DFI Fellows Program

The DFI Fellows Program is a cohort-based opportunity for TC faculty who are interested in exploring the process of designing and implementing innovative learning experiences connected to their teaching efforts in and out of the classroom and receiving specialized support in pursuit of that goal. 

Please be advised that the program is not designed to simply support execution of pre-determined project plans. If you already have a well-developed idea for a project and are primarily seeking implementation support, we encourage you to submit a support ticket to discuss how we can assist you.

DFI Fellows meeting

The Goal

The program has been envisioned as a co-design incubator to inspire deep engagement with learning design and technology. The fellows are strongly encouraged to explore a wide variety of learning experiences in different mediums, contexts, and modalities. Such experiences might include, but are not limited to an online course, a learning activity in the classroom utilizing emerging learning technology, an immersive instructional video, an interactive exhibit.

DFI Fellows discussion

How it works

During the course of the program from November 2023 to May 2024, the Fellows will attend six meetings, a few of which may take place off campus, on a monthly basis. During these meetings, the Fellows will engage with various creative thinking techniques, learning experience design frameworks, emerging technology such as Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence, digital artifacts, and exhibits through hands-on group activities and discussions.

DFI Fellows visting MoMA


Fellows will receive:

  • Opportunities to deepen and expand pedagogical repertoires through play and experimentation with technologies, media, and design and to connect with like-minded interdisciplinary fellows to exchange ideas and learn from each other
  • Consultation and support from DFI experts in instructional design, media production, learning experience design, educational technology, and learning space
  • Priority access to DFI workshops and events including Immersive Experience Club, Tech Playground, AI, Media Production workshops to learn and explore
  • Reimbursement for excursion-related expenses including transportation, admission, etc.; software license/subscription used as part of the program
  • $4,000 stipend upon completion of the program
DFI Fellows visiting MoMA


The fellows commit to attending all 6 mandatory in-person meetings throughout the entire program. The meeting time will be determined based on the entire cohort’s mutual availability and no remote participation will be accommodated since our cohort-based incubator model relies on in-person engagement to be successful.

This program will also require that the fellows share their experiences with the broader TC community and contribute to the ongoing learning innovation conversations at DFI. This may entail sharing their project at a DFI innovation showcase, preparing a video about their experience, or sharing the project deliverable and design experience at another venue with the TC community. Fellows will also have the opportunity to contribute to ongoing research related to learning experience design. 

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All full-time faculty members (including tenure-track professors and professors of practice) as well as full-time lecturers are eligible to apply to the program. Up to five fellows will be selected for this year's cohort. 

The ideal fellows are curious, open-minded, forward-thinking, and collaborative TC faculty members who are comfortable in a loosely-structured and experimental environment. They are eager to explore and tinker with new possibilities, and keen to collaborate with peers to co-create innovations that push boundaries. No concrete projects and ideas would be required to apply for the program. 

How to Apply:

Please fill out this application by 11:59 PM, October 20, 2023. In the application, you will be asked to give DFI permission to contact your department chair and if selected, you need to write a courtesy email to your chair.

Final results will be announced on October 30, 2023.


Tran Templeton photo

Tran Templeton

Assistant Professor
Department of Curriculum & Teaching

"It was really nice to have a year where I could think about ideas without necessarily having to produce something at the end, which is very much in line with the way I think about scholarship in general. [...] This year was a kind of incubation period for my thinking. At the same time, I am producing something at the end of this through an exhibition with my doctoral students. However, that's a work in progress. And I think over the next few years, I'll be able to take this experience and integrate it into future exhibitions."

Tania Aparicio Morales photo

Tania Aparicio Morales

Department of Arts & Humanities

"Just having the time to engage seriously, not just with the result of the project, but actually being very involved in the process of imagining the project in each of our sessions. There were different prompts and different ways of imagining and thinking with technology and with what I imagine. It's also design thinking. To reflect on the impact of our projects and how to best carry it out, just like getting to learn different approaches and imagining my own project, I think, was really valuable."

Mendenhall photo

Mary Mendenhall

Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education
Department of International & Transcultural Studies

"Some of the guiding questions or frameworks that were brought in to share with the fellows, whether it was like the folding of the napkin or the object/space/actor grid thinking [...] help start to uncover different ways of thinking about something I've been thinking about for a lot of years, but in a different way and then helping my students do the same thing."

Kelly DeLuca photo

Kelly DeLuca

Department of Arts & Humanities

"It's been really lovely to have an interdisciplinary space to have conversations across. I think often we feel a little bit siloed in our programs and we don't necessarily get to see all of the people doing similar work to us. And so in that regard, this space has been really a good place to have some of those conversations with people who I know in passing but haven't really talked about their work as much and I think that I've found a lot of overlap in areas that I didn't initially expect to find."

Adele Bruni Ashley photo

Adele Bruni Ashley

Department of Arts & Humanities

"There are many takeaways. One is just how important it is to have the space to play because I feel like... although I try to offer that space to graduate students, and I say to graduate students who are teachers at least the graduate students I teach are mainly teachers, and I say, it's so important for you to play so that you can then cultivate this place for students, but I don't know that I give myself the chance to play as much. And so I realized how important it was to have that demarcated time with colleagues, many of whom I didn't know very well at the start of this experience to really figure out what that is like."

Faculty Fellows (2021-2022)

Sarah Brazaitis

Associate Professor of Practice

Jennifer Lena

Associate Professor of Arts Administration

Irina Lyublinskaya photo

Irina Lyublinskaya

Professor of Mathematics and Education

Patricia Martinez Alvarez photo

Patricia Martínez Álvarez

Associate Professor of Bilingual/Bicultural Education

Felicia Mensah photo

Felicia Mensah

Professor of Science and Education

Jacqueline Simmons photo

Jacqueline Simmons

Senior Lecturer


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