The iSchool is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Wolske as interim director of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI). Wolske assumes the position following the departure of Jon Gant, founding director, who recently accepted the deanship of the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University in Durham.
As a senior research scientist and adjunct lecturer, Wolske is well known for his excellence in teaching, research, and community service. His experience includes leadership roles in the international Community Informatics Research Network and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium’s Outreach and Engagement Practitioners Network. A frequently invited speaker at national and international venues, Wolske shares insights gained through advanced research in areas such as community informatics and digital literacy. His accomplishments also include service as president of the Champaign Public Library Board of Trustees, which recently completed a successful search for a new director.
Wolske joined the iSchool in 1995 and has served in many key roles, including director of Prairienet (1997-99), Champaign-Urbana’s first community information network and the predecessor to CDI. Since the late 1990s, he has taught networking and information systems courses, for which he received the 2011 Library Journal Teaching Award. He has served on several campus advisory and review panels related to engagement and, in 2013, he was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement. Wolske has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on a number of grants related to digital inclusion and digital literacy that have received funding through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the American Library Association, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, among other agencies.
"Martin has demonstrated a deep commitment to people in the communities in which he works, including East St. Louis, Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Rantoul, Decatur, and throughout the state," said Dean Allen Renear. "Recognizing that relationship-building and trust are fundamental to successful, long-term engagement with on- and off-campus partners, he nurtures those relationships well. Martin was one of the first people I met when I visited the School in 1999, and we’ve benefitted much from his guidance and support."
Wolske looks forward to his new role and the opportunity to further the mission of CDI: to foster inclusive and sustainable societies through research, teaching, and public engagement about information and communication technologies (ICT) and their impacts on communities, organizations, and governments.
"It has been my great pleasure to collaborate with CDI founder Jon Gant from the Center's inception," said Wolske. "He leaves behind a wonderful resource for the campus and community. I look forward to building on Jon's legacy to ensure that all, and especially those historically disadvantaged, are able to fully participate in our digital society, democracy, and economy."