Meet the Staff

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Cliff Missen


Cliff Missen is a clinical associate professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS). He directs the WiderNet@UNC research lab and the non-profit WiderNet, where he oversees efforts to improve digital communication in developing countries through hands-on training and research into low-cost applications of information technology.

Missen invented and leads development of the eGranary Digital Library, an information store that aims to deliver the world’s knowledge to people and institutions lacking Internet access.  The eGranary has been adopted by over 2,000 universities, schools, health centers, and libraries worldwide.  It’s sister library, the Corrections Offline Education Platform, in in use at dozens of U.S. prisons.

Missen has over 30 years experience in education, computers, networking, multimedia design, and applications development.  At WiderNet@UNC, he combines this with his long-term interest in international development.

His first visit to Africa was with a medical team in 1982, and he continues to teach and promote appropriate water well drilling technology through the U.S. non–profit organization Wellspring Africa.

He was a TED fellow in 2007 and a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria in 1999.

Seamus Holland
Seamus is a junior at UNC studying computer science and philosophy. As an android developer for WiderNet, he is working on a mobile implementation of the eGranary software.”

Catherine Baker

Prison Library Researcher
Catherine is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is double majoring in psychology and religious studies with a concentration in Jewish studies, and hopes to go into clinical psychology.

Jamari Cortez
Jamari is a senior from Staten Island, New York double majoring in Information Science and Communications with a concentration in media and technology. He is the former president of the Mu Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and enjoys writing and playing video games in his free time.

Varun Srivastava
Varun Srivastava is a current sophomore at UNC studying Computer Science and Business. As a Java and Android developer for WiderNet, he helps develop a mobile implementation of the eGranary library. Raised in Boston, he spends his free time watching the Celtics or playing basketball.

Damola Ajao


Damola is a volunteer programmer working on the catalog index and involved in upgrading the current version of the software. He is working towards a degree in Information Science. He also enjoys reading comics.

Whitney Hughes
Graduate Assistant

Whitney Hughes is a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is focusing on public libraries and outreach.

Sayan Dutta

Sayan is a freshman at UNC studying Computer Science and Chemistry. As a Java programmer at WiderNet he works on the backend of the eGranary. In his free time he enjoys music and video games.

Meet the past staff here