Winners of the 2022 Best Personal Academic Websites Contest

A graphic that says "Award Winners" and has small screenshots of all the winning websites

We’re excited to recognize the hard work these people have put into their personal academic websites. They are examples to learn from. Explore the winners of the 2022 Best Personal Academic Websites Contest, and discover what prompted each of them to take the leap.

The Best Personal Academic Websites Contest 2023 is now open! Enter to win an award in this year’s contest.

The Best Personal Academic Websites Contest is brought to you by Jennifer van Alstyne, Brittany Trinh, and Ian Li.

The Academic Designer LLC logo is written in orange bold letters. The LLC part is written in smaller cursive.
Brittany Trinh logo. There is a teal square with the letters "Bt" kind of like a periodic table of elements symbol. Next to it are letters that spell out Brittany Trinh in all caps.
Owlstown logo. Owlstown is written in bold black letters. Beneath is a thick yellow line that runs the length of the full word.

About the contest

Best Personal Academic Websites Contest 2022 Graphic with 5 people looking excited to have entered to win. Not awardees.

The Best Personal Academic Websites Contest was open from October 10 through November 2, 2022. Entries were free. The contest recognizes the best personal websites of

  • Faculty
  • Professors
  • Scientists
  • Postdocs
  • Grad students
  • Independent researchers

Our goal was to award your hard work. And create a resource that can be shared to inspire academics like you to make their own website. These are great examples of personal websites, with notes from the judges.

Jump to our free resources to help you make your own website.

2022 Winners

2022 Award Categories

  • Overall Best Personal Academic Website (tied, top 3)
  • Best Owlstown (tied, top 2)
  • Best Google Site
  • Best Storytelling
  • Best Portfolio
  • Best Blog
  • Best Academic Entrepreneur

Overall Best Personal Academic Website Award

The top 3 websites tied in score. We are celebrating overall top 3 websites from Meredith Schmehl, Dr. Emmanuel Balogun, and Dr. Raymond C. Rumpf. Congratulations!

Your websites excelled in every judged category (Website Content, Website Design and Organization, About You, Portfolio, Contact Info). You are the best examples of personal academic websites.

Meredith Schmehl

A screenshot of Dr. Meredith Schmel's personal website

Meredith Schmehl is the sole creator of her website. She says, “I made a website to showcase my work both in the lab and in my community. My website allows me to connect all of my professional interests in a single platform to share my accomplishments and values with a wide audience.”

Notes from the Judges

Brittany Trinh: Schmehl’s website is effective with the homepage along, as well as the entire website as a whole website. Not only does her portfolio list their work, she also provides a clear description of what it is, and other awards/recognition related to that work.

Jennifer van Alstyne: Friendly, personable, and communicative. Meredith took time to share the details of her talks and writing in an accessible way. I love that you get a short abstract with the article. You can also learn about The Gastronauts Podcast and Meredith’s work with the National Science Policy Network on her website.

Dr. Ian Li: Meredith’s website is a great example of a comprehensive academic website. She presents the breadth of her work from her research, science writing, and advocacy. In each project, she provides a clear summary and points to resources to get more details about them.

Dr. Emmanuel Balogun

A screenshot of Dr. Emmanuel Balogun's website on desktop and tablet screens.

Dr. Emmanuel Balogun wants to acknowledge the help of Jennifer van Alstyne of The Academic Designer LLC who developed the strategic website plan. And, Ryann Russ of Iggy + Stella Creative Studio who designed the website.

Dr. Balogun says, “I made a website to communicate my research and expertise to an audience beyond academia and to make it easier for my colleagues, students, and professional contacts to reach me. I also wanted to increase my online presence in a more approachable way.”

Notes from the Judges

Jennifer did not judge Dr. Balogun’s website for this contest.

