Keynote Speakers & Presenters
Daniel R. Porterfield
Daniel R. Porterfield is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, an international educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. and Aspen, Colorado. Porterfield previously served as the 15th President of Franklin & Marshall College, Senior Vice President for Strategic Development at Georgetown University, and senior aide to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.
Christopher L. Eisgruber
Christopher L. Eisgruber has served as Princeton University’s 20th president since July 2013. As president, he has led efforts to increase the representation of low-income and first-generation students at Princeton and other colleges and universities. Princeton’s socioeconomic diversity initiatives have attracted national attention from The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes and other news outlets. Eisgruber has also been a leading voice in Washington and elsewhere for the value of research and liberal arts education.
Author Meet ‘n Greet
Anthony Abraham Jack (Ph.D., Harvard University, 2016) is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and assistant professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He holds the Shutzer Assistant Professorship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. His research documents the overlooked diversity among lower-income undergraduates: the Doubly Disadvantaged—those who enter college from local, typically distressed public high schools—and Privileged Poor—those who do so from boarding, day, and preparatory high schools. His scholarship appears in the Du Bois Review, Sociological Forum, and Sociology of Education and has earned awards from the American Sociological Association, Eastern Sociological Society, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Jack has held fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation and was a 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow. The National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan named him a 2016 Emerging Diversity Scholar.
Casey Jo Dufresne
Casey Jo Dufresne is the Program Director for the Meiklejohn Fellows Program. In her role she aims to center students who identify as first-generation college and/or low-income (including international, undocumented/DACA, and transfer students) particularly as it relates to post-graduation planning. Casey Jo is a public administrator by trade, with a background in public policy and community development. She was a first generation low-income student with much of her work and research centering equity and access in education. Outside of work you are likely to find her walking with her dog, cooking, gardening, or crafting.
Tenzin Kunor is the Director of the Center for Diversity and Student Leadership. He primarily works to provide education, support, and advocacy to and on behalf of first generation, low-income, transfer, veteran, and undocumented/DACA students.. Additionally, he works to develop and cultivate leadership opportunities for students grounded in social justice and social change. Tenzin was a first generation and low-income student and has a passion for social justice, racial identity development, advising student organizations, and Tuberculosis advocacy work. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, eating spicy Tibetan food, and making spotify playlists.
Rick López is Professor of history and environmental studies at Amherst College, and Chair of Latinx & Latin American Studies. Since 2014 he has served as Dean of New Students at Amherst College, with particular attention to improving support for First-Gen, Low-Income, and minority students. López completed his PhD at Yale University in 2002 and is author of Crafting Mexico: Intellectuals, Artisans, and the State after the Revolution (Duke UP, 2010) and numerous articles and essays on race, aesthetics, and nation formation in Mexico and on US Latinx experience.
Tiffany Decker is a Senior Assistant Dean of Students at Columbia University’s School of General Studies. In this role, she advises over 250 non-traditional students, while leading the school's graduate and professional school initiatives. A first-generation college student, Tiffany’s work focuses primarily on student access to tertiary and post-graduate education. She holds a B.A. in English and history from Agnes Scott College and an M.S.Ed. in higher education administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
Shakima Clency draws from her first-gen experiences to inform her work as the Associate Dean of Students for Student Empowerment and Director of First-Gen and Low-Income Student Support at Cornell University. Prior to this role, she served as the diversity fellow at Alfred University and oversaw the first year common read, seminar courses, peer mentors, and financial literacy initiatives at the UNC Greensboro. Shakima obtained her M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration from Canisius College and a B.S. in Business Administration from Alfred University. Currently, Shakima is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Cultural Studies from UNC Greensboro.
Javier Jiménez is an Assistant Dean in Georgetown College, the largest and oldest undergraduate school at Georgetown. In this role, he advises juniors and seniors who major in foreign languages, comparative literature, history, and psychology. As an advisor, he helps students design their academic paths at Georgetown and especially advises them as they complete their degrees. Dean Jiménez’s academic background is in literary and cultural studies. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, Master’s in English Literature from San Francisco State University, and Bachelor’s degree is in combined history-sociology from Columbia University.
Ben is the Director of Programming and Assessment for Diversity and Community Engagement and Associate Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Haverford College. His work focuses on creating opportunities to engage with and across identities through workshops, co-curricular advising, and collaboration across the institution.
New York University
Sarah Beth Bailey
Sarah Beth Bailey serves as the Assistant Dean for New Students and Director of Student Success in the College of Arts and Science at New York University. She oversees the College Cohort Program, orientation, first-year academic advising processes, student government, and is a founding member of the Proud to Be First Leadership Team. Sarah Beth grew up in rural Ohio and is proudly in the first generation of her family to complete a four-year degree. She earned a B.A in History from Saint Mary's College - Notre Dame, an M.A. in Higher Education from Rowan University, and an Ed.D from Rutgers University. She also teaches in the Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA) program in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. Sarah Beth is passionate about working with college students and supporting them through the challenges and successes of college life. Her research interests include strategies that support queer students and first-generation college students.
Trace Jordan is a Clinical Professor in the College Core Curriculum and Director of the Foundations of Science Inquiry program. He also teaches a First-Year Seminar entitled “What is College For?” Professor Jordan is a three-time recipient of the CAS Golden Dozen Teaching Award. He is the Faculty Fellow-in-Residence in Senior House, NYU’s upper-class residence on West 13th Street. Professor Jordan was a first-generation college student and is a founding member of the leadership team for Proud to Be First.
