PIO Intern: My Adventure as a Computer Science Student

Hello Avid Readers! This week you’ll be hearing from Anh Le. She has spent a semester with us and would like to share her experience involving website building with the PIO. Anh made valuable contributions to our office, and we were happy to have her working with us!

My journey at the Pesticide Information Office (PIO) began with a sense of excitement and curiosity. When I first joined the PIO as an intern, my primary goal was to assist Dr. Emily Kraus in revamping the PIO website. Read more to find out about my experience.


A girl smiles as she sits at a table with a pizza in front of her.
I love to stay outside with my friends

Getting to know me

My name is Anh Le, and I am working towards my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Statistics at the University of Florida. As a computer science enthusiast with a penchant for problem-solving, I love to apply my technical skills to real-world challenges. This semester, the opportunity arose to intern at the Pesticide Information Office. I saw it as a chance to merge my technical skills with my passion for environmental science. Little did I know that this experience would not only broaden my horizons but also redefine my approach to web design and communication.

PIO Website Improvements

Bridging Language Gaps for PIO Spanish-Speaking Stakeholders 

While our website boasted a wealth of resources, there was a noticeable gap in content available for Spanish-speaking stakeholders. In order to address this disparity and ensure that our resources were accessible to a wider audience, more Spanish resources were added to the “Espanol” page. By providing information in their native language, we aim to foster greater engagement and understanding among this demographic. I decided to split “Resources in Spanish” into two distinct sections: EDIS Documents and Blogs. Accordingly, users can easily access their wanted resources by clicking on the dropdown menu.

PIO changes
On the left is what the Spanish page of the website looked like when I started. I added additional rows to make the information more accessible and also added many EDIS documents and relevant blogs to the new tabs I created.

Clickable title for PIO webpage

I also added a clickable title. Making the logo clickable to return to the homepage is a small but impactful design decision. In fact, it contributes to a better user experience and enhanced usability. Users might access the website from various devices or browsers where the “Home” button might not be readily available or easily accessible. On touchscreen devices, such as tablets and smartphones, screen real estate is limited. By embedding a hyperlink within the title, users can effortlessly return to the homepage with a single click.

PIO logo
Our PIO logo is now clickable. This allows visitors to go back to our homepage anytime.

Coffee Chats with Pros: Insights from the Experts

One of the most enriching aspects of my internship was the opportunity to interview professionals in my field. This experience provided invaluable insights into their respective fields. My first interview was with a front-end developer. It shed light on the intricacies of T4 and the importance of creating a visually appealing and user-friendly interface. Moreover, her advice on building a portfolio site resonated with me, inspiring me to showcase my coding skills in a tangible and impactful way.

Similarly, my second interview was with a specialist in science communication. She opened my eyes to the diverse skill set required to effectively convey scientific information to a broader audience. Her journey from wildlife ecology to agriculture education communication underscored the importance of interdisciplinary learning and adaptability in the ever-evolving field of digital communication.

Embracing Terminalfour (T4): Exploring a new Content Management System

Terminalfour (T4)

One of the highlights of my internship was the opportunity to learn and utilize Terminalfour (T4), a cutting-edge content management system. Navigating T4 was akin to embarking on a thrilling adventure, where each click and keystroke unveiled new possibilities. From crafting engaging Spanish content to refining website navigation with intuitive links, Terminalfour became my trusted companion in the quest for digital excellence.


Charting the Course Ahead: A New Chapter Begins

Overall, I bid farewell to the PIO internship, I carry with me a wealth of experiences, memories, and lessons learned. Armed with newfound skills and insights, I embark on the next chapter of my journey with a sense of purpose and determination. Whether it’s designing user-friendly interfaces or crafting compelling content, I am excited to continue making a meaningful impact in the world of technology and environmental stewardship.

In closing, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the PIO intern program, especially under the mentorship of Dr. Emily Kraus. It has been a journey of discovery, growth, and inspiration – one that has left an indelible mark on my journey as a computer science enthusiast and aspiring changemaker.


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Posted: April 12, 2024

Category: UF/IFAS Extension

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