Born on a mountain top in Tennessee, just across the river from Chattanooga, David attended UTK and received a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana and started working in the Computer Science Department at the University of New Orleans. David later moved to St. Louis, Missouri and took a job as a network engineer. In 2006 he moved back to his hometown and began working for UTC in 2008. In December of 2012, David took a job with the University of Tennessee System Administration Information Security Office as the Senior Security Analyst at the UTC campus.
We recently spoke with David about his experiences here at the university and his opinions about what's currently in the works:
UTC Web: So, David...can I call you David?
David: Please do. I mean, if you called me Sally, that'd just be strange.
UTC Web: Sure enough. Can you tell us what brought you back to the Chattanooga valley after all those years away?
David: Yep. I missed the south. I never really felt comfortable anywhere else. And my wife and I really wanted to get closer to family. Her family isn't in a place where the job market fits our skill sets, so here we are.
UTC Web: Do you mind if I ask what your wife does?
David: Nope. She teaches chemistry at Chattanooga State Technical Community College. After she got her PhD from the University of New Orleans, she went to work at Xavier University down there. We kinda followed her job market when we decided to move around. It's tougher for her to find a job with it having to be a very specific sort of thing....teaching that subject at that level, etc.
UTC Web: That seems logical. So why UTC?
David: Well, like I said, the timing of my wife finding something, then there being an opening for me near by is tricky. When she saw the Chatt State opening, we had to do a little shuffling. I talked my old boss into letting me work out of their Huntsville office so that she could take the job here and I could move too. It included a telecommute and a real commute for me for a while. After a couple of years of that, there was a networking position open up at UTC and I jumped at it.
UTC Web: But that's not where you ended up, right?
David: No. That job ended up going to someone else.
UTC Web: You didn't get that job, but you were given another one at UTC.
David: Sorta. I interviewed for another position and was offered the job of IT Team Lead.
UTC Web: How was that experience?
David: It's tough going from a corporate environment to an educational institution. I had a few adjustments to make. But, overall, I had a great time with it. And I'm not just saying this...the people I worked with were/are some really good folks. They know their stuff and have a huge amount of institutional knowledge. I just hope that I added a little bit to the melting pot over the last few years.
UTC Web: And now you're in a new position, but still here at the UTC campus. How weird is that?
David: It's not three headed dog weird, but it's different. I like the fact that I still get to see and work with the people I've been working with since '08, but the job duties have definitely changed.
UTC Web: How so?
David: I see my role as "Assessment and Compliance". My job is going to be based around information security. We don't want anyone losing their identity or having their credit card stolen.
UTC Web: Ain't that the truth. So, what are you going to do about it?
David: I'm going to work with the local security group to make sure we're doing everything we can to secure data and make sure the business of the university runs as smoothly as possible.
UTC Web: Good luck with that. We'll be pulling for ya. Any last words for the web?
David: Last words? How about one that I like to think of as a security quote, even if it might not be..."We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality." Feel free to Google that.