A collaborative effort from Andrew Marinik, Chris Rossi, and Lindsey Shafer led Virginia Tech to be the first university in the nation to receive accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).

The trio, who works in the Office of Emergency Management at Virginia Tech, was also nominated in the teamwork category in the 2015 statewide Governor’s Award program.

Marinik is an emergency planner. Rossi and Shafer are both emergency coordinators.

For more than two years, the trio has worked together to pursue accreditation. They group spent many early mornings and late nights working on the accreditation while also continuing to handle their regular job responsibilities, which include emergency planning, trainings and exercises, outreach and communications, and incident response. 

“Lindsey, Chris, and Andrew worked individually on various accreditation tasks and then came together to edit, revise and hone their work products to ensure that it collectively met or exceeded the demands of the EMAP program. The team effort was tireless and assiduous,” said Michael J. Mulhare, director of emergency management.

The Emergency Management Accreditation Program is an independent non-profit organization that has established rigorous national standards for emergency planning. Since its inception in 1997, only 54 emergency management programs have achieved accreditation. Those accredited are primarily state and local government programs and a few federal agencies. The university is the only entity in Virginia, other than the commonwealth, to be accredited.

To achieve accreditation, Virginia Tech had to meet 64 national standards in areas including emergency planning and procedures, prevention, risk assessment, training and exercises, and communications and warning.

“By using a partnership approach and working closely with other departments and key employees, they helped build a portfolio of campus resources, many of whom participated actively in the assessment process,” said Hal Irvin, associate vice president for Human Resources.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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