Web content has important role in staff member Christina Hu’s UM-Dearborn experience

Christina HuAt her home in Vijayawada, India, Christina Hu clicked through the UM-Dearborn website. She looked at graduate programs, the admissions process, scholarship opportunities and campus photos.

And then—from more than 8,000 miles away—she decided that it was the university for her.

“It had the graduate program I was looking for and good scholarships for international students,” said Hu, a 2010 M.S. in computer science graduate. “It also looked very inviting and friendly. It was right for me.”

So Hu knows the importance of a college website.

Now as a technical project manager in the Department of External Relations, she spends much of her time with the UM-Dearborn website—evaluating and supporting the website’s content management system, and always looking at ways to improve it.

Hu is part of the web strategy and service team that recently launched the new website and migrated webpages to a new content management system—a project that was five years in the making.

“The passion we have for this project is what drove us, along with the constant support given from campus partners. It helped make our team stronger,” she said. “You always want to keep improving and this is a much better design and user interface. It’s a more modern, secure and mature site.”

Hu started working with website content as a graduate student. She was offered an opportunity to work on the former College of Arts, Sciences and Letters technical services team, and that position evolved into the one she has today.

Her interest in web development goes back to her favorite subject in school—math. Hu said that’s why she picked the computer science track when she was a teenager.

“In India, you have to choose a field when you are very young. It isn’t like here. I always loved math and computer coding so similar to math, so that is what I chose,” she said. “You use analytical skills to resolve problems and to build and create. I like it.”

Hu said her role at the university has evolved during the decade that she’s been here. During that time, she’s also seen the campus change.

“There’s a brand new science building. The new Engineering Lab Building is in development. Students can live near campus now and there are campus shuttles. I can definitely see that the university is growing,” she said.

But what has stayed the same is the inclusive welcome she felt when she arrived as a student.

Hu said the campus is still right for her. And it was as beautiful and friendly as it looked online.

“I grew up in a small town in India and my mom dreamed big for me. She wanted me to go out of the country and look at opportunities and spread my wings,” she said. “I wanted to come here because it seemed like a great place. And it is.”

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