About #firstgen

About the Initiative

First-generation college students face particular challenges as they make their way through the unfamiliar culture with its own language and expectations. Anxieties and impostor syndrome loom large. They may be dealing with family pressures to follow particular pathways. They may be intimidated by the idea of talking to professors.

One way to help these students succeed is to create a sense of connection: knowing that they have professors who began as first-generation college students can ease the anxiety of asking for help, speaking up in class, and even thinking about careers in research and teaching.

UC Davis is launching a first-generation faculty initiative with the following goals:

  • Provide a sense of connection, access, and encouragement for first-gen students by sharing first-gen faculty stories.
  • Create a sense of connection among first-gen faculty.
  • Provide resources, including research literature and educational opportunities, for campus departments and organizations to build on these connections for outreach and student success.

Connect with us.

  • Join the #FirstGen Directory. If you sent us your name earlier this year, you should be included in the directory.  If you’re not listed, please add your name.
  • Wear your #FirstGen T-Shirt –UC Office of the President is providing #FirstGen t-shirts, and asks that we select days – such as the first day of instruction each quarter— to help students identify their first-generation professors. They can be picked up in 1383 The Grove.

Share your Story. 

Since we began reaching out to find first-gen faculty on our campus, we have been overwhelmed with the positive response. We’ve discovered that UC Davis has hundreds of first-gen faculty, and that you have inspiring stories to share. Your stories, advice, and encouragement can make a tremendous difference. We’re gathering stories to share on the website or by social media. If you’d like to participate, contact Angelina Herron at arherron@ucdavis.edu.