First-Generation College Celebration

On and surrounding November 8th, Penn State joins colleges and universities across the nation in recognizing National First-Generation College Celebration. National First-Generation College Celebration Day aims to build community, raise awareness about the first-generation experience, and uplift the voices of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who were or will be the first in their immediate families to achieve a college degree. November 8th will mark Penn State’s third consecutive year promoting University-wide events and recognition opportunities for our first-gen community. 

The Student Success Center (SSC) and First-Gen Advocates (FGA) will be hosting events on Tuesday, November 8. You will find the details of these events as well as numerous other celebrations and presentations happening across the Commonwealth provided below.  

If you're hosting an event that you would like us to share, please provide the details here.

Click below for: 

First-Generation Celebration Day Zoom Backgrounds

First-Generation Marketing Graphics

SSC & FGA Sponsored Events (event flyer)

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - HUB-Robeson Takeover
Celebrate being #PSUFirstGen with food, activities, giveaways, prizes (gift cards & Lion Cash) a photo booth, and a DJ. There will be opportunities to meet the Student Success Center team and members of the First-Gen Advocates (FGA) student organization to find out how to support or join Penn State’s first-generation community. Other Penn State offices, such as Career Services, will be onsite to discuss how first-gen students can take advantage of their resources.

7 p.m. - (Virtual) Moderated Panel: “First-Gen at Penn State and Beyond” (Viewing party in 233 A HUB)
This panel will provide insight into how first-generation undergraduate students can make the most of their college experience and prepare for future transitions to graduate school, the workplace, and more. This event will be open to the entire University community.

Panel Event Recording

Troy Turner, '23 College of the Liberal Arts

Undergraduate first-generation student

Dr. Jarl Ahlkvist
, College of the Liberal Arts
Assistant Teaching Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Noel Claudio ‘14 College of Information Sciences and Technology, 
Strategy & Operations Manager, Tech Industry
Dr. Christa Hasenkopf ‘03 Eberly College of Science
Penn State Board of Trustees member;
Director, Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) and Air Quality Programs, Energy Policy Institute, University of Chicago
Jenn Stubbs '05 College of the Liberal Arts, '17g College of Education, 
Assistant Director, Recruiting and Employer Engagement, Penn State Career Services
Jessica Zarada, University Operations Recruiter, Amazon

8 p.m. - In-Person Networking Session, HUB 233A
This session will feature light refreshments and facilitated small group discussions related to the panel. This is a great opportunity to meet other members of the #PSUFirstGen community and identify ways to get involved in first-gen advocacy! 

Now until Nov. 4 - "Share Your First-Generation Story!" via this form.  
We invite faculty, staff, alumni, and students to share their first-generation stories. On and surrounding the Nov. 8 Celebration, stories of success, resilience, and growth will be highlighted through the Student Success Center’s (@psu_success) Twitter and Instagram accounts and First-Gen Advocates’ Instagram account. Follow #PSUFirstGen to view shared stories.

Other Events @ University Park

Tuesday, Nov. 8

Cross-Unit Partnership
Adult Learner Programs & Services, the Multicultural Resource Center, and World Campus

2 p.m. to 4 p.m - "Barriers, Breakthroughs & Benefits of Experiential Learning", in HUB 102 and via Zoom
Join Adult Learner Programs & Services, the Multicultural Resource Center, and World Campus staff and students as we explore the bias, barriers, and breakthroughs that first-generation students experience while seeking and navigating Internships, Co-ops, Clinical Rotations, Undergraduate Research, and Service Learning. Learn how student engagement, networking, and mentorship pave the way and prepare students for the world of work, advancement, and future career transitions. Please register for the event here.

College of the Liberal Arts
Chaiken Center for Student Success
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tabling in the Chaiken Center, Sparks 139, with refreshments, first-gen swag, and resources,
10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. - First-Gen Photos with Dean Lang in the Chaiken Center, Sparks 139
A first-gen student himself, Dean Lang will be in the Chaiken Center to meet -- and snap photos with -- first-gen Liberal Arts students

Eberly College of Science
Science Advising Center & the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

6 p.m. - “Applying to Professional School as a First-Gen Student” in 102 Chemistry Building
This hour-long session will include a conversation with two phenomenal physicians and several current medical students who identify as first-gen. One set of MCAT books will be randomly given away to someone in attendance!

