est. 2001

At Astriata, our work is designed to empower people to make informed decisions. We focus on creating engaging user experiences, in which information is communicated effectively and people are guided to the information they seek. Astriata’s proven methodology balances design, technology, and human insights and data gathered from our proprietary usability testing application, UserHappy™. From branding and website design and development to CMS implementations and print and digital marketing, we address the entire ecosystem to help you make an impact.

Astriata is an award-winning creative agency primarily serving clients in the association, healthcare, nonprofit, higher-education, government sectors, and B2B. Astriata is Maryland certified as a woman-owned, minority-owned small business.


The name “Astriata” (/ah•stree•ah•ta/) reflects our focus on creating memorable and effective user experiences that help our clients achieve their business goals. 

“Astriata” is inspired by the word “striata.” The striatum is the part of the brain that is associated with decision-making, motivation, cognition, and emotion. These aspects play an important role in the user experience and are areas that we strive to guide through design and strategy based on objective data.

The way we access information has changed significantly over the past 20 years. So much of our information is consumed through the Internet on a daily basis. Ensuring that information is easy to find and easy to understand is what we do…we believe that access to information plays an important role in making informed decisions, and is empowering. And if we can make someone’s experience better, then that puts a smile on our face too!

Two decades ago, Aline Lin and Michael Linkinhoker formed Link Studio, a biomedical visual communications studio where scientific, behavioral, and design best practices intersect. Their background in medical and biological illustration gave them insight into how to effectively communicate and organize complex information for a wide range of audiences. Their design skills inspired people to delve into a wealth of information and broaden their understanding of the subject matter. Link Studio continues to create award-winning medical illustrations and animation today.

This ability to clearly communicate complex information through design resonated with clients working on website development projects. Astriata evolved from the desire to continue with design and to incorporate psychology, usability testing, human insights, and technology to deliver information to people, empowering them to make informed decisions.


