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Students available for summer website projects

A popular program offered by Information Technology Services (ITS) to help academic and support units improve and create websites is returning for its seventh year.

The Summer Student Web Resource Program (SSWRP) hires Queen’s students to undertake website projects over the course of the summer. SSWRP students use WebPublish, the Queen’s-supported content management system.

[Screenshot of website developed by SSWRP students]
Leela Viswanathan used the Summer Student Web Resource Program last year to build a website for her research project, Planning With Indigenous Peoples. Above is a screenshot of the website.

“Summer presents a great opportunity for groups to update and improve their web presence,” says Natasha Redknap, coordinator of SSWRP and a member of the Web Services team within ITS. “The program offers an affordable way to undertake website projects by having students assist with a range of tasks, including content updates and accessibility reviews. Student support also includes website integration with other ITS services, such as media streaming, if desired.”

As of 2014, research groups and labs became eligible for WebPublish sites and the SSWRP. Leela Viswanathan, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning and Principal Investigator, Planning With Indigenous Peoples (PWIP), took advantage of the program last summer.

“SSWRP is a valuable asset to supporting our research community at Queen’s,” Dr. Viswanathan says. “A website was another means by which our research team could meet the requirements of our Tri-Council funders and make our research publications accessible to a wider audience.”

Since its launch eight months ago, the PWIP Research Group website is succeeding as an online information resource. According to Google Analytics, almost 60 per cent of user traffic to the site consists of new visitors. Potential student researchers have contacted Dr. Viswanathan after visiting the website and she refers researchers and policymakers in her academic and professional networks to the publications on the PWIP site.

Colette Steer, Manager for Recruitment and Events, School of Graduate Studies, says the program has been a success for the school every year it has participated.

“We’ve hired full-time students through the program each summer, and the investment paid off every time,” Ms. Steer says. “The students were instrumental for expanding and enhancing our web presence, which is vital for attracting future graduate students to Queen’s.”

Under the program, ITS hires and trains the students and provides them with equipment and support. The cost for departments or faculties to hire a SSWRP student is $21 per hour, which covers the student’s hourly wage, vacation and statutory holiday pay, training and supervision, and a portion of the costs associated with project coordination.

For more information on the program, visit the ITS SSWRP page. If you are interested in participating in this year’s program, email Natasha Redknap by Friday, March 11 with details regarding the type and scope of work involved. ITS will follow up to confirm the project requirements and to provide a work estimate.