The University of the Virgin Islands website received the 2014 Lightning Bolt Award during the annual Cassies Awards, a competition for website developers in the U.S. and Canada who develop their sites using the Cascade Server content management system. The site – www.uvi.edu – was completely redesigned, updated and re-launched in August of 2013.
The Lightning Bolt Award goes to the organization which achieves the quickest rollout of a new site, while combining optimum design and functionality with the latest web technologies. The awards are hosted by Hanon Hill Corp., which developed Cascade Server, after which the Cassies take their name. The system is used by thousands of websites at colleges and universities, as well as by a wide variety of government, non-profit and industry websites.
UVI’s site was nominated for two 2014 Cassies – the Lightning Bolt Award and the Best Use of COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) Award. Thousands of Cascade-based webmasters vote to select the recipients of these peer reviewed awards.
In describing the nomination, Hannon Hill wrote: “UVI migrated its entire 3,000-page site from Sharepoint (its previous content management system) to Cascade Server in four short months. The migration included 10 audience-based gateway landing pages, a homepage, an alternate homepage, a customized responsive Cascade Server calendar, fully responsive design, 600 employee profiles and much more.”
UVI was selected for the Lightning Bolt Award over Northwood University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of New Brunswick, which were also nominated.
“We asked our website team to do an amazing job in a very limited amount of time,” said UVI President David Hall. “I was impressed by the final product and the vast improvement to our website, but this award demonstrates that others were equally impressed. To receive this type of national recognition is a testament to the hard work and creativity of our webmaster and the committee that worked with her."
“The success of the UVI website development project is a testament to a very dedicated and talented staff, who through long hours and hard work, exceeded our expectations,” said UVI Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement Mitchell Neaves. “I am truly proud of this accomplishment and of the collective effort of the UVI Website Committee and its leadership under Ms. Moneca Pinkett-Wilkins and Director of Public Relations Ms. Nanyamka Farrelly.”
“We were pleased to produce a new website that delivers fast, relevant content to all of our stakeholders. The fact that we received an award for this further validates our website and the work of our webmaster and the UVI community,” Farrelly said.
Pinkett said the site attracts more than 6,800 page views, by some 840 unique visitors, on a typical day. Among the most popular areas of the site are the class schedules, the degree programs page, the admissions section, the libraries page and the audience gateways.
“This next generation of the UVI Website allows us to tell our story through social media, YouTube, iPhones, iPads, Android phones and the website itself,” Pinkett said. She added that the site is accessible for individuals who visit using assistive devices, and offers social media integration that allows students to share and post UVI information on their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
“Our nearly 120 website content contributors are key to the site’s success,” Pinkett said. Contributors work to continually update the site’s information on academic offerings, colleges, schools, components, centers, specialized areas and offices at the University. Their efforts are managed by the UVI website committee, which also played a major role in the selection of a vendor for the content management system.
Members of the University’s website committee were honored last year by President Hall, who presented the group with a President’s Award during a meeting of the Board of Trustees. UVI’s Webmaster Moneca Pinkett and the website committee were recognized for creating the new website under the direction of the Public Relations Office.
For more information visit the About the Site section of the UVI website or contact the Office of Public Relations at (340) 693-1059.