Teaching Fellows Program


Promoting use of the Center’s collections, the Teaching Fellows Program encourages the development of object-based curricular initiatives that support student engagement and retention by enriching learning experiences and adding depth to student understanding. This program was made possible thanks to the generous support of Dr. Henry Hooper.

Meet the Center of Southwest Studies teaching fellows for AY 2023-24!

Paige Belinte (she, her, hers) is a Diné educator, advisor, artist, and small business owner from TséChił’Tah, NM. Her clans are Kinyaa’áanii, Tł’ááshchí’í, Ta’neeszahnii, and Maii’ Deeshgiizhnii. She has held a variety of educational staff positions over the last five years and currently works as a Native American Advisor in Farmington, NM. She is also a Fort Lewis College alumna, graduating with a BA in Studio Art and MEd in Teacher Leadership. Her passion in education has been sharing her knowledge of Diné culture and language to ensure their continuation for future generations. When she is not teaching, she is skating, traveling with her team for SugarBuffalo Skateboarding, attending ceremonies, or making art. She would like to express how excited she is to work with the CSWS through this fellowship to provide great experiences and opportunities for her students to learn more about their culture, language, and heritage!

Paige will be introducing middle-school students from Farmington, NM to the intricate connections between Diné weavers, their audiences, and their tools, focusing on the process of weaving as cultural and spiritual practice.


Candace Nadon (she, her, hers) is Associate Professor of English, John F. Reed Honors Program Coordinator, and Coordinator for Academic and Creative Enrichment at Fort Lewis College. Candace coordinates the SkyWords Visiting Writers Series, co-coordinates Arts April, and is faculty advisor for IMAGES magazine. Candace has a BA in English from Fort Lewis College, an MFA in Fiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing, and a PhD in English with Creative Concentration (Fiction and Poetry) from Georgia State University, where she was the Virginia Spencer Carr Fellow. Her fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous journals. Her writing explores the intersections between the body and place and explores/examines the relationships between gender, class, environment, and structures of power. She is currently writing a Colorado-based thriller. Born and raised in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, Candace loves exploring the outdoors with her Aussie, Rowan.

Candace will integrate the Center’s collections and object-based learning into two of her Fall 2023 Honors courses. Students in HON 210: Landscapes of Learning will engage with the Center’s collections in the process of exploring texts that investigate our relationships to place, community, and self. Students in HON 100: Introduction to Honors, which also embraces place-based learning, will complete a project utilizing postcards or photographs from the Center's collections.






The Center of Southwest Studies shares the mission of Fort Lewis College (FLC) to provide inclusive, experiential learning environments that foster innovation, growth, and community engagement. Consistent with this goal, the Center is piloting a new Teaching Fellows Program.

Two fellows will be selected by the Center’s Campus Advisory Committee for participation in the program. The fellowship is open to FLC faculty and staff, as well as instructors from the broader Four-Corners Region. The fellowship is not limited to those working in postsecondary education; teachers of any grade level are welcome to apply. Likewise, two or more instructors can apply for a joint appointment if they are working on materials for the same class.



The Fellows Program supports innovative curriculum development and a fuller integration of the Center’s collections into instruction. As an academic museum, archives, and library, the Center of Southwest Studies is a valuable resource for FLC and the broader community. Its collections offer an important starting point for the development of active and enriching learning experiences that encourage dialogue, promote problem-solving and analytical skills, and cultivate an appreciation of the diverse cultures, histories, and environments of the Southwest.

Promoting use of the Center’s collections, the Teaching Fellows Program embraces an object-based approach to learning. Material objects have the power to excite, inspire, challenge, inform, and motivate students when used as tools for active learning and exploration, which are hallmarks of FLC’s commitment to “Students at the Center” and “Knowledge in Action.” Consistent with these institutional goals, the Fellows Program encourages the development of object-based curricular initiatives that support student engagement and retention by enriching learning experiences, making concepts more accessible, and adding depth to student understanding.

For more information on object-based learning, see:



Each fellow will be awarded a stipend of $2,000 (or the equivalent), an introduction to the collections by Center staff, and curricular support for participating in the Teaching Fellows Program. If two or more instructors are awarded a joint appointment, the $2000 stipend will be split accordingly. The fellowship payment will be awarded upon completion of the program and receipt of all required deliverables.



