Meet the Team

Joe Lenkart – International Reference Librarian, University Library

I remember a line from a Robert Duvall movie: “Being happy ain’t nothin’ more than havin’ something to look forward to.” I look forward to doing reference work and supporting researchers with and without institutional affiliation. I have been working at the University Library for eleven years; during that time, I have worked with doctoral students from around the world and throughout their graduate careers. Witnessing their journey through the doctoral program has been inspiring; I admire their spirit and share in their excitement at discovering a new source or information outlet. The global intellectual landscape, with its unbounded diversity and curiosity, connects all of us. Discovering its endlessly varied topography is pure joy. We are kindred spirits. I am committed to your academic and social success and wish to offer my support when you need it the most. I hold a BA in history, an MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and an MS in Library Science.

Geoffrey Ross – Collections and Services Specialist, University Library

I have been working with University of Illinois patrons for fourteen years as the Collections and Services Specialist in the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library. I help patrons obtain difficult-to-locate sources, and I work closely with patrons who are trying to find primary and secondary sources for historical research. I also help patrons find and use newspapers, and I am a member of the Illinois Newspaper Project, an ongoing effort to identify, preserve, and digitize the state’s newspaper heritage, a large portion of which remains inaccessible to researchers due to poor collecting, cataloging, and preservation practices. I have a BA in rhetoric, an MA in English literature, and an MS in librarianship.

Carolyn Wisniewski – Director, Writers Workshop, Center for Writing Studies

As a teacher, scholar, and academic administrator, I am committed to learning that takes place during one-on-one teaching of writing. Before joining the Writers Workshop as its Director five years ago, I worked in four university writing centers, an athletic tutoring center, and a non-profit community literacy center. I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses in persuasive writing, public writing, writing research methods, composition theory and pedagogy, and writing center theory, research, and practice. In 2018, I was awarded a research grant from the Council of Writing Program Administrators to support a study of how graduate instructors from across the disciplines learn to respond to student writing. I have also worked with a team of writing center consultants to conduct a mixed-method, comparative study of face-to-face and online tutorial sessions, the results of which are forthcoming in The Writing Center Journal. I hold a BA, MA, and PhD in English, with an emphasis in Writing Studies.

Tabitha Cochran – PhD Student, Department of History

As a doctoral student myself, I am deeply familiar with the challenging and exciting process of developing effective, sustainable habits for research and writing. I also work in the International and Area Studies Library and assist with Slavic collection development, cataloging, and reference questions, as well as curate the SRS’s Russian Books of the 18th Century collection. I am passionate about making the wealth of knowledge in the University Library accessible to all who seek it. I hold a BA in Russian Studies and International Studies, an MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and an MS in Library and Information Science.