La'Tonya Rease Miles, Ph.D.

Director of University Partnerships, ReUp Education

Bio: La'Tonya Rease Miles

La'Tonya "LT" Rease Miles, Ph.D., is the director of university partnerships at ReUp Education.

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 dean of student affairs at Menlo College, four-year private liberal arts institution in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her portfolio included: Housing and Residential Life, Student Activities (including student government, leadership, and clubs, and major campus events such as student orientation), Judicial Affairs, Mental Health Services, and First-Year Experience. She also served as 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 in-person and virtual engagements! Contact us today.

Speaker Topics

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


EdSurge Live



Josie & The Podcast

Resilient Campus Podcast

More About The Speaker

View La'Tonya Rease Miles' curriculum vitae here.

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