Fellow Application

Sawyer Digital Proficiency Fellowship

(2018-2019: 15 grants totaling $54,000)
(2019-2020: 15 grants totaling $54,000)
(2020-2021: 15 grants totaling $54,000)


Open to all members of the Community of Educators (COE). Approved fellows will agree to the following year-long responsibilities, and will select one of two options for compensation:


Fellow Responsibility 1: Participation in Summer Intensive Week-long Program [June 1-5, 2020]  – This program includes five full-day workshops held on campus. Fellows will work collaboratively with digital tools as they consider a new academic experience for students that includes technology driven activities engaging learners toward improved digital proficiency. Activities include: ePortfolios, infographics, Podcasting, video production, 3Dprinting. Fellows may edit their proposal a bit after the intensive given new ideas, skills, or possibilities discovered during the intensive.

Fellow Responsibility 2: Sawyer Fellow Professional Learning Community (PLC) - This PLC builds on summer experience and includes synchronous meetings and individual work supported by the campus community.  The PLC will meet throughout the year.  During the fall and spring semesters, fellows will agree to create or redesign one academic experience/curricular component for students that includes technology driven activities engaging learners toward improved digital proficiency.  If the course is offered during the spring semester then fellows are expected to implement the digital skill in the spring.  If the course where the redesign is targeted is a fall course or covers more than a semester/term then other arrangements will need to be made.  COE members working on a fall experience may return to the PLC the next year to share their experience then.  Appropriate conversations within departments or programs and with school deans should occur as a part of and prior to application for a fellowship so that each fellow’s ideas and the timing of their fellowship receive broad and collaborative support.  Design ideas and progress will be shared with Fellow cohort members throughout the year.  Fellows will add newly created experiences/components to a Canvas course shell for the semester when the course is offered.

Fellow Responsibility 3: Implementation/Sharing - Fellows will implement the newly designed experience/component typically during the spring semester (if their experience is in a spring course) and share the process with other Fellows.  In addition to sharing and reflecting on their "lived" experience throughout the implementation semester, Fellows agree to present their experience to a larger campus audience (Department, School, May Development week).

Compensation for all 3 responsibilities listed above: (Applies to faculty members only.)

1.  The equivalent of one course at the overload rate, or

2.  One fall or spring course release (available to applications submitted prior to November 30, 2019).

Note: This fellowship may be included in loads according to the current policy regarding stacking of responsibilities per the COE Handbook, section six, part X-RANKED FACULTY SCHOLARSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT, H. Workload Reallocation 9. Course Load Policies and Expectations, e. Global policy for how the various scholarship programs can overlap, 1 and 4, located on page 127.

(4) Faculty member will not assume institutional responsibilities, Messiah College course reduction opportunities, or external funding (with the exception of fully funded external grants or fellowships) for scholarship that would reduce a faculty member’s load beyond six load units of teaching for the year.


To apply, create a Word document that includes the following items and submit to the Steering Committee below:

  • A cover page (including the applicant's name, name of initiative (Sawyer Digital Proficiency Initiative), and list of internal grants received by the applicant in the past three years.
  • A purpose statement describing the need to create or redesign one academic experience/curricular component for students that includes technology driven activities engaging learners toward improved digital proficiency.
  • One or two goal(s) you hope to achieve participating in this opportunity.
  • A brief description of academic experience/curricular component of focus and preliminary ideas envisioned.
  • If applicable, an explanation of how this initiative will be coordinated with other campus funding (e.g., technology funding or school funding).
  • This opportunity requires time and a commitment to participating in collaborative learning opportunities and team-work.
  • Please include a statement describing your understanding of these commitments related to time and collaboration with others.
  • Letter of support from Dean indicating positive impact on COE member's professional development, department and school

Criteria used in selection:

The Sawyer Digital Proficiency Initiative Steering Committee evaluates and approves proposals according to the following criteria:

  • The quality of the Sawyer Digital Proficiency Fellow proposal, including overall organization, clarity and thoroughness.
  • The extent to which the proposal calls for substantial new preparation on the part of the educator.
  • The likelihood that the project will contribute positively to the strategic plan of the College.
  • Successful completion of previously awarded internal grant projects.
  • Letter of support from Dean

Submit Fellowship Application