First Gen

First Gen

A First-Generation College Student is the first generation in their family to earn a degree from a four-year college/university. Learn more about first-gen student experiences and celebrate their achievements at St. Olaf.

In conjunction with institutions around the country, St. Olaf College is pleased to participate in the National First-Generation College Celebration. Join us for events during the week of November 2-6, 2020 to learn more about first-generation student experiences and celebrate their achievements at St. Olaf.

First-Generation College Celebration Events 2020

Monday, November 2

10:10am-10:30am | First-Gen Chapel Speakers: Autumn Locken and Luis Mendez share their stories as first-generation college students.

4:00pm-5:00pm | Piper Center 101: Find What’s Next – Event for First-Gen students

  • Zoom link Meeting ID: 954 7932 9119 Passcode: 234740
Tuesday, November 3

4:00pm-5:00pm | Advancing Full Citizenship for First-Gen Students in the Academy

Rashné Jehangir, PhD. is the Beck Chair of Ideas and a Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor in College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. An Associate Professor of Higher Education and Director of Undergraduate Studies, she began her career as an advisor for first-generation, low-income college students in the federally funded TRIO SSS and McNair Programs at the U of MN. She teaches in the undergraduate and higher education graduate programs in CEHD.
Her research interests focus on equity and access with specific attention to the experience of low-income, first-generation college students, critical pedagogy, identity development and design and structure of First Year Experience Programs. Her current research includes photo voice study of intersectional identities of first-gen undergraduate students, an NSF funded study focused on mentoring for underrepresented students in STEM fields, and a new study on experiences of first-generation college students who enter graduate school. Her scholarship is featured in several journals including Journal of College Student Development, Innovative Higher Education, Urban Education and the Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Her book Higher Education and First-Generation College Students: Cultivating Community, Voice and Place for the New Majority was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Wednesday, November 4

Wear your “I’m First” t-shirt or button on Wednesday or throughout the week to show you are first-gen proud and spark conversations around what it means to you to be first-generation.

Thursday, November 5

5:00pm-6:00pm | TRIO McNair Graduate School Panel of First-Generation St. Olaf Faculty/Staff

  • Panelists: Cassandra Joiner, Bruce King, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Diane LeBlanc, Jeremy Loebach, and Stephanie Montgomery
  • Via Zoom.  Register Here.
Friday, November 6

5:15pm-7:00pm | First-Gen Stories/Peer Dinner in TOH 280             

  • Prepackaged Meals. RSVP required to by Nov. 2. Limited spots.
  • This free event is designed to promote conversations between first-generation students at St. Olaf as they share their stories being the first in their family to pursue a four-year college degree. 

Events are sponsored by:

TRIO Student Support Services and SSS Board of Leaders, TRIO McNair Scholars Program, Taylor Center for Equity & Inclusion, Piper Center for Vocation & Career, Center for Advising & Academic Support and the Vice President of Equity & Inclusion.