What was C3?

Creating Connections to Transform Higher Education

The programs implemented by the Creating Connections Consortium (C3) sought to address the challenges of inclusion and diversity in higher education by building capacity, investing in cohorts of talented graduate students and faculty from underrepresented groups, and creating and nurturing connections between partners interested in institutional change.

In partnership with the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Consortium (LADO), C3 developed, disseminated, and promoted new strategies for building academic settings that fostered the full participation of diverse students and faculty. In doing so, C3 served as an incubator of innovation for institutional diversity and equity.

C3 offered new ways of connecting:

  • undergraduate students at liberal arts colleges, particularly those who are under-represented, with graduate opportunities at major research universities
  • graduate students at research universities, particularly those who are under-represented, with information about academic life at liberal arts colleges and the faculty job search process
  • faculty and staff seeking to build inclusive campus communities with cutting-edge strategies on their own campuses and those of other C3 and LADO schools
  • liberal arts colleges undertaking efforts to build a diverse faculty with research universities seeking to recruit diverse graduate students and to place them in rewarding tenure-track faculty positions

The C3 strategy was based on outreach activities, peer-support mechanisms, mentoring, professional development, and impact assessment. The aim was for liberal arts colleges and research institutions to create and support new interconnected environments where students, faculty and institutions could thrive.

Principal Investigators

Jeffrey Cason, PhD
2021 – 2022

Miguel Fernández, PhD
2018 – 2021

Susan Baldridge, PhD
2016 – 2018

Shirley M. Collado, PhD, and Susan Baldridge, PhD
2014 – 2016

Shirley M. Collado, PhD
2013 – 2014


Rachel Hynson, PhD
Director, 2017 – 2023

Manuel Poitras, PhD
Research & Program Associate, 2013 – 2016