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Arts Innovation

Innovation Lab Fellowships

Calling all creatives, gamers, artists, scientists, makers and entrepreneurs! 

Spelman Innovation Ranked Top HBCU US NewsThe Spelman Innovation Lab is proud to announce the first year of its fellowship program! We want to continue to grow a culture of creative innovation on our campus and this fellowship will allow students to engage more closely with STEAM and entrepreneurship activities at Spelman, the AUC and beyond. 

In addition to receiving the distinguished title of Innovation Lab Fellow, individual students accepted into any of the three tracks will receive a stipend of $2000 through the next (2021/2022) academic year. Fellows will engage in a variety of programming and workshops.  They will also complete a fellowship capstone that will enhance their portfolio, personal brands, and/or business.

Overview

The Innovation Lab is Spelman College’s creative commons for interdisciplinary ideation, design and making. Faculty and students leverage the resources of the lab to, among other things,  develop personal projects, carry out research and development activity, pursue entrepreneurial ventures, craft new forms of art, prototype new products and ideate on interdisciplinary projects.

The purpose of the Innovation Lab Fellowship program is to guide and support students with a well-defined idea through a balanced exposure of the practical technologies, methods and practices for materializing and/or productizing that idea.

Fellowship Tracks

The Lab offers three year-long fellowship tracks: a Maker Fellowship, a Gaming Fellowship and an Entrepreneurship Fellowship. Students progress through these fellowships by accumulating “merits” through their participation in a number of select enrichment activities. Suitable merit-bearing activities and the level of support for each fellowship track are covered in the corresponding track description on the page.

Additionally, for each track, fellows are required to complete a capstone project based on their idea.  Requirements of the fellowship project for each fellowship track are outlined in the corresponding track description section. As a general rule, fellowship projects cannot be “double-counted” to simultaneously satisfy a curricular requirement (consult with the Innovation Lab directors for possible exceptions).

Approximately 20 fellowships will be offered for the 2021-22 academic year.

Maker Fellowship

The Maker Fellowship is designed to enhance and broaden the student’s ability in making and fabrication.  The broadest of the three fellowships, the Maker Fellowship is suitable for students looking to increase their mastery of rapid prototyping equipment, including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers among other technologies.  Maker fellows may also focus on electronics, physical computing and interdisciplinary projects.

The Maker Fellowship is a two-semester fellowship. Successful fellows will receive a $2000 stipend, payable in two installments.  Maker Fellows must accumulate a minimum of 36 merits and must complete a fellowship project to complete the fellowship.

Maker Fellowship Project

Maker Fellowship applicants must propose a capstone fellowship project to be completed over the course of the fellowship period. A review of the proposed project will be part of the fellowship applicant selection process.  Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Lab Directors (jvolcy@spelman.edujholme15@spelman.edupthomp14@spelman.edu) about suitable projects for the Maker Fellowship prior to applying.  The capstone project is subject to milestone deliverables and regular check-ins.  Fellows are required to document the progress of their project on a public media site (blog, social media, etc.).  Fellows should plan on presenting their results at the College’s annual Research Day held in April of the fellowship year.

Maker Fellowship Merits

Besides completing the capstone project, Maker Fellows must accumulate 36 merits by participating in a number of approved programs and activities throughout the academic year. Typical merit-bearing programming include workshops, seminars, hackathons, community makerspace events, online courses and participation in an appropriate Innovation Lab club. Merit opportunities will be posted throughout the academic year. Fellows are expected to participate in a mixture of these offerings. It is estimated that a fellow will need to attend between 6 and 10 approved programs each semester.

Gaming Fellowship

The Gaming Fellowship is designed to enhance and broaden the student’s ability in the technologies of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Game development and mobile app development not associated with coursework.

The Gaming Fellowship is a two-semester fellowship. Successful fellows will receive a $2000 stipend, payable in two installments. Gaming Fellows must accumulate a minimum of 36 merits and must complete a fellowship project to satisfy the fellowship requirements.

Gaming Fellowship Project

Gaming Fellowship applicants must propose a capstone fellowship project unrelated to coursework to be completed over the course of the fellowship period. A review of the proposed project will be part of the fellowship applicant selection process.  Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Lab Directors (jvolcy@spelman.edujholme15@spelman.edupthomp14@spelman.edu) about suitable projects for the Gaming Fellowship prior to applying.  The capstone project is subject to milestone deliverables and regular check-ins.  Fellows are required to document the progress of their project on a public media site (blog, social media, etc.).  Fellows should plan on presenting their results at the College’s annual Research Day held in April of the fellowship year. 

Gaming Fellowship Merits

Besides completing the capstone project, Gaming Fellows must accumulate 36 merits by participating in a number of approved programs and activities throughout the academic year.  Typical merit-bearing programming include workshops, seminars, hackathons, online courses and participation in an appropriate Innovation Lab club.  Merit opportunities will be posted throughout the academic year. Fellows are expected to participate in a mixture of these offerings. It is estimated that a fellow will need to attend between 6 and 10 approved programs each semester.

The Entrepreneurship Fellowship

The Entrepreneurship Fellowship is a two-semester fellowship designed to accelerate the early stages of a business case of a student or student team. The ideal business case will be just beyond the ideation phase. Accepted fellows will receive a $2000 stipend, payable in two installments. Student teams will receive a stipend of $4000 to be divided among members of the teams. Entrepreneurship Fellows must accumulate a minimum of 36 merits and must meet business development milestones to complete the fellowship.

Entrepreneurship Fellowship Business Case

Entrepreneurship Fellowship applicants must propose a business case to be developed over the course of the fellowship period. A review of the proposed case will be part of the fellowship applicant selection process. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Lab directors, (Dr. Jerry Volcy jvolcy@spelman.edu, Jaycee Holmes jholme15@spelman.edu, Phillip "Eric" Thompson, pthomp14@spelman.edu), about suitable business cases prior to applying.

Progress on the business case is subject to milestone deliverables and regular check-ins. Fellows are required to document the progress of their case development. For student teams, the roles and contributions of each team member needs to be clearly defined. Upon completing the fellowship, Fellows will be required to prepare a public demo and pitch of their business at a venue approved by the Lab directors.

Entrepreneurship Fellowship Merits

Apart from development of their business cases, Entrepreneurship Fellows must accumulate 36 merits by participating in required educational programming and some elective programs offered throughout the academic year. Required educational programming will be primarily provided   through Spelpreneurs (details to be announced).

Typical merit-bearing programming includes workshops, seminars, pitch competitions, networking events, online courses, participation in the Innovation Lab Entrepreneurs Club and various engagements with the Atlanta startup ecosystem (ATDC, Atlanta Tech Village, Startup Exchange, ACE Women’s Business Center, etc.).  Merit opportunities will be posted throughout the academic year.

It is estimated that a fellow will need to attend approximately 10 approved programs each semester.  While the Entrepreneurship Fellowship permits students to work in business case teams, fellowship merits must be satisfied at the individual level.

Eligibility and Acceptance

All current Spelman students are eligible to apply; however, students must be present on campus for both semesters during their fellowship year.

Fellowship applications for the 2021-22 academic year are due on July 15, 2021.Submit your application through the Innovation Lab Fellowship Application Portal. Awardees will be notified by August 1. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the next Fellowship information sessions to be held at 6 p.m. EST on Tuesday June 1, 2021.

Contact Us

Jerry Volcy
Innovation Lab Co-Director
404-270-5768
jvolcy@spelman.edu

Phillip Thompson
Innovation Lab Manager
pthomp14@spelman.edu

Campus Location
Rockefeller Fine Arts Building

 

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