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Glen Oaks celebrates first-generation college students

Glen Oaks Community College will be joining campus communities across the nation in celebrating this year’s National First-Generation College Celebration.

There will be a Tri-Alpha induction ceremony on Wed., Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Dresser Business Development Center. The chapter is an honorary society for first-generation college students who have a 3.2 grade-point average or higher who have completed at least 30 college credits. Highlights of the event include a welcome, history of the chapter, induction of students, faculty, staff, and alumni members, and a guest speaker.

“We are excited about creating a chapter and inducting our first members,” said Tonya Howden, VP of student services and co-advisor of the chapter. The faculty and staff inductees will be Dr. David H. Devier, Dr. Tammy Russell, and Sara Main. Dr. Madonna Jackson and Tonya Howden will be inducted as co-advisors.

Student inductees will be Nicole Bielak, Joshua Cook, Julia Cook, Nikki Hambright, Tiffany Howe, Kia Lane, Kevin Munn, Tyler O’Brien, Alexis Paananen, Todd Parker, Nikki Prichard, Lexie Rodriguez, Amie Smith, Amanda Stiles, Katlin Tissue, Julie Truckey, Christine Wheeler, and Ronald Wolford.

The National Day of Celebration is Nov. 8, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which was pivotal in creating equity among colleges and universities for minorities and those coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

In addition to the induction ceremony, the college will hold a special First-Generation Celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the concourse for all first-generation students and those in support of them. The event will feature free lunches and tee-shirts for students, resources and information on Tri Alpha, and a photo booth where students can get their photos taken with a first-generation background.

As part of the first-generation activities and to help build up the event, campus faculty, staff and students have been encouraged to share their experiences in profiles for posting on the college social media platforms.

“Faculty and staff are sharing about their experiences as a first-generation student and their successes to help encourage our current students,” said Hannah Fries, advisor, TRIO Student Support Services and coordinator of the festivities.

“We hope that students recognize the support and recognition that we are trying to provide to our first-generation students, who in some cases, may not necessarily have the support at home,” said Fries. “Being the first in a family to attend college is a big step – and something to celebrate.”

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