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First-Generation Faculty and Staff Initiative


First Generation LogoWestern Kentucky University message to all first-generation college students:
"Welcome to WKU! We are here to help you be successful." 

To create a welcoming and belonging atmosphere on campus for first-generation college students we have developed the First-Generation Faculty and Staff Initiative.  The Initiative is designed to develop a group of faculty and staff from across campus who identify as first-generation college graduates or who are supporters of first-generation college students. This initiative is designed to increase student success by strengthening the experiences of this unique and valuable population of Hilltoppers.

Our Goals:

  1. To identify first generation faculty and staff, and first-generation student supporters on WKU's campus;
  2. To build a faculty staff support-network that will act as mentors and/or sounding boards for the needs of first-generation college students.

Click to Join the Advocate List!

First Scholars Network Logo    

WKU is proud to be selected by the Center for First-generation Student Success as a member of the First Scholars Network for 2023-2024. 

Read the press release for more information.

   

   

 

Upcoming Events!

Printable List of February and March Events Suitable to Share with Students


First Gen Advocates PLC

The spring PLC has already begun, but you can read the book online for free courtesy of WKU Libraries.  Read it all, or select the chapters and critical conversations of interest to you.
Book: At the Intersection: Understanding and Supporting First-Generation Students 
Editors: Robert Longwell-Grice and Hope Longwell-Grice


Mindset Matters

Tuesday, February 27, from 5-6 pm, Honors College and International Center (HCIC) Multipurpose Room
First-gen students are more likely to fall victim to Impostor Syndrome.  Growth Mindset can help students conquer their inner saboteur and leverage available resources to build the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. 
Advocate action: Please encourage your students to attend.


First Gen Intergenerational Lunch

Wednesday, March 6, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, Cupola Room (inside Fresh @ DSU)
Students may drop in anytime to receive networking tips and practice them one-on-one with an Advocate (faculty, staff, and alumni).   Your registration is not required, but is helpful for planning purposes.  Fresh passes are available.
Advocate action: We hope you can attend, participate in conversations, and perhaps expand your own network, too. 


Getting the Scoop on Careers

Wednesday, March 27, from 5-6 pm, ACDC Career Studio, DSU 2001
Students will hear lessons learned from young alumni, learn about resources and services provided by ACDC's Career Development office, and enjoy free ice cream!Your registration is not required, but is helpful for planning purposes.
Advocate action: Join us for a scoop (or two), and support the students by providing resume feedback and interview practice.  


All-Majors Career Fair Prep

Thursday, April 11, 5-6 pm, ACDC Career Studio, DSU 2001
The WKU All-Majors Career Fair is on Wednesday, April 17.  This prep event is intended to provide just-in-time, targeted tips to help students be prepared and confident.  Your (Advocate) registration is not required, but is helpful for planning purposes. Use the form on this page.
Advocate action:  Please attend to provide one-on-one practice and feedback for students.

Students can get information about the career fair and register in Handshake- student registration strongly encouraged. (No advance registration for the prep event.)


Do you have an event that would be of interest to first-generation students? Would first-generation advocates add value to your event? Use the form on this page to let us know and see how we can help.


Additional events are listed on the F1rst Gen page for students. You may also be interested in this list of CITL Faculty Professional Development Opportunities.


     

I would like to (check all that apply):

Please share additional information including events that you would like to submit for inclusion on this list.

 

Who Are First-Generation Hilltoppers?

WKU defines first-generation as “neither parent graduated from a traditional four-year college.It does not mean that you are the first one in your family to attend college. In addition, a student is considered "first generation" if the student's parents graduated with an associate's degree (two-year degree), attended college but did not graduate, or had a sibling graduate with a bachelor's degree.

About 30% of WKU undergraduate students are first-generation.  Additional details are available in the downloadable/printable fact sheets. Click the images to download.

   Click for 2022 Fact Sheet     Click for 2023 Fact Sheet 

 

Resources for Faculty and Staff

WKU Libraries FirstGen Research Guide
This research guide is divided into the following categories:  Best Practices for Teaching, Background Reading, and Resources for Students.

Center for First Generation Student Success (an initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation)
Click on the "Journal & Research" and " Engagement" links to see the extensive array of information available.

WKU F1rst Gen Webpage for Students
Scroll down to "Campus Resources" for information about tutoring (The Learning Center), counseling, advising, and much more. 
Click on "Get Involved" in the black bar to see information for students about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, and more.

