After Sandy: Alumna aids storm relief

Marnie Suss during her deployment in New York, NY

The effects of Hurricane Sandy were felt throughout the GW community, with many people personally impacted. The GW community has responded in a number of ways—today, we profile an alumna with hands-on experience in the New York City relief effort.

On Nov. 3, 2012, Marnie Suss, CCAS BA ’06, left her home in Los Angeles, CA to journey across the country. Her destination? New York, NY. Suss embarked on a deployment to support the Superstorm Sandy relief effort.

Suss deployed through the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, where she works as an emergency planner.

Upon arriving in New York, Suss first supported a kitchen site in Brooklyn. Later, she served in government operations as a liaison between Red Cross Mass Care operations and the local, county and New York State government. Throughout her deployment, Suss helped both individuals and families in New York and worked with Red Cross volunteers and staff.

Suss spent two weeks in the area. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve and support those affected by Superstorm Sandy,” she says.

Suss’s passion for public service began with her parents, who instilled in her the values needed for a career dedicated to helping others. Suss also says that her time as a GW student “strengthened and encouraged volunteerism and public service” as a driving force in her life.

After graduation and several years in DC, Suss knew she wanted to work with communities directly affected by disasters. A longtime admirer of the Red Cross, Suss joined the Red Cross Los Angeles Region in 2010, as an AmeriCorps VISTA disaster response agreements specialist. Throughout her tenure with AmeriCorps, Suss witnessed firsthand the positive impact Red Cross services can have on a community that has been affected by a disaster.

Upon completing her AmeriCorps term, Suss accepted a full-time position with the Red Cross, an opportunity that she says is an honor. In her current role, Suss works with dedicated volunteers, staff and local government—as she did during her recent deployment—to plan and prepare for disasters.

Suss also remains involved with GW; she currently serves as co-chair of the GW Los Angeles Alumni Club.

Do you want to get involved in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts? Try volunteering. As Suss says, “Everyone can help and make a difference.”

For information on GW Responds, the hurricane relief group formed by current GW students, visit the GW Responds website.

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  1. Sean P. Walsh SEAS '76 said:

    The ship that Marnie is pictured in front of is the SS Wright and is being used to house volunteers in Staten Island. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal last week about it ( It’s main purpose is to provide maintenance support to Marine Corps aviation. The reason I know this is because I was the Navy project officer in Galveston, TX from 1985-87 managing it and a sister ship’s conversion.

  2. Linda Harrus said:

    As a residentt from N. New Jersey, I saw Sandy’s devastation around the Tri-state area first-hand! I’m proud to be part of GW’s Alumni community (CCAS BA ”74) and thankful people like Marnie Suss are too!

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