University Libraries
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Drop by the library to learn about undergraduate research programming and get your exclusive first-generation library guide
2 p.m. - First-Generation movie screening, in Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library

Wednesday, Nov. 9

College of Health & Human Development
Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Student Advising and Engagement,

2 p.m. to 5 p.m, first-generation celebration in Henderson 20.
All students, faculty, and staff who identify as first-gen are invited to network and enjoy light refreshments.

Thursday, Nov. 10

College of the Liberal Arts
Chaiken Center for Student Success
5:30 p.m - "Forging a First-Gen Future"
with alumna Chelsie Rimel '15, moderated by first-gen faculty member Lisa Silvestri-Wehr in 062 Willard. Chelsie will recount her first-gen experience at Penn State, providing relatable advice for current students forging their own futures and navigating similar challenges. 

Commonwealth Campus Events

Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. 
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is hosting Abington’s Celebration in the Banquet Room. The annual campus photo will be taken at the Abington Lion during the event.
Pick up your “I’m First” t-shirt prior to the event to wear on Nov. 8.

ALTOONA (event flyer)
Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
Student Affairs and Academic Affairs will be streaming the Student Success Center's panel presentation with snacks in the Fireside Lounge in Slep. 
Monday, Nov. 7 & Thursday, Nov. 10
Check out our tabling across campus with giveaways (while supplies last)
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2 p.m. to 1:30 p.m
First-gen students are invited to gather with Penn State alumni for a FREE lunch in Pondview in Slep

Monday, Nov. 7
#CelebrateFirstGen at this come-and-go event at the Bistro Cafe hosted by Student Affairs. There will be refreshments, first-gen buttons, and a photo booth to celebration all first-generation students on campus.

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 12-1:30 p.m.

First Generation College Faculty and Staff Panel-  Faculty and Staff will be sharing their experiences as first generation students and now as educators in higher education.  

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Trio Student Support Services Center for Academic and Career Excellence (ACE) will be hosting a panel discussion in the Ostermayer Room, SCC. The event will focus on helping first-gen students learn how to "Leverage their Penn State Experiences to Pursue Epic Opportunities." Undergraduate Research and Study Abroad opportunities will be highlighted at this event and a resource table will be available with information on scholarship and internship opportunities specifically for first-gen students.

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Join the Harrisburg Celebration in Olmsted Atrium for cookies, music, and opportunities to share notes of enouragement and support for first-gen students. Hosted by the offices of Student Engagement, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Academic Support and Advising Services and Residence Life.

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
The Hazleton Student Success Center is hosting an exhibit to showcase well-known people who were first-generation college studnets, such as Justice Sotomayor, Michelle Obama, Colin Powell, and JK Rowling. Hazleton first-gen faculty, staff, and administration will also be featured. Stop by the Upper Butler Lobby to see the exhibit and enjoy giveaways and snacks.

Monday, Nov. 7 through Friday, Nov. 11
The Success Center has created a photo collage of first-generation and adult learners at New Kensington, including faculty, staff, and students. Spot the collage on the digital signs across campus, and keep a lookout for the Success Center table where we will be distributing giveaways for first-gen students.

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Stop by to chat with Student Success Services (SSS) about what it means to be a first-generation student. Take a look at the posters, learn about SSS alumni, view the slideshow, and enjoy some snacks. You may be surprised at the faculty, staff, and students who are first-gen, too!

National Event

Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. or Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m.
NASPA presents a FREE national event, a virtual panel on the First-Generation Adult Learner Identity. You can register for the event and learn more about its panelists here.  


SSC Event Flyer & Virtual Backgrounds

The 2022 Event Flyer

Click here for First-Generation Celebration Day Virtual Backgrounds!