Blog

Jeanette Ruiz - Code Switching (Video)

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. 

Data Science + Vintage Clothing = Fashion Forward

Tuan Tat ‘23
Statistical Data Science

Tuan Tat’s journey to the University of California, Davis began 68 miles away. It might as well have been another world.

Growing up in Oakland, California, a city he experienced as “a destitute land of hustlers,” Tat was influenced by the local culture to focus on making money rather than pursuing higher education.

Asana Software Engineering Internship Program

We are excited to share an internship opportunity for first-gen sophomores interested in engineering and data science! 

Online collaboration and project management tool Asana is excited to announce new software engineering internship program specifically for first generation college students. 

My Road to an MBA as a First-Gen DACA Student

This article originally appeared in the Graduate School of Management Blog. Original Article

Victor Moreno, MBA '21

When I was seven years old, my brother Max and I got our hands on a fun set of candies. Engraved on the flat surface of the circle-shaped lollipops was a short message, sort of like a fortune cookie. I forget what my brother’s “fortune” was, but mine was pretty cool. It said: “Viajaras pronto,” Spanish for: “You will soon travel.”

2019 Grad Stole Winners

Read from our first generation Aggie honorees from our Stole Contest who are graduating this spring. They shared their first generation experience in the form of works of art, poems, and stories.

Fall First Gen Faculty Forum 2018

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, first-generation faculty gathered to share ideas about connecting with first-get students, as well as updates on the initiative. Carolyn Thomas, Vice Provost & Dean for Undergraduate Education, hosted the event at the UC Davis Student Community Center. The session was video recorded.

The Journey Continues: Paula Soto '21

I grew up in a Mexican immigrant family household in Southeast Los Angeles. I am the oldest and the first to attend college in hopes of being a role model for my younger siblings. I was encouraged to go to college by my middle school teachers and my dad, who told me to aim higher and never give up. Because of them, college was something I knew I wanted, and I got it. And I never gave up on school, even in those moments when it got tough and I was worried about failing. 

Being that Light: Building a career helping others succeed

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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**