awards

  • W3 Awards: Gold Award for General Marketing – Online Video – Short Form – Geothermal Technologies
  • The Communicator Awards 2021: Award of Excellence for Annual Report, General, Government for Corporate Communications: Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan
  • The Communicator Awards 2021: Award of Excellence for Corporate Identity, Logo, Government for Corporate Communications: Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission
  • The Communicator Awards 2021: Award of Distinction for Corporate Identity, Logo, Nonprofit for Corporate Communications: Public Policy Partners
  • The Communicator Awards 2021: Award of Distinction for Associations Website: Merchant Advisory Group
  • Digital Health Awards / Spring 2021: Bronze Award for Digital Health Media – Video – Bitten! Mosquito-Borne Disease & You
  • The Communicator Awards 2021: Award of Excellence for Education Website – Eurekii
  • Digital Health Awards / Spring 2020: Bronze Award for Digital Health Media – Video – What You Should Know About Pancreatic Cancer
  • Davey Awards: Silver Award for Integrated Campaign Not-for-Profit – Two Minutes with Your Dentist Can Save Your Life
  • W3 Awards: Silver Award for Health Website – Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center
  • W3 Awards: Silver Award for Association Website – Society for American Archaeology
  • W3 Awards: Silver Award for Charitable Organization Website – Philanthropy Roundtable
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Corporate Identity Logo, Corporate Communications – Artifact Health
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Non-Profit Website – Philanthropy Roundtable
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Association Website – Society for American Archaeology
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Excellence for Government Website – National Library of Medicine – Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well Drawn!
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Government Website – National Library of Medicine – History of Medicine
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Excellence for Corporate Identity: Print Collateral for Corporate Communications – John Basmajian Insurance
  • January 2018 Washington Business Journal: Top 25 – Top Visual Art and Design Firms
  • January 2017 Washington Business Journal: Top 25 – Top Visual Art and Design Firms
  • January 2016 Washington Business Journal: Top 25 – Top Visual Art and Design Firms
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Corporate Identity / Logo – Northern Virginia Clinical Psychologists (NVCP)
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Government Websites – DailyMed
  • The Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Government Websites – National Library of Medicine – Pictures of Nursing
  • W3 Awards: Silver Award for Government Websites – National Library of Medicine – From DNA to Beer
  • Best of the Scout Report: 2015 Website – National Library of Medicine – Pick Your Poison
  • Web Marketing Association’s (WMA) Web Award: University Standard of Excellence Web Development – The University of Pittsburgh Johnstown
  • Telerik Sitefinity Education Site of the Year: Front Range Community College
  • Web Health Awards: Silver Award for Consumer Mini Website – Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Motor Stereotypies & You
  • Washington Business Journal: Top 25 – Top Visual Art and Design Firms
  • Fast Company: Infographic of the Week Infographic – American Institute of Architect
  • Washington Business Journal: Top Interactive Design and Design Agency
  • Web Health Awards: Award of Merit for Health Professionals Website – DailyMed
  • W3 Awards: Silver Award for School / University Website – Intersession Programs at Johns Hopkins
  • Web Health Awards: Award of Merit for Interactive Content “National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)”, Health Topics Website – Interactive Medical Animations
  • W3 Awards: Best in Show for School / University Website – Summer Programs at Johns Hopkins
  • W3 Awards: Gold Winner for School / University Website – Summer Programs at Johns Hopkins
  • Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for School / University Website – Summer Programs at Johns Hopkins
  • Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Poster – 2008 Hopkins Summer Outdoor Films
  • Washington Business Journal: Book of Lists
  • Washington Business Journal: Top 10 Corporate Philanthropists
  • Washington Business Journal: Top 25 Graphic Design Companies as ranked by 2008 metro-area revenue
  • CIO and CTO Live Awards: Semi-finalist – Most influential CTOs, CIOs and senior IT leaders in the Mid-Atlantic region
  • WWW Health Awards: Silver Award for Patient Education Information Website – Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center
  • Davey Awards: Silver Award for Website – Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals, Smithsonian Institution
  • W3 Awards: Gold Award for Cultural Institutions Website – Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals, Smithsonian Institution
  • Association of Medical Illustrator’s Salon: Certificate of Merit Reference / Clinical Text Healthwise for Life
  • NY Festivals Global Awards: Finalist for Consumer Internet Website – Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center
  • W3 Awards: Silver Award for Health Care Services Website – Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center
  • Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Design & Overall Website – Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center
  • NY Festivals Global Awards: Finalist for Educational / Instructional CD-ROM – Integrative Metabolism, Nutritional Biochemistry Learning Module,  University of New Hampshire
  • Horizon Interactive Awards: Silver Award for Education / Training CD-ROM – Integrative Metabolism, Nutritional Biochemistry Learning Module,  University of New Hampshire
  • Communicator Awards: Honorable Mention for Website & Online Training – Ortho-McNeil Scientific Liaison Training System – Pain
  • Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Website Design – Yale Peabody Museum Online Store
  • Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Logo Design – Maryland / D.C. Collaborative
  • Washington Business Journal: One of the region’s largest interactive designers
  • Washington Business Journal: Metro area’s largest interactive designers
  • Washington Business Journal: One of the region’s largest interactive designers
  • Washington Business Journal: One of the region’s best places to work
  • CBN–MC: Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County (CBN–MC) Business School Partner (BSP) of the Year
  • Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Website – Design – Maryland T.R.A.S.H. (Teens Rejecting Abusive Smoking Habits)
  • Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Website – Overall – Maryland T.R.A.S.H. (Teens Rejecting Abusive Smoking Habits)
  • Communicator Awards: Honorable Mention for Self-Promotion – Happy Holidays from Link Studio 2004, Interactive Flash Animation
  • Communicator Awards: Award of Distinction for Website – Johns Hopkins Gastroenterology & Hepatology Resource Center
  • Consumer Directed Healthcare Awards: (CDHCC) Second Place, E-Healthbeat Outstanding Website Johns Hopkins Gastroenterology & Hepatology Resource Center
  • Communicator Awards: Honorable Mention for Website Design – Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
  • MD Net Guide Nettie Awards: Best Overall Site & Best Site Design Johns Hopkins Gastroenterology & Hepatology Resource Center
  • Communication Arts: Site of the Week – Johns Hopkins Gastroenterology & Hepatology Resource Center
  • NY Festivals: Global Awards Finalist – Johns Hopkins Gastroenterology & Hepatology Resource Center
  • WWW Health Awards: Silver Award for Patient Education – Johns Hopkins Gastroenterology & Hepatology Resource Center
  • NY Festivals: Finalist Certificate for Website – Sylvan Learning Center
  • Web Marketing’s Web Awards: Standard of Excellence Sylvan Learning Center’s EnglishOne website
  • Golden Quill Award: GlaxoWellcome R & D website
  • USA Today Hot Site of the Day Award: John Glenn Alliance for Aging Research website
  • The Illustrator’s Club of Washington Maryland Virginia: Certificate of Merit Human Papilloma Virus Invasion of the Cervical Epithelium
  • Association of Medical Illustrator’s Salon: Certificate of Merit Medical Color Human Papilloma Virus Invasion of the Cervical Epithelium
  • Association of Medical Illustrator’s Salon: Award of Excellence Medical Tone 3rd Digit Superficial Manual Musculature of Dasypus novemcinctus
  • Association of Medical Illustrator’s Salon: Award of Excellence Medical Line Revision of the Metacarpo-phalangeal Joint Arthroplasty

our team

Alex Oprica

Director of Technology

As our Director of Technology, Alex is usually behind the scenes. But there’s more to this guy than meets the eye:

