Students on campus this fall may have taken notice to a plethora of new professors here on campus across multiple departments. These professors are part of the Creating Consortium Connections Program, also known as the C3 Program, which includes a postdoctoral fellowship program that places professors at various campuses across the country for a period of two years. The C3 program has both an undergraduate and postdoctoral fellowship program, both of which aim to increase diversity in faculty on campuses and provide underrepresented students exposure in the world of career academia.

According to the C3 website, “the C3 Postdoctoral Fellowship program takes a central place in this effort by providing C3-Mellon postdoctoral fellows with an immersive experience in a liberal arts environment, allowing fellows to build their teaching portfolios, advance their scholarship and get ready for a tenure track position while benefiting from a supportive mentoring and cohort program.”

Currently there are three C3 postdoctoral fellows on campus: Nina Hagel of Politics, Ian Shin of History, and Rohan Sud of Philosophy. These three professors will remain on campus for the next two years as they begin the process of teaching courses in their respective departments, while also working to promote diversity among the faculty here on campus.

Recently, Bates was awarded the Mellon Diversity and Faculty Renewal grant, a five-year grant of $1 million that will work to install a four-part strategy to promote candidates from underrepresented groups on the tenure track for professorship at Bates.

While the C3 program works to place faculty from underrepresented groups on campus, it also strives to provide students from underrepresented groups a chance to field their interest in entering into academia after Bates. Several students are chosen each year to participate in the C3 Undergraduate Fellowship Program, which allows students the chance to partake in graduate-level studies at University of California Berkeley, and Columbia University.

The C3 Undergraduate Fellowship Program is meant to allow students, primarily in the humanities, to garner an idea of how research and graduate-level academia are conducted so that they may decide whether or not a career in academia is of pertinent interest.

Jose Luis Herrera ‘17, who participated in the C3 Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Columbia, revealed that his experience in the C3 Undergraduate Fellowship Program allowed him to understand more closely the environment in which graduate level research is conducted.

“In looking back on my experience at Columbia this summer, I feel as though I was provided with an inside look into how top-tier research is conducted at a renowned institute such as Columbia. As I am thinking of pursuing a career in academia after I graduate from Bates, it was important for me to have this experience as an undergraduate. This program is an exceptional opportunity for students from underrepresented groups to gain unprecedented exposure in careers in academia”, says Herrera.

Both the C3 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the C3 Undergraduate Fellowship Program work to increase opportunities for underrepresented groups in academia. Current Bates students who are interested in pursuing a career in academia may find that the C3 Program allows them to gain exposure from leading institutions around the country. In addition, the C3 program will continue to host professors on campus in order to increase diversity among faculty here at Bates. For more information on the C3 programs, please refer to c3transformhighered.org.