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resources for first-generation students

According to the Center for First-Generation Student Success, students that are the first in their families to attend college ("first-gen college students") often experience significant difficulty navigating higher education compared to their counterparts. They are more likely to struggle with "Imposter Syndrome" and possess lower levels of cultural capital, which together can result in poorer mental health during college and overall lower graduation rates.  Beyond college, the next steps - preparing for and succeeding in graduate school - can feel like an insurmountable obstacle.

Addressing these obstacles can serve two important aims: (1) improving undergraduate outcomes for first-gens, and (2) increasing recruitment of first-gens into STEM fields. In spite of and as a result of their experiences, first-gens typically possess a number of qualities that are key to being a successful scientist - they are hard-working, determined, resilient, and creative. Increasing the recruitment of these students into STEM and science research should be a DEI priority. To that end, I have begun gathering resources (below) in the hopes that demystifying science, academia, grants, and application processes will contribute to this priority. If you have resources, ideas, or an application you would like shared on this page, or you think you would be interested in contributing to a first-generation student virtual mentorship program (as either a mentor or mentee), please email me.

general links


for late grads & postdocs

for undergrads & early grad students

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Examples of applications

  • Timber Burnett (ecology - repository)

  • Julia Arenson (biological anthropology 2015 & 2016 - repository)

  • Emily Baltz (neuroscience 2017 & 2019 - repository)

  • Tuesday Simmons (microbiology 2015 - repository)

  • Deon Benton (psychology 2014 - repository)

  • Carla López Lloreda (biogeochemistry 2020 - repository)

  • Enrica Bridgewater (psychology 2020 - repository)

  • Stella Mayerhoff (cognitive science 2020 - repository)

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