IT MSU-Hub Graduate Fellows: 2017

ITMSU-Hub Graduate Fellows: 2017


We would like to take a moment to thank our inaugural IT MSU-HUB Fellows for their work during 2017.  The IT MSU-Hub fellowship is a collaboration between the Graduate School and The MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology.  The graduate fellows spent Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 as participant observers with faculty and academic staff working on educational design projects across the university. The core work of the Hub is anchored in educational design projects that are a part of a larger university-wide effort to improve teaching, learning and student success. The expertise of the fellows was instrumental in making progress on projects. Some examples of Hub projects the fellows worked on included:

  • Psychology 101 Curriculum Reform
  • Learning Analytics to Promote Student Success
  • MSU Hub Playbook
  • Digital Scholarly Presence Initiatives

We would sincerely like to thank the following fellows for their participation in the fellowship:

  • Cassie Brownell, Teacher Education
  • Elise Dickson, Writing Rhetoric and American Cultures
  • Scott Farver, Teacher Education
  • Swati Mehta, Educational Psychology and Educational Technology
  • Maddie Shelgreen, Writing Rhetoric and American Cultures

Stay tuned for the call for applications for the Fall 2017/Spring 2018 cohort which will be released in early March.  

Fellows Profiles


A woman with long hair and glasses stands in front of a whiteboard that says, "Connect with us."

Cassie J. Brownell

Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Hometown: Conrad, Montana

Cassie J. Brownelldoctoral candidate and Marianne Amarel Teaching and Learning Fellow in the Department of Teacher Education in the College of Education, developed an interest in educational justice while working as an elementary educator in post-Katrina New Orleans.  Through her engagement with elementary school children and teachers, her dissertation aims to reimagine writing in the English Language Arts (ELA) classroom by interrogating how writing with a variety of communicative resources (e.g., visuals, audio, material items) facilitates new spaces for human diversities.  In 2015, Brownell was a co-recipient of a National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference on English Education (CEE) Research Initiative Grant, allowing her to begin her most recent collaborative project – #hearmyhome – which explores how writing with and through sound might help children and youth attune toward communities of difference.  

In her role as a university educator, Cassie seeks to create active engagement opportunities for prospective teachers by challenging her undergraduate and graduate students to recognize how their work must extend beyond the four walls of the university classroom. Cassie is devoted to supporting students as they interrogate the (hi)stories of their home, current, and future communities. Simultaneously, she encourages students to consider their personal experiences and understandings of learning across disciplines, but especially as it relates to the arts and humanities, in an effort to learn to engage civically in their local communities. After two years as a Graduate Fellow of Teaching and Learning in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Cassie is excited to work and learn alongside her Inside Teaching and Hub colleagues and enrich her understandings of teaching and learning.


A woman with short hair stands in from of a timeline and project board.

Elise Dixon

Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Hometown: Snohomish, WA

Elise Dixon, a second-year doctoral student and Writing Center fellow in Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures in the College of Arts and Letters, is interested in the ways in which people use rhetorical tactics to simultaneously seek legitimacy from and work to disrupt the institutions to which they belong. Constellating queer, feminist, digital and cultural rhetorics as foundations for her work, Elise has focused her inquiries on the disruptive composing practices of queer writers, military wives, and writing center consultants and clients. In the past, Elise has taught undergraduate composition courses and Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She currently works as a consultant, graduate writing group facilitator, and community outreach coordinator at the Writing Center @ MSU.

As a teacher, Elise seeks to create an inclusive space in her classroom, a space in which students can pursue public knowledge-making practices in particular. Much of Elise’s curricula focuses on systemic cultural issues in various public spheres, and projects are usually digital in nature so that they can be easily shared online as a way for students to take what is learned inside the classroom into students’ daily lives. Elise encourages students to consider the ways in which their constellated racial, gender, class, ability, and sexuality-based identities inform their understandings of the world. She believes such an understanding can help students develop the critical thinking skills needed for writing and building empathy with and  for others.


A man with glasses in black and white. Scott D. Farver

Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Hometown: Armada, Michigan

Scott D. Farver is a third year doctoral student in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education in the College of Education at Michigan State University. Before beginning his studies at MSU, Scott was a high school German teacher, worked as a middle school social studies teacher, taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines (2006-08), and taught 5th grade near the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. His research centers on critical ideas of race, diversity, and multiculturalism, with a specific focus on the opportunities and constraints of how beginning teachers are able to implement these concepts into their practice. You can follow Scott on Twitter @sdfarver or his professional website here.

Swati Mehta stands under an awning near a brick wall. Swati Mehta

Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Hometown: Madhya Pradesh, India

Swati Mehta is a second-year doctoral student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology department. She was a 2016 fellow for the Fellowship for Enhanced Global Understanding to China and is a 2017 fellow for the Inside Teaching MSU – Innovation Hub Graduate fellowship. Her interests lie in gender equity and social justice issues in science and engineering fields and addressing issues around science literacy in higher education. Due to the diversity of her prior experiences from teaching and learning of computer science to exposure to information and operations management, she brings with her a mix of experiences and skills in science, technology, engineering, and issues of equity.

Currently, she is studying undergraduate computer science women sense of belonging to their academic community and their reasons for persistence in computer science. Through this, she seeks to understand the gender barriers faced by women in computer science and their feeling of acceptance, inclusion, and fit in their academic community that will then help her to create equitable learning environments in computer science. Swati is actively involved in a research project that focuses on the use of case studies to introduce design thinking to first-generation and underrepresented students to help them smoothly transition from the classroom and lab-based learning to engineering capstone design careers. In addition to this, she is also facilitating various research papers and the online presence of MSU-Wipro Urban STEM & Leadership Teaching Fellowship Program. You can know more about her here:


A girl - Maddie Shellgren - with a floral hat on, smiling at the camera. Maddie Shellgren

Graduation Year: Spring 2021

Hometown: Yarmouth, Maine

Madeline (Maddie) Shellgren is a doctoral student at Michigan State University. She entered the University through the Linguistics program, focusing on the intersection of personality and sociolinguistic perception and production, as well as the complexities of impression formation. Her undergraduate and Masters research explored the communication practices associated with the redneck identity in a Vermont high school. As a graduate student in Linguistics, Maddie served as a Research Assistant as well as a Teaching Assistant, teaching nearly every semester after her first year. Apart from Linguistics, Maddie has taught in the English and Communications Department at Davenport University, was part of the inaugural Inside Teaching fellows group in 2015, and is a Bailey Scholars fellow. During the 2016-2017 academic year, she also worked as the Tech TA out of the Dean’s Office for the College of Arts and Letters, supporting digital presence, online pedagogy, and accessibility efforts on campus.

She will be joining the Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures department in Fall 2017 where she will continue to explore the relationship between language and society. Additionally, she sees her transition into WRAC as an opportunity to further invest in and explore the relationship between her many scholarly interests, which include the scholarship of teaching and learning, organizational development, institutional, medical, and queer rhetorics, mentoring across higher ed contexts (including coaching), accessibility, and online/digital pedagogies. She will also be joining the MSU Graduate School as a Research Assistant working under Melissa McDaniels, where she will be helping to further support educators at MSU.

When she is not in the classroom, she is either coaching for MSU’s Varsity Rowing Program, helping train MSU’s medical students as a Simulated Patient, or working as a linguistic consultant.