UW Graduate School

First-Generation Graduate Students

NOTICE

Due to concerns around novel coronavirus and in accordance with guidance from public health officials, Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs will not be scheduling any in-person meetings or events with graduate students until further notice.

A first-gen graduate student is in the first generation of their family to earn a bachelor’s degree — and is now earning a graduate degree. Core Programs is dedicated to supporting first-generation graduate students with innovative programming that amplifies their diverse voices and builds community at the University of Washington. If you’re a first-gen grad student, we are thrilled that you are here and are proud to be able to support you in making the most of your graduate experience! In collaboration with university partners and our student advisory board, Core Programs promotes inter-campus resources and develops programming to achieve the following goals:

  • Create visibility. Each campus has posted online profiles and digital stories of graduate students, faculty, staff, campus leaders, and alumni who identify as first-generation.
  • Reduce stigma. We promote and host quarterly academic, professional, and community events that center the strengths and diverse experiences of first-generation graduate students.
  • Foster a sense of belonging. We create spaces of connection and community, by convening graduate students who identify as first-gen at our receptions and workshops.
  • Develop sustainable and supportive programming. 2016–2017 was our first year to launch our support of first-gen graduate students. We are eager to grow our programs on all three campuses and look forward to hearing your ideas.

Check out this Seattle Times article to learn more about the First-Gen Initiative at Core Programs and about Assistant Director Jaye Sablan’s own journey as a first-generation grad student.

Contact Us

Online or phone appointments only. Email or call us at 206.543.1703 to:

  • Join the First-Gen Graduate Student e-mail listserv for current news and event information
  • Get help locating university resources
  • Learn how to participate in our Student Advisory Board
  • Share ideas and suggestions

Join the UW First-Generation Graduate Students Facebook page.

2020-2021  Programming and Events

Fall 2020

Virtual Fall Welcome
Thursday, October 8, 2020, 1-2 p.m.
Register for this event

First-generation graduate students are cordially invited to attend this virtual fall welcome event in order to:

– Hear strategies that can help you thrive in graduate school
– Connect with peers from across the disciplines
– Learn about resources to support your growth as a graduate student
– Have a chance to win an e-gift card raffle prize!

Featuring:

– Guest Speaker, Christian K. Love, Doctoral Student in Education
– Members of the First-Gen Graduate Student Advisory Board (FGSAB)
– Staff members of Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs in The Graduate School

2019-2020  Programming and Events

Fall 2019

Fall Welcome!
Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 4:30-6 p.m.
HUB 332, Seattle Campus

Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs in The Graduate School cordially invites new and returning first-generation graduate students to this third annual Fall Welcome event to kick off the new year!

A first-generation graduate student is in the first generation of their family to earn a Bachelor’s degree—and is now working towards a Master’s or Doctoral degree.

Attend this free event to:

– Connect with first-gen graduate student peers from across the disciplines
– Participate in community-building activities
– Enjoy free food and refreshments!

Staff and faculty who are first-gen, or who are interested in connecting with the first-gen graduate student community, are welcome too!

RSVP for this event!

Social Hours for First-Gen Graduate Students
Friday, November 8, 2019, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. & 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
Gates Commons (CSE 691), Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering

In recognition of National First-Generation College Celebration, the First-Gen Graduate Student Advisory Board and Core Programs in the UW Graduate School invite all first-generation graduate students across tri-campus to attend these free, informal social hours to build community and show your first-gen pride online!

All UW first-gen graduate students are welcome! These events free.

Attend this gathering to:
– Build community in person and online with first-gen graduate student peers across disciplines
– Snag a “I Heart First-Gen Grad Students” button while supplies last
– One free professional headshot taken by Graduate School staff. Sign-in in person required—and on a first-come, first-served basis only.
– Participate in a Poll Everywhere activity to share what being first-gen means to you
– Enjoy Free light foods and refreshments.

RSVP for these events!