  • He once scored a goal on the Polish national team goalkeeper in a soccer tournament.
  • On a recent move, he found 80 boxed board games in his closet.
  • He’s so competitive with his older brother that he learns a new programming language every year just to keep ahead of him. (His last “win” was .NET’s F# while his brother was still trying to master Japanese.)

Astriata is fortunate that Alex’s brother unwittingly keeps us at the very forefront of technology. With more than 12 years of experience in software engineering, application development, and web technologies, Alex is skilled at requirements gathering, architecting systems, developing application frameworks, and leading projects through all phases of development. His specific technical skills are impressive: he has extensive knowledge of VB.NET, ASP.NET, C#, Classic ASP, PHP, C / C++, Visual Basic 6.0, Java(j2ee), LabVIEW, PC Assembly, Assembly and C for microcontrollers, MATLAB, MathCAD, ModelSim, and XILINX.

Before Alex brought his brains to Astriata, he was a software engineer with Transistor Devices Inc., a developer of high-technology power conversion products. It’s no surprise that he spends his free time role-playing in online games, playing board games with his brother and his wife and friends, and playing soccer. It is a little bit of a surprise that another of his hobbies is writing short stories. We do publish blogs on this site, so you never know….


Aline Lin

CEO and Creative Director

Interesting facts about our fearless leader:

  • She was born a lefty, but was taught to become a righty.
  • Her elementary-school classmates nicknamed her “the fastest pencil in the East.”
  • Her first big gig was in high school, painting the cover of an AC/DC album on the back of a jean jacket for twenty bucks.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the peak of her career. Since then she’s gone on to work with clients such as the Smithsonian Institution, National Library of Medicine, and Johns Hopkins, and she’s picked up plenty of bling along the way. Notably, she’s been recognized by industry leaders like Communication Arts and Fast Company. At the helm of Link Studio, she directed, designed, and coordinated projects for more than two decades. The coolest thing about Aline’s approach is that she views everything through a unique lens: she has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s in medical and biological illustration. Combined with her design experience, she views every design project from a user’s eyes, and, if we’re honest, sometimes we think she can even read the user’s mind. It’s a little creepy but it makes her good at her job.

While she’s pretty darn good at running Astriata, she loves bringing all different aspects of design together–from brand strategy, identity systems, print design, digital marketing, and website design to usability testing on our proprietary platform, UserHappy™.

Aline enjoys keeping up with her two sons and traveling with them and her husband. She buys her furniture on eBay because she’s always on a quest for mid-century furniture and collectibles. Before long, she’s going to be on a quest for a mid-century house to match all her furniture! She relaxes by traveling, cooking, watching movies, and wishing she had a greener thumb. If you can’t find her, Aline has probably snuck off for a catnap, because we’re not quite sure when she actually sleeps.


Ellie Lawrence

Project Manager
Administrative Assistant

Ellie works behind the scenes (from Nashville) to keep our office humming and our clients happy. Here are some things you might not know about her:

  • She has an irrational fear of bunnies.
  • If you say “ex-presso,” she sadly says she can’t be your friend.
  • She’s a mom, but specializes in really bad dad jokes.

The fact that people can’t help but like Ellie makes her a huge asset to Astriata. As our client services manager, she is responsible for making sure our clients receive seamless, smooth support in every interaction. She has also recently taken on an increasing sales role, and, never one to say no to a challenge, she is learning the ins and outs of project management. A true multitasker, she supports all our marketing and communications initiatives, and is the cute voice behind our social media posts.

Given her residence, it’s fitting that Ellie is very musically inclined. She graduated from college with degrees in Voice and Violin Performance, and then worked in the administration at Alabama School of the Arts and University of Mobile. She has taught voice, violin, and piano for more than 14 years and is a violin session player. She’s clearly a right-brain kind of girl, because she just learned how to knit and is begging Aline to let her make Astriata sweaters for our team.

