Summary of Work at NC State University

At NC State, I am a part of the Office of Information Technology’s Design & Web Services team. Our team is responsible for supporting various elements of the university web presence.

Responsibilities and Duties Performed

Design and Development

Campus WordPress Themes and Plugins

We build themes and plugins for general use at NC State, and make them available to university students, faculty, and staff for free. I was the principal developer for some of these offerings. Highlights include:

  • Hillsborough, a WordPress theme used by hundreds of university units, programs, research groups, and personal websites
  • NC State Shortcodes, a (pre-WP 5.0) plugin of campus-branded shortcodes
  • NC State Accessibility Helper, a plugin to add auditing accessibility testing to the content creation process

I have also made significant contributions to other team projects, including:

  • Brick, our post-Hillsborough WordPress theme for campus
  • NC State Blocks, a (post-WP 5.0) plugin of campus-branded editor blocks
  • NC State Protected Content, a plugin to require Shibboleth authentication for individual posts or pages

Custom WordPress Development

When campus units require design work or functionality not available in existing themes or plugins, our team provides contract custom development work. This work often includes consultations on content management best practices, information architecture, and a content review.

I have been the principal developer and consultant for several campus clients, including:

  • The Office of Information Technology’s own web presence
  • Campus Enterprises (NC State’s auxiliary services unit)
  • The campus sustainability office
  • The campus policies website for the Office of General Counsel
  • The “3D Memo” distribution website for the Chancellor’s office

Non-WordPress Work

Although the majority of our team’s work is centered on WordPress, we do take on projects where WordPress isn’t a good fit. I have made significant contributions to:

  • Managing the campus marketing email service, operated through Bronto
  • Managing the campus “broadcast” email service (messages to all students, faculty, and staff)
  • Building a CMS-agnostic pattern library and design system
  • Design, UX, and accessibility work for the campus IT service portal (built in ServiceNow)

During the period when I worked on-site in Raleigh, I was also a member of the Google Service Team. That team is responsible for our campus implementation of G Suite for Education.

Accessibility

In my role as a front-end designer and developer, I have become our team’s de facto accessibility lead. I work with and support the university’s IT accessibility coordinator. I provide feedback for campus developers, and occasionally I provide feedback to vendors completing projects for the university.

Training

OIT Design & Web Services hosts in-person and online training workshops for faculty and staff. Workshops I have led include:

  • Basic WordPress usage
  • Intermediate WordPress usage, including transitioning to the WP 5.0 block editor
  • WordPress security
  • Content management and information architecture
  • Accessibility of web content (with the IT accessibility coordinator)

Web Hosting and WordPress Management

Our team manages two campus-wide WordPress multisite environments—a self-service blog environment and a premium service for research groups, departments, and other campus units.

OIT also provides a cPanel web hosting service. We provide tier 2/3 support for that service in cooperation with OIT’s sysadmins. Additionally, we provide contract WordPress management and support services to campus units that run WordPress in their cPanel account. (Units may choose to do this instead of using our campus-wide multisite for a variety of technical or organizational reasons.)

Recognition

  • In 2016, I received the Pride of the Wolfpack Award, which recognizes “a special or unique contribution to their college, business unit, or NC State University.” I received the award for my work in transitioning OIT’s web presence from Drupal to WordPress, and the reorganization and improvement of web content during that process.
  • In 2019, I received a unit-level University Award for Excellence, which recognizes “notable contributions that are above and beyond an employee’s normal job responsibilities” and “meritorious achievements or accomplishments [that are] singularly outstanding.” I received the award for my part in our team’s web accessibility efforts.