Sample Syllabus Wording
Consider including a statement on your syllabus indicating your advocacy for first-generation students.  If desired, the following statement can be used verbatim or with adjustments to better represent your voice and plans for students. For more syllabus tips, contact WKU CITL or refer to Designing a Motivational Syllabus (Harrington and Thomas, 2018)

If you are a first-generation college student, at WKU this is defined as someone whose parents or legal guardian did not graduate from a traditional four-year college, then you may face a unique set of challenges or have questions that may not seem to apply to other students. I want you to know that this is completely normal and I am here to support you! If you have questions about our class or about WKU in general, please contact me or visit with me in office hours. Again, I am here to support you and am excited to see you succeed at WKU!

Email Signature Graphics
Show your support for first-generation students by adding a graphic to your email signature. Click image to download.

Email Signature Graphic     Email Signature Graphic

Email Signature Graphic     Email Signature Graphic

Zoom Backgrounds
Show your support for first-generation students by using a first-generation advocate Zoom background during your next meeting. Click image to download.

Zoom background graphic      Zoom background graphic

 

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WKU Faculty and Staff First-Generation Advocates:

First Name Last Name WKU Email Position/Title Unit/Department First-generation student?
Chuck Clark chuck.clark@wku.edu Director Student Publications, Office of Yes
Amy Cardwell amy.cardwell@wku.edu Director, International Recruitment & Admissions Global Learning & International Affairs Yes
Aurelia Spaulding aurelia.spaulding@wku.edu Assistant Director for Marketing Communications Communications and Marketing

Yes

Fabian Alvarez fabian.alvarez@wku.edu Assistant Professor English

Yes

Jimmie Martin jimmie.martin@wku.edu Project Director, Student Support Services, Disabilities TRiO Programs Yes
Rita Samaras rita.samaras@wku.edu Manager, Budgets & Resources Global Learning & International Affairs Yes
Jeremy Logsdon jeremy.logsdon@wku.edu Assistant Professor, Director of Center for Literacy Teacher Education, School of Yes
Brittney Vickous brittney.vickous@wku.edu Clinical Assistant Professor, Externship Coordinator Communication Sciences and Disorders Yes
Nancy Dinan nancy.dinan@wku.edu Assistant Professor English Yes
Lawrence Hill lawrence.hill@wku.edu Assistant Professor Chemistry Yes
Raymond Poff raymond.poff@wku.edu Professor, Recreation, Park, and Nonprofit Administration Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport, School of Yes
Ritchie Taylor ritchie.taylor@wku.edu Professor and CHHS Faculty Fellow for Research and Creative Activity Public Health Yes
Tyler Clark thomas.clark@wku.edu Assistant Director of Operations Center for Gifted Studies, The Yes
Peggy Crowe peggy.crowe@wku.edu Director Counseling Center & Student Accessibility Resource Center Yes
Dawn Garrett-Wright dawn.garrett@wku.edu Professor Nursing and Allied Health, School of Yes
Cameron Carr-Calvert cameron.carr-calvert@wku.edu Health Careers & Education Specialist South Central Kentucky Area Health Education Center Yes
Julie Lee julie.lee@wku.edu Instructor II Applied Human Sciences Advocate
Dawn Winters dawn.winters@wku.edu Instructor English Yes
Shauna Jones shauna.jones@wku.edu Residence Hall Director Housing & Residence Life Yes
Mary Bennett mary.bennett@wku.edu Director Nursing and Allied Health, School of Yes
Cathleen Webb cathleen.webb@wku.edu Associate Dean Ogden College of Science and Engineering Yes
Denise Hardesty denise.hardesty@wku.edu Director, Educational Talent Search 3 TRiO Programs

Yes

Cort Basham cortney.basham@wku.edu Pedagogical Assistant Professor; Unit Leader, Interdisciplinary Studies Leadership and Professional Studies, School of

Yes

Tammy Younglove tammy.younglove@wku.edu AV Support Engineer, IOPS Information Technology Services

Yes

Whitney Peake whitney.peake@wku.edu Chair; Vitale Professor of Entrepreneurship Management

Yes

Michelle Elkins michelle.elkins@wku.edu Director, Kelly Autism Program Clinical Education Complex

