Familiar Faces: Catching up with James Baucom, User Experience Specialist at Evans Library
A series catching up with the campus figures who made your time at Florida Tech memorable.
James Baucom, user experience specialist at Evans Library, has been part of the Florida Tech community for 36 years, creating a positive and uplifting experience for everyone with whom he interacts. We spoke with James about his time at Florida Tech, his impact and more.
How long have you worked at Florida Tech?
My first experience on the Florida Tech campus began in 1986, when I attended classes while cross-enrolled at the University of Central Florida (UCF). I took an AROTC commission from the Panther Battalion, graduating from UCF in 1988. After a three-year tour of active duty, I returned to live in Melbourne and took a position with Campus Security. In 2007, I took a lateral transfer to Evans Library, where I’ve been ever since.
What’s the secret to that kind of longevity?
Florida Tech is a true gem of this community. Working and living close to the Florida Tech campus has been a pleasure. Being associated with bright people from around the world is a rewarding experience. For me, it is a real treat to interact with such a multicultural environment. I’ve been lucky enough to have lived in five different countries for up to a year or more. I love the diversity Florida Tech brings to this part of the world.
What role does interacting with the campus community play in keeping your job fresh and exciting?
Interacting with such a diverse community is rewarding for me. For most of my adult life, I’ve had the good fortune of traveling and living in many places around the globe. Now that I’m traveling less, I don’t need to; working at Florida Tech, the world comes to me without leaving Melbourne.
What do you love about your job?
I enjoy meeting folks from far-flung places. I work at the information desk, a.k.a. the iDesk, the heart of the campus. It brings me into contact with many of our students/faculty/staff. When I find out where a patron comes from, I study that place (language/geography/ history/culture). I make it a point to learn something about the world that they come from. I try to greet them in their language, find out how to ask them, “How can I help you?”
What do you see in the future for Florida Tech?
With the growth I’ve seen over the past 30-some years and surviving what we just went through with the COVID pandemic, I am encouraged and truly believe that Florida Tech will forever be a stellar university.
What do you see in the future for you (personally or professionally)?
I have reached retirement age. I am a retired military veteran of 33 years, and I don’t see myself working too much longer. I can honestly say that my years at Florida Tech have been more than anyone could ask for. I will dearly miss the excitement of working with so many brilliant people and having seen this campus develop and grow into a top-rated university.
This piece was featured in the winter 2023 edition of Florida Tech Magazine.