Site: Keck Center for Chemical Biology

I feel very proud of this Drupal site, not just because I set it up, but because I generated 100% of the content. The UW-Madison Chemistry Department had this shared lab facility that no one had been in charge of maintaining. I’m talking the physical space. It was a mess of new and old stuff mixed together, with no one taking responsibility. As the new Chemical Biology program was starting up (see my design of the Chem Bio site), money became available for a Teaching Assistant to monitor/maintain the equipment and train graduate students to use all that was available.

Being the overachiever that I am, I decided the facility also needed a website, because most people in the department didn’t even realize what was available for them to use. I took photos of all of the different pieces of equipment (because it’s hard to tell one big gray box from another), and researched information about that particular model from the manufacturer’s website. Having the list of resources was invaluable to the department, and making the list was invaluable to me as the TA. I also wrote a set of user guides that became available in the right-hand sidebar when you logged into the site.

Finally, graduate students had become frustrated with the first-come first-served nature of the most high-demand instruments, so I set up a reservation calendar module to allow people to schedule time with those select instruments. I was only the TA for one year before I graduated with my MS, and I’m not sure the reservation system ever caught on, but I still think it’s a good idea. See the active site: Keck Center


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