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Special Project Fellows Heading link

Application Information

Program Information

The Student Affairs Special Project Fellows Program allows Student Affairs staff to start a new program or initiative or improve a current practice or service to better support student success and enhance the quality of campus life.

Student Affairs Special Project Fellows 2020-2021

Building a Dialogue Campus: Supporting Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation Training for Students, Faculty & Staff

Project Lead: Dr. Jessica Joslin

Demand for dialogue programming and support across campus has accelerated in recent months as campus units are looking to learn how to engage thoughtfully across differences, and have thoughtful and informed conversations about racism, implicit bias, identity and related topics. The increase in requests for dialogues has followed national and local calls to address racial injustice. To address this desire across campus, funds will be used to develop two interrelated programs: 1) A Dialogue Peer Educator program to train undergraduate and graduate students to facilitate student-designed workshops on topics such as social identities, communicating across difference and listening for understanding. 2) A Dialogue Fellows program to support initial training and continuing education of dialogue facilitators and partners across campus, and provide a community for connection and collaboration between faculty and staff who are invested in dialogue and social justice education.

Project Team Members:

CUPPA Sophomore Experience Course

Project Lead: Joy Vergara

This project combines the resources of UIC Student Engagement, UIC Career Services, the UIC CUPPA Alumni Association and other campus partners with faculty, staff, and student leaders within CUPPA to design and deliver an intensive pilot sophomore experience course that will strengthen the life, career, and leadership skills of CUPPA students.  This course will provide coaching, training, and immersion experiences in community and job contexts after the freshman seminar and before students apply for internships and take capstone courses.  While there are many outcomes associated with this pilot, the central aims are to enhance the ability of CUPPA students of all backgrounds to flourish in the program, to attain internships and jobs, and to become socially just leaders in their communities and workplaces. Assessment will be developed for the sophomore experience course with the intention of other colleges at UIC replicating this initiative.\

Project Team Members:

First-Year Flames Abroad

Project Lead: Marc Mobley

The First-Year Flames Abroad Program is a new initiative looking to engage incoming first-year students with educational experiences abroad, prior to the beginning of their first academic term at UIC. The program aims to integrate the benefits of a study abroad program with the transitional needs of incoming new students, specifically those who are first-generation college students. This unique twist on a study abroad experience will provide participants with an opportunity to gain a global perspective, while also impacting their transition to UIC. Following the implementation of this pilot program, the goal is to increase the number of abroad trips yearly to target additional underrepresented student populations.

Project Team Members:

M&M: Mental Wellness & Mental Health First Aid

Project Lead: La Tonja Ellis

The Mental Health First Aid Pilot Project will equip staff and students to assist individuals who are grappling with mental illness confirming that “it is okay to NOT be okay.”  Mental Health First Aid, much like CPR, is “a course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. This pilot project will assist Student Affairs Human Resources in an endeavor to equip staff and students with the tools to properly support someone who may be living with mental illness or experiencing the onset of mental illness. Mental Health First Aid helps people understand that mental illnesses and addictions are real, common and treatable and that it’s OK to seek help. Research demonstrates this program’s effectiveness in improving knowledge of mental illnesses and substance use, removing fear and misunderstanding and enabling those trained to offer concrete assistance. Students and staff will be trained on a 6-hour virtual course platform, (2 hour self-paced with homework).

Project Team Members:

Questions? Contact Sue Farruggia,