Spring 2017 Staff
Hello Everyone! My name is Amanda Elzbieciak and I am a second year graduate student at UIUC’s School of Information Science focusing on emerging technologies. I’m originally from Northwest Indiana and did my undergraduate coursework at an extension of Purdue University where I earned degrees in English Composition and Liberal Studies, and during that time I worked in my local public library. I greatly enjoyed being able to assist individuals with learning how to navigate and use digital technology, so it was a natural segue for me to end up in library school taking courses relating to information technology. During a course introducing myself and my classmates to networking systems, we were encouraged to volunteer and work collaboratively with a community entity, and that was when I first became involved with the Gadget Garage. During my time volunteering at the Gadget Garage, I’ve been really impressed with the supportive environment that is created in working to collaboratively repair old and broken items in order to not only prolong the life of the item, but to empower individuals in understanding that fixing technology doesn’t have to be something only for professionals. I am a complete beginner when it comes to dissecting technology; my only experience in taking things apart is what I have done during my volunteer work with the Garage, but let me tell you, it is very satisfying being able to take something apart, put it back together, and have it work again. You feel like a rock star, and before you know it, you’re trying to take other things apart and fix them as well. Tinkering is contagious, and I feel that the more you’re aware of how technology works, the less you have to be intimidated by it and that opens the door to a world of possibilities of what you are able to do with it. I’m really excited to be a part of the Gadget Garage and I can’t wait to see what we can do together against the tech troubles that life throws at us.
Hello! I am Madeleine Wolske and I am excited to continue working with the IGG! I worked here as the Graduate Research Assistant while completing my Masters of Library Information Science, and have continued past graduation to help with onboarding and maintenance. I am passionate about living sustainably and assisting in liberating individuals to think outside our consumer-driven culture. My favorite aspect about working at the IGG is collaborating with a patron who has no experience troubleshooting their personal devices. Being there to witness them realize that they have the ability to troubleshoot, diagnose, and fix the device they’re working on is amazing–especially when that realization of empowerment translates to other devices in their lives.
I am the newest employee at the Gadget Garage and I am excited to be part of the team. Sustainability related issues are important to me and this program does a great job of teaching the public about electronics recycling and reuse. Presently, I am pursuing my Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. Thus, I enjoy giving presentations and breaking down information to a broad audience. In a previous life, I worked as a Laboratory Technician and in that capacity I gained experience in working with electronics.
Thanks to our Former Staff Members!
Fall 2015: Brad Irwin-Graduate Research Assistant