Brittany Trinh: My favorite part about Dr. Balogun’s website is the Teaching page, which includes descriptions of courses taught, along with sample syllabi and assignments. There are also pages to important links for students, such as letter of recommendation (LOR) worksheet, internship list, and scheduling office hours. The LOR worksheet breaks down what the student should provide for the professor, making it easier for the students to advocate for themselves and easier for Dr. Balogun to organize and write the LORs.

Dr. Ian Li:  Dr. Balogun’s website is a great example of how an academic website can help share a wide array of information from one’s academic work and beyond. Dr. Balogun shares various artifacts from his research publications, classes, media appearances, and presentations. He also shares resources that students can use for internships and research opportunities.

Dr. Raymond C. Rumpf

A screenshot of Dr. Raymond Rumpf's personal academic website.

Dr. Raymond C. Rumpf wants to acknowledge that “the primary person responsible for the conceptualization, creation, organization, graphic design, photography, and administration of my website is Kristin S. Rumpf of KSR Digital Designs. She came up with the web design, the logo, and did the custom coding to create the website I wanted. She has constructed websites for my two other businesses as well.”

Dr. Rumpf says, “I decided to create a website to consolidate all the information about my work and research into one place that I had complete control over. I wanted to be able to highlight my research, provide links to my learning resources, and promote my books, online courses, and journal articles that were outside what would be allowed by my university.”

Notes from the Judges

Brittany Trinh: Dr. Rumpf’s website is both informative and visually compelling. It does a great job of fulfilling 3 goals – making academic resources freely accessible, providing information about his research lab, and promoting his online courses, EMPossible. I also love the logo design, which cleverly incorporates the letters EM, as in “electromagnetic,” into his personal brand as well.

Jennifer van Alstyne: This felt like a well-thought out comprehensive archive. With great visuals and detailed research descriptions, Dr. Rumpf makes it easy to explore his website. A great use of a blog as a News section.

Dr. Ian Li: Dr. Rumpf’s website is a treasure trove of information. It has information about his research, lab, and courses. The website is well-designed to easily navigate the huge amount of information on the site.

Best Owlstown Website Award

Owlstown is a website builder for academics created by Dr. Ian Li. Make and maintain your academic website in minutes. We are excited to award the Owlstown websites with the highest scores, Dr. Taotao Wu and Rashid Ahmed Rifat. Congratulations!

Dr. Taotao Wu

A screenshot of Wu, Taotao, PhD's website on Owlstown

Dr. Taotao Wu wants to appreciate “Ian from Owlstown for creating such a convenient platform for the community.”

Dr. Wu says, “I have always been thinking about building my academic website to communicate science, not just because I am on the job market but also because information should be free. As a trainee for years, I received a lot of help from online open source. I am trying to do small part here.”

Notes from the Judges

Ian did not judge Dr. Wu’s website for this contest.

Brittany Trinh: I like how Dr. Wu leverages his About section to clearly state his intention (finding a tenure-track position). In addition, he provides his research vision, which may appeal to potential employers and future colleagues.

Jennifer van Alstyne: Dr. Wu takes the extra step of adding abstracts to each of his publications. He makes his research on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) approachable with the headline: “Understanding the networked brain through its injury” on his Research page. I like how Dr. Wu creates pages for his presentations which you can contact him about.

Rashid Ahmed Rifat

Rashid Ahmed Rifat's website on desktop screen, tablet, and mobile.

Notes from the Judges

Ian did not judge Rashid’s website for this contest.

Brittany Trinh: Rifat’s project pages are well utilized. Not only does he provides an abstract of the project, but also includes relevant documents, figures, and slides to show his technical communication abilities.

Jennifer van Alstyne: Rashid’s bio is approachable. It shares his hopes for his research, and how he wants to make change in the future. With abstracts for his publications, Rashid’s website is an approachable resource. A great example of how you can create a portfolio of research projects on your website.

Best Google Site Award

We’re excited to present the Best Google Site award to Nikita Ghodke. Congratulations!

