Project History

Asili Natural Oils

Asili Natural Oils is a fruit and vegetable oil producer based in Rwanda. Asili’s vision is “to be a trusted African producer of a range of the highest quality natural ingredients for customers in the personal care industry, while simultaneously creating economic opportunity for Rwandan farmer families.” To that end, they seek to empower their workers by training them in ways that help them love their job. That was very important when considering the design of their new site.

Asili requested a rebuild of their existing website to address design, efficiency, and availability. Their previous site was out of date on multiple pieces of information, their pictures were not speaking to the rich quality of their product, and their search engine optimization was incomplete.

To improve upon these issues, I considered and accomplished three primary goals for the new implementation. First, I was able to redirect the user’s focus to the natural characteristics of the products by replacing the outdated pictures with verdant views of the fruit. Second, I made the site more welcoming by giving it a personal touch with pictures and quotes from the people who work for Asili. Finally, I focused the user’s attention on the essential call to action, the contact form. Throughout the entire process, I followed responsible SEO practices, making the site accessible and user-friendly.

WatchTower Network Monitor

The Network Systems Group at Gordon College needed an alternative option to their Solar Winds “Orion” website that monitors status of servers and other resources. They were looking for a cheaper and more customizable option.

The team came to Bennett and asked if he could design something similar to their current program, something that could have the same or more power and accuracy as their current system, but could be made in-house.

To build this tool, I incorporated a powerful functional back-end, build with powershell, and a web-interface in PHP and vanilla JavaScript. The back-end sends network requests to every one of the 700+ resources that are involved and updates a database to track the status of the resources. The front-end is live-updated so that netowrk administrators can see issues as soon as they arise. It has already been immensely helpful to their team as they have network issues accross campus and need one central place to see the affected resources.

Center for Faith and Innovation

The Wheaton College Center for Faith and Innovation (CFI) is a campus initiative that focuses on market research concerning the state of Faith in the marketplace. This organization gives college students real-world experience with networking, strategic planning, data management, and leadership in the context of research that is useful to the professional world. 

As the CFI was starting up in 2019, they needed a direct and detailed plan for sharing the benefits of partnering with them as a student. They had the knowledge and the information that would inspire students to be a part of their organization, but they were missing the outreach and market research. So they consulted with marketing classes on the Wheaton campus to put the power in students hands for how to reach the largest amount of people. 

I, along with three other college students, joined together to build and present a powerful, comprehensive marketing plan, directing the CFI on how to expand their outreach, basing our recommendations on research compiled by interviews and intensive questionnaires. To the right, you can find a few examples of the essential data that we compiled as well as an evaluation of their organization as a whole.

La Vida Center

In order to address these issues and concerns, I worked with the campus Design Center to build a functional and user-friendly site to welcome users that will be registering for La Vida programs. This project particularly consisted of the functional integrations, connecting the WordPress site with FileMaker Pro to receive information about all of the registrations and payments made through the site. I also built management modules on the site to allow users to manage their information directly. Above, you can see examples of the different integrations with the database required to put information in the users’ hands.

The La Vida Center for Outdoor Education is an organization under Gordon College that seeks to provide meaningful outdoor experiences to their customers. They provide programs for summer campers, college students, school groups and retreat groups throughout the year and manage Gordon’s athletic center activities and events.

La Vida was using a popular campus payment system to manage payments and registrations for their programs, but the quality of design and control of information that they needed was not provided to them there. Because of this, they requested to have the Center for Technology Services at Gordon build them a new site. This project was proposed to Bennett Forkner because of his knowledge of web development and skills with PHP.