The DILP team brings together diverse partnerships across the University of Illinois’ campus, University of Illinois Extension, and Illinois communities. These community connections allow DILP to leverage resources and expertise to build capacity and continue to pursue DILP’s mission.

Each of our DILP team members brings a unique skillset to the group. Our team members have various backgrounds, experiences, and areas of expertise. These skillsets and experiences are valued and leveraged to continue to work towards DILP’s mission.

DILP also gratefully recognizes the various community and stakeholder organizations involved in this work. Partnerships in local communities are essential to the mission of DILP and implementing digital inclusion initiatives across the state. These partners span a variety of sectors, such as education, libraries and cultural institutions, community youth development organizations, civic/government agencies, and local industry.

DILP team members by category:

School of Information Sciences and Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI)

Jon GantJon Gant
Principal Investigator, Director of Center of Digital Inclusion
Jon Gant is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Digital Innovation Leadership Program. Gant is a professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he serves as the Director of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI). He is a national leader in the areas of digital inclusion and broadband adoption. In addition to his work on digital inclusion and broadband adoption, Gant is an expert in e-government, geo-spatial information systems, strategic planning and information systems.

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Martin WolskeMartin Wolske
Research Scientist, Senior Instructor
Martin Wolske is a Senior Research Scientist with CDI and adjunct lecturer at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. His interests revolve around helping to build more inclusive communities through engagement and research. His research interests focus particularly on engagement pedagogy; popular education approaches to digital media literacy training; and participatory, evidence-based design of public computing spaces to support communities of inquiry.
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Rachel MageeRachel Magee
Digital Youth, GSLIS
Rachel M. Magee is a youth advocate who teaches about and researches youth technology and information practices, informed by her background as a public librarian. She holds a PhD in information studies from Drexel University, a master's degree in information resources and library science from the University of Arizona, and a BS in radio-television-film and a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Susan Lafferty
Coordinator, Center for Digital Inclusion
Chieh-Li "Julian" ChinChieh-Li "Julian" Chin
Research Programmer
Julian Chin is a Research Programmer in the Center for Digital Inclusion of iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She has assisted with software development and data analysis for the Urbana Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) project and text and network analysis projects in iSchool. Her research interest mainly focuses on the use of information technology in complicated settings to support communication. She earned her master's degree from the iSchool and the Department of Computer Science at UIUC.

Illinois Informatics Institute and Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab

Lisa BievenueLisa Bievenue
Assistant Director, Illinois Informatics Institute
Lisa Bievenue is currently Assistant Director at the Illinois Informatics Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she manages programs such as the Digital Innovation Leadership Program, the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab, iCUBED (Informatics and Computation Ubiquitous throughout Baccalaureate EDucation), and develops proposals for interdisciplinary research projects involving informatics. Bievenue has also been on the external evaluation team for several major education and outreach projects in computer and computational science and is currently the lead external evaluator for Cleveland State University’s National Science Foundation-funded Computing in Secondary Schools project.

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Jeff GingerJeff Ginger
Program Coordinator, Illinois Informatics Institute
Jeff Ginger is a program coordinator with the Illinois Informatics Institute and adjunct instructor in the Graduate School in Library and Information Science. Ginger draws on a robust technical multimedia and social science background, accented by teaching and organizational leadership, and started his academic activism with research on structural racism as observed on Facebook. His later doctoral scholarship revolved around social and community informatics, which led to his recent dissertation on digital literacy and public libraries. He is currently the operations manager of the CU Community Fab Lab where he continues to lend a critical but optimistic perspective to the study and implementation of makerspaces.

