Fellowship Programs

Chipstone-CDMC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The Center for Design and Material Culture partners each summer with the Chipstone Foundation to support research opportunities for undergraduates. The fellowships are for students studying in each of our three pillars: The Study of Textiles, Design Thinking, and Material Culture. Selected students receive financial support of up to $2,000 to conduct independent research with a CDMC-affiliated mentor and have the opportunity to present their work in a CDMC research symposium in August.  All UW—Madison undergraduate students who study in one of the CDMC’s three pillars are eligible to apply. The application window for the 2021 funding cycle is closed.

Read about the research conducted by our 2020 summer undergraduate fellows below.

Meet our Summer 2020 Undergraduate Fellows

Circular Chinese textile

Zhaojie Zhong

Degree Pursuing: BA Art History and English
Department: Department of Art History, Department of English, College of Letters & Science
Advisor: Yuhang Li, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History

“The research for my fellowship focuses on the development and study of less explored items within the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection. Building off of research conducted by graduate students, I concentrate on Premodern Chinese embroidered materials, including quotidian, theatrical, and ceremonial textiles used to adorn furniture and architectural spaces, and popular apparel and accessories. By the completion of the CDMC Textile Fellowship, not only will these items obtain a richer background and be fleshed out in terms of their motifs and techniques, but they will also be made even more accessible to all.”


headshot photograph of a smiling man with a pink T-shirt standing outdoors.

Noah Mapes

Degree Pursuing: BA Art History, Certificate in Material Culture
Department: Department of Art History, College of Letters & Science
Advisor: Ann Smart Martin, Professor in the Department of Art History

“A Colonial Merchant: The Ledger of William Ramsay asks the question: “what can a 250-year-old merchant’s ledger tell us about consumers, their purchases, and their communities?” During my fellowship with the Center for Design and Material Culture, I will join Dr. Ann Smart Martin and her team of student researchers to continue the work completed by Dr. Martin for the exhibition American Enterprise, which opened in 2015 at the Smithsonian Museum of History. This research will explore the social, commercial, and economic influence of the Ramsay-Dixon store on colonial Alexandria, Virginia during the mid-18th century. Ramsay’s ledger, housed at the Smithsonian archives, reflects a global consumer market made tangible in the Ramsay-Dixon store. As this project enters a new phase, I will provide important research and instructions for producing customer profiles; thus, leading a human-centered approach to the study of this ledger and the objects described.”


headshot photograph of a smiling woman with an orange jacket standing outdoors.

Nadia Tahir

Degree Pursuing: BS Interior Architecture
Department: Design Studies Department, School of Human Ecology
Advisor: Michelle Kwasny, Director of Masters of Science in Design + Innovation

“My fellowship with the Center for Design and Material Culture will focus on designing an online training module for UW-Madison students to learn the basics of design thinking in a convenient, condensed, and friendly way. This will begin by reviewing the previously published online training used in other programs across the country. While other training is a good starting point for learning design thinking, some of it is highly focused on getting innovation and engineering activities started on campus, a problem UW-Madison does not face (our campus is plentiful in innovation and engineering resources). The module resulting from my project will seek to combine the best of the available design thinking resources and experiences to create a training program that is better tailored to the specific needs of our campus student community.”