La'Tonya Rease Miles, Ph.D.
Executive Director of First Year Experience, University of California, Los Angeles
La'Tonya "LT" Rease Miles, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of First Year Experience at UCLA, where she works collaboratively with Residential Life, Student Affairs departments more generally and academic departments campus-wide to develop initiatives and to increase awareness of the first-year experience on campus.
A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Miles has established two successful programs for first-generation college students—one at UCLA and the other at Loyola Marymount University—both recognized as First-gen Forward institutions. She regularly consults with institutions nationally concerning first-gen students and also has advised local high schools about developing programs on their campus. Finally, she established and manages a national Facebook group, "Empowering First Generation Students" and is the Chief Strategist for the "First Gen & Juice" brand.
Prior to this position, LT was the Director of the Academic Resource Center at Loyola Marymount University where she also spearheaded campus-wide initiatives that address student food insecurity and worked closely with the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education to establish travel abroad pathways for students of color and first-generation college students.
She earned a Ph.D. in American literature from UCLA; and her research interests include the hidden curriculum in higher education, narratives about the first-generation college experience, and the relationship of physical space and college student engagement. Further, LT is passionate about NBA basketball, college football, "The Flash" and “Friday Night Lights."
Speaker Travels From
La'Tonya is available for virtual engagements! Contact us today.
|Digital Technology and Social Media
This presentation explores digital strategies for fostering community and engagement with first-generation college students, graduate students and alumni. Discussion includes ways to leverage social media to increase their visibility and to promote counter-storytelling.
|Representations of First-generation Students in Popular Culture
This is an interactive presentation about popular culture as a vehicle for exploring first-generation college students. Highlights an interdisciplinary approach and the power of representation.
|Black First-generation College Students
A call to action regarding the dearth of scholarship and praxis that specifically address Black first-generation students. This presentation draws upon personal and professional experiences.
|Emerging Trends in First-generation Studies
How has the higher education landscape changed over the last decade with regard to first-generation college students? This presentation includes an overview of contemporary scholarship, practices, as well as fiction and popular culture. Ideal for established organizations or institutions ready to enrichen existing programming.
Books, News, & Media
- First Gen and Juice
- A Flag Stuck In Glue: Navigating Art School as a Student of Color
- Fatigues is Army Clothes: Fighting Racial Microaggressions on the Daily
- How Colleges Can Best Support First-Generation Students, featured guest, EdSurge Live, October 2019
- Empowering First-Generation College Students, founder and manager for over 3,000 group members, 2015-Present
- First Gen & Juice, founder and manager, 2018-Present
Josie & The Podcast
- Josie & The Podcast: Connecting Tech and Leadership in Higher Ed, featured guest, October 2019
Resilient Campus Podcast
- Discovering a First-Gen Identity, Resilience for First-Year Students, and the Power of Virtual Communities, invited guest (July 2018)
More About The Speaker
View La'Tonya Rease Miles' curriculum vitae here.
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