Fordham’s “Mr. Fix It” Is a Fixture At Lincoln Center


Professors at Fordham College at Lincoln Center often face technical issues wtih their smart podiums while conducting class. Rien Chy, also known as “Mr. Fix It,” is the man who solves them. For six years, Chy has been working at Fordham University as a technical assistant for media services, and he can find the solution to a computer problem within a few seconds of seeing it. “It’s like second nature to me,” Chy said.

Rien Chy was born in the Bronx, studied computer science at Rose Hill and now works at Lincoln Center. (Kimberly Galbraith/The Observer)

A Bronx native who attended Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH), Chy spends his free time playing competitive beach volleyball. His other favorite hobby has always been working with technology. “I’m the only technology geek in the family,” Chy said.

Chy grew up during the advent of the computer, when the world of technology was changing every year. “When the computer first came along and I was like, ‘Wow!’ I basically knew that it was going to take off and I just had a feeling it was going to get better and faster every single year,” Chy said.

Like many kids growing up, Chy was also addicted to video games. “I used to go to the deli all the time and used quarter after quarter after quarter playing video games,” said Chy. “Year after year, I could see video games getting better and better. When I was a young man, in just a few years the video game industry went from something very basic to something that was very real.”

When Chy was in high school, he realized that he wanted to turn his fascination with computers and electronics into a career. “That’s when I knew that’s where the world was headed towards,” Chy said. He went on to pursue a double major in computer science and information systems at Rose Hill.

During his undergraduate career at Fordham, Chy learned how to solve technological issues through hands- on experience. “In college, my geek friends and I used to just strip a computer, upgrade it and put it back together to make it faster than the current computer that was on the market,” Chy said. “We thought that was a fun and exciting because we had the fastest computer with twice the amount of memory with multiple CD-ROM drives. That set the foundation for me for how to take things apart and how to fix it.”

After his years rebuilding computers at Rose Hill, however, Chy took a job in a different field before returning to the university.  “I was an account manager at a water filtration company,” Chy said. “I didn’t really like that side of business and it wasn’t my passion. I wanted to do something along the lines of my field, which is computers so that’s how I found myself back at Fordham and working for Fordham IT.”

A typical day for Chy, who works 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and sometimes on weekends for events, involves “providing support for faculty members and students in the classroom with the podiums and for audio and video conferences.” The technology he works with allows students from all over to access Fordham’s lectures digitally. “We have programs that faculty members can use to teach from anywhere around the world. We install hardware for that, such as video capture, that allows them to videotape class sessions, put them online and have the students download them and watch them at their own convenience,” Chy said.

When the workday ends, gadgets remain a constant fixture in Chy’s life—he even uses his computer to fix his car. “There are a lot of videos on YouTube and I am a new car owner. So instead of going out to a mechanic, I go on YouTube, do my research. Then I know exactly what parts are wrong with it,” Chy said. “Technology also increased my productivity because I have an iPhone. With the calendar I schedule my day accordingly. Technology revolves around my life and basically runs it.”

Both at home and at Fordham, Chy loves to expand his knowledge of the tech-field. “Being a technical assistant is a learning process and every single day I learn something new,” Chy said. “It’s challenging, but at the same time it is very rewarding.”