The University of Texas, El Paso's First-Generation College Celebration
2017 First-Generation College Celebration
Last year, UTEP learned about the national celebration right before and managed to send out an email asking departments, colleges, and students to take their photo and posted it on social media using the hashtag #CelebrateFirstGen. There were several participants across campus and it was a success. Everyone was eager to jump in and participate!
2018 First-Generation College Celebration
This year, UTEP began planning much sooner! A small team was assembled including folks from alumni relations, student affairs, academic affairs, and more to brainstorm ideas. The first step was to launch a teaser (poster) campaign highlighting mostly faculty, staff, and alumni across campus who identify as a first-generation college graduate. The message demonstrated to current first-generation students how many of the UTEP community identify as first-generation and that that is something to celebrate! There will be a panel with a student, staff, faculty, and alum talking about their experience as a first-generation student as well as include interactive rooms where participants can record a brief testimonial and partake in the national social media campaign! On November 8, the day will begin with a brief video from President Natalicio acknowledging this day while highlighting the fact that she too, is first-gen! All participants will receive a free "First Gen" t-shirt.
To continue with the momentum, soon after the celebration UTEP will launch a "share your story" campaign. First-generation students, faculty, staff, and alum will be invited to share their story. The plan is to display the stories in a gallery exhibit on campus, slated for spring.