Social Media Pride Week for First-Gen Graduate Students
Monday, November 4 – Thursday, November 8, 2019
Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma

Share your pride in a live poll:

  • Respond to the ‘show your pride’ poll: http://pollev.com/UWFirstGenGrads
  • Please note: The poll opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, November 4 and will close at midnight on Thursday, November 8

Social media:

On social media, share images from your graduate student experience and why you are proud to be a first-gen graduate student. Use #UWFirstGenGrads and
#CelebrateFirstGen from November 4–8.

Winter 2020

First-Gens Share Their Digital Stories
Wednesday, February 5, 3:30-5 p.m.
305, School of Social Work Bldg, Seattle Campus

UW First-Gen graduate students, staff, and faculty will screen their powerful digital stories of being in the first generation of their families to earn bachelor’s degrees and more, followed by a panel conversation.

Attend this event to:

– Watch a diverse array of first-gen digital stories
– Learn insights from a panel of first-gen digital storytellers
– Connect with the UW first-gen community, their families, and supporters
– Enjoy free food and refreshments!

Digital Storytellers & Panelists:

– Elizabeth R. Arreola – Doctoral Student, Feminist Studies, Seattle campus
– Andreas Keodara – Graduate Advisor for MPH Program in Global Health, – Seattle campus
– Cora Thomas – Library Circulation Technician Lead, Bothell campus
– Juliana Villegas – Associate Director for University Honors Program, Seattle campus
– Kenderick Wilson – M.Ed. alum, Tacoma campus

Moderator:

– Jane Van Galen, Professor Emeritus of Education, Bothell campus

This event is a collaboration between UW Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs in The Graduate School, First In Our Families, and School of Social Work.

RSVP for this event!

Spring 2020

Virtual End-of-Year Celebration for First-Gen Graduate Students
Rescheduled to Thursday, June 18, 3 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Please RSVP below. Zoom link will be e-mailed to all participants.

Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs in the UW Graduate School cordially invites to attend the Virtual End-of-Year Celebration for First-Gen Graduate Students!

Featured Guest Speaker:

Juliana Villegas, PhD and Proud First-Gen
Associate Director, UW Honors Program (Seattle campus)

At this event, you’ll be able to:

– Celebrate your milestones and achievements
– Build community with peers
– Access a Spotify playlist with celebratory songs pre-selected by you and your peers
– Have your name entered into a raffle for a chance to win an e-gift card prize

RSVP for this event!

2018-2019 Programming & Events

Fall 2018

Fall Welcome!
Thursday, October 4, 2018, 9:30 a.m.–Noon
HUB 250, Seattle Campus

Welcome Remarks
Rickey Hall
VP for Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) & UW Diversity Officer

Speakers Panel
Vanessa Álvarez, Associate Director for GO-MAP
Erika Blacksher, Associate Professor in Bioethics and Humanities
Victor Lee, Doctoral Student in Chemistry
Lin Wu, Doctoral Student in Education

First-generation graduate students are invited to attend this fall kick off event to:

  • Connect with First-Gen Grad Student peers across the disciplines
  • Learn tips and strategies for student success from panel of first-generation grad students, staff, and faculty
  • Enjoy food and refreshments!
  • Staff and faculty who are first-gen, or who are interested in connecting with the first-gen graduate student community are welcome!

This event is sponsored by Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs in The Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

Social Hours for First-Gen Graduate Students
10 a.m.-11 a.m. (HUB 214) & 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. (HUB 340)
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Seattle Campus

All UW first-gen graduate students are welcome!

Attend this gathering to:
– Build community in person and online with first-gen graduate student peers across disciplines
– Snag your “I Heart First-Gen Grad Students” button while supplies last
– One free professional headshot taken by Graduate School staff. Sign-in in person required—and on a first-come, first-served basis only.
– Participate in a Poll Everywhere activity to share what being first-gen means to you
– Enjoy free light foods and refreshments

RSVP for these events!

