|Native Daughter of Ann Arbor, Michigan
Co-Owner of Rounder Graphics
Growing up with a brother in computer science and a father with a PHD in engineering, the computer geek genes were here to stay. I played with my first modem in the '70s (no I'm actually not THAT old), using a rotary dial telephone and a 300 baud modem with suction cups that sometimes didn't QUITE make the connection. Broadband services have made my life much better now. Where would we be without technology?
My father was the Director of the Computer Center and helped found the Information Engineering department at Vanderbilt University which merged with the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department in the 70's, and is the reason we have a CT Scan today. He single handedly came up with the imaging breakthrough that made the technology world class while working for General Electric in the 70's. My mother went to college when higher education was very limited for women and obtained a Masters in Nursing from Case Western Reserve. I come from a family of teachers and innovators, it was a wonderful environment to grow up in.
Well.... even with that background, rather than get a technical degree, I went through school and graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from UT. I loved Austin (me and the other 60,000 students at UT who want to stay when they graduate), but still - really didn't know what I wanted to do.
I started my first professional job at Texas Instruments as a technical writer and marketing representative and was finally exposed to the Macintosh computer. I've been hooked ever since, both to technology AND the Mac. Laugh if you must, but when you're trying to figure out how to install Vista, why the plug and play in Windows won't work, you just had one of the 114,000+ nasty viruses eat the files on your disk, or you (heaven forbid) visited the 2006 Superbowl website which was hacked and downloaded malicious code to your PC running Windows, think of me. Mac users don't have to deal with spyware, adware and the like, as the ads say... Macs just "work". My Mac is a tool to promote my creativity.
I don't believe that choosing a platform should be a harrowing experience, I believe that every person should use the platform they're comfortable with. Just don't tell me that you hate Macs when you've never ever used one. I started in DOS and was just getting to Windows 3.1 when I became a switcher, but even with the advent of Windows XP and now Vista, you can still pry my Mac from my cold dead fingers. See this absolutely hysterical article about the life and times of an Apple Product Life Cycle (priceless). The Cult of Mac is a must read book for anyone desparately trying to understand the inner workings of a Mac user. And if you're into iPods, your library wouldn't be complete without the Cult of iPod.
|| Upon moving to Houston, I began developing in the area of technology which was to become my love (and still is!). I taught computer graphics at the Art Institute of Houston where I met the love of my life, John (he was and still is the best student I've ever had) and Houston Community College. Teaching is everything it's cracked up to be - difficult, but very rewarding and challenging, but I found myself continually drawn to the technical and problem solving aspects of dealing with computers and emerging technologies.
For the next 11 years, I joined Rice University as an IT system administrator, once again, a position I adored (call me INSANE, but I really do love it). The last 4 years I had the privilege of working for the High Performance Software Research group (HiPerSoft) whose mission is to foster research on the design and implementation of software critical to the usability of high performance computer systems. Ken Kennedy was the Director of HiPerSoft (among his many other titles / hats) and we mourn his passing after a long battle with cancer.
In my current role, I am now working at the University of Houston-Downtown as an IT Project and Compliance Manager. UHD celebrated their 30 year anniversary in 2004. The university provides a wonderful mixture of academic excellence and multicultural diversity combined with a sincere commitment / mission to provide educational access to those who might not otherwise be able to pursue a college degree. I am proud to be a part of this.
Maybe someday I'll be able to join John full time in the growth of Rounder Graphics (will work for healthcare though). We make a terrific pair - he's the creative type (I can't draw stick figures!) and I'm the technical arm - keeping our computers tuned up, I do all the scripting (HTML, web programming (PHP, Python, Perl, etc...) and CMS development), training, consulting, and basically the yucky stuff that people typically don't like, but I do.
We get a lot of great advice, encouragement and guidance from my brother Charles (aka - CyberChuck) who is quite talented in his own rite and of course from our folks. We have a terrific family on both sides, for which John I are very thankful. Houston has been a wonderful place for us to get our start (we aren't going anywhere) and we are especially appreciative of all the terrific people and companies that have helped us grow.
Rounder Graphics is here to stay and we thank everyone who has been supportive and has contributed to make our dreams become a reality.