About Rachel

About Rachel

“Professor Plum” is an alter ego I came up with one day in a very big hurry. I originally posted this site to help my students learn WordPress, so “professor” made sense; and purple is one of my top favorite colors; so along with the kitschy Clue game reference, there you have the origin story.

I have been coding and designing websites, in my jobs in corporate marketing design, for over 20 years. Yep, basically since the Internet became a thing.

Career summary | Portfolio site

1990s: Minneapolis • Portugal • California

  • Bathroom ads?! Yep, I made those bathroom ads that you sometimes see in restaurants. Laugh if you want, but it was a great “boot camp” in designing stuff fast, and back then color printers were hard to come by, so it was great to have access.
  • Need something healthier. I then went to work for a healthcare software provider, and designed my first corporate identity and website. That company went bust (not my fault!) and the president recruited me to his new company, where I did the same thing.
  • Islands or bust! Moved to the Azores and worked very remotely. Designed a website for the services division of the US Air Force base at Lajes Field, Terceira, Portugal.
  • San Francisco here I come! Then I worked in Silicon Valley — another startup, another corporate identity/website! I also worked for a boutique firm whose major client was Sun Microsystems.

Early 2000s: Illinois

  • Human what?! Moved to Champaign-Urbana, IL, home of the U of Illinois. Managed the marketing art department at Human Kinetics, a publisher of sports and fitness books and journals.
  • A bunch of hippies. After a year at HK, I went to what is now Pixo, in Urbana, originated by a group of left-wing activists who were good at programming. They were so good, they landed the contract for the website for the University of Illinois at Chicago; I led the design on that project.
    • If you’ve ever heard of the movie Patch Adams, he — the real human the movie was based upon — was a friend of this group and of a place there called School for Designing a Society. In fact, I recently learned that he has relocated to Urbana, permanently. I saw him in an airport recently, and although I hadn’t seen him in years and only met him once, the colorful clothing and long multicolored braid told me — that’s Patch!
  • McDonald’s. Sounds like a step back, but I didn’t flip or serve burgers; I actually worked, indirectly, for McDonald’s corporate in Oak Brook, Illinois, doing  — you guessed it — websites and corporate identities (rebranding and original) for a group of companies, who had Mickey D’s as a major client. I also did app graphics, marketing collateral, PowerPoint graphics and editing, and trade show graphics.

2008 – 2014: Minnesota

  • Yet more websites, emailers, marketing collateral, and trade show graphics, now in MN, from 2009-2012 for DTN, which was rebranded Telvent (from Spain!), then rebranded Schneider Electric (from France!). Their industries included:
    • Meteorology
    • Technology for the electrical grid (“smart grid”)
    • Oil and gas
    • Transportation infrastructure
    • Agribusiness
  • 2012-2014: Change of pace: graphical user interface design for business intelligence software for a boutique firm that served clients with big names that I’m probably not supposed to say. Although you may have an article of clothing by one of them and it may have a tiny little horse.
  • Master’s degree in communications: also during this time, I went to grad school and worked like a crazy person. Completed my degree in 2013.


  • Moved to PA and freelanced for a small ad agency called GGA Global. Redesigned their website and designed lots of other stuff, my favorite being a giant truck wrap, just because it’s fun to say.
  • Became Communications Director at Ideaworks Marketing, located currently in Wyoming, PA. It was there I finally got to WRITE marketing materials, including a couple of industrial video scripts, one that I got to help produce.
  • Misericordia came calling, and while I was happy at my job, I realized it was my opportunity to fulfill a dream of working in academia. And here we are!