Steve Merrill '05 gives Drupal workshop at Bradley

November 15, 2011

Merrill says Bradley's Department of Interactive Media is "incredible."

By Ivy Hillman '12

Steve Merrill '05 visited campus recently to give a workshop on Drupal, a free content management and framework system. After graduating he worked at Bradley for four years and used Drupal to help launch the Slane College website.

"I also helped fix the bugs. It's all about cost, quality and budget," Merrill said.

It wasn't the first time Merrill has come back to the Hilltop to speak with current students about web technology. He once held a Drupal boot camp at Bradley in which participants worked on different ways to improve Drupal sites, such as enhancing security. Various Youtube videos have also been used to train people on Drupal, a system used by web designers worldwide.

"A lot of government sites have been built with Drupal. Almost all of Sony's artist sites were also built using Drupal," Merrill said.

While studying at Bradley, Merrill was a double major in music and multimedia with a minor in computer science. He became interested in multimedia when he found himself frequently editing videos. In high school, he worked for Culver's and entered a contest to name one of their new sundaes. He dubbed the sundae "Chocolate Camel" and made a video to go along with it. He won the contest and has been hooked on multimedia since.

"From there I looked at schools with stringent academic standards in multimedia. Bradley just seemed to be the right fit," Merrill said.

A year ago, Merrill was named chief architect of Treehouse Agency in New York. He chose to relocate after being accepted into the Manhattan School of Music, but attended DrupalCon Boston first. He completed one of two years in music, and the rest is history.

Merrill even dipped his hand in teaching at Bradley for a while and had some unexpected results.

"I found myself learning new things as I prepared to teach," Merrill said.

He is pleased with the direction in which his alma mater is moving.

"The interactive media department is incredible. And enrollment is up. There has also been some consideration in adding a general education course in how to get content out," Merrill said.