Department veteran Pedro Cruz is one of the five Assistant Directors of Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS). He oversees Computer Room & Lab Operations, Hardware Technical Services, Desktop Support, and Facilities.
Computer Room & Lab Operations and Hardware Technical Services work together to install and maintain approximately 115 computer labs throughout campus. Hardware Technical Services designs and maintains the computer networks in the labs and repairs machines with hardware problems. Computer Room & Lab Operations installs the computers, printers, projectors, furniture, and security systems. How does Pedro make sure these groups do their job? “Stay out of their way!” he reported. “I talk with each of the supervisors and the staff on a regular, daily basis and make sure that they’ve got what they need.”
One of Pedro’s priorities is making sure that students have good computer labs to work in. He frequently observes how students are using the labs to find ways to improve them. He cited one example: “I’ll go to the Triton Lab at the Price Center and I’ll sit there for just a couple minutes just to observe how people are sitting down, where they’re putting their backpacks, how they’re using their laptops on our laptop stations and are they actually plugging in their laptops or just using it for a flat surface, and seeing how people collaborate with each other and move around.” He then makes improvements across campus so students have a better experience in computer labs.
Pedro moved up through the ranks of the Hardware Technical Services group over his long career with the department, working in “almost every aspect of Operations, Technical Services, [and] Facilities Management.” This helps him work productively with his staff, especially when he combines his experience with their view from the field. “One of my goals is to make sure that I stay abreast of what’s really going on out there, because they’re the ones that are doing all of the work and now they know better than I do exactly what’s happening,” Pedro said. “I rely on their expertise, their eyes, and their ears to keep things going. The staff is very well trained. They’re committed to providing good service to the campus.”
In addition to being a member of the UC San Diego community for nearly 30 years, Pedro has deep roots in La Jolla. His parents met in La Jolla and he was born at Scripps hospital when it was located on Prospect Street. His father built one of the original “mud huts” that served as one of the residence halls on campus. Over the years, Pedro has seen the La Jolla area change and expand with the addition of highways, buildings, and shopping centers. “From the roof [of the AP&M building where ACMS is located] I can see where I was born, where I had my first job, where I used to live, where I grew up,” he said. In fact, Pedro has never worked east of Interstate 5.
Away from work, Pedro is an avid sportsman. He is a skeet shooter, archer, fisherman, and golfer. When it comes to golfing, he says, “I’m not very good at it, but I have a good time no matter what my score is.” Pedro spends most of his free time with his family, “whether it’s going to the beach, hanging out in the backyard, or going to a park. Family is a priority for me.”
Thanks for everything you do to keep things running smoothly, Pedro!
ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of Academic Computing & Media Services at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!