BBMCC Implements Minority Fellowship Program in Effort to Increase Faculty Diversity

October 20, 2000

BMCC Implements Minority Fellowship Program in Effort to Increase Faculty Diversity


In an effort to increase the diversity of the college»s faculty, Borough of Manhattan Community College has inaugurated a Minority Fellowship Program this fall. “Our goal is to implement a new initiative to attract more minority scholars, mentor them, and promote them to faculty positions when appropriate openings become available,” said Antonio Pƒrez, president of Borough of Manhattan Community College.

BMCC serves a student population that is largely minority; 43 percent of BMCC students identify themselves as black, 31 percent as Hispanic, 10 percent as Asian, and 8.5 percent as white. BMCC awards more associate degrees to minority students than any other college in the Northeast. “The BMCC faculty does not reflect the full diversity of our student body,” said Pƒrez. Currently, 24 percent of BMCC faculty are black, 7 percent are Hispanic, 8 percent are Asian, and 61 percent are white.

The Minority Fellowship Program recruits minority doctoral students and/or recent doctors as teaching fellows. Fellows must be either recently graduated doctors with limited teaching experience or doctoral candidates in good academic standing who have completed all coursework. They must also be members of minority groups underrepresented in the profession.

Mentoring relationship is integral component of the fellow»s experience

The program itself lasts for one academic year. The fellow teaches two courses a semester. A senior member of the faculty works closely with the fellow as a mentor, and the fellow meets regularly each week with his or her mentor for guidance and discussion about the fellow»s teaching and research experiences. In addition, the fellow spends some time each week in professional development activities. He or she is also invited to participate in student academic activities and extra-curricular activities.

“It is our hope that the fellow will stay at BMCC and join the ranks of the faculty,” said Dr. Pƒrez. After they complete the program, fellows will be given an opportunity to interview for appropriate faculty positions at BMCC when they become available. “We will also help them find faculty positions in other CUNY community colleges,” he continued.

Glenda Carpio selected as the first fellow

Glenda Carpio was selected as the first minority fellow. Born in Guatemala, she came to the United States when she was 12. Ms. Carpio graduated from Vassar College and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is writing her dissertation on interpretations of the slave experience in contemporary fiction and art. She is teaching two courses this semester at BMCC and working closely with her mentor, Professor Nancy McClure.

Ms. Carpio appreciates her teaching experience at BMCC. “The students at BMCC bring a lot of lived experience to the course, which really makes the text flourish,” she said. In one class, she recently discussed an essay called “Green Card,” which concerns bodily changes in people as a result of immigration. “We have students from Poland, Antigua, Ethiopia, and Trinidad, among other places in that class,” she noted. “It»s important for them to see that their experience is particular, but also part of a larger narrative. It»s like building a mosaic,” she said.

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