Volunteer Spotlight: Mike Lutz

Mike spent 40 years on the RIT faculty teaching computer science and software engineering. When he retired, he wanted to continue using his experience within the broader community. When he stumbled upon the Literacy Rochester’s Digital Literacy website. It was obvious for him that this was an excellent way to contribute to his community. By helping address the digital divide he is able to combine two of his passions: teaching and computing. He credits his parents with emphasizing the importance of using his abilities to help others.
“Volunteering is an excellent way to share your skills and knowledge with others. We all need help at some time.”
Mike graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics from St. John Fisher College, and then enrolled in graduate school at the University of Buffalo in the (relatively new) field of computer science. Eventually he returned to Rochester and began his career at RIT. His wife, Mari, a retired Physician Assistant, is very supportive of his volunteer work, as are his children who live all over the nation: Georgia, Iowa, and Oregon.
In addition to his professional interests, Mike is an avid golfer and bicyclist; he frequently leads rides sponsored by the Rochester Bicycling Club. In 2018, he and his daughter rode the Erie Canal Trail from Buffalo to Albany. Riding with 400+ other cyclists was the adventure of a lifetime.
During the COVID Pandemic Mike has been careful to follow the guidelines for masking and social distancing, but this has not kept him from pursuing his hobbies. He’s happy that he will soon be able to volunteer once again at OACES (Office of Adult & Career Education Services), where he enjoys helping the wide variety of students with their computer needs. Having basic computer literacy skills makes it easier for students to complete everyday tasks and increases their productivity.
 “Together we can help those in need develop the computing skills that will prepare them for jobs in the 21st century”.
With the rise of technology becoming increasingly more important, Mike encourages anyone who has computer skills to consider volunteering in the Digital Literacy program at Literacy Rochester.

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