Fractalizing Pedagogy Fellows 2024-2025

Ethereal Fractal

Photo by Glitch Lab App on Unsplash

Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. - (adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy)


Congratulations to our 2024-2025 Fractalizing Pedagogy Fellows: 

  • Natalie Bidnick Andreas (Communications)

  • Jared Allison (Mechanical Engineering)

  • Laura Estep (Special Education)

  • Di "Wendy" Wang (Government & International Relations and Global Studies). 

Thank you for the work you are doing and will do to promote belonging here on campus!

Call for Proposals

Fractalizing Pedagogy Fellows (FPF) is a Center for Teaching and Learning collaborative, community-focused program that hopes to implement strategies that break down barriers to teaching and learning for UT’s student population. Through their pilot projects, Fellows will consider what it means and how we benefit from integrating Care in the Academy (CITA)  into our workspaces, learning spaces, and everyday practice. Coming together with a focused goal while sharing and critically reflecting on various pedagogical theories and strategies, we aim to continuously build upon effective pedagogical practices in every learning environment.

Care In the Academy “...contends that compassion and care can be expanded beyond classroom activities to be centered and then applied to the work done by all members of a given campus community. What does it mean to imagine and generate structural change rooted in the principle of compassion?” (Cate Denial, Principal Investigator for the Mellon-funded project "Pedagogies, Communities, and Practices of Care after COVID-19." )

The FPF program is designed to spark individual projects that are intentional and iterative; whether they are developing new practices or improving upon current practices, the fellows will include the process of collecting feedback and creating change over future iterations through assessment or critique. 

Fractalizing Pedagogy Fellows will: 

  • Design or re-design, develop, and implement individual teaching and learning projects centered on Care in the Academy.
  • Receive support and in return support the CTL in the creation and execution of projects or practices that will impact teaching and learning at an institutional level.
  • Showcase their work at the annual Transformative Teaching and Learning Symposium (TTL) or during another CTL event during the 2024-2025 academic year.
  • Notify the CTL of any external projects, presentations, awards, or research that grow out of this process for documentation or to benefit the development of other instructors.
  • Join and learn alongside a community of like-minded instructors from all corners of campus.
  • Engage in ongoing opportunities around care in the academy and humanizing learning environments.
  • Receive a stipend of $500 to recognize their time, work, and developing expertise.

Fractalizing Pedagogy Fellows Application Requirements: 

  • Demonstrated commitment to research, support, or transformation of campus culture to promote belonging and equal opportunities for all students, instructors, and staff to succeed once they’ve joined our community (academic or service-related). 
  • An ongoing teaching/facilitation/mentoring relationship with UT students.
  • A project idea they feel reflects the spirit of CITA  that focuses on adapting or developing actionable practices, pedagogy,  policies, or procedures on campus. For ideas, review the recommendations developed by a national cohort of thirty-six higher ed administrators across the three areas described below. Though these three areas were the focus of this cohort, you are invited to bring forth ideas that align with or go beyond what you see here: 

You can also review the complete list of application questions before submitting your proposal

Extended Proposal due date: February 23, 2024

CTL staff will be available as thought partners throughout the year as you build upon your practices and as we build on ideas and practices together. We will support each other through ideation around your project and shareable outcomes, the implementation of the project in its initial form, reflection around feedback strategies, and preparation to share what they’ve learned with the CTL community and beyond.

If I have further questions, whom do I contact?

For further questions, contact Kaitlyn Farrell Rodriguez.

Current cohort of FPF (2024 - 2025)

Natalie Bidnick Andreas
Natalie Bidnick Andreas Headshot


Natalie Bidnick Andreas, Assistant Professor of Instruction

Department of Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication

FPF Project Title: Balancing Well-Being and Applied Ethical AI: A Holistic Approach to Digital Communication Studies

Summary: In this pilot project, I am to address the potential impact of prolonged screen exposure and digital fatigue on students by introducing innovative and empathetic teaching approaches. Emphasizing open communication, insights into students' digital habits will be gathered  through group discussions and surveys. This multifaceted approach will include adapting practices by exploring alternative learning modalities, healing practices through intentional breaks and fostering a supportive community, and transforming practices by incorporating collaborative well-being initiatives and addressing ethical considerations in applied artificial intelligence (AI). The goal is to create a sustainable, engaging, and ethically conscious learning environment for students.

Jared Allison
Jared Allison Headshot


Jared Allison, Associate Director, Center for Additive Manufacturing and Design Innovation

Department of Mechanical Engineering

FPF Project Title: Improving hands-on laboratory engagement through asynchronous video demonstrators

Summary: My FPF project seeks to restructure the hands-on Additive Manufacturing Laboratory course I teach through the Mechanical Engineering department. The course covers basic operation of the manufacturing systems at the Center for Additive Manufacturing and Design Innovation, but the hands-on components can be difficult to demonstrate in a group setting due to space limitations around the machines. By supplementing the in-person laboratory sessions with asynchronous video content, I intend to improve student engagement and understanding by offering a first person viewpoint of the machines being operated. My project will include adapting the current curriculum to include asynchronous content and filming the modules for each of the processes covered in the course.

Laura Estep
Lisa Estep Headshot


Laura Estep, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA; Assistant Professor of Practice

Department of Special Education

FPF Project Title: Connecting and Engaging Students through Hybrid Teaching Models

Summary: In an effort to reach nontraditional students, hybrid teaching models offer flexibility for both in person and online attendance. However, they pose additional challenges in engaging and connecting students who are participating in different formats simultaneously. The purpose of this project is to explore resources, technology, and strategies to enhance our hybrid teaching model with a primary emphasis on student engagement and connection.

Di "Wendy" Wang
Di "Wendy" Wang Headshot


Di "Wendy" Wang, Assistant Professor of Instruction, 

Government Department and Department of International Relations and Global Studies

FPF Project Title: Navigating Post-Pandemic Classrooms with Well-being and Adaptability

Summary: The post-pandemic return to classrooms poses a dynamic challenge for both students and instructors. In response, the project endeavors to create a positive, adaptive, and well-being-centered educational environment for faculty and students. This involves collaborating with student services departments to align academic and non-academic support. Furthermore, incorporating targeted elements into course instructor surveys and acknowledging educators committed to nurturing such learning environments will contribute to an enriched overall educational experience.

First cohort of FPF (2022 - 2023)

Andrew Dell'Antonio

Distinguished Teaching Professor

Kaitlyn Farrell Rodriguez

Instructor of Record (AI) and Graduate Teaching Consultant

Tracey T. Flores

Assistant Professor

Erica "EG" Gionfriddo

Assistant Professor of Practice