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.





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. The Center’s Teaching Fellows Program is vital to this process.

Two fellows will be selected 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.

The Teaching Fellows Program promotes the use of the Center’s collections and 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

Each required project 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 an introductory in-person meeting and a minimum of two subsequent planning sessions. 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 16, 1:00 - 3:30 PM
  • April 29, 4:00 - 6:00 PM
  • May 1, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • May 9, 4:00 - 6:00 PM
  • May 14, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Introductory Meeting and Collection’s Tour

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 Center staff
  • Participate in a tour of the Center’s collections
  • Discuss object-based-learning with the Center’s director and/or Curator of Exhibitions and Educational Outreach
  • Receive guidance on the support Center staff can provide (i.e. collections access, digital platform support)
  • Review staff availability and discuss check-in dates (online or in-person pedagogical support) and in-person collections research.

Planning Sessions

Fellows will meet with Center staff at least two times during the academic year to engage with topic-specific and course-relevant objects, discuss pedagogical approaches, and explore diversity and inclusion through the Center’s collections.



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

  1. Completed cover sheet
  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)



May 15, 2024

Application Deadline

May 16 - 31, 2024

Review and Evaluation of Applications

June 1, 2024

Awards Announced

June 2024 – May 2025

Development and Execution of Projects

June 2, 2025

Assignment Submission

Fall 2025

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 (December 2023 & January 2024)

December 18 - 22:  APPOINTMENT ONLY

December 25 – January 5: CLOSED

January 8 – 12: APPOINTMENT ONLY


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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