I will be using this website as an academic portfolio/CV when applying for PhD programs next year. Since I will be pursuing a program in technology studies, I will be including my resume and design portfolio with my academic work. The work I’ve done in the MCDM is not publishable in academic journals but is still important to show to academic institutions, with this is mind I will be self-publishing my work on this site and then citing it in my offline CV and application materials. What I need is to be able to display my academic work and design work in a way that makes sense as a comprehensive package.  Since this is an unusual purpose for WordPress, I’ve had to get creative with theme selection.

Admissions Committee
Committee members will be viewing my site to look at additional work samples such as writing samples, research projects, and design projects.  The site will also show proof of technological proficiency and research focus.

Potential Advisors
Advisors will be viewing my site to see if my research interests and academic background line up well with theirs.  This is a chance for me to explain more fully what I am interested in studying and showcase the evolution of my research interests to make sure my advisor is a good fit for me.

Since I will be showcasing writing samples and design samples I’ll need a flexible theme with a gallery and a portfolio.  I also need a way to publish my resume and CV, which is something that most themes lack.  The site will be updated with new information rarely and my audience will be one-time viewers, so I won’t be utilizing a blog feature though I may in the future. The most important feature I need is a way to segment the different application materials in a way that makes sense.

Because my audience will be primarily academic, I am looking for a simple website with little interactivity.  I prefer it to be clean, minimal, with grey and white shading.  I want it to look professional and have enough “techyness” for the more technical PhD programs I’m applying to without putting off the more academic ones.  Taking all of the above into consideration, the theme I’ve chosen is Alchemist by Imaginem.

My competitors will be other program applicants and since I don’t know whom they are, I can’t evaluate their sites.  But, I figured it would be helpful to see how professors display their information when thinking of how to display mine.  So here are three academic sites from professors:









This site is for a professor in the department of English language and literature at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  The site is simple and clean with rotating landscape photos and black text on white background.  The navigation panel has About, CV, and Teaching with links to an offsite blog.  I like keeping the professional details separate from the more conversational blog.  Also, his about section has a professional bio and a personal bio, which I think is helpful for multiple audiences.  The aesthetics of the blog aren’t what I want but the content categories and navigation are great.










This site is for an associate professor in the department of history and art history at George Mason University. Again, the aesthetics aren’t great.  The tabs change color, which is nice feedback, but the green-beige color is definitely not as clean as I want.  He has too many tabs for what I want but I do like that he has space for publications in addition to a bio section and CV section.  His CV has a nice layout and would be easy to make has a post, which is a nice way of getting around the lack of theme support for CVs and resumes.








This site is for an associate professor of computer science at the University of Utah.  I really like the simplicity of this site.  I think he has the right amount of tabs and I like his categories.  Unfortunately, the navigation of the site is terrible once you leave the home page.  You can tell he coded this himself since there’s no layout on pages other than home. Because of this it’s almost too simple.  I want something more professional and polished than this, but I like the home page skeleton.


One response to “JanaeGerard.com”

  1. Kathy E. Gill says :

    Hi, Janae – I think you should look at websites of professors at the universities and in the department where you will be applying … and I think you need to look at websites of PhD students in those programs. I think a blog would be a way to demonstrate your research interests and your initiative/analytical skills.

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