Do you want more people to understand what you do?

For researchers and academics, clear communication about your work can help you

  • connect with your community
  • share your articles and publications
  • engage your students
  • help you advocate for funding
  • increase awareness in your work
  • develop a scholarly network

Sharing what we do in a way people can understand helps us communicate and advocate for our work.

Having an online persona, a Googleable set of pages or profiles, is a great practice for communication.

Hi, I’m Jennifer van Alstyne. I’m a communications strategist. And I’m here to help your work get seen through social media and personal websites.

I founded The Academic Designer LLC to empower people and organizations to share their work with the world with communication strategy.

My blog, The Social Academic is all about online identity in the Higher Ed world

The Social Academic blog features advice articles about social media and personal academic websites. And I chat with awesome

  • graduate students
  • faculty
  • researchers
  • alternate academics

where we talk about their work and social media lives.

Check out popular posts like this breakdown of social media platforms for academics. And, here are my most popular resources for graduate students.

Get concrete, actionable advice for your online identity written for graduate students, educators, and researchers.


I offer communications consultation, website creation, and social media strategy through 1:1 services.

Websites, Social Media, Design and Copy, Training

What people say about working with me

Strategic website and social media plans

“We would recommend Jennifer for any project where academic research needs to conveyed onto websites and social media. Jennifer’s strategic website plan was detailed and well-organized providing suggestions to make our web redesign effective for our center’s audience (e.g., industry and the general public).

The social media plan helped us put in place a communications schedule and tools that will increase the amount of exposure we have on those platforms. Her approach to collecting feedback from the whole team before writing a plan helped align the vision for the team.

Working with Jennifer was easy and enlightening. We hope to hire her again in the future for one of her trainings or further development work.”

— Matt Hotze, NEWT Engineering Research Center

Strategic website plan

“Jennifer was extremely thorough in her research and professional in her delivery of her recommendations. Meetings were well organized and I knew exactly what I needed to do and what to expect each step along the way.

At the end, I received a comprehensive report and recommendations that were exactly what I needed to take the next step. Her command of the space is extraordinary and her recommendations are well founded in research and real world evidence. It was a pleasure to work with Jennifer.”

— Paula McCree

Graduate student website creation

“Looking towards the job market in coming years, I am certain that having a website that presents a cohesive view of my work as a writer/scholar will be absolutely helpful.”

— Hannah E. Chapple


“I recently had a valuable and helpful consultation with Jennifer van Alstyne, The Academic Designer, regarding my new writing and editing business, HCS Ink.  Our conversation left me feeling inspired, motivated, and more focused.

Jennifer provided much needed insight on the specific steps I need to take to move forward with clearer purpose and vision.  Jennifer’s practical advice and knowledge regarding business and networking made me feel more confident and organized.  I highly recommend The Academic Designer for writers and academics who are looking to expand their careers or businesses. Jennifer is a pleasure to work with!”

— Heather Sweeney

Check out my portfolio.

Start managing your online presence today

Are you ready to start managing your online presence? I have a training to help.

“The Internet for Academics: Managing Your Online Presence” is my free course for graduate students, professors, and researchers.