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First-Gen Week

First-Gen Week

Dear Students,

This week UT is celebrating our first-gen students. These are students who will be the first in their family to complete a college degree. UT has over 9,000 first-gen students. And first-gen Longhorns are not just students. Some of our most influential and beloved faculty and staff are first-gen, too! These include Dr. Jason McLellan, molecular biosciences professor and co-inventor of the COVID vaccines, and Dr. Richard Reddick, senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies.

Some special challenges can come with being first-gen. Universities have a strange vocabulary and customs, and first-gen students may not have family members with the experience of deciphering all these things. First-gen students often say they feel especially strong pressure to succeed. Many also say they've struggled with feelings of what's known as imposter syndrome.

I'm incredibly proud of our first-gen students. To get here, you have worked incredibly hard, and you absolutely belong here: that's why this week, we're honoring you. Lastly, if you're struggling with any of the issues I mentioned above, or other issues, first-gen or not, please don't go it alone. Our CNS community—faculty, TAs, staff and fellow students—is here to support you.

Best,
Dr. Drew

Joke: [Never-too-late edition] What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin Pi!

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Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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