As you click around the Faculty of Arts and Sciences website, we’re guessing you’ve noticed some changes. The new design is courtesy of Jennifer Pope, the web designer of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who has spent the last ten months revamping the Faculty of Arts and Sciences website. Jennifer, who came to Rutgers-Camden after working as a web project coordinator for the oncology department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, calls the process of migrating the Arts and Sciences websites on to a consistent theme “incredibly rewarding,” particularly because of the support she’s received from faculty, staff, and students, all of whom trust her implicitly to create a cohesive web experience.
Jennifer’s path to web design was unplanned. After graduating from Hamilton College with a major in comparative literature and a minor in economics, she decided to pursue her interest in competitive intelligence and knowledge management, earning her master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University. Her course of study was focused on learning how institutions should manage their information, how an institution can find their competitors’ information, and how an institution should analyze the information they have versus what their competitor has. During her time at Drexel, Jennifer took a class called Introduction to Web Design to satisfy an elective requirement. Although she had no previous experience with web design, Jennifer says she “really fell in love with it.” She explains that web design is a culmination of the logical and the creative, which suited her strengths perfectly. She was able to organize information and ensure that everything worked accurately, while also creating an aesthetically pleasing environment. While working at Philadelphia’s Chemical Heritage Foundation as a library assistant, Jennifer had the opportunity to redesign the library’s WebPAC (Web Public Access Catalog), an experience she thoroughly enjoyed. She found her calling.
When the job for a Rutgers-Camden Faculty of Arts and Sciences web designer was posted, Jennifer knew it was the perfect job for her. Not only would a university setting allow freedom with designing the website, but she knew that the campus was a small, tight-knit community, where she would be able to make an immediate impact. Once hired, Jennifer was glad to find she was right. “Everyone was so welcoming, warm, and inviting,” she says of Rutgers-Camden’s students, faculty, and staff. With the Rutgers-Camden community’s support, she has managed to rebrand nearly every Faculty of Arts and Sciences website. The initial response has been overwhelmingly positive, and she’s eager to see how this important groundwork pays off in the coming years.
Members of the higher education web community will soon have the chance to hear about Jennifer’s work. She submitted a proposal, “Creating a Cohesive Website Experience from Scratch,” to the Higher Ed Web conference in New England, and recently found out that it was accepted. She’ll give a ten minute presentation about the process to totally migrate all Faculty of Arts and Sciences websites to the web platform WordPress. She submitted the proposal on a whim, and was happily surprised when she learned she would have the opportunity to tell other higher education web professionals about the changing web experience at Rutgers-Camden.
While her past ten months have been extraordinarily productive, Jennifer is far from done. Now that the sites have been launched, she’s looking forward to the next items on her to do list – maintaining the professional look of the current sites and creating personal sites for each faculty member. For some this workload may seem daunting, but Jennifer is eager to dive in and use the web to show everyone “how awesome our community is.”
About Jennifer Pope
Hometown: Hamilton, NY
Position: Web Designer