Yuriy Tanskiy (MS/IS ’13), a political refugee from the former Soviet Union, was awarded the New York State Humane Service Medal for meritorious service in New York’s response to Hurricane Irene. Tanskiy is a member of the New York State Guard, a volunteer uniformed state defense force, that assisted the National Guard when it was activated by Governor Andrew Cuomo last August in anticipation of the storm.
Yuriy has been involved in providing emergency services in New York City, first as an auxiliary officer in the NYPD and later as a member of the NYS Guard, for over 10 years. When asked why he does this, his response was “I cannot describe how amazing it feels when you know that you TRULY made a difference in someone’s life. I joined to be able to help in an emergency when needed.” He is in charge of communications and technology for his battalion and is an active member of the decontamination team that is trained to help people in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack or an explosion.
Currently, Yuriy is the IS Manager for the Homeless Services Division of Volunteers of America of Greater New York. He has been persistent in pursuing advanced education with limited financial resources. It took him 11 years to complete his bachelor’s degree, including a 7 ½ hiatus, and is now working towards an MS in Information Systems, one course at a time.