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Duncan BairdDuncan Baird
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Duncan Baird supports infrastructure, open lab, and instruction for the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab.
Holly BrownHolly Brown
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Holly Brown is an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Technical Systems Management with a minor in Informatics. She is currently an employee at the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab where she assists with event planning, infrastructure, instruction, and helping patrons during the lab's open hours. Her interests range from customization and fabrication methods to cosplay and micro controllers. She enjoys hands-on learning, providing ideas, experimenting with different materials, and designing her own creations.
Gabriel EwingGabriel Ewing
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Gabriel Ewing is a 3D printing technician, tech educator, and special ops at the Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab. He is a lead instructor for 3D printing in DILP, and provides ongoing support for 4-H partners through DILP. He also is proud to curate the Fab Lab, providing it with a warm and welcoming atmosphere as well as keeping the place functional and professional.
Colten JacksonColten Jackson
Machine & Design Assistant
Colten Jackson is a machine and design assistant at the Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab. Using a diverse set of fabrication tools, Jackson works alongside a community of makers to introduce people to technologies they might not expect they have access to. In the past two years he has explored new ways of using the lab's machines and new ways of introducing the design process to beginners, whether working 1 on 1 or in Fab Lab's summer camps. Before working at the FabLab, Jackson earned a degree at Parkland Community College focusing on computer programming and took courses in jazz music performance and theory at Columbia College Chicago.
Suzanne LinderSuzanne Linder
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Suzanne Linder taught English, Social Justice, and Gender Studies at University of Illinois
Laboratory High School for 17 years. Along the way she traveled with students to Mississippi, Greece, and Italy, converted a car to run on waste vegetable oil, produced–with students–a documentary on what it means to be labeled gifted, and mentored a student led writing center. She currently serves as the Director of Academic Programs for the Education Justice Project and works as a teacher consultant with the Fab Lab.
Kay LuKay Lu
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Kay Lu provides open lab and instruction assistance for the the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab. She is and international student from China and a business major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is interested in making art with math and technology, engaging the beauty of math in art works.
Sierra Maniates-SelvinSierra Maniates-Selvin
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Sierra Maniates-Selvin worked for the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab over Summer 2015, primarily teaching summer camps on all things Fab Lab. A Champaign-Urbana native, she now mainly resides in Northern Ohio as an undergraduate student at Oberlin College, where she studies Creative Writing and Politics.
Virginia McCrearyVirginia McCreary
Instructional Coordinator
Virginia McCreary is a local engineering designer who has for years volunteered at the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab. Her background as a scientist and her grad work in Materials Science at UIUC has informed her work teaching adults and youths through the Fab Lab's outreach programs in and around the community. She has recently worked full time with the Fab Lab and developed dozens of novel ways of teaching math, science, design, intuitive thinking, techniques of prototyping, and more and shared them with communities around the state and country by training instructors with student in IL through the DILP grant. Though she has moved on to a local engineering research and design firm, she still teaches and develops curriculum with the Fab Lab, and makes things in her spare time.
Jessica NelsonJessica Nelson
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Jessica Nelson has been working with the Fab Lab since 2014. She helped to plan and assemble curriculum for the Fab Lab summer camps. Nelson also assisted in the mobile unit, traveling to seven rural community sites in thirty days, teaching children digital literacy and the fun of learning while making! She specializes in digital embroidery and other textile arts.
Emeka OkekeochaEmeka Okekeocha
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Emeka Okekeocha works as IT support at the Fab Lab and also supports local partners. He is an alumnus of Department of Physics at the University of Illinois. He is very interested in Data Analysis and is currently doing research in this area with a professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Chinedu OnyejekweChinedu Onyejekwe
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Chinedu Onyejekwe is a Core Volunteer with the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab. He has provided major IT support in the Fab Lab and the community partner sites and provides instructional assistance as needed.
Dani PavlicDani Pavlic
CUC Fab Lab Staff
Dani Pavlic served as a Summer 2015 instructor with the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab. Her art work is predominantly in the medium of sculpture and new media. For the past 10 years her art practice has been an investigation of the political and economic atrocities in Guatemala during the 1960s to the present. Her research and her recent Master's of Fine Arts from the University of Ilinois at Urbana-Champaign focused on indigeneity, transnationalism and identity through the perspective of sports and games.

University of Illinois Extension and 4-H

Lisa Bouillion DiazLisa Bouillion Diaz
Assistant Dean and Program Director for University of Illinois Extension 4-H
Lisa Bouillion Diaz serves as the Assistant Dean and Program Director for University of Illinois Extension 4-H. Prior to assuming this role, she served for 9 years as a 4-H Extension Specialist. She created new STEM programs for youth including a statewide robotics program which has become the fastest growing project area for Illinois 4-H youth. In addition, Diaz provided leadership for an initiative to bring 4-H opportunities to youth in the urban centers of Illinois. Her work in developing programs such as "4-H Teen Teachers" has been nationally recognized. Her research seeks to better understand mutually beneficial school-community partnerships in which young people are seen as a valuable resource and active partners with adults. Diaz is trained as a learning scientist and received her doctoral degree from Northwestern University. She has over 23 years of experience promoting spaces for youth development that connect both classroom and out-of-school time. She has been involved in K-12 school reform and community change projects in three states (Minnesota, Illinois and Pennsylvania), collaborating with urban, rural and tribal communities.
Jody JohnsonJody Johnson
4-H Multi-County Director
Jody Johnson is the County Extension Director for University of Illinois Extension in the Alexander/Johnson/Massac/Pulaski/Union Unit. In his role as County Extension Director, Johnson supervises over 12 staff conducting programming in four broad areas: community and economic development; agriculture and natural resources; nutrition, family and consumer sciences; and 4-H/youth development.

