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        Cliff Missen                  Director Cliff Missen is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he leads the WiderNet@UNC research lab. He is also the director of WiderNet, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Durham, NC.

With over 30 years’ experience in computers, networking, multimedia design, teaching, and applications development, Missen oversees the WiderNet’s efforts to improve digital education in underserved communities.

He leads the development of the eGranary Digital Library, an innovative way to deliver the world’s knowledge to people and institutions with inadequate Internet access. The eGranary Digital Library is installed in more than 2,000 schools, hospitals, clinics, and universities in Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea.


Since 2001, Missen has trained over 8,700 people across Africa and India in information and communication technologies, including hundreds of decision makers from dozens of universities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Missen began working and volunteering in prisons in 1982 and since 2010 has been spearheading the effort to use off-line digital resources for education within the walls. The Corrections Offline Information Platform, a custom and secure version of the eGranary, is now installed in dozens of U.S. prisons.

A TED Fellow in 2007, a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria in 1999, he has made presentations at Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Google, World Bank, MIT, USAID, and dozens of professional conferences. Missen has provided consulting services to the U.S. Department of State, the Carnegie Corporation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, amongst others.

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Whitney Clarke  
                  COEP Coordinator/ Systems Tech
Whitney has an AA in computer information systems, a BA in History and Religion and a Juris Doctor degree. She currently works as the systems technician and assists with the COEP prison program here at WiderNet. In her spare time she reads and plays with her children.

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.

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.