est. 2001

Astriata is a creative web development agency serving clients in the association, higher-education, healthcare, nonprofit, and government sectors. Our focus on website design and development and CMS implementation is enhanced by usability testing on our proprietary platform, UserHappy™.

Our design is informed by these insights and combined with customized technology to deliver a guided and effective user experience. Astriata balances design, human insights, and data to transform your website into a powerful marketing tool. Astriata is designated as a woman-owned, minority-owned small business.

The parent company of Astriata, Link Studio, continues to focus on biomedical illustration and animation.


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!

Before Astriata was even a twinkle in anyone’s eye, there were two basements. In one basement sat a designer, and in the other sat a developer…both were on the back end of riding the dot-com wave and had their own clear vision of what they would do to take their respective industries to a new level. 

Link Studio became a reality in 2002. This is when Aline Lin and Michael Linkinhoker decided to bring their vision and years of experience together under one roof and one name. What set Link Studio apart from other companies? Aline and Michael have backgrounds in medical and biological illustration, which gave them insight into how to effectively communicate and organize complex information for specific audiences. They found that their ability to combine engaging visual communication (by balancing form and function through user-centric website design, usability testing, interactive modules, illustration, and animation) inspired people to delve into a wealth of information and broaden their understanding of the subject matter.

In 2001, Matt Hodgson established hodgsonConsulting, a company that was tech-savvy and customer-focused. He recognized that clients needed short-term services, but they also needed long-term website maintenance and expertise. Clients wanted a partner, familiar with their online presence and able to assist with myriad web development services. Hodgson focused on web design and development, offering customized websites for clients across many industries.

Fast forward to 2019, when Aline and Matt’s good ideas morphed into one thriving company while still remaining loyal to their original visions. Astriata gives clients the best of both worlds: award-winning design with a strong foundation implementing customized technological solutions. Astriata is excited about continuing this commitment to excellent customer service, and growing the list of ways in which clients can benefit from the expanded capabilities. These include web design and development, CMS implementation and maintenance, usability testing with UserHappy™, user experience design, digital marketing strategy, branding, print and digital design, infographics, illustration, animation and video. We can’t wait to see what the next 20 years bring!


awards

  • 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 – 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 lead team

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.


Julie Kennon

Director of Communications

Three things you can’t possibly know about Julie:

  • She once sang with Jimmy Buffett.
  • She has never eaten a Big Mac.
  • Her biggest party trick is bending two of her toes and keeping the rest straight.

While that skill is hard to top, she’s also pretty good with words. Whether they’re written or spoken, she’s the girl who cares about grammar and sentence structure more than is probably healthy. At Astriata, she writes and/or politely edits all client-facing materials. She’s also the one who thinks up strategic marketing plans, and she spends a lot of time with the sales team, trying to find new and innovative ways we can help clients.

In the more than 20 years she’s been in the corporate communications field, she’s kept busy offering writing, PR and crisis communications, editing, and marketing strategy guidance to clients in more than a dozen different industries. She’s also embarrassed her children with editorial writing, with work appearing online on the New York Times and Psychology Today websites and in print in Bethesda Magazine, Mamalode magazine, and Washingtonian magazine. Her writing has been reposted online by a syndicated Washington Post columnist and syndicated by an online blogging network.

When she’s not working, she is trying to convince her two teenagers to spend time with her and her husband. When that fails, as it often does, they console themselves by hanging out with friends and walking their somewhat-naughty dog. She loves reading, cooking, gardening, telling bad jokes, and is one of those annoying people who really enjoys exercise.


Abby Lackey

Senior Account Executive

Here’s a little scoop on Abby:

  • Her secret skills involve the macarena and conga lines.
  • She starts watching Hallmark’s Christmas shows in July.
  • She came close to breaking the three-hour mark in her fastest marathon, with a best time of 3:17.

That speed comes in handy as she manages the sales of Astriata. Whether she’s burning up the phone lines, charming clients and partners at networking events, or proudly closing a deal, Abby is always on the move, excited about how Astriata can help clients make big statements. Twenty years in the industry has enabled Abby to live, eat, breathe, and sleep sales, bringing contagious enthusiasm to everything she touches.

Before she came to Astriata, Abby was active in sales for multinational media and information companies, working with senior level decision makers in the news and information, technology, health, government, and legal sectors. Before that, she dabbled in real estate and higher ed. This diverse background makes her flexible and resourceful, able to handle any challenge that pops up. Her focus is on building relationships and understanding the nuances of all our clients.

When she is not at work, Abby spends her time redecorating rooms that were just decorated (to the eternal chagrin of her husband), perfecting her cheering skills as the hockey mom to her teenage son, and being dragged around the neighborhood by her Bernese Mountain Dog, Bauer. She loves road trips and enjoys spending time planning her next family adventure, which typically involves finding creative ways to pack the family car with the dog, skis, camping gear, golf clubs, and bear spray (or any combination thereof).


Steve Mallory

Director of Technology

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 on 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.)


Alex Oprica

Senior Developer

As a developer, 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 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….


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 Kola, and Jodi’s spare time is spent taking care of this puppy. Once she wears Kola 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).


Ann Herndon Eskew

Senior Project Manager

She seems pretty low key, but Ann Herndon has a few colorful tales:

  • She was once a skilled creator of fake IDs.
  • She jumped off a bridge in New Zealand with only a bungee cord and a bathroom towel wrapped around her ankles..
  • She learned to water ski (at age 7) with alligators in the river, giving her great incentive to stay upright.

Ann Herndon is in charge of our regional southeastern office (really, she just lives in Atlanta) and is a seasoned project manager, bringing more than sixteen years of experience to Astriata. AH, as we like to call her, is a Google Analytics superstar, and has strong skills in digital strategy, training, HTML coding and newsletters, user interface, writing, and website design. She uses these talents to tackle even the most complex projects. Clients love her technical skills as much as they love her uncanny ability to keep projects on track and within budget without ever making anyone mad.

Before she joined Astriata, Ann Herndon provided web development services to companies and associations through her own company, with a focus on front-end development and marketing. This background combined technical skills, marketing skills, and the ability to juggle multiple projects at once.

When she isn’t working or walking her rat terrier, Tiny Elvis, you can find her running (well, jogging) through her neighborhood, reading, or practicing her slalom water ski skills so she can keep up with her son. She finally gave up chasing her daughter across the rock climbing walls of her local gym and is content to cheer from the sidelines.


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