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Ginger BoasGinger Boas
County Director
Ginger Boas provides leadership in developing and marketing programs in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion counties. As the County Extension Director, she networks with other community resources and is responsible for fiscal and facility management.

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Kathie BrownKathie Brown
Extension Educator, Communication and Economic Development
Kathleen Brown is a member of the National Association for Community Leadership, Community and Economic Development Team, and Association of Leadership Educators. She currently serves as a member of the Rural Partners statewide Affordable Housing Task Force.

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Alvarez DixonAlvarez Dixon
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
Alvarez Dixon provides leadership to the 4-H Youth Development program focusing on 4-H groups, Special Interest (SPIN) Clubs and the youth education initiatives identified as state priorities in the metropolitan areas of Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion counties. Dixon works with a team of experienced staff to plan, implement and evaluate 4-H programs for new audiences in and around urban areas. Dixon uses his extensive background in urban youth development to partner with community organizations who wish to support positive youth development.

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Ginger SchneckerGinger Schnecker
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
Ginger Schnecker is a General 4-H Youth Development Educator in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit. Schnecker has been in the position since 2013. She is interested in many areas of science and art. She fuses interested youth and knowledgeable volunteers together to create a hands-on learning experience. Her goal is to expose youth to as many experiences and opportunities she can, so they will find their passion or interest.

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Judy SchmidtJudy Schmidt
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth and Youth Metro
Judy Schmidt provides leadership to 4-H metro programming in Peoria County. Schmidt joined Extension in 2001, working as a Youth Development Educator at the East Peoria Center and joined the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell unit in 2011. Her work focuses on 4-H youth development programming in the local metropolitan area, specifically leading positive youth development initiatives for after-school programs, community groups, 4-H clubs and other youth-serving organizations. Her areas of expertise include positive youth development principles, youth leadership, and work with teens as teachers.

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Kristi StoutKristi Stout
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
Kristi Stout is the current Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development in the southernmost five counties in Illinois. She serves Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pulaski and Union counties. Stout’s experience working with youth includes teaching first grade, kindergarten, and serving within the Title One Reading program over the past twelve years.

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Bob SmithBob Smith
Extension Educator, Robotics
Robert Smith is the 4-H State Robotics Educator and works with 4-H staff across the state to provide trainings to 4-H club leaders and volunteers who engage over 1000 youth in robotics, programming and engineering. Smith also organizes the 4-H State Robotics Competition for robotics clubs to demonstrate the skills they have developed. Before joining 4-H as the State Robotics Educator, Smith worked as an engineering consultant providing mechanical, electrical and embedded programming support for several companies in California.

Subject Matter Experts and Partners

Ann BishopAnn Bishop Peterson-Kemp
GSLIS Faculty
Ann Bishop Peterson-Kemp is co-founder of the Community Informatics Initiative (CII) and Professor Emerita at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Catherine BlakeCathy Blake
Data Analytics, GSLIS
Cathy Blake is a professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science as well as the Associate Director at the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship. Her areas of research include text mining, information synthesis, collaborative information behaviors, recognizing textual entailment, summarization, evidence-based discovery, meta-analysis, and socio-technical systems.

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Emily KnoxEmily Knox
Assistant Professor, GSLIS
Emily Knox is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include intellectual freedom and censorship, the intersection of print culture and reading practices, and information ethics and policy. Knox’s book, Book Banning in 21st Century America was published by Rowman & Littlefield in January 2015. It is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. Knox is also a keymember of Makerspace Urbana, a local community lab dedicated to enabling the blend of arts, humanities, science and technology.

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Michael TwidaleMike Twidale
Human Computer Interaction, Computational Thinking, GSLIS
Michael Twidale is a professor of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include computer supported cooperative work, computer supported collaborative learning, human computer interaction, information visualization, and museum informatics.

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Joel Cutcher-GershenfeldJoel Cutcher-Gersenfeld
Stakeholder Analysis, School of Labor and Employment Relations
Joel Cutcher-Gersenfeld is a professor in the College of Labor and Employment Relations. His area of interest is studying and working with stakeholder alignment.

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Mark NolanMark Nolan
Stakeholder Analysis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mark Nolan is the Director of IT and Economic Development in the Office of Corporate Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Mike Haberman
Stakeholder Analysis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mike Haberman is a Research Scientist at the Illinois Informatics Institute and is part of the DILP stakeholder analysis team.
Guy GarnettGuy Garnett
Digital music production, Illinois Informatics Institute
Guy Garnett is an associate professor of composition-theory at the School of Music at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as well as part of the Illinois Informatics Institute.