Nikita Ghodke

Nikita Ghodke's personal academic website on desktop, laptop, and tablet screens

Nikita Ghodke made her website “on my own from scratch.” She says, “Making an academic website is important, especially as an International disabled student. My biggest motivation for creating one was for reaching out with resources to the underrepresented populations. I always wanted to create more representations in academia that can tailor a story of me as a person which isn’t just limited to my professional interests but also includes other parts of my life that play an important role in my career.”

Notes from the Judges

Brittany Trinh: Ghodke’s website shows that it’s not about the tools or platform you use, but the thought that you put in it. Her website is on Google Sites, which is a free platform.

Jennifer van Alstyne: Nikita tells the story of her research with engaging visuals and photos. I especially like her Science Communication & Outreach page. Nikita shares her photography on her website; I encourage more academics to share their personal interests on their website.

Dr. Ian Li: Nikita shares a lot of information about her journey through academia through blog posts, slide presentations, podcast interviews. She also shares resources to help others with their academic careers.

Best Storytelling Award

Telling your story is powerful and memorable. We’re excited to award the Best Storytelling Award to Dr. Kerri Rodriguez! Congratulations.

Dr. Kerri Rodriguez

Dr. Kerri Rodriguez's website on laptop, tablet, and mobile screens.

Dr. Kerri Rodriguez made her own website on WordPress. She says, “I originally created an academic website because I thought I had to, but my website quickly transformed into a valuable resource for me to share my research in a fun and engaging way. It also has tremendously helped with networking and being on the job market!”

Notes from the Judges

Brittany Trinh: I particularly liked Dr. Rodriguez’s research page, which provides clear and brief descriptions of the focus of her research, related links to work she wanted to highlight, as well as many cute photos of dogs, which is relevant to her research, throughout her website. In addition, the media page makes it easy to find the articles where she has been featured.

Jennifer van Alstyne: Dr. Rodriguez is so friendly in the GIF on her website. A cute dog? People will find this very approachable. The homepage is detailed without being overwhelming, and helps visitors navigate the site. I love how the Research page also invites people to reach out for collaborations and read her articles.

Dr. Ian Li: Dr. Rodriguez’s website weaves a cohesive story about her passion for human-animal interaction, which spans across her research, teaching, and advocacy. Her website is a great example of how an academic website can go above-and-beyond a list of publications.

Best Portfolio Award

How do you showcase all the work you do on a personal website? By creating engaging pages for people to explore. We’re excited to award the Best Portfolio Award to Dr. Walter Greason. Congratulations!

Dr. Walter Greason

Dr. Walter Greason's personal website on desktop, tablet, and mobile screens.

Notes from the Judges

Brittany Trinh: Dr. Greason’s website shares his portfolio by featuring them all on a Project page. He provides a great example of how to leverage your project portfolio because he highlights specific projects by giving them individual pages. In each project, he provides historical significance to give further context of the impact of their work.

Jennifer van Alstyne: Dr. Greason had a challenge fitting his many areas of research onto one website. Well done! A bio that helps people explore further. A page focused on program services. The portfolio pages on this website are visually engaging and not overwhelming. This website is an example for all in how to invite people to get involved.

Dr. Ian Li: Dr. Greason’s project page is a great example of providing summaries of projects to introduce them to a wider audience. He describes each project and explains why they are important and their impact.

Best Blog Award

Having a blog on your website is a big project. We’re excited to award Dr. Colleen Fisher the Best Blog Award for The Global Minded Professor.

Dr. Colleen Fisher

Dr. Colleen Fisher's website The Global Minded Professor on desktop and tablet screens.

Dr. Colleen Fisher wants to acknowledge “the wonderful website designer who helped me bring my vision for this site to life! Her name is KC Pushpa.”

Dr. Fisher says, “I had been thinking about the benefits of an academic website for some time, thanks in part to compelling blogs like The Academic Designer! I finally took the leap to create my site in 2021 when I was preparing for my Fulbright to India and realized I wanted a space to blog about that experience.”

