing innovative solutions to support student mental health makes him a perfect fit for Cornell as we continue our work to enhance the support of students and campus community,” said Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life. “His depth of experience, combined with his collaborative style, makes him an impactful addition to the already outstanding CAPS team as we continue to implement recommendations from the Mental Health Review.”

Reetz comes to Cornell after spending more than 15 years leading college counseling centers. He is the immediate past president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, a national leadership network committed to mental health in higher education.

“The college years represent one of the most significant transitions in one’s lifetime,” Reetz said. “Standing alongside and serving students and colleagues, as we prepare for the future, is where I feel I belong. I welcome this opportunity to advance mental health at Cornell.”

Joining Cornell Health at a time of excitement, opportunity and challenge as the team continues to hone an integrated mental health model designed to best meet students’ needs, Reetz will lead a large, multi-disciplinary and dedicated team through this advancement, contributing to its vision, and providing thoughtful leadership.

In his seven years at RIT, Reetz led the cultivation of a campuswide approach to addressing increased student mental health needs. His office oversaw:

  • improvements in service efficiency through data-driven, quality improvement measures;
  • the creation of embedded clinical offices within the LGBTQA+ Support Center, the Multicultural Center for Academic Success, and six of their nine academic colleges, enriching access for all students; and
  • the creation of robust outreach and educational programming that included prevention and early intervention training for faculty and staff, among other accomplishments.

“As a community, we shape the space in which we live and work,” Reetz said. “It is our collective responsibility to bring together our technical, emotional and psychological skills to best serve the teaching and learning environment. There is much we can do as an educational community to promote wellness, especially in the face of adversity, sending a strong unified message to help guide students to seek the support they need, when they need it most.”

Reetz received his bachelor’s in psychology and human development from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay; his master’s in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University; and his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Indiana University.

Stephen D’Angelo is the assistant director of communications and marketing for Student and Campus Life.

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Rebecca Valli