It is possible to have your computer open Gmail as the default email handler when you click mailto links on the Web; the SHC Campus Directory, for example. You'll just have to give up Internet Explorer to make it work.
Install Chrome or Firefox and then check out the following posts on the Google Operating System (unofficial) blog. See my previous post about the benefits of using Chrome
Firefox is not quite as simple, but it can be done:
As always, holler at the Help Desk [firstname.lastname@example.org] if you need additional help.