Originally established in 1995 as PET (Project for Effective Teaching), First3, which has evolved continuously over the years, is designed to offer pedagogical insight and professional support to all faculty and fellows in their first three years at Williams.
The heart of the First3 program resides in its weekly lunches, which are informal and relatively unstructured, where we discuss a vast array of topics around teaching, both in general and as they relate to our particular classrooms and to our scholarly work. Periodically, we also invite guests who are important campus resources to talk with us about the services they offer or the ways in which their offices support our scholarly, creative, and pedagogical work.
Participation in First3 is entirely voluntary: Faculty members may attend as much or as little as they like and the nature of the program is fundamentally non-evaluative. Its principal goals are to make available a forum for instructors to discuss pedagogy, scholarly work, and professional development with more seasoned colleagues as well as one another, and to foster opportunities for faculty to establish valuable mentoring and support networks through which to continue to grow as members of the Williams academic community.
Magnus Bernhardsson is Professor of Middle Eastern history in the History Department and is affiliated with Arabic Studies, Religion, Jewish Studies, Global Studies and Leadership Studies. His area of research is the political and cultural history of the modern Middle East particularly Hashemite Iraq (1921-1958). He is currently working on two books: an intro to the MIddle East written in Icelandic and a book called History Be Dammed which focuses on how the building of hydro-electric dams in the Middle East have destroyed historical artifacts.
Phoebe Cohen is Associate Professor of Geosciences. As a paleontologist her research and teaching utilize a wide variety of microscopic and microchemical techniques, combined with complementary data from field-based stratigraphy and sedimentology, to reconstruct ancient organisms and ecosystems.
Bernard Rhie is Associate Professor English whose specializations in romanticism, phenomenology, and literary theory, have led to research and teaching that engage the intersections of Zen practice, American Literature, and the self and subjectivity. He is also interested in Asian American Literature, Buddhism in the West, the influence of Buddhism on American Literature and culture, and contemplative education.
In addition to facilitating the regular weekly First 3 lunches, Magnus, Phoebe, and Bernie also help coordinate the NFD all-faculty lunches.
First3 Weekly Lunches for New Faculty
Faculty in their first three years at Williams, including pre-tenure faculty, visitors, artists in residence, Mellon post-doctorate fellows, Bolin fellows, are invited to participate in the First3 Lunch Schedule. Lunches are on Mondays and Thursdays, 12-1:15PM, in the Faculty House. These are informal lunches and people are invited to come to all of them or some of them, and to come late or leave early as needed. Lunches, covered by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, provide an opportunity to meet people and to ask questions, to discuss teaching, scholarship and/or creative endeavors, as well as how to balance it all. More topical or thematic discussions may also be scheduled and announced via email and on this web site’s events section.