Editor’s note: In the coming weeks, UTHealth Houston will highlight the members of the IT Solutions 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 — better 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 Terry Ponder, IT solution support specialist II
Raised in Marshall, Texas, Ponder moved to the Houston area when he was 9 and attended Fort Bend Dulles High School in Stafford. Later, he attended Kilgore College with the dream of becoming a musician. One of his first jobs in the late ’80s was at H&H Music, selling guitars and synthesizers.
“I love to record music, and I’ve studied the art of recording and engineering for years,” Ponder said. “When I was 19, my mother scraped up enough money to send me to the Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio. I don’t know how she afforded it.”
Ponder moonlights as a third engineer at Houston area music studios. He has also played in many bands over the years and at some of the coolest bars in town.
“My band The Trust, got to open for Ian Moore at Rockefellers,” he said.” That was awesome.”
Ponder is the longest tenured support specialist on the IT Solution team, and has been answering calls for 15 years. He is married to Connie. The couple lives in Bellaire, and they have two children (Christopher, 32, and Sara, 28).
He loves being on the help desk with teammates he calls his “lifelong friends.” A sports fan, Ponder enjoys watching the Astros, and hopes the Texans can “rebuild quickly.”