Yes

Trini Stickle trini.stickle@wku.edu Associate Professor; TESL and Graduate Program Advisor English

Yes

Amy Wininger amy.wininger@wku.edu Student Wellness Navigator Health and Human Services, College of

Yes

WesleyAnne (Wes) Watkins wesleyanne.watkins@wku.edu Specialist, Global Learning Student Services Global Learning & International Affairs

Advocate

Derick Strode derick.strode@wku.edu Director Regional Campuses; Dual Credit

Yes

Tania Basta tania.basta@wku.edu Dean Health and Human Services, College of

Advocate

Sarah Bonis sarah.bonis@wku.edu Assistant Professor Psychology

Yes

Molly Kerby molly.kerby@wku.edu Assistant Provost, Institutional Effectiveness Academic Affairs & Provost's Office

Yes

Wren Mills wren.mills@wku.edu Assistant Professor Leadership and Professional Studies, School of

Advocate

Jason Wilson jason.wilson@wku.edu Instructor Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of

Yes

Toni Dye toni.dye@wku.edu Director, Global Learning Advising and Student Services Global Learning & International Affairs

Yes

Leslie North leslie.north@wku.edu Chair, EEAS; WKU Director of Sustainability Earth, Environmental, & Atmospheric Sciences

Yes

Amy Combs amy.combs@wku.edu Director of Development Public Media

Yes

Liz Sturgeon liz.sturgeon@wku.edu Assistant Director, Professor Nursing and Allied Health, School of

Advocate

Rodney King rodney.king@wku.edu University Distinguished Professor Biology

Yes

David Brown david.brown@wku.edu Dean Ogden College of Science and Engineering

Yes

Nikki Roof nikki.roof@wku.edu Creamery Technician, Agriculture Research Education Center Agriculture & Food Science

Yes

Tanya Vincent tanya.vincent@wku.edu Program Manager Online Student Services

Yes

Jason Boyles jason.boyles@wku.edu Instructor II Physics and Astronomy

Yes

Evelyn Thrasher evelyn.thrasher@wku.edu Interim Dean Gordon Ford College of Business

Yes

Leigh Ann Wells leigh.wells@wku.edu Instructor Mathematics

Yes

Inmaculada Pertusa inma.pertusa@wku.edu Professor, Spanish Modern Languages

Yes

Dan Clark daniel.clark@wku.edu Assistant Professor Mathematics

Yes

Patrick Brown patrick.t.brown@wku.edu Instructor Mathematics

Yes

Kevin Williams kevin.williams@wku.edu Professor and Chair Chemistry

Advocate

Greg Strange greg.strange@wku.edu Instructor, Ceramics Art & Design

Yes

Jennifer Holland jennifer.holland@wku.edu Specialist, Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement

Yes

Jessica Basham jessica.basham@wku.edu Communications Specialist Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of

Yes

Marya Davis Turley maryadavis.turley@wku.edu Instructor English

Yes

Natalie Tyree natalie.tyree@wku.edu Assistant Professor, Graphic Design Art & Design

Yes

Cyndia Tarrence cyndia.tarrence@wku.edu Office Associate Media & Communication, School of

