Navigating the academic pathways can be challenging, especially for the visible minority, like me, who embody an intersection of identities that act as barriers to their entry into academia. The McGill Third Century (M3C) Fellowship has offered me the platform to transition from PhD to academia.
First, through the M3C fellowship, I have been able to expand my research to explore issues of social (in)justice from educational settings to that of application of digital technologies in health and oral healthcare. Secondly, I have had the privilege of working under the mentorship of an interdisciplinary team of Dr. Elham Emami, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences and Dr. Samira Rahimi, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, who are leaders in their fields of Oral Health and EDI and Artificial Intelligence, respectively and through them, be able to expand my experience and professional networks.
Both Dean Emami and Dr. Rahimi’s continued efforts to advance EDI initiatives in their respective fields and commitment in supporting early career women academics from underrepresented groups has offered me the opportunity to horn my skills in grant writing, student supervision, and manuscript development among other requirements for a successful future academic career. Finally, the M3C Fellowship has offered me the needed financial support that enables me to fully focus on my research. I wish to thank the office of the Vice Provost–Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for this noble initiative that will support the unconventional candidates who would ordinarily be excluded in academia as a result of both personal and systemic barriers.