Blog

Jeanette Ruiz - Code Switching (Video)

October 18, 2018
Jeanette Ruiz Department of Communication

Communications professor Jeanette Ruiz discusses code-switching--the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language --as part of the first generation student experience. 

Being that Light: Building a career helping others succeed

March 03, 2021
Kayton Carter, Executive Director of Academic Advising Enrichment, shares his first gen story.

Kayton Carter, MA recently became Executive Director for Academic Advising Enrichment at UC Davis. He was previously Executive Director of UC Davis’ three retention centers and four retention initiatives, which support African diaspora, Asian Pacific Islander, Chicanx and Latinx, and Native American students, and was founding director the Center for African Diaspora Student Success, UC Davis’ first Black student retention center. 

Uncertainty Brings a New Path

December 10, 2020
Gabriella (Gabi) Gonzalez '20 - B.S., Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior, and B.A., Psychology

You have to be better than us: These are words that I heard often when I was growing up. My family made incredible sacrifices that have afforded me the education I have today. Most of my ancestors worked in physically-grueling jobs for menial wages, and my great-grandfather worked so hard that he passed away from exhaustion. My parents had to drop out of community college to support their own parents.

Ivory Tower -- Or Just a Big Mountain?

September 25, 2020
Trevor Waldien PhD Student, Geology           

I grew up in a rural logging town in coastal Oregon. I come from four generations of loggers and log truck drivers. In high school I was exposed to geology by a teacher on a field trip to the beach that left me with a set of questions: "Why are there sea shells in rocks on the top of the mountain? Why are those rocks tilted on their side?" 

Sometime during high school, I decided I was going to go to college to study geology.

I Got My Dream Job as an Urban Planner

September 18, 2020
Irving Huerta '20 - Sustainable Environmental Design and Political Science - Public Service

By Irving Huerta with Hailey Chatterton '20

I graduated in the middle of a pandemic with two degrees in hand, and my dream job as an urban planner.  I could not be more proud of how far I have come.... If I made it this far, I know that you can too!

An Opportunity to Change My Reality

September 10, 2020
Jessica Bueno '20, Animal Science 

By Jessica Bueno with Hailey Chatterton

I feel very blessed right now. 

Maybe that’s an unusual statement for 2020, but looking at the bigger picture, I have a lot to be grateful for. Not only did I graduate from my dream college, but I have a new goal and a plan I’m proud of, and I’ve had some memorable experiences along the way. 

My Name is Wilbert: A Thank You Letter

September 04, 2020
Wilbert De Leon '20  B.A. Communication, B.A. Economics - Behavior and Strategy Emphasis

This stole is a symbol of my perseverance, grit, and determination to meet my goals — an artifact to display on my wall for years to look at and tell myself, "I did that." 

My first-gen story does not start with me. It starts with my parents.

Researching Workers' Rights in Vietnam: My Past and Future Come Together

July 30, 2020
Eric Thai '20 discovers his academic pathway and his family history converge in research. 

“What is a Ph.D.?” My immigrant father asked.

He was understandably concerned about my plans to spend another 4-5 years pursuing another degree.

“A Ph.D. is a degree that prepares me to ask questions and contribute knowledge to the world.”

Seeing how stumped my dad was, I pulled out a pen and paper and started drawing concentric circles representing expanding bands of knowledge, with a Ph.D. as a mountain rising on the outer layer – and at its peak, an academic career.

2020 FirstGen Grad Stole Contest

June 02, 2020

2020 FirstGen Grad Stole Contest – OFFICIAL RULES – May 2020

First Gen grads,

We want to celebrate you! Share your first gen journey, or tell us what graduation means to you. Send in your story, essay, poem, painting, photography, video, or mixed-media.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT IS NECESSARY TO ENTER.

INTERNET ACCESS IS REQUIRED TO ENTER

 

CONTEST TIMING

Entry Period: Begins Friday, May 22 and ends on Monday, June 29 at 5 pm (PST). **DEADLINE EXTENDED**

Six Tips to Get Through Remote Classes

April 01, 2020

UC Davis senior Orey Aderibigbe has a message for her fellow Aggies: "We got this. We're gonna do this!" We're all in this together. Here are Orey's Six Tips to Get Through Remote Classes.  

1) Use a Planner or Agenda.

You can write down your test dates, your quiz dates, homework due dates, all in one little book!  It's good to keep all of your due dates in written form so you can see them. Right when you get your syllabus, automatically write down due dates in your agenda book.

2) Print Your Syllabus. 

From Farm Worker to PhD: My 10-Year Journey

February 27, 2020
Erika Estrada BS, Biological Science '16; PhD Student, Food Science

Ten years ago I arrived alone in the US with nothing but a dream. Now I am proud to call myself a scientist, a PhD student, and a mentor. My family, while loving and supportive, never imagined that I would become a scientist. To be honest, neither did I.

From Nothing to Everything

February 13, 2020
Layla Al Asadi '20 Psychology and Human Development

By Layla Al Asadi with Hailey Chatterton

Helping Undergraduate Students Achieve their Dreams - Jose Ballesteros

January 09, 2020
Jose Ballesteros is a first-generation college graduate from Stockton, CA. During his Graduate studies, he received support from his mentor to continue his Ph.D. As the Director of the McNairs Scholars, Jose now assists and mentor underrepresented students to pursue their Ph.D. degrees and achieve their own dreams.

Integrating Career Readiness into the Classroom

December 17, 2019

In an earlier blog post we discussed the role faculty have in supporting students' career readiness -  a critical issue for FirstGen students. We shared some resources and ideas for integrating awareness of career-preparatory skills into the classroom. Here we share a video recap of what we discussed at the forum, along with links to the resources mentioned. 

Academic Integration of Career Readiness

November 07, 2019
Students need to be able to connect what they've learned in the classroom to their future careers. Calling out things you're already doing in the classroom -- such as communication, teamwork, and creative problem-solving -- and relating them to career readiness can help.