October 21, 2020
When did you join UTHealth? What brought you here?
In January of 2006, I was a staff photographer at the Galveston County Daily News. From my work there, I knew all of the photographers at UTMB. When they had a rare opening on their staff, they told me that if I ever wanted to work there, now was the time. I thought about it for a few days and decided that I was happy where I was and told them that I would pass.
By the end of the summer that year, I had had enough of daily newspaper photojournalism and decided to pursue a teaching certification. I was working toward this goal when the job at the Medical School here opened up, and I thought it sounded like a great opportunity. I applied for the job and got an interview. Which brings me to what brought me here, or really more like who.
When I arrived for my interview, I found out that a former colleague of mine, from another daily newspaper, was with whom I was interviewing. Darla Brown and I had worked together at the Brazosport Facts several years earlier, and she played a big part in bringing me to UTHealth.
Tell me about your work history here.
On, October 2, I celebrated my 14th anniversary here, and it offered me a good opportunity to reflect.
I was hired as a Photographer II, and worked with, and learned from, Ester Fant, Photographer III. In this position, I was responsible for research poster printing, some graphics jobs as well as being Ester’s backup. When she retired, I was promoted to Photographer III and later to Senior Photographer. In these positions, I took over all of the studio and location photography duties for clients throughout UTHealth and the Texas Medical Center.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I have always taken pride in showing off our students, faculty, and staff. Whether it is through a studio portrait or photos from an event, I always strive to portray the UTHealth family in the best light. I am very proud of the relationships and trust that I have worked hard to achieve at all of the schools that make up UTHealth as well as the other institutions in the Texas Medical Center. I have covered assignments and served clients in every institution in the TMC and some outside during my tenure here.
How has the university changed since you first joined?
At the end of my first week on the job, the Institute of Molecular Medicine celebrated its grand opening with an open house. Since then it was brought under the umbrella of McGovern Medical School as one of the school’s research facilities. The School of Dentistry and the School of Biomedical Informatics have both moved into new facilities, and the Cooley Center was established. The Jesse Jones Library was purchased by UTHealth and now serves as expanded space of McGovern Medical School.
UT Physicians has grown by leaps and bounds and always seems to be opening new clinics and Community Health and Wellness Centers.
The landscape of the TMC has been constantly changing since I began working here. I’ve lost count of how many buildings have been imploded and torn down with new ones coming up in their place. At one time during my first year there were more than a dozen sky cranes dotting the skyline of the TMC.
Why have you stayed?
The old saying that “if you enjoy what you do for a living, you will never work a day in your life” certainly holds true for me. I have been fortunate to have spent my whole career behind the lens. How many people get to say they get have fun enjoying their passion every day in their jobs? That is the first part of my answer.
What has made my job fun are the incredible people that make up McGovern Medical School and UTHealth. I thoroughly enjoy working with the diverse group of people that make up the UTHealth family.
When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?
When I am not at work, my wife Jamie and I can often be found cycling the backroads around Galveston County. We have both been riding for more than 20 years and have 17 MS-150 Bicycle Tours, a couple of Hotter ‘N Hell Hundreds as well as numerous other bicycling tours around the state of Texas under our belts.
Also, this summer we grew our family by two. We traveled over five states, from Phoenix, Arizona to Jackson, Mississippi to get to new Basset hound puppies from breeders. Jake and Jillian (Jill). Our lives are quite full.