Notes from the Judges

Brittany Trinh: Global Minded Professor’s website includes 3 blogs – one that is current and two that are upcoming. It provides a clear description of what to expect in the blog. In their India blog posts, they include their own perspective and amazing photos. The blog posts are organized well with section headings and written clearly and concisely.  Their blog post have been updated recently and they engage with their readers in the comments sections.

Jennifer van Alstyne: Dr. Fisher’s website shares her love of global research and teaching. Rich with images from her travels, The Global Minded Professor website includes a photo blog from her Fulbright in India. Her Research page answers questions like “What’s the problem?” and “What did we want to find out?” which invite deeper exploration in Dr. Fisher’s research.

Dr. Ian Li: Dr. Fisher has an extensive blog on her academic work in India. In her blog posts, she writes about her research and the different places that she visited. She also has 2 upcoming blogs for her trips to Ecuador and Kenya.

Best Academic Entrepreneur Website Award

Some of the amazing people who leave academia become entrepreneurs. We’re excited to give the Best Academic Entrepreneur Award to Dr. Jessye L.B. Talley. Congratulations!

Dr. Jessye L.B. Talley

Dr. Jessye L.B. Talley's personal academic website on desktop, laptop, and tablet screens.

Dr. Jessye L.B. Talley wants to acknoweldge website designer Brittany Trinh Creative and photographer Stacey Gardin.

Dr. Talley says, “I created my website to have a way for me to have my own space to connect with the academic community and not be tied to social media. It was also a way for me to share about my experiences and resources to help other academics on their journey.”

Notes from the Judges

Brittany did not judge Dr. Talley’s website for this contest.

Dr. Ian Li: Dr. Talley’s website is well-designed with a modern layout and great use of visuals. In addition to descriptions of her research, she describes her coaching and workshop services, so you understand how they can help with your goals. She also shares several resources on her blog.

Jennifer van Alstyne: Bright! Memorable. Dr. Talley’s website is inviting for early career faculty who benefit from her services. With professional photography, streamlined copy, and an easy-to-navigate menu, this website is a great example.

Thank you!

Congratulations to our award winners.

A big thank you to all our contest entrants. We’re so lucky to have you inspiring the world. Your website has been added to The Academic Gallery on Owlstown. Thank you for being an amazing example. A website is a big project. You should be proud of sharing who you are and what you do with the world.

We created this contest to help as many people as possible. I hope these personal website examples encourage you to make your own website! Some of our award winners did-it-themselves, others hired help. They all made their personal website work for them. You can too. Please bookmark this page. Share it with your friends. Make your website a reality. And don’t feel like it needs to be “finished” to hit publish. Keep scrolling for free resources to create your website.

Brittany, Ian, and Jennifer would like to thank our non-profit partner for the Best Personal Academic Websites Contest 2022.

STEM Advocacy Institute (SAi) logo

STEM Advocacy Institute (SAi) is a Boston based incubator that is making it easier for social entrepreneurs to launch new programs and tools that connect people to science via public science engagement, science communication, and informal science learning.

Finally, we’d like to thank our friends for helping share this event. Including but not limited to

Teach the Geek to Speak

Did you help us share the contest during the entry period? Please email We’d love thank you here!

7 free resources for creating your own personal academic website

Our goal is to help as many people as possible. Here are free resources from Ian Li of Owlstown, Brittany Trinh Creative, and The Academic Designer LLC to help you make your website. Please share with your friends.

Don’t have a website yet? Watch the replay of our virtual Setting Up Your Personal Academic Website event.

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Jennifer van Alstyne View All →

Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and communications consultant. She founded The Academic Designer LLC to help professors build a strong online presence for their research, teaching, and leadership. Jennifer’s goal is to help people feel confident sharing their work with the world.

Jennifer’s personal website

The Academic Designer LLC