Holden Gray: An IT Problem Solver

Holden Gray

Regardless of his title and job description, Holden Gray believes his mission is to help LU students graduate.

Holden, an LU computer science graduate currently pursuing his master’s degree in management information systems, began working as the client computing lab specialist in LU’s Office of Information Technology four years ago.

“As a student I enjoyed what LU had and saw the opportunity to not only further myself with a master’s degree but also help others forward their educational pursuits,” said Holden. “I make sure that students’ education is not hampered by their ability to get a computer or by lack of accessibility to a computer. I make sure they have all the tools necessary to succeed.”

The Beaumont native, Ozen graduate is tasked with managing the computer labs in the library on both the first and the seventh floors. He ensures all of the computers are up to date, working properly and well equipped with the software that students need to complete their assignments regardless of the course they’re taking. 

Day to day, Holden lives in the computer labs coordinating with student workers and safeguarding systems and ensuring servers are running like they should. “I make sure there are no outages. If an outage is reported, I get it resolved as quickly as possible. If anything goes wrong in the library with a computer, and not just in one of the labs, I’m usually the one that will pop in and get issues resolved quickly so the library can continue to run.”

Holden likes solving problems and meeting the needs of the campus community beyond normal business hours. If a computer is down, he likes to fix it. “I’m always available when there is an emergency in labs, even outside of business hours, I come up here and resolve the issue.”

In total, Holden is responsible for ensuring approximately 100 computers in the library are functioning properly. Additionally, he can be called to work on computers across the campus, and that makes him a very busy person.

“There’s always something different to deal with. Some issues are easily identifiable and sometimes the issue is more than I expect but I will always come to a solution. If I can’t figure it out, I will talk among my team members and get a solution for everybody.”

Working with the IT team is one of the aspects of Holden’s job he likes the most. “My favorite thing is the camaraderie with team members and just working within the team because there are a lot of knowledgeable people and it’s great to pick their brains and learn something new.  I’m constantly learning, and each day is always something new.”

All things were new beginning in March, when IT had to help the faculty and students transition to online learning, and many faculty and staff moved their LU computers home. Keeping with his mission to ensure all students’ access to computers is unencumbered, Holden made computers even more available. “I worked to relocate four computers on the first floor of the library to a new location in the dorm so students are spread out and adhere to social distancing. Plus, we still had incidents and requests from faculty and staff and students in order to support them so they can succeed during these trying times.”

Holden looks forward to having faculty and staff, but mainly students, back on campus, and especially his student workers. “They all work together. We have student workers from different countries and diverse backgrounds, and we work together to make sure the labs work, and we serve and support one another to get our degrees and to succeed.”

Both Holden and his fiancée are pursuing their master’s degrees but in their spare time they enjoy going to the movies and hanging with friends, two things Holden has really missed during the pandemic. “I can’t wait to just go out and go outside and not be afraid about being with other people in crowds. I want to go to the movies. I can’t compare the big theater experience to the home experience. I want the big experience and most definitely popcorn and a blue raspberry ICEE.”

Through the pandemic and after, Holden is proud to be a member of the IT Department who never quit working or took time off. He takes his responsibilities to ensure access to functioning computers seriously.

“I like to know that students know that there is always a place to come when they need to work on schoolwork.”

Category: Features

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