Yes

Joseph Shankweiler josephj.shankweiler@wku.edu Associate Professor Libraries

Yes

Daniel Boamah daniel.boamah@wku.edu Assistant Professor Social Work

Yes

Mindy Hutchins mindy.hutchins@wku.edu Sr. Analyst Human Resources

Yes

Brian Brausch brian.brausch@wku.edu Executive Director, TRiO Programs; Director, ETS2 TRiO and Enrollment and Student Experience Advocate
Kathy Foushee kathryn.foushee@wku.edu Interlibrary Loan Specialist, Access Services Libraries Yes
Andria Henry andria.henry@wku.edu Office Associate Management Yes
Anthony McAdoo anthony.mcadoo@wku.edu Executive Director, Alumni Engagement Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement Yes
Rodney Hounshell II rodney.hounshell@wku.edu Inventory Control Coordinator Supply Chain Management Yes
Jean Dominique Gumirakiza dominique.gumirakiza@wku.edu Associate Professor Agriculture & Food Science Yes
Pitt Derryberry pitt.derryberry@wku.edu Professor, Co-Department Chair Psychology Advocate
Becky Gilfillen becky.gilfillen@wku.edu Professor Agriculture & Food Science Yes
Melinda Edgerton melinda.edgerton@wku.edu Program Manager, Chinese Flagship Program Modern Languages Yes
Heather Stuart heather.stuart@wku.edu Assistant Director, Retention Programs Advising & Career Development Center Yes
Micah Logan micah.logan@wku.edu Associate Director Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning Advocate
Katie Carpenter katie.carpenter@wku.edu Coordinator, Counseling & Outreach Student Financial Assistance Advocate
Marrissa Bryant marrissa.bryant@wku.edu Associate Director, Academic Advising Advising & Career Development Center Yes
Mark Schafer mark.schafer@wku.edu Associate Professor, Exercise Science Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport, School of Yes
Andrea Paganelli andrea.paganelli@wku.edu Associate Professor, Graduate Program Coordinator Teacher Education, School of Yes
Jason Polk jason.polk@wku.edu Professor Earth, Environmental, & Atmospheric Sciences Yes
April McCauley april.mccauley@wku.edu Academic Program Specialist Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning Yes
Tanja Bibbs bibbstn@wku.edu Assistant Professor and Unit Leader, Organizational Leadership Leadership and Professional Studies, School of Yes
Monica Hines monica.hines@wku.edu BSW Instructor Social Work Yes
Stacy Bibelhauser stacy.bibelhauser@wku.edu Associate Professor Accounting Yes
Kathy Bailey kathy.bailey@wku.edu Coordinator, Verification & Processing Student Financial Assistance Yes
Ashley Taylor ashley.taylor@wku.edu Assistant Director, Alumni Relations & Outreach Gatton Academy of Math and Science Yes
Cory Dodds cory.dodds@wku.edu Specialist, STEM Scholarhips & External Research Scholar Development, Office of Yes
Mary Bidwell mary.bidwell@wku.edu Digital Media Content Specialist Communications and Marketing Yes
Amanda Trabue amanda.trabue@wku.edu VP, Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement Advocate
Katrina Burch katrina.burch@wku.edu Associate Professor Psychological Sciences Yes
Sara McCaslin sara.mccaslin@wku.edu Assistant Professor, Library Public Services Libraries Yes
Samantha Hines samantha.hines@wku.edu Coordintor, Research and Graduate Education Outreach Research and Creative Activity, Office of Yes
Anthony Mancini anthony.mancini@wku.edu Clinical Assistant Professor Physical Therapy, Doctor of Yes
Destiny O'Rourke destiny.orourke@wku.edu Director, Student Support Services TRIO Programs Yes
Taylor Wright taylor.wright@wku.edu Program Manager for Independent Living LifeWorks@WKU Yes
Ayaka Hisanaga-Probst ayaka.hisanaga-probst@wku.edu Assistant Professor Psychology Yes
Todd Seguin todd.seguin@wku.edu Assistant Professor, Library Public Services Libraries Yes
Simran Banga simran.banga@wku.edu Assistant Professor Biology Yes
Marliese Belt marliese.belt@wku.edu Coordinator, Student Support Services and Budget TRIO Programs Advocate
Jodie Dunkelberger jodie.dunkelberger@wku.edu Adjunct Professor Nursing and Allied Health, School of Yes
Robin Ayers robin.ayers@wku.edu Instructor II Mathematics Yes
Ray Blankenship ray.blankenship@wku.edu Chair/Professor Analytics & Information Systems Yes
Bob Hatfield bob.hatfield@wku.edu Professor Management Yes
Nicholas Barth nicholas.barth@wku.edu Global Learning Advisor Global Learning & International Affairs Yes
Ryan Jones ryan.jones@wku.edu Academic Advisor, Ogden College Advising & Career Development Center Advocate
Emily Sutton emily.pride@wku.edu Health Careers and Education Specialist South Central Kentucky Area Health Education Center Advocate
Andrew Adler andrew.adler@wku.edu Chair, Library Collections & Discovery Libraries Yes
