First-Generation Student Awards and Recognition Ceremony
Why Does Being First-Generation Matter?
About a quarter of University of Iowa undergraduates are from families in which neither parent or legal guardian has completed a bachelor’s degree. Because first-generation students often experience college differently than their peers and may face more barriers in their academic journeys, the University of Iowa is committed to fostering initiatives, creating pathways, and strengthening relationships that are critical for their success.
We are the University of Iowa’s First Forward leadership team. In May 2019, our institution was selected by the Center for First-Generation Student Success to participate in the 2019-2020 inaugural First Forward cohort. First Forward, the nation's first recognition program to acknowledge higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success, gave the University of Iowa an opportunity to join an elite community of professionals who are working to support first-generation students across the country.
What is the 1stGen@Iowa Initiative?
As members of the First Forward leadership team, we collaborate with the UI First-Generation Task Force to advance the 1stGen@Iowa initiative. This initiative aims to increase awareness about the first-generation identity and work towards a strategic, collective approach to celebrating and supporting first-generation students. 1stGen@Iowa seeks to inform and educate the campus community, support first-generation students in their academic and career endeavors, and ensure that students ultimately succeed at The University of Iowa. While the First-Generation Task Force serves as the foundational basis of this important initiative, the movement is campus-wide and relies on institutional commitment from key leaders and multiple stakeholders for success. Participation in the annual National First-Generation College Celebration is one way the task force, along with the entire University of Iowa campus, celebrates being 1stGen@Iowa.
2019 National First-Generation College Celebration
Each year, on November 8, colleges and universities across the country participate in the National First-Generation College Celebration. In 2018, the University of Iowa joined the celebration by hosting an entire week of activities across campus (as opposed to a single day), and plans are already being made for similar participation again this year. However, the UI First-Generation Task Force is also pleased to announce the establishment of four 1stGen@Iowa Awards, which will be presented during the first annual First-Generation Student Awards and Recognition Ceremony on November 8. These awards recognize first-generation student achievements as well as outstanding advocacy and support efforts of faculty and staff. The First-Generation Student Achievement Award will honor one first-generation undergraduate student and one first-generation graduate or professional student who has pursued and met ambitious educational goals and demonstrated commitment to academic excellence. The Award for Outstanding First-Generation Student Advocacy will honor one faculty member and one staff member who support first-generation students’ education and serve as an exemplary advocate for first-generation students at the University of Iowa.
How can you be part of this year’s celebration?
Your financial support will help fund the first annual First-Generation Student Awards and Recognition ceremony and solidify this event as an essential component of institutional efforts to celebrate being 1stGen@Iowa. You will also help us continue to strengthen support for and recognize the accomplishments of The University of Iowa’s first-generation faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Thank you!
NOTICE: The University of Iowa Center for Advancement is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization soliciting tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of the University of Iowa. Please visit the UI Center for Advancement disclosures site for additional information.