Kelly Ritter, Provost Fellow for Undergraduate Education, Professor of English and Writing Studies, Director of the First-Year Rhetoric Program
As Provost Fellow, Kelly Ritter leads the GCL initiative. Professor Ritter’s more than 15 years’ experience as a writing program administrator both at Illinois and elsewhere, and further experience as Interim Director of Illinois’ Center for Writing Studies in 2014-2015, informs her work in the General Education-centered initiative. Her scholarly interests include archival historiography; composition pedagogy and theory; and writing in digital spaces. She is the author of four monographs and co-editor of two scholarly collections, as well as numerous articles and chapters, and is the editor of College English, the flagship journal of the college section of the National Council of Teachers of English.  

Alaina Pincus, Project Manager
Alaina Pincus received her PhD in English at Illinois in 2015. Her scholarly interests include eighteenth-century British literature, Jewish studies, intellectual history, feminist theory, critical race theory, and the digital humanities. She is the creator, developer, and editor of ABOPublic: Interactive Forum for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830, a public digital humanities project designed to bridge the gap between the academy and the public who are interested in the eighteenth century. In addition to the Grand Challenge Learning Initiative, she has served as the Assistant Director to the Illinois Programs in Professional Writing.

Health & Wellness
William P. Stewart, Executive Co-Chair for Health & Wellness, Professor of Recreation, Sport, & Tourism
William ("Bill") Stewart is a professor of Recreation, Sport, & Tourism in the College of Applied Health Science. He has served as the director of an undergraduate program in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences (i-Health) since 2009 and was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Applied Health Science between 2008 and 2014. Professor Stewart's goals for both teaching and research are to facilitate the development of parks and other environmental settings to improve quality of life and community well-being. 

Professor Stewart conducts research associated with park and natural resources development and teaches courses in the university-wide environment program. Bill has been involved with research projects that assess information from park users, community residents, and various other stakeholders.

Advisory Co-Chairs
Frances (Ming) Kuo, Associate Professor of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Laura DeThorne, Associate Professor of Speech & Hearing Science (Applied Health Sciences)
Gene Robinson, Professor of Entomology (LAS) and Director of the Institute for Genomic Biology

Inequality & Cultural Understanding
Terri Weissman,Executive Co-Chair for Inequality & Cultural Understanding

Terri Weissman teaches Modern and Contemporary Art and the History of Photography in the College of Fine & Applied Arts. She is the author of The Realisms of Berenice Abbott: Documentary Photography and Political Action (UC Press 2011), and co-author of American Modern: Documentary Photographs by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White (UC Press, 2010). Her articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as Visual Resources, ArtNexus, SCOPE, Media-N and Third Text. Her essay “Freedom’s Just Another Word,” appears in Contemporary Art: 1989 to the Present (ed. Alexander Dumbadze and Suzanne Hudson), and relates to her current project, tentatively titled, This is What Democracy Looks Like: Freedom, Action and Revolutionary Dreams. Her scholarship addresses how different kinds of images (e.g. in the media, in galleries, in films) affect political discourse and people’s opinions about social issues, such as inequality.

Advisory Co-Chairs

Kevin Jackson, Associate Professor of Accountancy (Business)
Lauren Goodlad, Professor of English/Unit for Criticism (LAS)

Sustainability, Energy, & the Environment

Trevor Birkenholtz, Executive Co-Chair for Sustainability, Energy, & the Environment
Trevor Birkenholtz is associate professor of Geography and Geographic Information Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He teaches on social-environmental sustainability, social power, and the politics of nature. In his research, he studies the political economy of access to and control over water resources, and the politics of science and technology, particularly around water conserving technologies. He has published in several leading journals such as Environment and Planning A, Geoforum, Society and Space, and Progress in Human Geography, among others. His current research projects focus on the social, political and ecological dynamics of water scarcity and irrigation systems in India and the US.

Advisory Co-Chairs

Tami Bond, Professor of Civil Engineering (ENG)
Gillen D’Arcy Wood, Professor of English (LAS)
Frances (Ming) Kuo, Associate Professor of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences (ACES)


Joseph Post, ePortfolio Teaching Assistant
Joseph Post is a PhD student in the Department of English. He serves as the ePortfolio graduate assistant for the entire Grand Challenge Learning program, assisting faculty and students to become proficient in ePortfolio methods and the campus’s ePortfolio platform, Digication. Working in concert with colleagues in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and Technology Services, Joe provides resources for developing ePortfolio teaching methods and for assisting students to create effective ePortfolios. His own research interests center around the Victorian Era and the environment, currently considering the interplay between built and unbuilt environments in Victorian literature.