Social Media Pride Week for First-Gen Graduate Students
Monday, November 5 – Thursday, November 8, 2018
Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma

Share your pride in a live poll:

  • Respond to the ‘show your pride’ poll: http://pollev.com/UWFirstGenGrads
  • Please note: The poll opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, November 5 and will close at midnight on Thursday, November 8

Social media:

On social media, share images from your graduate student experience and why you are proud to be a first-gen graduate student. Use #UWFirstGenGrads and
#CelebrateFirstGen from November 5–8.

Winter 2019


Bridging Family, Culture, & Graduate School
Monday, February 25, 2019, 5-7 p.m.
HUB 145, UW Seattle

Core Programs and the First-Gen Graduate Student Advisory Board invite UW first-generation graduate students to:

A moderated panel conversation for and about first-generation graduate students, featuring insights for navigating relationships with family, culture, and identity, followed by Q&A. There will also be community-building activities, dinner, and refreshments.

This event is sponsored by Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs in the UW Graduate School.

RSVP for this event

Spring 2019


First-Generation Faculty Meet and Greet
Tuesday, May 14, 12:30-2 p.m.
HUB 214, Seattle campus

  • As UW faculty, are you in the first-generation of your family to earn a Bachelor’s degree?
  • Are you interested in networking with faculty who share first-gen experiences?
  • Interested in learning how you can be involved in an initiative to support first-gens at the graduate level?

If so, you’re cordially invited to attend this free, community building event! You’ll have an opportunity to meet peers, learn about the First-Generation Graduate Student Initiative, and enjoy light foods and refreshments.

This event is sponsored by Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs in the UW Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!


Year End Celebration!
Wednesday, February 6, 4:30-6 p.m.
HUB 145, Seattle campus

    All current first-generation graduate students* are cordially invited to this year-end celebration, whether you are graduating very soon or continuing in your grad program! Attend this event to build community with peers and to celebrate your milestones—no matter how big or small. Staff, faculty, and students’ family members are welcome! Free and delicious food and refreshments will be provided.

    *A first-generation graduate student is in the first generation of their family to earn a Bachelor’s degree—and is now working towards a graduate degree.

    Selfie Station
    Take a selfie with friends and family at the selfie station from 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm!

    Welcome Remarks
    Core Programs in The Graduate School

    Guest Speakers
    – Janiece Rustin, MJ Candidate, UW School of Law & GPSS Senator
    – Gilbert Martinez, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Physiology and Biophysics, UW School of Medicine

    Pinning Ceremony (for students graduating Spring ’19, Summer ’19, and Autumn ’19)
    Faculty Pinner: Jane Van Galen, Professor in Educational Studies, UW Bothell

    This event is co-organized by Core Programs in The Graduate School and the First-Gen Graduate Student Advisory Board.

    RSVP for this event!

2017-2018   Programming and Events

Fall 2017

Fall Welcome!
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 6–7:30 p.m.
HUB 332, Seattle Campus

UW first-generation graduate students are cordially invited to this inaugural fall reception to kick off the new year!  Attend this free event to connect with first-gen grad student peers across the disciplines, learn about important campus resources, and enjoy good food and refreshments.

Welcome Remarks
Rickey Hall, VP for Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and UW Chief Diversity Officer

Featured Guest Speaker
Dr. Stacia Dreyer, postdoctoral fellow
UW School of Marine & Environmental Affairs and former first-generation graduate student

This event is organized and sponsored by Core Programs in the Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

First-Generation Graduate Student Welcome
Friday, November 3, 2017, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, near Tacoma Campus

Are you in the first-generation of your family to earn a Bachelor’s degree—and are currently working towards a graduate degree at the UW?  If so, you’re invited to attend this free, community-building event!  You’ll have an opportunity to make connections with fellow first-generation graduate students and to meet university staff, faculty and leadership.

