First-Gen Week

Texas A&M celebration offers virtual resources beyond main campus
November 8th, 2021

Texas A&M University and universities around the country celebrated first-generation college students and graduates Nov. 8-12, whether they were current students or serving as faculty, staff or administrators. And although it’s not located in Bryan-College Station, the College of Dentistry community was able to participate, too.

Mortar boards at commencementFirst-Gen Week events at Texas A&M included panel discussions and presentations, most of which were virtual and available to all who registered, with virtual backgrounds available on the event website for use on Zoom calls.

First-generation students are generally defined as those whose parents have not earned a bachelor’s degree.

Dr. Leticia Palomin, program manager of the university’s Routh First-Generation Center in the Office for Student Success, says the center provides a centralized resource hub to support first-generation students, families, faculty and staff.

“Our goal is to provide services and programs to promote awareness, a sense of belonging, and commitment to enhancing the first-generation college experience from application to graduation,” says Palomin. “While first-generation students will accomplish many ‘firsts’ in their academic and professional careers, the Office for Student Success is excited to support them every step of the way at Texas A&M University.”

A First Gen Network is available to faculty and staff university-wide who are either first-generation college graduates themselves or want to support the success of first-generation students. Participants can join by clicking the appropriate link on the network’s web page.

“Our hope is to launch programming for this group in the spring or early summer,” Palomin says.

“At the College of Dentistry, our first-generation college graduates have inspiring stories to tell,” says Dr. Ernie Lacy, associate dean of student affairs at the dental school. “Learning about their journeys can encourage others to pursue their aspirations to attain a college degree and perhaps pursue a career in dentistry.”

If you are or will be a first-generation college graduate—whether you are a student, faculty or staff member—please contact Caleb Vierkant, communications coordinator, so we can get in touch. We want to share your story.

— Carolyn Cox