Ellie grew up in the South, and was “forced” into sweet iced tea and monograms…which are on her “dislike” list. Her “like” list includes music, sushi, coffee, and adoption. She and her husband, Scott, spend time with their spunky three-year-old daughter. Her motto gives you some insight into what she’s like: she thinks one kind comment can change the course of someone’s day, so she’s always trying to brighten ours.


Jodi McGill

Senior Project Manager

If you’ve met Jodi, you know she’s got a great laugh. But did you also know…

  • Her house is the headquarters for all things social, whether it’s a million college kids watching a game or her favorite cocktail-hour friends coming over to gossip.
  • Her secret vice is watching hours of true-crime television, and if you ask her nicely, she’ll tell you what really happened to JonBenét.
  • Lake Huron is her home away from home and she spends every summer as an honorary Canadian, eh?

But on to her skills as a project manager…ask any client, and they’ll tell you Jodi is a superstar. She makes it her mission to make every project successful, and she works diligently to make sure we are serving our clients the very best we can. As a PM, she streamlines processes, tracks progress, manages resources, stays within budget, and delivers results on time.

Because she’s raised three children, Jodi can multitask like a boss. She’s helped by the odd obsession she has with yellow sticky notes, which line her computer, desk, and office with a seemingly insurmountable list of “to dos.” However, hats off to her, because it works and she is not one to miss a deadline or drop a ball.

Though her children are almost all out of college, there’s a new baby in Jodi’s house. But don’t worry: she has four legs and she’s furry. Her name is Millie, and Jodi’s spare time is spent taking care of this puppy. Once she wears Millie out, Jodi can be found traveling as far as California to deliver in-person hugs to any of her children. She loves to hang out with her husband and her friends, and she relaxes by taking long walks (and then getting back to her favorite TV shows).


Mikel Kamel

Frontend Developer

Mikel brings coding and problem solving skills to our team, but there’s even more to him than just his knack for programming:

  • His first car was a Fiat 128 that got stolen…more than once.
  • He knows his way around WWE Wrestlemania matches, but you’ll have to get the context from him.
  • If he ever needs a second career, he has a mad talent for eating a large pizza in one sitting, without any help.

He may have started his career in civil engineering, but he has seamlessly parlayed that into programming languages and computer code. Whether we call on his HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React.js, Node.js, C#, Saas, Bootstrap, jQuery or Adobe talents, he is a flexible front-end designer who can deliver top-quality work from designing to programming.

He really did start his career as a Civil Engineer back in 2018, where he gained experience in multiple fields as a Construction Inspector and a Design Engineer. But his passion for programming has led him to change his career path and take on a new exciting and challenging path as a Web Developer. He loves creating awesome user experiences and experimenting with new technology to make unique websites.

Mikel is Astriata’s main squeeze when it comes to front-end developers. He designs and develops fully responsive websites using HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript for a wide variety of clients, and can be trusted with just about anything (except pizzas. They’re not really safe around him.)


Scott Lawrence

Senior Designer

Scott is our resident Renaissance man. The guy knows his way around our design department but he’s also got a skill that has landed him in the White House and Carnegie Hall….multiple times! Let’s start with some of the lesser-known facts about him:

  • His first job was serving Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruitys in the smoking section at IHOP…back when smoking sections were a thing.
  • Scott fully registered to run a Spartan Race, received the t-shirt in the mail, backed out of the race, and still wears the t-shirt with pride.
  • He’s diametrically opposed to all sauces and condiments. He insists, “I like my food as dry as my personality.” Ba dum bum.

Scott was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, and has lived in the U.S. since he was in third grade. He began studying art in fifth grade, under the tutelage of his grandfather (a professional artist). He says he was a complete computer nerd in high school, and he learned to combine his love for art and computers in the field of graphic design. He has worked professionally as a designer, illustrator, and front-end developer since 2006, creating visuals for numerous businesses, universities, non-profits, and feature-length films. He remains a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Mobile, where he has taught web design, technology, and music classes since 2017.

His somewhat lofty and eclectic life goals include becoming a published author, winning a Grammy for album art, and going an entire meal without spilling something on himself. Hobbies include reading, roasting coffee, hiking, and endlessly scrolling Wikipedia. He’s passionate about adoption and advocating on behalf of birth families, adoptive families, and adoptees (and, editorial note, you should meet his adorable daughter). He’s a classically trained opera singer and has performed four concerts at Carnegie Hall and five concerts at the White House. He tells us that “spending time with my wife and daughter brings me greater joy than anything in the world. Although, the Oxford comma is a close second.”