This event is a partnership between UW Tacoma Graduate Programs and Core Programs in the Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

Graduate Student Professional Development Seminar
Saturday, November 4, 2017, 8:30 a.m. – Noon
UW1-103, Bothell Campus

UW Bothell Career Services is hosting a three part Professional Development Seminar specifically designed for graduate students.  Topics include Building Your Career Community, How to Leverage LinkedIn, and Fighting Imposter Syndrome.

First-generation graduate students and all UW graduate students are encouraged to register and participate!

Be sure to bring a laptop and materials to take notes.  Light breakfast provided!

This event is hosted and organized by UW Bothell Career Services with co-sponsorship from Core Programs in the Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

Holiday Gathering!
Friday, December 8, 2017, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Simpson Center, Seattle Campus

First-gen graduate students, and first gen postdocs, staff, and faculty who support them, are invited to this end-of-year holiday gathering!  Feel free to bring a homemade dessert!

  • Be welcomed by leaders from the First-Gen Graduate Student Advisory Board
  • Mingle with first-gen peers across grad programs and throughout the UW Seattle campus
  • Participate in community-building activities
  • Come for the whole event–or drop by to say hi and grab a quick bite to eat!

This event is sponsored by Core Programs in the UW Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

Winter 2018

First Generation Graduate Student Social
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Simpson Center, Seattle Campus

Featuring: A guest talk by Ricardo Hidalgo, licensed mental health counselor at Hall Health Mental Health Clinic.

UW first-generation graduate students are cordially invited to this event to:

  • Learn more about strategies to promote and develop Self-Love and Self-Care as grad students
  • Connect with fellow first-gen grad student peers and leaders
  • Grow your social, academic, and professional networks
  • Exchange student success strategies with one another
  • Enjoy free food and refreshments!

First-gen staff and faculty as well as staff and faculty who support first-gen grad students are welcome!

This event is organized and sponsored by Core Programs in the Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

Graduate Student Professional Development Seminar
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 8:30 a.m.-noon
UW1-103, Bothell Campus

UW Bothell Career Services is hosting a three-part Professional Development Seminar specifically designed for first-generation graduate students and all UW graduate students.  This is Session 2 and will cover necessary materials for job applications.

Topics include:

  • Resume/CV Building Lab
  • Cover Letter Lab
  • Managing Imposter Syndrome

Please register by February 2, bring a laptop, a hard copy of your resume and cover letter and materials to take notes. A light breakfast will be provided!

This event is hosted and organized by UW Bothell Career Services with co-sponsorship from Core Programs in the Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

Spring 2018

End of Year Celebration!
Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 4:30 pm-6:00 pm
HUB 145, Seattle Campus

Guest Speakers:

  • Dr. Jane Van Galen, UW Bothell Professor in Educational Studies and Winner of the 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology
  • Sabrina Kamran, UW Seattle Doctoral Student in Pharmacology and Co-Founder of Zion+Technologies–the Cambia Health Solutions Best Health/Healthcare Idea Prize winning team (UW Business Competition 2016)

This free event celebrates UW First-Generation Graduate Students and is open to staff, faculty, and students’ family and friends! More details coming soon!

Co-sponsored by Core Programs in The Graduate School and GPSS.

RSVP for this event!

First Generation Graduate Student Social
Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Simpson Center, Seattle campus

UW First-Generation Graduate Students are invited to this event to:

  • Engage in activities to help you re-energize for the spring quarter
  • Connect with first-gen grad student peers from across the disciplines
  • Enjoy good food and refreshments
  • Staff and faculty who identify as first-gen, or who support first-gen grad students, are welcome!

