About the Program

Creative Discovery Fellows at UC Berkeley

Launched in 2018, the UC Berkeley Creative Discovery Fellows Program (formerly Adobe Fellows) began as a collaboration between the American Cultures (AC) Center and the Academic Innovation Studio, with strong support from Digital Learning Services, Educational Technology Services, the Library, and Arts+Design

The Creative Discovery Fellows (CDF) Program helps instructors incorporate creative assignments into UC Berkeley’s undergraduate social justice graduation curriculum - the American Cultures (AC) requirement. The CDF program has been built to respond to a core question of anti-racism and social justice education. "How do we design supports for faculty and students in ways that are adaptive, equity-oriented, and foster anti-racism?" This question is fueled by assertions that anti-racism and social justice pedagogy lies along an arc of efforts, which merely begin with considering the "content" of a course:

Anti-racist pedagogy is not about simply incorporating racial content into courses, curriculum, and discipline.  It is also about how one teaches, even in courses where race is not the subject matter.

Kyoko Kishimoto, Race, Ethnicity and Education v21 n4 2018:540

Incubated in the AC curriculum, where creative projects are central to "lifting" the analytical work of the classroom into broader circulation, the CDF program demonstrates that digital tools integrated within anti-racism and social justice pedagogy, provide a nexus for socially, personally, and politically meaningful scholarship, community engagement, and public-facing works. The CDF program serves to highlight the critical productivity and interconnectedness of this work. 

The program has five main goals:

  1. To support critical engagement with digital tools and support pedagogical innovation by helping faculty develop course assignments that leverage creative tools to deepen and enhance student learning.
  2. To assist students, particularly from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups: to become ‘empowered producers and storytellers’; to shape, co-construct and influence knowledge; and to see themselves as effective change-makers.
  3. To create a diverse set of cross-disciplinary practices and a learning community, providing space for reflection and improvisation at the intersection of antiracism social justice pedagogy and digital tools.
  4. To research and understand conditions for equity-oriented student learning within the context of creativity and social justice.
  5. To make visible powerful, human, and more communal examples of instruction and learning.  

The program partners with faculty to implement these assignments, providing students with immediate technical and design support though The Creative Discovery Student Hubas well as in-class demonstrations, tutorials, and other resources to ensure that novices and experts alike are supported and encouraged to utilize the full range of their creativity.

We invite you to explore the rest of this website to learn more about the resources and impacts of the program.

Our society is at a crossroads. We have on the one hand, storytellers and designers who tell beautiful, compelling — but often trivial (or even false) narratives. And on the other we have brilliant academics doing important research who don't seem able to make their findings accessible to a general audience....The Creative Discovery Fellows program is a big step forward to help students and faculty create accessible, compelling stories that capture peoples' attention and imagination.
Bill Allison, Chief Technology Officer, UC Berkeley
The Creative Discovery Fellows program fills a critical gap on our campus, by helping instructors incorporate digital tools into the curriculum and supporting students to use them effectively, in ways that are personally meaningful and also serve the public good.
Jenn Stringer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, UC Berkeley

More about the Program


Funding for this program has been generously provided by Adobe, Incorporated and by the Berkeley Student Tech Fund.

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More About the Program:

Research & Evaluation
Program Model
Case Studies