From faculty and staff to students, the Hamilton community counts among its members many who are the first in their families to attend college. To celebrate the diverse perspectives first-gens bring to College Hill, Hamilton joined in marking national First-Generation Student Celebration month.
In addition to a campus-wide kick-off gathering, first-gen faculty and staff shared stories and experiences at a coffee chat. There was also a self-care check-in with peer counselors from the Johnson Health & Wellness Center and a workshop sponsored by the ALEX advising program on the “hidden curriculum” of college and how faculty can collaborate to support students as they navigate their four years.
To share reflections from first-gens, the latest Life on the Hill podcast features students, faculty, and staff sharing responses to the question: “What does it mean or has meant to you to be first-gen?”
“Our First-Gen population is beautifully diverse in our identities as well as the roads traveled that have brought us here to Hamilton College,” wrote Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and event organizer Maria Genao-Homs in an email to the campus community. “I hope you’ll consider letting us hear from you. From one First-Gen’er to another ... I am glad you are here.”
In 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the Center for First-Generation Student Success launched the inaugural First-Generation College Celebration. Given its continued success, the event is now an annual partnership between the two organizations.