During the fall and spring semesters, the fellows will work closely with Center staff to identify materials relevant to their teaching, develop assignments that make use of the Center’s collections, and implement these projects in the classroom. 

Each fellow will be asked to complete the following by the end of the fellowship period: 

  1. One object-based student assignment
  2. One of the following:
  • A class visit to the Center
  • An annotated list of collection materials for class visit(s)
  • A second object-based student assignment

Both of the required projects should explore the Center’s museum collections, archival collections, or library.

At the end of the year-long fellowship period, the participants will give a presentation discussing the projects they developed, addressing their intended outcomes and providing an assessment of student performance. Documentation of these initiatives will be showcased on the Center’s website, becoming a publicly-accessible resource for other instructors.



Fellows must attend, in person, an introductory workshop and a minimum of two planning sessions (dates TBD), both of which are described in greater depth below. The total time commitment for this fellowship is approximately 40 hours.



Applicant “Office Hours”

Staff will hold several Q&A sessions to answer questions about the application process.  You can visit the Center of Southwest Studies in person (CSWS #136) or join us via Zoom.  No appointment necessary.

  • April 27, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
  • May 1, 4:00 - 6:00 PM
  • May 10, 9:00 - 11:00 AM
  • May 11, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
  • May 19, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Introductory Workshop and Collection’s Tour (June)

At the beginning of the fellowship period, fellows attend an orientation on object-based learning and research at the Center. At this meeting, fellows will:

  • Meet the other program participant(s) and Center staff
  • Attend a workshop with the Center’s director on object-based-learning
  • Participate in a tour of the Center’s collections
  • Select a collections liaison
  • Receive guidance on the support Center staff can provide (i.e. collections access vs. digital platform support)
  • Review staff availability and schedule check-in dates (online or in-person pedagogical support) and in-person collections research.

Planning Sessions (Dates TBD)

Fellows will meet with Center staff (the Director and/or collections liaison) at least two times during the academic year to engage with topic-specific and course-relevant objects, discuss pedagogical approaches, explore diversity and inclusion through the Center’s collections, and (if feasible) receive peer feedback. The exact number and dates of these meetings will be established at the Introductory Workshop in May/June.

Resource Guides

Fellows will be given access to various research guides, including:

  • Collections Resource Guides
  • Pedagogical Resource Guides



Please compile in this order and submit as a single PDF to cjpillen@fortlewis.edu 

  1. Completed application form
  2. One or two-page proposal explaining your interest in the program and addressing the following questions: 
    • Which of the Center’s collections are most relevant to your course (environmental policy records, museum textiles, etc.)?
    • How will your course teach students to discover, analyze, research, and discuss works in the Center’s collections?
    • How does this project support the student learning outcomes of your course?
    • How many class sessions (if any) do you expect to hold at the Center? (All sessions involving collections must be held at the Center).
  3. Course title and description
  4. List of 2-4 museum objects of interest that are relevant to your course.  You can explore the collection on the Center of Southwest Studies website under “Learn.”



Applications will be evaluated by members of the Center’s Campus Advisory Committee. Projects will be assessed on their:

  • Relevance to the Center’s collections
  • Creative use of the Center’s collections
  • Feasibility
  • Alignment with student learning outcomes (as articulated in the applicants proposal)



April 25, 2023

Call for Proposals Distributed

May 26, 2023

Application Deadline

May 29-31, 2023

Review and Evaluation of Applications

June 1, 2023

Awards Announced

June 2023 – May 2024

Development and Execution of Projects

June 2, 2024

Assignment Submission

Fall 2024

Public Object-Based Learning Workshop


Delaney Library: Mon - Fri 10 am - 4 pm or by appointment
Exhibit Gallery: Mon - Fri 1 - 4 pm or by appointment

Make an Appointment Now


Holiday Hours – November 2023

The Center of Southwest Studies gallery will be closed Wednesday, November 22 through Friday, November 24 for the holiday break.  Delaney Library and Archives will be closed Monday, November 20 through Friday, November 24.


Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive Durango, CO 81301

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Parking: During the Fall and Spring terms, you can purchase parking passes online. Parking is free after 3:30 p.m. and during the summer, May to August.


Phone Numbers

Main Office: 970-247-7456
Library Reference Desk: 970-382-6982
Archives: 970-247-7126
College Records: 970-382-6951
Museum: 970-247-7359

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