Director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Jeff Ginger is a Program Coordinator with the Illinois Informatics Institute and Adjunct Instructor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His work includes several of the missions of the University of Illinois: research, teaching and public engagement. Jeff draws upon a robust technical multimedia and social science background, accented by teaching and organizational leadership, and first earned his rabble-rousing reputation as a result of activist research on structural racism observed on Facebook. His recent doctoral scholarship and teaching has primarily situated in social and community informatics: deciphering the discourse and effects of the digital divide and Web2.0, critical pedagogy in technology education and context-oriented study of human-computer interaction. Jeff’s dissertation focused specifically on the study of how public libraries foster digital literacies through community engagement, which ultimately led him to his current work as director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab. Here he continues to lend a critical but optimistic perspective to the study and implementation of makerspaces, particularly by tackling some of its most key challenges, like cultivating and supporting diversity, a prerequisite to innovation, and sustainably establishing technology education services in collaboration with underserved communities.