Partnerships and Outreach

The Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) collaborates and partners with industry, community-based organizations, nonprofits, and educational partners. To learn more about additional funded projects that support outreach efforts and collaboration, you can also visit our Faculty Grant Awards page.

For questions about partnering with CDM, please email Elly Kafritsas-Wessels.

IndustryCommunity OutreachEducational Alliances

Wabash Lights

Over two School of Design courses, students researched, designed, and prototyped interactive experiences for the Wabash Lights, a proposed site-specific light installation beneath the Wabash Ave. elevated train tracks.        

Chicago Cinespace Film Studios

Formed in alliance with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, CDM’s School of Cinematic Arts boasts a 32,000 square foot professional production facility where students learn filmmaking crafts and techniques steps away from productions filming on the Cinespace lot.        

Grace Hopper

Each year, CDM sponsors six undergraduate women to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of women in computing.        

Idea Realization Lab

CDM’s Loop Campus makerspace, the Idea Realization Lab, provides the tools, guidance, and materials to craft ideas, learn from one another, and bring concepts to life. IRL partners with area nonprofits, institutions of learning, and corporate institutions.        


The School of Cinematic Arts partners with the Chicago Housing Authority for a summer documentary filmmaking program. Teenage girls are introduced to basic theory, aesthetic, and technical skills to produce their own documentaries.       

I-D Lab

The iD Lab provides a space to foster and promote innovative development, helping companies bring creative, innovative ideas to life through top development, design, and data analytics.       

1871 Tech Hub

DePaul’s partnership with entrepreneurial tech hub 1871 allows students, faculty, and alumni access to 1871’s space and programming. This allows students to learn from the experiences of successful startups and find partners to realize their own innovative ideas.




In 2016, DePaul opened a dedicated space at 1871, Chicago’s prestigious entrepreneurial technology hub. The collaboration gives DePaul students, faculty, and alumni access to 1871’s programming, special events, workshops, and lectures, and provides networking opportunities with industry leaders. Four academic units at DePaul are part of the collaboration, including CDM, the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in the Driehaus College of Business, the College of Law, and Academic Affairs.


DePaul University joined during the 2017-18 academic year as a collaboration across the university. 2112 is Chicago’s first incubator focused on music, film, and creative technologies. DePaul is the first university housed in the music/film incubator, indicating the importance of cross-campus ventures. Students can use the private office and coworking space, attend 2112 workshops, meet with 2112 mentors, and work alongside creative entrepreneurs in the Chicagoland area.


The School of Cinematic Arts teamed up with Cinespace Chicago, the city's premier movie studio, to provide students with production experience in the midst of a working studio. The 32,000 square foot professional production facility, DePaul Cinespace Studios, includes over 17,500 square feet of shooting space on three stages, multiple free standing sets, extensive lighting and grip equipment, a green screen cyclorama, sound equipment, scenic shop, editing suites, classrooms and collaboration rooms, and expansive storage and work areas.

Corporate Affiliates Program

The Corporate Affiliates Program (CAP) provides an opportunity for companies to develop long-lasting, strategic partnerships with a college dedicated to educating the next generation of IT leaders in a wide variety of disciplines. CAP was developed to strengthen relationships between DePaul and industry partners, and to improve CDM’s knowledge of industry needs and practices. CAP partners gain early access and unique engagement opportunities with students, faculty, and staff. They are provided expanded opportunities to recruit high quality talent for internships and job opportunities, and are given access to facilities and resources for focus groups, collaborative research, and meetings. Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is a current partner.

DePaul Center for Data Science

The DePaul Center for Data Science (CDS) is a research, educational and collaborative center that focuses on the applications of data science. The research focus of the Center is the development of innovative tools and methods in data mining, predictive analytics, and machine learning, as well as the application of these techniques in areas such as intelligent Web systems, social computing, business intelligence, healthcare, hospitality, marketing, image analysis, and more. The Center seeks out partnerships with industry as well as educational and nonprofit organizations to plan and conduct joint analytics projects that provide graduate students with an invaluable opportunity to work on real-world problems and gain problem-solving experience in data science.

iD Lab

CDM’s Innovation Development Lab (iD-Lab) serves as a model for university and corporate partnerships in the area of technology innovation. The iD-Lab offers a space to build the bridges between DePaul and companies to grow into a leading technology innovation and research hub. Current work in the lab focuses on three primary areas: development of technology innovations projects with member companies; education through training, workshops, and practical experiences; and research on technology innovation. Partners include companies such as Abbott, Allstate, Bosch, CareerBuilder, CDW, and Digital Mint.

PUSH Studio

PUSH Studio is an interdisciplinary design studio where DePaul University students and faculty partner with industry professionals and social impact organizations to apply human-centered design methods to emerging technology challenges. The studio defines emerging technologies as technologies that are not fully realized in their current applications, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and voice user interfaces. DePaul is uniquely positioned to provide these services because of the variety of relevant academic programs in emerging technology and human centered design, as well as the various focused labs.

Staff Me Up

We recently partnered with Staff Me Up, a hiring network platform for production jobs in TV, film, digital, media, and entertainment. As an academic partner, DePaul students and alumni have access to industry specific job opportunities, professional tools including an online profile with their credits, and access to events connecting them with organizations and employers. Staff Me Up’s goal is to help ensure that diversity and inclusion are incorporated throughout the hiring process.

