Help Desk Manager Supports Student, Faculty, Staff Computing Needs

Olivia DrakeJune 4, 20084min

John Hammond, Help Desk manager in Information Technology Services, says techniques for solving computing issues are always changing with advances in technology.
Posted 06/04/08
Q: John, what is the ITS Help Desk and whom does it support?

A: The Helpdesk has two groups, the Student Helpdesk and the Administrative Helpdesk. Together we support all Wesleyan students and administrative staff.

Q: Who staffs the desk, and when is it open?

A: The Student Helpdesk is staffed by student Helpdesk consultants who are available Monday-Thursday 10 a.m to 10 p.m; Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. We can be contacted by e-mail at, or by phone at 860-685-4000.

The Administrative Helpdesk is staffed by Benjiman Jackson and Harriett Epstein who are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We can be contacted by e-mail,, or by phone at 860-685-4777.

Both groups are located in the Exley Science Center. Just follow the hallway to the right of the elevators and look for the signs.

Q: How many students work at the Student Help Desk? Are they predominately computer science majors?

A: There are approximately 20 students working for Helpdesk, from many different majors. Since it is the beginning of the new school year we are now accepting applications from students interested in joining the Helpdesk so I encourage anyone and everyone to apply. Just a download the application from our website at Once new students have been hired, training is provided from both student managers and ITS staff.

Q: What is the role of a department’s Desktop Support Specialist?

A: The Helpdesk encourages faculty to contact us if they have a computing issue and we will always do our best to resolve it. However, the Academic Desktop Support Specialists are specially trained to support the specialized software and hardware that faculty utilize. As a result, it is often necessary to refer the faculty to their DSS for support. Desktop Support Specialists therefore do no report to me, but to Karen Warren, director of user and technical services.

Q: What are typical account-related problems students and staff have, and how does the help desk go about resolving those problems?

A: The great thing about working for Helpdesk is that there is no such thing as a typical problem. You may think that all we do is run virus and spyware scans and reset passwords all day, but it is much more involved than that. Technology is constantly changing and our techniques for sol