First-generation students focus of first fall Faculty Forum

First-generation students focus of first fall Faculty Forum

First-generation students focus of first fall Faculty Forum

In higher education today, 33% of students are the first in their families to attend college, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Only 27% of those students complete a bachelor's degree in four years. Less than 3% earn master's degrees or higher.

Midwestern State University's faculty includes several members of the 3% who were driven to succeed in spite of the odds. To learn about what it took for these to achieve their advanced degrees, Dr. Marcy Brown Marsden, Dean of the McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering, will lead a panel discussion titled "What Fueled Me to be First? Stories from MSU's First-Generation Faculty and Administrators," for the first Faculty Forum of the Fall 2019 semester at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Dillard 101.

"As pioneers, first-generation students see themselves as preparing the way for others, but find being a pioneer a significant challenge," Brown Marsden said. Each panelist will share a brief sketch of their background, how they decided to go to college, what their lives might have been like if they had decided against it, the struggles and successes along the way, and what they did to build success. A question and answer period will follow the discussion.

Panel members include one representative from each of MSU's six colleges: Chair of Mass Communication Dr. Jim Sernoe, Director of the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program Dr. Delores Jackson, Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Matt Watson, Chair of Sociology Dr. Beverly Stiles, Dr. James Johnston, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Thuy Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Coordinator of the Master of Business Administration program.

A handout will be provided that will include bios and information for all first-gen faculty and administrators as well as information on how MSU Texas supports first-generation students. An MSU webpage from the event on first-gen faculty will link to existing first-generation resources at MSU, forming the basis for a network of faculty and staff to serve as mentors and guides to current students.

Brown Marsden said that MSU has at least 29 first-generation faculty and administrators who volunteered to be part of the program.

Faculty Forum is a monthly showcase for the research and creative endeavors of the Midwestern State University faculty. It is an opportunity for the campus and Wichita Falls communities to learn, engage, and sometimes discuss the novel ideas and explorations of the talented individuals who teach, discover, and create at MSU.

Admission is free and open to all. Contact Dr. Jon Price or 940-397-4288 for more information.