Calling all first-generation faculty, staff, students
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Now that the school year is underway, students are establishing routines to cope with course work and other demands of college. While this is a challenging task for many students, it can be particularly so for first-generation students who do not have experienced mentors.
First-generation college students are those whose parents have not attained a college degree. This year, there are approximately 1,100 first year first-generation college students joining the University of Iowa community, according to UI's Chief Diversity Officer Georgina Dodge.
To help identify mentors and role models for these students, UI faculty and staff are invited to continue to share their experiences as first generation college students as part of the UI's First Generation Initiative.
Submissions should be entered at https://uiowa.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3miu8j1ncxFZ6sc by Sept. 24th.
Dodge says this initiative is critical to helping the estimated 25 percent of the UI's first-generation college students succeed, especially by finding role models and mentors who have walked in their shoes.
Social networking opportunities
One of those programs includes a "Grill Out." All first-generation students, faculty, and staff are invited to the annual event, sponsored by CDE Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 4:30 to 5 p.m., in the courtyard between Phillips Hall and the UI Biology Building. Students will have the opportunity to learn more about the TRIO program in CDE—along with other offices and services for academic success—and to connect with the First Generation Iowa student organization. Please rsvp at email@example.com or 319-335-1288.
First generation students who are interested in getting involved with this student organization or want more information can visit http://uiowa.orgsync.com/org/firstgenerationiowa19503/home, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, follow on Twitter at twitter.com/ FirstGenIowa or visit the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/pages/First-Generation-Iowa/96119735806
The First Generation Hawkeye initiative kicked-off last year when first-generation faculty were asked to share their experiences as first-generation students. Those responses demonstrate that while some challenges still exist, they can be conquered, Dodge says.
Matthew Hill, assistant professor in anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was one of the faculty who shared their experiences.
“While there were certainly times when I felt alone and that I could not succeed in college without more support from my family, I soon realized that there were actually lots of people—friends, TAs, professors—who could relate to what I was going through and provide the support that I needed,” Hill says.
And the pay-off for academic success is something that Kathy Schuh, associate professor in Psychological and Quantitative Foundations in the College of Education, recommends that students keep in mind.
“There are some advantages to being first generation—and the primary one is the sense of accomplishment that I have about my schooling," Schuh says. "Although my family may not know, understand, or even ask about all the trials and hard work that I’ve undertaken, I’ve done something that will change the trajectory of my own family.”