Commitment to volunteering started at RIT

While at RIT, Andrew Levy’ 93 (computer science) was active in RIT Ambulance, responding to emergency calls and serving on the executive board.

“It is hard to believe it was a few weeks before graduation that I needed to use the services of RIT Ambulance and was paralyzed for several months,” says Levy.

Levy was hospitalized as the result of Guillain-Barré, an illness that impacts the peripheral nervous system. Today, fully recovered, Levy continues his commitment to volunteer work in a major way. In addition to his career as a certified senior managing consultant with IBM’s U.S. Federal practice, he gives his time to numerous community organizations and through an IBM program called On Demand Community.

The passion for emergency work he discovered at RIT was reignited while taking Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training through Fairfax (Va.) County Fire and Rescue Department. He also became a charter member of the Fairfax County Volunteer Mobilization Leadership Team. Both of these teams are called to service in the event of a major incident or natural disaster.

“I thought we would never be called to duty except for community awareness and training,” says Levy, “but it seemed like a great experience to train ‘just in case.’ But in June 2006 we were called to action during the flooding in the Alexandria/Huntington area.”

Levy staffed the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management County Alternate Emergency Operations Center. “It was a long night of speaking with concerned citizens, several of whom had lost their homes.”

Related to this work, he received the 2007 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Benchmark Award. He has also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, gold level, for more than 500 hours of volunteer service in 2006. Levy was recently appointed chairman of the Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council, which provides volunteer emergency planning and response efforts.

To expand his background, he has also joined the Medical Reserve Corps, coordinated Neighborhood Watch efforts and is involved with the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management (OEM). He served as speaker at the 2007 National Conference on Community Preparedness.

Through a corporate volunteer program, Levy coordinated efforts to get multiple grant donations to Volunteer Fairfax for laptops donated by IBM to be used to create additional Volunteer Mobilization Centers. He also incorporates his volunteer experience into IBM's crisis management solutions. He shares his technical and consulting background and IBM experience through a variety of other activities including Engineering Week, Take Your Child to Work Day, MentorNet, TryScience and classroom talks and mentoring at the mid-school and college levels (including RIT, where he continues to be active).

Levy’s entire family is active in volunteer activities in the Fairfax, Va., area where they reside. Gabrielle, his preschool daughter, was the youngest to be recently recognized with a 2007 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Award.

“Volunteering has become a part of our lives,” says Levy. “People from the community need to step up and help others. It is always a good feeling to be able to give back to your community by helping others when they really need it. You never know when you might need it yourself.”

The University Magazine, Fall 2007