Unreal Academic Partner Program

The Unreal Academic Partner Program recognizes exemplary universities that integrate Epic Games’ Unreal Engine into their classes and labs. Selected schools are committed to providing high-quality educational opportunities with experienced faculty, innovative facilities (like our Virtual and Augmented Design Lab, DePaul Originals Game Studio, VR editing suite, and labs that house hundreds of workstations equipped with UE), and an environment where students can thrive and graduate career-ready. UE gives our students and faculty free access to the top 20 UE items in the marketplace, access to Epic experts, advanced information on internships and events, and more.

Community Outreach

Chicago Housing Authority

We’ve formed a partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) to provide intensive six-week summer programs in documentary filmmaking, game & graphic design, and scriptwriting to CHA teens. The documentary filmmaking program introduces female high school students to the basic theory, aesthetic, and technical skills required to create a documentary. The game & design program mentors and educates at-risk youth, facilitating ways for them to express their voice through a tour of tools and media, resulting in interactive experiences. Movie and TV Scripts 101 teaches students to write an original screenplay through analyzing films to study screenplay format, visual writing style, scene craft, story structure, character development and dialogue. CHA students are trained by CDM’s award-winning faculty and graduate students are hired as mentors.

Free Spirit Media

The Free Spirit Media Industry Pathways Cohort Training Program, in partnership with DePaul CDM, is a unique opportunity for emerging Chicago-based media makers aged 18-25 to learn fundamental knowledge, build skills, and gain the experience necessary to lay a foundation for a successful career in the film, media, and TV industries. CDM’s School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) provides coursework, hands-on training and production support, and incentives for continued learning to students in the cohort. Our faculty teach workshops at our Cinespace stages. Students in the cohort program work with SCA students and often use our gear. Watch this video for more on the partnership.

Girls Who Code

DePaul partners with Girls Who Code, the nationally-recognized organization designed to prepare middle- and high-school girls to consider careers in technology, by hosting a club location led by CDM volunteers.

Grace Hopper Celebration

Each year, the School of Computing sponsors several undergraduate female students to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of women in computing. GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, produced by

National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)

The School of Computing is partnering with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) as a Change Leader in the NSF-funded Learning Circles Project. The purpose of the project is to use evidence-based practices and methods for recruiting and retaining women.

Technology for Social Good Lab

The Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab at CDM (TSG) brings together faculty, students, and other collaborators to design, build, and study tools with the goal of fostering equitable education and collective action in urban communities. Taking a human-centered approach, research projects draw from fields such as learning sciences, computer science, human-computer interaction, experience design, data science, and psychology to address social issues, particularly in the areas of empowerment, learning, and human development.

The Wabash Lights

School of Design faculty Nate Matteson and LeAnne Wagner taught a two-course sequence in collaboration with The Wabash Lights, a site-specific light installation beneath the Wabash Avenue elevated train tracks in Chicago’s Loop. Students researched, designed, and prototyped dynamic, interactive experiences that utilize the Wabash Lights primarily as a public large-scale video screen, tapping into a variety of current trends including augmented reality, data visualization, and gamification. The experiences they designed are controlled through a variety of interfaces: mobile apps, public kiosks, existing public data APIs, and an innovative, motion- and light-based interface projected into pedestrian space.

Educational Alliances

Chicago Public Schools

Through several NSF-funded projects, CDM Associate Dean Lucia Dettori has partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to ensure that all CPS high school students take at least one relevant and compelling computer science course (Exploring Computer Science, ECS), and that middle and elementary school children are exposed to computational thinking integrated in other disciplines. This partnership, which also includes computer scientists from Loyola, UIC, and educational researchers from The Learning Partnership, has now been formalized as the Chicago Alliance for Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS).

Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) is housed in DePaul’s Driehaus College of Business, but their experimental programs, vibrant ecosystem, and academic curriculum cultivate a foundation for entrepreneurial success for the entire DePaul community. Several CDM students are interested in founding a startup, learning about funding opportunities, and building sustainable businesses. CEC is the hub to connect, advise, and inspire entrepreneurship and innovation in creating businesses with purpose and passion.

College of DuPage

We are a partner university to the College of DuPage. Through this articulation agreement, College of DuPage Computer and Information Technology students are able to complete their associate’s degree at CoD and then seamlessly transfer into DePaul to complete their bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity, Network Engineering and Management, or Information Technology.

The Idea Realization Lab (IRL)

CDM's 4,500 square foot student-driven makerspace, the Idea Realization Lab, encourages the pursuit of thinking through making. Located on CDM's Loop Campus, IRL has every type of creative equipment imaginable, from traditional woodshop/workshop tools to laser cutters, stereolithographic 3D printers, and sewing machines. It also houses two stop-motion animation studios. Following the guiding mission of DePaul, as well as the entrepreneurial interests of our students, IRL has undertaken an outreach program with area nonprofits, institutions of learning, and corporate institutions that includes the Chicago Knights, ChickTech Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Caterpillar, and Makergirl. Throughout the academic year, the lab hosts industry guest speakers, who are creators and innovators in their respective fields. In the fall of 2019, a second IRL opened on the Lincoln Park Campus.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

CDM and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) have created shared courses on bioinformatics and health technology, as part of an alliance for health sciences education formed by DePaul University. Additionally, School of Computing faculty Dr. Daniela Raicu and Dr. Jacob Furst received a DPU RFUMS grant for their project “Functional neural mapping of food search behavior for C. elegans using genetic tools and computational modeling.”

The Second City

In collaboration with the The Second City, the School of Cinematic Arts offers graduate and undergraduate degrees comedy filmmaking. Students attend classes at The Second City as well as within our expansive studio and classroom facilities at Cinespace. The curriculum gives students the opportunity to create, develop, and showcase their comedic voice and original material through a methodology honed over decades by The Second City.