Graduate Fellows

Current Fellows

Yi-Liu, Graduate FellowYi Liu

Born and raised in China, Yi Liu graduated from Tianjin Foreign Studies University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese. Her life took a dramatic turn on the eve of her undergraduate graduation ceremony in 2009, when a severe car accident resulted in high-level paraplegia, confining her to a wheelchair for life. After spending two years in the hospital, she returned to society and embarked on her professional journey.

With eight years of expertise in marketing, PR, and communications, Yi has become a multifaceted professional committed to inclusivity. Under the pen name "Yiyi," she has published three books in Chinese and has been a freelance contributor to more than 10 magazines and websites. Another groundbreaking initiative with a friend, Yiyi’s Studio, received the Huading Gold Award at the 16th China International Architectural Decoration and Design Art Fair in 2020. She is currently working on her new book, which focuses on accessible interior design.

Since 2011, Yi has been a volunteer with the China Disabled Persons' Federation, aiming to support wheelchair users in their reintegration into society and facilitate employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Her work caught the attention of the U.S. Embassy in China, where she was invited as a speaker on reasonable accommodations in the workplace. An avid traveler, Yi has visited more than 70 countries in her wheelchair, becoming a fervent advocate for travel accessibility. Her contributions have garnered media attention, featuring her in over 50 media outlets across China, including CCTV, ChinaNews, and

Yi joined the FIT Art Market Studies program in the Fall of 2023 and is keen to develop a business model to support artists with disabilities. Concurrently, she aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among students from diverse fields, thereby enhancing both the institution's reputation and the individual impact of the students.

Robert R. , Graduate FellowRobert R.

Robert is a graphic designer who has worked extensively in the architecture industry. He has worked on visual communication for a number of international exhibitions at trade shows such as Salone del Mobile and Cercaie. 

Robert is currently studying exhibition design to merge his love of graphic design and spatial design and is excited to work with cultural institutions and brands to create meaningful and memorable experiences and stories. He was granted the Dean 's Fellowship and is currently working on bringing a number of initiatives to the graduate school to enrich student life and build curiosity and interdisciplinarity. 

Robert is very passionate about music and also works in his spare time programming musical events in New York and is always happy to share his favorite music with others.


Juliana Villegas, Graduate FellowJuliana Villegas

Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Juliana Villegas earned her BA in languages and cultural studies at the Universidad de los Andes with a minor in entrepreneurship and photography. Later on she decided to expand her horizons and study a specialization in business management, followed by a Postgraduate diploma in fashion product management at IED in Barcelona, Spain. There, after having some sustainable fashion classes, she decided to create her own absorbent underwear brand for period, incontinence and postpartum. After creating the brand, she started a social impact program for women in need in Colombia, providing sewing workshops teaching them how to make their own reusable pads, combined with sexual and menstrual education classes.

About the Dean's Fellows

The Dean's Fellows for the School of Graduate Studies exist to develop a graduate student community at FIT. Dean's Fellows are exceptional students that bring a diversity of life experiences and show notable promise in building connections with faculty, staff, alumni, and students.

We welcome individuals across all disciplines and backgrounds to apply for these fellowships, which are awarded on the basis of merit and the promise of outstanding academic and professional achievement. 

Interested in applying for a fellowship?