I’m Alana Bowman, a qualified graphic designer and writer living in Rankin County with my husband, four grown children, two dogs, two cats and three bunnies. When I am not working, you can find me in my flower and vegetable gardens, reading a book, caring for my pets or galavanting around Azeroth and Draenor as a gnome mage in World of Warcraft.
My junior year of high school, way back in 1991, I joined the annual staff. My school had just purchased a new Apple Macintosh computer and a copy of Pagemaker for us to work with. I was one of two students brave enough to try page layout using a desktop publishing. After only a day at the computer, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to express my creativity through technology. My skillset is an odd mix of nerd and artist, a bonus in today’s digital world.
I began working in the publishing field in 1996 as an advertising sales and production coordinator for an agriculture publication. From there I moved to working in pre-press at a printing company then as a designer at an agency. I have worked for newspapers both as an ad designer and as a page designer for the news desk. While with my past three employers — JH&H Architects, Mississippi Development Authority and the University of Mississippi Medical Center — I participated in website design, migration and maintenance using a variety of content management systems. I have experience with ModX, WordPress, ExpressionEngine, Cascade, Visual Composer and several programs with names I’ve forgotten.
I’ve launched multiple professional social media channels throughout my career. The first of these was the Facebook and Twitter pages for the Mississippi Development Authority. Growing a social brand from the ground up is one of my favorite projects. Social media advertising is the best thing that’s happened to the marketing world. Strategically selecting one’s audience is both effective and efficient. Why use a shotgun when you can use a lazer?
From August 2015 to September 2018, I worked at UMMC as a writer in the Department of Public Affairs, now the Office of Institutional Advancement Department of Communications and Marketing. I covered news from the School of Dentistry, the School of Nursing, the School of Health Related Professions and other areas as assigned. I also contributed to the Medical Center’s social media channels daily and managed two digital boards on the academic side of the campus using BrightSign.
In September 2018, I began working as a project manager for the new John D. Bower School of Population Health at UMMC. I provided marketing, design and communication services for the office of the dean. In this position, I was involved in three scientific grants, two of which were funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health. My role on the grant privately funded by the John D. Bower Foundation was to design a website to act as a clearinghouse of resources to help combat burnout in the academic community. You can find that website at qualityofacademiclife.org. I wrote the web copy and designed the wireframe for the site within the constraints of the Medical Center’s own web structure. I helped build and manage the site using Cascade CMS.
As a victim of UMMC layoffs at the beginning of June — budget cuts related to COVID-19 expenditures and revenue losses — I’m excited to have the opportunity to grow my freelance business once again. I look forward to helping you bring your ideas to life.