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EIU Media Relations

EIU’s Lipscomb selected for prestigious $16.5K DFI Fellowship


Award reinforces enduring success of EIU’s preparation of future Illinois teachers

(Charleston, IL) –Eastern Illinois University College of Education graduate student Dionne Lipscomb has been awarded a Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship for the 2022-23 academic year. At least one EIU student has been awarded a DFI Fellowship each year since the 2017-18 academic year, with a total of nine EIU students earning the distinction in the past 6 years.

As a fellowship recipient, Lipscomb was awarded $16,500 by the state to support her graduate studies as she works to earn her advanced degree and later work in higher education in the State of Illinois. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree from EIU’s College Student Affairs program.

EIU’s L.M. Hamand Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Ryan Hendrickson expressed his excitement for Lipscomb, and for again seeing an EIU graduate student earn the select honor.

“We are delighted that Dionne received this award from the State of Illinois,” Hendrickson said. “The recognition bestows a wonderful distinction to Dionne, to her graduate program, and to the Eastern Illinois University academic community. She will be an outstanding DFI fellow, and we are pleased to know the value she’ll bring to our Illinois classrooms as a result.”

Past EIU recipients of the DFI award include Maliya Smith (2017), Courtney Walton (2018), Emmanuel Ayiku, Chanell Hall and Kiona Webber (2019), Ly’Jerrick Ward (2020), Nyjah Lane and Brandy Matthews (2021).

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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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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