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.

JD Sawyerr
Java Programmer

JD is a junior at UNC studying Computer Science and Mathematics. He is involved in Black in Technology and the Black Student Movement. He is working on the backend of the eGranary software and enjoys playing soccer in his free time.

Carmen Silva
Publicity Assistant

Carmen is a junior at UNC studying Information Science and Cognitive Science. She is the Vice President of the Carolina Irish Dance Association and is also a Computer Science Tutor at the Emily K Center in Durham. She has been at WiderNet for 1 year now and hopes to continue her status in the coming years.

Chrisitan Vallat

Java Programmer

Christian Vallat is a junior pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science. He is planning to go into cybersecurity and in his free time he likes to run and listen to country music.

Erin Lyons
Java Programmer

Erin is a senior at UNC studying Computer Science & Statistics and Analytics. As a Java developer for WiderNet, she is working on the backend of the eGranary software. She loves the beach and Carolina Basketball.

Deborah Reed
E-Granary Volunteer

Deborah Reed is a first year Master’s student studying Information Science. She graduated in May 2019 with a degree in Environmental Science from UNC. She is working as an eGranary volunteer and is interested in data science, automation, and how it will affect underserved populations.


Meet the past staff here