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Pam Dempsey
Journalism and news literacy, College of Media
Pam Dempsey serves as project coordinator for the Investigative Journalism Education Consortium and CU, a news and social network dedicated to investigative and enterprise coverage of social and economic issues in Central Illinois based at the University of Illinois. Since 2009, she has served as an adjunct lecturer at the College of Media and helps produces radio, television and online news reports in collaboration with Illinois Public Media. She is also executive director of The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
Brant HoustonBrant Houston
Journalism and news literacy, College of Media
Professor Brant Houston holds the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois. Houston teaches investigative and advanced reporting in the Department of Journalism in the College of Media at Illinois.

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Bruce LitchfieldBruce Litchfield
Creativity, College of Engineering
Bruce Litchfield is a professor and Assistant Dean in the College of Engineering. His research focuses on creativity.

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Deana McDonaghDeana McDonagh
Empathetic Design, School of Art & Design
Deana McDonagh, former Chair of the Industrial Design program in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and faculty at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. She is an experienced design practitioner and entrepreneur. She is currently a Research Fellow at Coventry University (UK) and Director of Research for Herbst Produkt design consultancy (USA). As Designer Entrepreneur-in-Residence at EnterpriseWorks (start-up incubator) and Design Director for the Academia for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she provides design advice and guidance for start-up companies.

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George ReeseGeorge Reese
Director of the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (MSTE) Program
George Reese is the Director of the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (MSTE) in the College of Education. He received his Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction in 2002. His research, teaching, and engagement interests revolve around the uses of digital technologies in teaching and learning. For the years 2015 to 2017, he is the President of the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM).

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Madhu ViswanathanMadhu Viswanathan
Marketplace Literacy, College of Business
Madhu Viswanathan is the Diane and Steven N. Miller Professor in Business at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he has been on the faculty since 1990. His research programs are in two areas; measurement and research methodology, and literacy, poverty, and subsistence marketplace behaviors. He directs the Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative and has created unique synergies between research, teaching, and social initiatives.

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Todd LashTodd Lash
Champaign Public Schools, Unit 4
Todd Lash, co-founder of EdcampCU, has served as an elementary educator for the last seventeen years, ten years of which he was a school library media specialist. As an active member of CTRL-Shift (Creative Technology Research Lab), Lash has collaborated with individuals from all over the United States to help develop computational thinking opportunities targeted at children from all demographics. He is the co-winner of 2015 State of Illinois, Those Who Excel Award for Educational Teams and has presented on topics such as educational leadership, collaboration and computational thinking at numerous conferences. He currently serves on the Computer Science Teachers Association elementary task force as well as its standards revision team.

Graduate Students

Adrian BrownAdrian Brown
Ph.D. student, University of Illinois at Chicago
Adrian Brown is a doctoral student at the College of Urban Planning and Public affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include e-government and digital inclusion. Brown’s work includes the evaluation of digital inclusion projects including: the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP), including the Smart Communities Program in Chicago and a nationwide evaluation for the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration; and Building Digital Communities Pilot Program for the Online Computer Library Center. Her current research examines the adoption of participation enabling information and communication technologies among U.S. local governments.
Kirstin PhelpsKirstin Phelps
Ph.D. student, Project Manager, GSLIS & CDI
Kirstin Phelps is a doctoral student in the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on group interactions in online environments, processes of influence among groups, social computing, and social informatics. Prior to joining the iSchool, she was an Assistant Director at the Illinois Leadership Center at the University of Illinois. In this role, she taught undergraduate courses on leadership,
developed formal training programs for leadership skill development, and facilitated student, faculty, and staff workshops on leadership competencies.
Jarai CarterJarai Carter
Ph.D. student, Communications Team, Illinois Informatics Institute
Jarai Carter is a doctoral student in Informatics, specializing in Design, Technology, and Society. Her research interests lie in the areas of agriculture, communications, and technology. This includes the use of social media and digital media production.
Hailley FargoHailley Fargo
M.S. student, Communications Team, GSLIS
Hailley Fargo is a master's student in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Lindsay Shapray
M.S. student, Communications Team, GSLIS
Lindsay Shapray is a master's student in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her interests include information management and technology in the public sector. She holds an M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in political science and international studies from Northwestern University.
Clair IrwinClair Irwin
M.S. student, GSLIS
Clair Irwin is a master’s candidate in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, specializing in k-12 librarianship. Her undergraduate work was professionally in university advancement, and academically in English Literature, with a minor emphasis on poetry. Her work within the Digital Innovation Leadership Project emphasized digital media production among youth. She is currently working in the College of Engineering.
Reed ScheveReed Scheve, B.S. student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Reed was born in Nashville and went to Massac County High School in Metropolis, Illinois. He is now an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studies Industrial Engineering. Scheve is also a member of the Army ROTC program and the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. During the summer of 2015, he was able to help the University of Illinois Extension Office run technology camps for kids in Southern Illinois through DILP funding.