Steve Mallory

Senior Developer

Just when you think you’ve got Steve all figured out, he (reluctantly) shares these details:

  • His first job was sweeping parking lots with a push broom.
  • His car has been hit four times, but it hasn’t always been the same car.
  • He recently discovered he can crush a walnut with his bare hands.

Steve’s career track has followed a well-worn(?) path: BA in Anthropology, followed by working as a carpenter, then as an environmental activist, snow-making for a season, a stint as an archaeologist, and finally as a web developer. “I was just keeping busy until the Internet was a thing,” he says.

Steve is now in his 20th year as a technologist, during which he’s dabbled in system administration, proposal writing, technical assistance, training, database administration, and, of course, programming. At a certain point, he could no longer keep track of the number of projects he’s delivered. He has often thought he’d create a database to track every database he’s worked on, but—similar to entering “google” into Google—he isn’t quite sure what would happen.

This guy is no slouch when it comes to creds. He is Sitefinity-certified and his primary development technologies include ASP.NET, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, and Objective-C. His primary database systems include MS SQL Server, MySQL, and MS Access. He has worked with a number of popular software frameworks, including (but not limited to) Entity Framework, NHibernate, jQuery, and Microsoft MVC. Along the way, he has also developed Web Services, consumed numerous Web Services, built Windows Services, mobile applications (iPhone), Windows console applications, applications for tablets (Windows), and many web applications.

Weekends find Steve hanging with his family, running, golfing, hiking, biking, reading, or going to the gym. He secretly wishes that the period at the end of a sentence that ends in a quote would go after the end quote. He confides, “It just isn’t logical to put the period ending a sentence inside the quotes”.

(Developer humor.)


clients

  • American Association of Motor Vehicles Administrators (AAMVA)
  • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
  • American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM)
  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM)
  • Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD)
  • Association for Jewish Studies (AJS)
  • American College of Academic Addiction Medicine (ACAAM)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP)
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
  • California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA)
  • Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)
  • Government Employee Benefits Association (GEBA)
  • Greater Capital Area Association for Realtors (GCAAR)
  • National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR)
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO)
  • National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
  • National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR)
  • National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA)
  • North American Association of Summer Sessions (NAASS)
  • Northern Virginia Clinical Psychologists (NVCP)
  • The Philanthropy Roundtable
  • Society for American Archaeology (SAA)
  • Tobacco Control Network (TCN)
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs
  • Maryland Courts
  • Maryland Department of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease
  • National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
  • National Library of Medicine
  • National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
  • National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • American Institutes for Research
  • Amgen
  • Aptalis Pharma
  • Artifact Health
  • Biocompatibles/Bioploymerix
  • Cancer Research Institute
  • The Council for Outbreak Response: Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) and Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens (AR) (CORHA)
  • Datamonitor, Inc
  • Health Tech Associates, Inc
  • Health Advanta
  • Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
  • Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurology
  • M3 Global
  • MD/DC Collaborative for Healthcare Information Technology
  • Medical Science & Computing
  • Ortho-McNeil, Inc.
  • Pfizer, Inc.
  • Precision Antibody
  • Research To Practice, Inc
  • Sanofi Aventis
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • University Physicians, Inc.
  • Zimmer, Inc.
  • Zoetis, Inc.
  • Zoll Medical Corporation
  • Berkeley College
  • Clarke University
  • Cornell University
  • Eastern Florida State College
  • Front Range Community College
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • K12 Enterprise
  • McHenry County College
  • Otterbein University
  • Prometric
  • Presbyterian College
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • University of Mary Washington
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
  • University of South Florida
  • Yale University
  • Abelson Taylor, Inc
  • AVF Consulting
  • BridalBabe
  • ChargeLogic
  • ClearAlignment
  • Contexture
  • Currotto Design
  • Growth Solutions Team
  • Hodson Trust
  • John Basmajian Insurance
  • Lenkin
  • Navicor Group
  • National Cooperative Bank
  • Oceus Networks
  • Office Prodigy
  • Prometric
  • Sidekick Solutions
  • Treble
  • Treverce
  • United Educators
  • Up Design, LLC
  • Vital Economy

digits

NAICS Codes: 541511, 541430, 541519, 541613, 541890, 519130, 541810
Maryland MBE/DBE/SBE Certified