FTVM Fellowship Program Plans First All-In-Person Cohort



The John H. and Patricia M. Mitchell Scholarship will welcome its third cohort of students this fall. The scholarship, named for the founder of Columbia Pictures Television and his wife, was established in 2019 as a gift from the Patricia W. Mitchell Trusts. The needs-based program supports six film, television, and media majors at the University of Michigan with a variety of academic and professional resources.

In a year-long series of events, Mitchell Fellows attend industry discussions with a variety of media professionals and connect with specialist mentors tailored to their individual interests. The scholarship also funds the John H. Mitchell Critical Conversations Symposium, which addresses hot topics in the entertainment and media industry. The 2022-2023 academic year will mark the first year of the program operating in a primarily in-person format.

The program’s John H. Mitchell Visiting Professorship in Media Entertainment funds a course taught by an industry professional or academic each fall on screenwriting, media production, or media studies. For the start of the 2022 school year, independent filmmaker Nancy Savoka will teach FTVM 304 001: Before You Say “Action”: Preparing to Shoot.

While the scholarship focuses on academic engagement and professional connections, FTVM Department Director Yeidy Rivero said the program also aims to foster a sense of community among and between cohorts.

“We want to keep researchers connected,” Rivero said. “Ideally, when they go to Hollywood or Los Angeles to work, they’re not just University of Michigan alumni. They are also Mitchell Fellows, so they can help each other out in the industry.

This year’s cohorts have yet to be decided, but Rivero said they will review applications in the coming weeks.

UM alum Jacob Shin, who participated in the 2021-2022 cohort, said the program allowed him to meet students and professionals with a variety of interests in the many focus areas of the FTVM department.

“You have the opportunity to meet people who are doing what you might not even know is your future career path,” Shin said. “In a major like computer science, you (all) learn the same language, but with FTVM your career can end up being anything from wedding photography to a job at NBC to film production. independent. So you meet all these different types of people in one place.

UM alumnus Brendan Dewley, also a 2021-2022 cohort scholar, said he enjoys learning with other career-oriented FTVM students who also receive need-based financial aid.

“We all come from backgrounds where we were really focused on future opportunities because we need them,” Dewley said. “And it was a really good vibe. If you’re already receiving financial aid, chances are this is exactly the kind of opportunity you’re looking for.

Daily reporter Emily Blumberg can be reached at [email protected].

Ryan H. Bowman