Editor’s note: In the coming weeks, UTHealth Houston will highlight the members of the IT Solution Team in a series titled “Meet the voices of the IT Solution Center.”
When UTHealth Houston staff, faculty, or students need to call the IT Solution Center — also known as the “Help Desk” — the highly skilled people who answer those calls do not work for a vendor or happen to be in another country. They are all full-time UTHealth Houston employees who are dedicated call responders, working together to get computers or mobile devices working again.
The university’s IT Solution Center staff consists of 11 individuals, and they operate the call center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. They pride themselves on being available beyond regular business hours in order to serve everyone within the UTHealth Houston community.
Meet Alexander Brooks, IT solution support specialist
When Alexander Brooks was growing up in the Fifth Ward of northeast Houston, a girl in elementary school named Simone caught his eye. He would remember her while attending Jefferson Davis High School (now Northside High School), and wondered where she moved away to. Little did he know, technology and fate would bring them back together later in life.
Fast forward to the dawn of Facebook, when Brooks realized the platform could offer him a chance to find Simone again, some 20 years later. Unfortunately, all he had to go by was the first name of a girl who might still be living in Houston. When he came across a profile with a photo of a woman who looked similar to his memory of Simone’s appearance, he took a chance.
“I messaged the person, unsure if it was her, and I was completely prepared to take the rejection,” Brooks said. “But, I gave her some good clues of things that I knew she would recall, and minutes later I got a response! The rest is history.”
Alexander married Simone in 2011, and four years later, the couple was blessed with a son named Azai. Soon after that, Alex began working as an IT solution support specialist at UTHealth Houston, answering calls. Brooks said he is grateful he had resources within the Texas Medical Center when he and Simone worked with Texas Children’s Hospital doctors to diagnose Azai with autism spectrum disorder.
“Azai is the very reason my wife and I strive hard every day,” Brooks said. “We are so thankful to have him in our lives, as he is, indeed, an extension of us in many ways. We are also blessed to be able to provide a solid foundation for him, by living in Fort Bend County that has access to great education within Lamar Consolidated ISD.”
Brooks has a wide variety of professional experience and began his career in the construction trades. He later spent time working for various startups in San Francisco and later held a position at one of the nation’s leading suppliers of pharmaceutical chemicals and equipment in Houston.
Brooks said he believes he is exactly where he wants to be in life, and that his unique path was paved with the help of fate and technology.
“I strongly believe that all things work together for the bigger picture, and that my previous positions were all stepping stones that paved the way to my current role with UTHealth Houston,” he said. “It makes me feel good when callers tell me how pleasant their experience is and how well I have helped them with their technical issues.”