• Elizabeth Gagne' - Editor

UNCP Recognizes First Generation Graduates

Chancellor Cummings stated at his installation that about 40 percent of UNC-Pembroke grads are first generation degree holders. So The Pine Needle asked a number of these graduates what it means to them to be the first in their family to walk across the stage at commencement in regalia.

In addition to the first generation graduate students, The Pine Needle interviewed a number of faculty and staff who were first generation graduates as well.

The Pine Needle would also like to acknowledge all of the Spring 2016 graduates. This is an achievement for all students. whether they are a first generation graduates, second, third or beyond.

We are proud to have been your source of information on campus during your undergraduate careers. Good luck to all of you!

First Generation Graduate Students

Name: Amber Hester

Major: English

“It means that I am fulfilling my parents dreams of wanting to provide me with more than they had.”

Name: Dalovonte Powers

Major: Public Relations

“I get to make my family proud. Also, it helps me be the igniter in my family and to get the younger youth excited to do what I do and do it better.”

Name: Colin Kellermeyer

Major: Journalism

“It makes me proud...I hope that’s a trend setter for families going on like my future generation.”

Name: Autumn Scott

Major: Journalism

“I’m setting a trend for my family and making something of myself. Hopefully it can influence my kids and their kids.”

Name: Amanda Taylor

Major: Chemistry

“When he died [father], I promised him that I would get a PhD, because that’s what he wanted to get, even though he wasn’t able to.”

Name: Aaron Kotay

Major: Computer Science

“No one lives forever. Cherish them like today is their last day­.”

Name: Linda Council

Major: Biology

"I can be an example to others and an inspiration for those who are also first generation college students.”

Name: Sunni Brown

“There's not many people around me that could help me reach my goal and I really worked hard to finally graduate and it's just a big achievement to me.”​

Name: Kristin C. Locklear

“It feels great because it gives my children and the generation behind me a better opportunity.”

Name: Lauren Gibson

“Good! Excited! Happy! Proud!”

Name: Anastacia Alvarez

“My parents have sacrificed a lot. I feel like it’s a great accomplishment not just for me but for my family.”

Patriece Gwendolyn Womble

“It's an awesome feeling.... I’m not only doing it for myself but my family.”​

Faculty and Staff First Generation Graduates

Dr. Siva Mandjiny, Chemistry and Physics Department

“Go to school, get an education and live happy, first generation people always think that. This life is not enough for me, that’s how we think. That applies to UNCP, we are here to change lives and I am changing lives.”

Dr. Jamie Litty, Mass Communications Department

“I don’t think I’m a classic example of a first generation college student. Education was really stressed in my house and it was just assumed that we were going to college. The disadvantage to being a first generation college student is that your parents don’t know much about navigating university bureaucracy.”

Cynthia Redfearn, Housing and Residence Life

“I felt extremely privileged for the opportunity. I also felt the tremendous amount of responsibility that was. It has yielded tremendous results not only for me but those who have since, come behind me.”​

#aroundthecampus #news

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