The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s First-Generation Nebraska initiative was recently named a recipient of Insight Into Diversity magazine’s 2020 Inspiring Affinity Group Award. The award recognizes programs that provide higher education professionals mentoring, collaboration and social networking opportunities. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.
“First-Generation Nebraska has done an exceptional job helping first generation faculty and staff feel included, respected and welcome at Nebraska,” said Karen Kassebaum, assistant vice chancellor for inclusive leadership and learning. “The programming has had a positive impact on the university’s entire first-generation community.”
Nebraska’s Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor launched First-Generation Nebraska in 2017 to make the campus more “first-generation friendly” by developing links between first-generation college students and faculty and staff who share a similar academic experience.
The First-Generation advisory board is co-chaired by Amy Goodburn, senior associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate education, and Ashlee Young, assistant director of the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community. It is comprised of self-identified first-generation professionals, students and advocates from across campus. In total, more than 350 faculty and staff have committed to supporting first-generation initiatives.
First Generation Nebraska hosts professional development programming along with social events and mentoring opportunities open to all first generation faculty, staff and students. Most recently, the program acknowledged first-generation graduates with special social media graphics and a video message. The program’s commitment to improving first-generation student experiences and outcomes has been recognized by the NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success, with an inaugural First-Gen Forward Institutions designation.