Jean Chen yuchun.chen@wku.edu Associate Professor Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport, School of Yes
Taylor Davis taylor.davis@wku.edu Professional-in-Residence Media & Communication, School of Yes
Angela Nagel angela.nagel@wku.edu Visiting Assistant Professor Teacher Education, School of Yes
Tammy Dorris tammy.dorris@wku.edu Specialist, Online Student Services and Outreach Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning Advocate
Kassy Sweeney kassy.sweeney@wku.edu Senior Academic Advisor Advising & Career Development Center Advocate
Jamie Garden jamie.garden@wku.edu Counselor Gatton Academy of Math and Science Yes
Ashley Edwards ashley.edwards@wku.edu Student Services Coordinator Potter College of Arts & Letters Yes
Terrance Brown terrance.brown@wku.edu Dean Potter College of Arts & Letters Yes
Suzanne Thomas suzanne.thomas@wku.edu Coordinator, Veteran Student Success Military Student Services Yes
Adrianne Browning adrianne.browning@wku.edu Specialist, Professional Development Gordon Ford College of Business Yes
Eric Browning eric.browning@wku.edu Director, Clinical and Simulation Laboratory Nursing and Allied Health, School of Yes
Katie Bush kathleen.bush@wku.edu Manager, Global Programming and Student Services Global Learning & International Affairs Advocate
Tracy Jenkins tracy.jenkins@wku.edu Pedagogical Assistant Professor Nursing and Allied Health, School of Yes
Terry Dean terry.dean@wku.edu Associate Professor, Dental Hygiene Nursing and Allied Health, School of Yes
Carnetta Skipworth carnetta.skipworth@wku.edu Associate Professor Chemistry Yes
Stuart Burris stuart.burris@wku.edu Associate Dean Ogden College of Science & Engineering Yes
Michelle Jackson michelle.jackson@wku.edu Associate Professor Mathematics Yes
Matt Pruitt matt.pruitt@wku.edu Professor Sociology & Criminology Advocate
Lindsey Houchin lindsey.houchin@wku.edu Assistant Director Scholar Development, Office of Advocate
Cassandra Rebman cassandra.rebman@wku.edu Instructor and Studio Technician, Sculpture Art & Design Advocate
Samantha Sparrow Williams samantha.williams@wku.edu Instructor English Yes
Tori Palmore tori.palmore@wku.edu Instructor 1 English Yes
Cierra Waller cierra.waller@wku.edu Associate Director, Student Success Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning Yes
Nina Marijanovic nina.marijanovic@wku.edu Assistant Director, Enrollment and Brand Management Mahurin Honors College Yes
Catie Weaver catie.weaver@wku.edu Instructional Designer II Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning Yes
Donielle Heron-Lovell donielle.lovell@wku.edu Associate Professor Sociology & Criminology Yes
Marcus Brooks marcus.brooks@wku.edu Assistant Professor Sociology & Criminology Yes
Marissa Bruce marissa.bruce@wku.edu Academic Advisor, Gordon Ford College of Business Advising & Career Development Center Advocate
Paige Hiltner paige.hiltner@wku.edu Senior Academic Advisor, Ogden College of Science and Engineering Advising & Career Development Center Yes
Christopher Jensen christopher.jensen@wku.edu AVP for Student Success Advising & Career Development Center Advocate
Crystal Bufano crystal.bufano@wku.edu Academic Advisor, Ogden College of Science and Engineering Advising & Career Development Center Yes
Scott Clarke scott.clarke@wku.edu Assistant Professor, Broadcasting Media & Communication, School of Yes
Rhonda Jones rhonda.jones@wku.edu Office Coordinator Counseling & Student Affairs Yes
Masami Matsuyuki masami.matsuyuki@wku.edu Staff Psychologist/Training Coordinator Counseling Center  
Elias Thompson elias.thompson@wku.edu Academic Advisor Advising & Career Development Center Advocate
Rachel Green rachel.mergenthal@wku.edu Visiting Instructor, Rec, Park & Nonprofit Admin Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport, School of Advocate
Bethany Smith bethany.smith@wku.edu Director, Educational Opportunity Centers TRIO Programs Yes
Laura Hudson laura.hudson@wku.edu Assistant Professor Leadership and Professional Studies, School of Yes
John Martin john.martin@wku.edu Senior Instructor Music Yes
John-Mark Francis john-mark.francis@wku.edu Asst. Vice President for Marketing & Brand Strategy Communications and Marketing Yes
Gary Hughes gary.hughes@wku.edu Senior Instructor Media & Communication, School of Yes
Bertena Varney bertena.varney@wku.edu Senior Academic Advisor, PCAL Advising & Career Development Center Yes
Brooke Gross brooke.gross@wku.edu Assistant Professor, Health Services Librarian WKU Libraries Advocate

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 Last Modified 2/12/24