In addition to managing White Whale’s business affairs, Tonya serves as lead information architect and content strategist: refining site navigation, offering strategic content recommendations, editing final copy for consistency, leading Web content workshops, and working closely with client staff throughout the site development process. Using whiteboards and dry erase markers as well as online IA visualization tools, she helps our clients get past their organizational roadblocks and find ways to present Web content in a way that makes sense for their multiple audiences. She cares deeply about easy-to-read, clear communications, so be mindful of her red pen.
After receiving her BA from Wellesley College and MA from Brown University in Political Science, she worked to improve international response in peacekeeping operations, including a consulting stint for the World Bank and United Nations in East Timor. Tonya then moved into nonprofit arts management; first working with the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island and then with the Alliance of Artists Communities. She’s also owned a coffee shop (don’t give her bad coffee) and served as board chair of one of the premier youth arts organizations in the country.
When she’s not taking care of White Whale, she chases her three daughters and brood of chickens around her mini urban farm in Portland, OR. Oh, and she also sews napkins for her sister’s incredible restaurant, the Butcher & the Baker, in Telluride, CO.
Jason is the president and founder of White Whale, which means something different every day. He serves in a creative director role, creating homepage designs and collaborating with Janie on design work in general; he also oversees the care and feeding of LiveWhale, our CMS. A pathological multitasker, Jason is typically involved in every aspect of the Web site development process.
He serves as the primary point of contact for most of White Whale’s clients. One of his favorite parts of the job, strange as it might sound, is helping our clients navigate the opinions, personalities and internal politics that a Web redesign always brings to light.
Jason has been designing and building Web sites since 1997, when he began exploring the field of interactive design as a complement to his graduate study in linguistics at the University of Chicago (where he holds a master’s degree). He lives in Oakland with his wife and daughter.
She has over a decade of experience working in nonprofit and higher education, doing all the things that have needed doing from writing grant proposals and copy to ordering the wine to planning national conferences and mentoring youth arts workshops.
Laura has 10 years experience working for higher education, including as Senior Java Developer for the University of California, Merced (specifically working on their Portal and CAS Single-Sign-On systems) and as a senior level programmer for Southwestern University for over 7 years, where she worked on many diverse projects which led her to receive the 2008 CASE Grand Award.
Laura has served on several committees for the Apereo Foundation, an organization that provides a range of academic projects and software communities serving higher education. Her service to the foundation included a position as an elected member of the uPortal Steering Committee and as their Documentation Coordinator for the past four years. Her contributions reflect her passion and enthusiasm for growing awareness and resource support required for the longevity of academic projects, which resulted in Laura being a recipient of the Apereo 2013 Fellowship Award. She graduated with a BS and MS in Computer Science from Texas A&M University, and lives and works in San Antonio, Texas.
He has developed and managed Web applications since 1999, working on corporate teams as well as individually, and has created a wide variety of interesting and engaging tools and interfaces. His primary interest is AJAX-based Web applications, with focus on UI development and jQuery programming.
Isaac lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons; his non-code interests include surfing, capoeira and burritos. He’s acrophobic, so his desk is the farthest from the windows of White Whale’s seventh-floor Oakland office.
On any given day, I make Web pages: a process that might include interviewing students while they eat lunch, proposing color palettes via videochat, or browser testing and search queries with Alex. I work primarily in Photoshop and CSS. I also work primarily in my home office – in an old house, in a Chicago neighborhood called Pilsen.
I joined White Whale in early 2009 after falling hard for LiveWhale. Prior to that, I produced higher-ed communications for Lipman Hearne of Chicago. A graduate of Trinity University, I earned my MFA in Art & Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which earns me the prize for Most Relevant Education to Your Position at White Whale Web Services.
I play in a band called Like Pioneers, and I love fruity novelty candies and motorcycles from the year 1977.
Alex has been noodling with bits and bytes since 1993 when he stopped taking apart the VCR and turned his attention to computer programming. Since its inception, he has been indispensable to White Whale; becoming a permanent full-time employee in 2004 and taking the lead in the development of our content management system. Residing in New York City’s East Village, with his wife Nupuri and their cat Arianna, he is a graduate of NYU’s film and psychology programs, an active writer, and student of nondualist metaphysics.
As technical director of White Whale, he has developed an intimate understanding of higher ed needs, and has produced numerous tools to effectively manage content for universities across the United States and beyond. To complement his professional work, Alex has also created several open source projects for the PHP community.
Jason specializes in front end development for desktop and mobile. Before coming to White Whale, he worked freelance for several clients, and before that, companies both large and small. He holds a BA in Television Production from Columbia College, Chicago, but then the future started to happen.
Besides writing the cleanest code and markup he can muster, Jason enjoys shooting photos with lo-fi cameras, games of all sorts, anything related to queer issues, and staring contests with his boyfriend’s cat. In the near past, he’s collaborated with talented friends and one of San Francisco’s art museums to work on an in-museum adventure game. He’s lived in SF for nearly a decade, and supposedly that almost makes him a local.
Haiku for A White Whale
Our college story
Complex. Diverse. Dissonant.
From the many one
World’s best support team
World’s friendliest CMS
World’s easiest choice
Fresh and creative
They brought our site back to life
And a Webby too
If you’re on the communications or Web staff of a school that’s considering a redesign, you can pick up the phone and call us right now at (888) WHALE-08.