DSEF Fellows Program

DSEF has long prioritized building productive relationships with leaders in the academic community to support programs that expand knowledge and understanding of business practices in the direct selling business model. By partnering with professors in a variety of disciplines, the Foundation educates thousands of students about consumer, ethical, and entrepreneurship practices in the various aspects of direct selling business model, including manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. Importantly, this outreach also counters myths and misunderstandings about the direct selling business model.

The DSEF Fellows program is an important step to deepen our connection with academic leaders who are committed to working with the Foundation to advance knowledge in their field of study and increase the impact and reach of our academic programs.

What is the DSEF Fellows Program?

DSEF Fellows are given an opportunity to work with the Foundation and industry executives to gain deeper insights into the business model, as a channel of marketing and distribution as well as a go-to-market business strategy and pathway to micro-entrepreneurship. More specifically, Fellows are currently made up of university and community college professors with specialties that typically fall within the areas of business, management, marketing, entrepreneurship, ethics, consumer studies and other related fields.

If you’re currently a university or community college professor interested in becoming a Fellow, we’d love to answer any questions you may have. First, don’t think that there are arduous requirements to serve as a DSEF Fellow. You may still have questions about direct selling, and that’s perfectly fine. Fellows need only be interested in learning about direct selling as a channel of distribution and a business platform for entrepreneurs. As you become more familiar with direct selling, we hope you utilize the tools and resources we provide to help you easily incorporate direct selling into your classroom, including it in your discussions with students and colleagues.

As a Fellow, you can also network with colleagues and direct selling companies corporate executives through our Fellows Learning Journeys at industry events. And, if you’re interested in more, we have many partnership opportunities. Research projects, campus events, development of classroom content, case studies and experiential learning opportunities for students … We welcome your involvement at whatever level you’re most comfortable.

Benefits and Opportunities

DSEF Fellows receive the following benefits through their participation in the program:

  • Industry research, trends and innovations to support writing, publishing and academic research; keeping you informed of the latest conditions that continue to shape this channel
  • Networking opportunities with industry executives and academic colleagues, to deepen your relationships with the business and academic communities at large. Open to academics who have an active role as presenters or facilitators at direct selling industry conferences.
  • Connections between academic programs and the business community, strengthening your ability to prepare your students for the challenges and opportunities of the modern marketplace
  • Teaching content (direct selling-specific online modules, industry case studies, industry data, guest speakers) created by Fellows, for Fellows, to provide a deeper context for your students
  • Access to the DSEF Speakers Bureau, comprised of leading executives of significant national companies who bring the direct selling industry to life in your classroom
  • Recognition of accomplishments that enrich your professional development efforts
  • Periodic communications, including the DSEF Fellows newsletter, curated articles of interest and US and international research to help you dive deeper into the direct selling channel as a modern, relevant go-to-market strategy
  • Eligibility to compete for administrative grants to support research projects
  • Business ethics and corporate social responsibility expertise, offering insight into the culture and best practices of direct selling

Who Can Join?

Membership is open to part-time and full-time university faculty.

For more information, contact DSEF Senior Director of Academic Initiatives, Kimberly Harris Bliton, at khbliton@dsef.org or call 202.416.6407.