This event is sponsored by Core Programs in The Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

2016-2017   Programming and Events

Summer 2016

Digital Storytelling Workshops

The Digital Storytelling Project is a structured, three-day summer workshop held at the Seattle campus. Open to first-generation graduate students, facilitators helped participants gain the skills to work with images, sound, text, and technologies to produce powerful digital stories grounded in their lived experiences. From August 4–6, 2016, a total of eight master’s and Ph.D. first-gen students from UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, and UW Seattle participated in the program. This programming was a collaboration between Jane Van Galen (professor in Educational Studies, Bothell campus), Anne Phillips (executive director of CLASS Action in Boston), and Core Programs in the Graduate School.

Watch the digital stories

Fall 2016

Inaugural First-Gen Graduate Student Social

This event included the following:

  • Connect with fellow first-gen graduate student peers and leaders
  • Grow your social, academic, and professional networks
  • Exchange student success strategies with one another
  • Enjoy free food and refreshments

Relevant Links: E-Invitation | Activity Handout

Winter 2017

Self and Collective Care – A First-Gen Graduate Student Social

This event included the following:

  • Engage in reflective, interactive activities that promote self and collective care
  • Connect with fellow first-gen grad student peers and leaders
  • Grow your social, academic, and professional networks
  • Exchange student success strategies with one another
  • Enjoy free food and refreshments

Event co-facilitators:

  • Elizabeth R. Arreola, doctoral student in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, UW Seattle
  • Akaxia Cruz, master’s/doctoral student in Physics, UW Seattle
  • Adekunle Lawal, master’s student in Educational Studies, UW Bothell
  • Rigo Ordaz, master’s student in Human Centered Design & Engineering, UW Seattle

Relevant Links: E-Invitation | Tools & Resources for Refueling Yourself | Self and Collective Care Small Group Activity

Spring 2017

Fail Forward – A First-Gen Graduate Student Social

This event included the following:

  • “Failure Resume” story share by Dr. Dave Eaton, first-generation graduate student, vice provost and dean, UW Graduate School
  • A presentation and conversations with Dr. Anne Browning and Polo de Cano (doctoral student in Education) of the UW Resilience Lab
  • Learn how failures are important to our personal and professional growth
  • Share insights and strategies for failing forward with resilience
  • Enjoy free food and refreshments

Relevant Links: E-Invitation | When Things Don’t Go as Planned

Year End Celebration – A First-Gen Graduate Student Social

This event included the following:

Panel:

Moderated by Dr. Jane Van Galen, professor in Educational Studies, UW Bothell

  • Frelimo O. Amili, MAIS ’16, UW Tacoma
  • Elizabeth R. Arreola, doctoral student in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies, UW Seattle
  • Lina Huang, M.Ed. ’16, UW Bothell
  • Christian K. Love, doctoral student in Education, UW Seattle
  • Iris Viveros, doctoral student in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies, UW Seattle

Relevant Links: E-InvitationEvent Program

Summer 2017

2nd Annual Digital Storytelling Workshops

JJCJuan Digital Still 2017

Video Still, A Call Back to Home
John Jian-Chen Juan, Summer 2017

FRomero Digital Still 2017

Video Still, In A World That Wants You Tame
Fabien Romero, Summer 2017

The Digital Storytelling Project is a structured, three-day summer workshop held at the Seattle campus. Open to first-generation graduate students, facilitators helped participants gain the skills to work with images, sound, text, and technologies to produce powerful digital stories grounded in their lived experiences. From June 22–24, 2017, a total of seven master’s and Ph.D. first-gen students from UW Tacoma and UW Seattle participated in the program.  This programming was a collaboration between Jane Van Galen (professor in Educational Studies, Bothell campus), Anne Phillips (executive director of CLASS Action in Boston), and Core Programs in the Graduate School.

Watch the digital stories

Additional Graduate Student Resources

We know that your strengths as first-gen graduate students include being resourceful, adaptive, and proactive among others! Whether you are seeking support for your writing, interested in finding funding for graduate school, or wanting to access health and wellness services, the University has resources that you can tap into.

Read more about tri-campus resources for graduate students