In honor of the 2020 First Generation Celebration, organizers recognized 20 first-generation professionals at Illinois State with a LEGACY Award.
“These professionals show our first-generation students the legacy that serves as a pathway of what success looks like,” said Dr. Shatoya Black, coordinator of the University College TRIO Student Success program, which oversaw the celebration. “We are not here to ‘save’ first-generation students as they bring a wealth of social and cultural capital to the college-going experience. Our mission is to walk alongside them, providing equitable access and resources as they choose their path from higher education to careers.”
Under the theme Hidden Figures–Power of LEGACY (Leadership, Education, Growth, Advocacy, Community, Yielding), the week-long celebration in early November included a day dedicated to professionals who were themselves first-generation students. During the celebration, four of the first-generation professionals presented professional workshops. The sessions, presented by Tamekia Bailey, Terry Jackson, Tashey Dennie, and Black, received such positive feedback that Black noted TRIO hopes to continue with segments on the new 1st Gen Podcast.
“First-generation professionals are really hidden figures to us, but they are powerful figures on campus who can offer insights on the social and cultural capital first-generations students bring, and on navigating the barriers first-generation students will face as professionals,” said Black.
First-generation professionals receiving the LEGACY are:
Tamekia Bailey, Criminal Justice Sciences
Dr. Shatoya Black, University College TRIO
Dr. Traci Carte, School of Information Technology
Tashay Dennie, Dean of Students Lead Team
Shayla Dennis, Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality
Chrishaya Dixon, Dean of Students Lead Team
Stephanie Duquenne, Alumni Engagement
Dr. Ashley Hall, School of Communication
Dr. Ashley Hicks, College of Business
Chelley Jackson, Financial Aid
Terry Jackson, University Housing/Residence Halls
Phoebe McLean, TRIO Academic Advisor
Mallory Jallas, Milner Library
Lisa Mason, Human Resources
Poshlyn Nicholson, Visor Center
Ashley Smith, University Housing/Residence Halls
Jazmyn Thomas, Academic Advisor
Lindsay Vahl, Alumni Engagement
Keenan Wimbley, Visor Center
Hosted by the University College TRIO program, the First Generation Celebration is sponsored by University College and Enrollment Management and Academic Services.