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EIU Media Relations

Two EIU students selected for prestigious $12.5K DFI Fellowships


(Charleston, IL) –Two Eastern Illinois University College of Education graduate students have earned distinctions as recipients of the prestigious Diversifying Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship.

EIU graduate students Nyjah Lane and Brandy Matthews each received a DFI fellowship award of $12,500. Lane and Matthews are enrolled in EIU’s graduate program in College Student Affairs.

“This is a notable distinction for our students and a testament to Eastern Illinois University’s commitment to training teachers in Illinois,” said EIU’s L.M. Hamand Dean of The Graduate School Dr. Ryan Hendrickson. “Having two of our students receive such a significant award during a single academic year is a monumental accomplishment and allows EIU to celebrate diversity on campus and to advocate for diversity throughout the landscape of Illinois academia.”

According to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) website, DFI is a statutorily authorized program that directly addresses educational disparities in educational attainment by race, ethnicity, income and region. The goal of DFI is to increase the number of minority full-time tenure track faculty and staff at Illinois' two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities by providing financial assistance to students with demonstrated financial need to assist them in completing graduate degree programs.

DFI Fellow recipients are strongly encouraged to actively seek and accept full-time employment in the education sector in the State of Illinois for a period at least equal to the number of years they spent as a DFI Fellow. In addition, program administrators work with higher education institutions like EIU to offer workshops and pursue other outreach opportunities that meet the goals and objectives of the initiative.

For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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