Voice of UF/IFAS – Dr. Tennille Herron
Dr. Tennille Herron
IT Manager, Web Services
Jacksonville, FL …DUUUUUUUUUUVAL!
Years at UF/IFAS:
I have worked for UF/IFAS for 8 and UF for 16 years.
Describe your role at UF/IFAS:
I am responsible for overseeing and providing strategic direction for the UF/IFAS Digital Ecosystem which consists of approximately 500+ domains, websites, and blogs. While leading the IFAS web technology transfer, I also manage the day-to-day web operations for the UF/IFAS Web Services Team. Together we provide central support to over 200 web builders throughout Florida. We also support critical IFAS websites: IFAS.ufl.edu, SFYL.ifas.ufl.edu, and BLOGS.ifas.ufl.edu. I am most proud of Blogs.IFAS. Upon arrival at IFAS, we only had (1) blog. Now we currently have more than 700 bloggers feeding content regularly to over 100 blogs and our other digital properties! This year, Blogs.IFAS garnered over 2 million Pageviews.
How did your background and experiences shape your interest in your current field?
When my father brought a Commodore 64 home, I would play games on it once the dial-up modem connected. Shortly thereafter, my sister and I attended a summer camp where we played computer games all day. This prompted my interest in computers. Though I originally went to school for fine art, I took some elective computer courses as a plan B and started working as a Graphic Designer. During the 90s, I learned front-end coding on the job working for two dot com startups in Jacksonville. In the early 2000s, I started front-end coding for the University of Florida. Later, I returned to school and became the first in my family to obtain a Doctorate. This degree increased my knowledge of managing technology and systems.
Who do you admire?
LOL, BLACK GIRL MAGIC is a real thing. So, I am truly inspired by all the queens holding it down every day and making it happen.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a special time to celebrate the amazing achievements of Black Americans who are often overlooked, under-recognized, and undervalued. Black Americans are resilient and have made rich contributions to America. Our history can never be erased, marginalized, or eliminated. Our heritage runs deep, originating with African kingdoms. We continue to evolve as a people inventing and influencing the culture around us. Black History means that I can excel beyond systemic, economic, and racial barriers to achieve my goals. Hopefully, highlighting black achievements will inspire all people to do their best and make a difference.
What inspires you? What are your hobbies?
I am always striving to be the best version of myself, to be better than I was yesterday. My belief in Jesus Christ challenges me every day to operate in excellence, exercise integrity, live ethically, and morally. Currently, I am inspired by this quote: if you have a heart, if you care —then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. – Philippians 2:1-4 MSG
My hobbies include traveling, reading, and volunteering. Before the COVID-19 pandemic and each week for over 20 years I was involved in youth mentoring in Jacksonville, Florida. I helped them develop their talents, confidence, and good character. The weekly drive was long, but it was time well spent. After reaching adulthood, some came back to say “Thank you” for something I said or did that inspired, encouraged or motivated them. I am grateful that I was able to impact so many lives. I am also grateful for how each experience impacted my life!