Meet the Staff of The WiderNet Project


Picture unavailable Clifford  Missen  MA
Director, WiderNet Project
Clinical Associate Professor in School Information & Library Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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 directs the WiderNet@UNC research lab and the non-profit WiderNet Project. Missen oversees WiderNet’s efforts to improve digital communication in developing countries through hands-on training and research into low-cost applications of information technology. As well, he leads the development of the eGranary Digital Library, an innovative way to deliver the world’s knowledge to people and institutions lacking Internet access. He was a TED Fellow in 2007 and a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria in 1999.

Picture unavailable Kristen  DiVittorio   
Operations Manager

Picture unavailable Nayoung  Kim   
Administrative Assistant
Nayoung is a volunteer at the WiderNet Project. She is interested in learning about English and American culture. She loves living in Chapel Hill and enjoys reading American novels.


Picture unavailable 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 the WiderNet Project. In her spare time she reads and plays with her children.

Picture unavailable William  Kamkwamba   
Youth Program Designer/Coordinator
William, a born inventor, became a local hero in his native Malawi at the age of 14. William's parents were unable to afford school fees, William found a rough plan in a library book and taught himself to build a windmill. The windmill ultimately powered his family’s home and generated income for his family and his village. In recognition for his ingenuity, he became a TED Africa Fellow and won a scholarship to the African Leadership Academy in South Africa. You can read William’s inspiring story in his best-selling book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope. Some of his recent inventions include solar power lighting for homes, a solar powered pump to extract clean water, and a drip irrigation system. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014, where he majored in Environmental Studies. After graduation he worked at in San Francisco

Digital Librarians and Technical Writers

Picture unavailable Laura  Ashcraft   
Digital Librarian
Laura received her BA in Religious Studies from California State University-Long Beach, and an MSIS from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2015. She is currently working as a Digital Librarian for the WiderNet Project.

Picture unavailable Jamie  Burns   
Digital Librarian
Jamie earned her MS in Library Science with a concentration in archives and records management from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015, and her MA in Public History from North Carolina State University in 2014. She completed an internship in the University Archives at Duke University, and spent a summer researching the Underground Railroad in Halifax, NC to improve public programming on the topic. She received her BA in History and French from Wheaton College (IL). Jamie also works as an archival processor in the North Carolina Collection at Durham County Library main branch. In her free time she enjoys running, practicing yoga, reading, and baking.

Picture unavailable Jennifer  Brookland   
Jennifer Brookland is a volunteer writer and editor with the WiderNet Project. She is a freelance journalist living in Durham, NC who especially loves telling stories from the world of international development. She has a master's degree in international law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School and a master's in journalism from Columbia University.

Programmers, Technicians, and Engineers

Picture unavailable Narayan  Rai   
PHP/SQL Programmer
Narayan Rai is a PHP/SQL Programming intern at WiderNet. This is his second time working with the project, besides his previous technical volunteer work at WiderNet. He is a student at Wake Tech, majoring in databases and is expecting to graduate in May of 2017.

Picture unavailable Priyanka  Suman  M.Sc
Web Developer/Technician
Priyanka is a volunteer with WiderNet. She is very interested in web design and development. She also has experience in search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing (SMM). She is always keen to enhance her knowledge in internet space. She is very happy to work with WiderNet Project.

Picture unavailable Jeampy  Kalambayi   
PHP/SQL Programmer
Jeampy Kamba Kalambayi is a PHP/SQL Programming intern at WiderNet. He is a student at Wake Tech, majoring in database; he is expecting to graduate in May of 2017. During his free time, he likes to watch movies and play soccer. He moved to United States of America from Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011. Back in Democratic Republic of Congo, he studied systems analysis in university of Ecole Informatique des Finances (E.I.FI). In addition to English, he speaks and writes French, Lingala and Tshiluba.

Picture unavailable Scott  Morgan   
Scott is a volunteer programmer at WiderNet. He holds a B.S. in Mathematical Decision Sciences and Mathematics from UNC Chapel Hill and a Master of Computer Science degree from Rice University. Scott spends his days working for a hedge fund and his nights running, eating, and spending time with his dog, Captain.

Picture unavailable Jay  Clelland   
Lead Programmer
Jay has been a programmer for The Widernet Project since 2009 and is currently the lead programmer. He studied Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics at The University of Iowa.

Picture unavailable Billy  Gagon   
Billy graduated from James Madison University in 2011 with a B.S. in computer science and mathematics minor. In his free time, he enjoys bowling, playing video games, and watching football. He hopes to one day leave the east coast and possibly further his education.

Picture unavailable Mitali  Lebeck   
Mitali is a volunteer database programmer at WiderNet. She received her BS and MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Mitali has worked at the University of Wisconsin and at Duke University. She has volunteered with the Chapel Hill City Schools and with Caring House in Durham, NC.