Kourtney Cockrell is the Founding Director of Student Enrichment Services at Northwestern University, an office that works with students coming from first-generation, lower-income, and/or undocumented backgrounds. Kourtney has spent close to 20 years working with organizations to increase access and opportunity for marginalized students and young professionals across higher education and the nonprofit and private sectors. Her work as a scholar practitioner is informed through the Intergroup Dialogue framework at the University of Michigan and her graduate education in learning and organizational change. Kourtney is a co-founder of the FGLI Consortium, a national organiation that provides leadership, expertise, and resources around the experience of first-generation, lower-income college students at highly selective institutions.
Meghan Finn, LCSW is a first generation college student. Meghan received her BA in Cultural Studies from Columbia College Chicago and her MA in Social Work from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Meghan began her career in the social services at the IL Department of Children & Family Services. After completing her social work degree and obtaining licensure, Meghan shifted her desire to work with women and children to Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Prentice Ambulatory Care Clinic. There, Meghan provided mental health services to women with limited resources using IL Medicaid to obtain medical care for a wide range of women’s health needs. Meghan transitioned to Higher Education in 2014, and now functions as the Care & Referral Coordinator for CAPS at Northwestern University. Dedication to serving clients with limited resources understand and navigate systems has remained a tenant of Meghan’s practice.
Rosemary Magana, LCPC is a first generation college student. Rosemary’s clinical career began working at UCAN’s clinical counseling service providing intensive case management, individual, and family therapy to those with open cases through the IL Department of Children and Family Services. Rosemary’s higher education experience began as, ‘Staff Therapist’ and then ‘Coordinator of Counseling Services’ at Columbia College Chicago. Rosemary is currently a Staff therapist and the liaison to Latinx community at Northwestern’s Counseling and Psychological services. Social justice, advocacy, and outreach to Latinx and FGLI students inform her role at Northwestern CAPS. Rosemary is currently an executive board member of the non profit agency Mujeres Latinas en Accion.
Sharitza is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Born and raised in Chicago, she received a Bachelor’s in Community Psychology from DePaul University and a Master’s in Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to beginning her career Sharitza volunteered as a Rape Crisis Counselor and Educator with Rape Victims Advocates, provided case management at Children’s Home + Aid, and facilitated several life skills/empowerment groups for young women. After receiving her Master’s degree, Sharitza provided brief-solution focused individual and family therapy with students with UCAN. Since 2014, Sharitza switched gears and began utilizing her social work skills to emotionally support and advocate for low-income and/or first-generation students in higher education. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Student Enrichment Services at Northwestern University.
Dean Gonzalez is responsible for programs and initiatives within the Office of the Dean of the College that support and advance Princeton’s commitment to an inclusive undergraduate student body. She plays a leading role in the creation, implementation, and management of strategic initiatives designed to enhance the experience of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and other historically underrepresented groups. In addition, she oversees the Freshman Scholars Institute (FSI) and co-coordinates the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. Khristina is a co-founder of the FGLI Consortium, a national organization that provides leadership, expertise, and resources around the experience of first-generation, lower-income college students at highly selective institutions.
Dr. Keith Shaw is the Director of Transfer, Veteran, and Non-Traditional Student Programs at Princeton, responsible for building and maintaining the university's recently relaunched transfer program. His work at Princeton, as well as organizations like the Warrior-Scholar Project and Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, centers around promoting access and success for students underrepresented in the Ivy League, with a special focus on student veterans, community college transfers, and non-traditional students.
Jenny Roxas is a first generation and low-income graduate who earned a B.A. in Anthropology from California State University, Chico and an M.S. in Student Affairs and Higher Education at Indiana State University. Her background includes building a youth employment training program in Oakland, CA for probation, foster, gang-affiliated and undocumented youth and building the foundation for an award-winning art career community at the State University of New York, Oswego. Currently, she is an Assistant Director of Career Catalysts at BEAM, Stanford Career Education where she helps FLI students explore and define what meaningful work is for themselves.
Jennifer Rolen is a proud first-gen and low-income graduate from San Jose State University. She has an M.A, in Sociology of Education with a focus on equity and knowledge. She currently serves as the Assistant Dean and Associate Director of the FLI Office. She is passionate about equity in education. Jennifer and her team have put on the first conference for FLI students at Stanford, raised over $2M in funds for the office as well as create a new orientation for FLI students coming to Stanford. The FLI office is grateful for all of the support from Stanford and beyond.
Adriena is a first-generation college graduate from Detroit, Michigan. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and M.Ed. in Student Affairs from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is committed to uplifting and inspiring FLI students to pursue their purpose. Adriena has worked to promote college access and equity and ensures all students feel supported, encouraged, and connected to the campus community. Prior to coming to Stanford, Adriena worked with foster youth in the Peralta Colleges and as a counselor with the Educational Opportunity Program at California State University, East Bay.
The College of New Jersey
Tieka Harris is the associate director of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program at The College of New Jersey, and a doctoral candidate at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. The last 10 years of Tieka's career as an educator have been in higher education, where she developed interests in first-generation, low-income students, Black female undergraduates, opportunity programs, and first-year transitions. For approximately 5 years, her professional work has been dedicated to low-income, first-generation college students. Tieka's doctoral research focuses on the college navigation experiences of low-income, first-generation Black females who are not in opportunity programs.
The University of Chicago
Devon Moore is the founding Director of the Center for College Student Success at the University of Chicago. Prior to UChicago, Devon has worked at Princeton, Harvard, and MIT and received her AB from Princeton and EdM from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Devon is a co-founder of the FGLI Consortium, a national organization that provides leadership, expertise, and resources around the experience of first-generation, lower-income college students at highly selective institutions.
Ireri Rivas is the Director of Student Support Services at the University of Chicago. Prior to UChicago, her experience centered around social justice initiatives in the non-profit sector. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Nevada, Reno and a master’s degree in comparative literature from UChicago.
Jaime Hermosillo received a Master of Education in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago. He works with Student Support Services in the Center for Identity + Inclusion at the University of Chicago where he advocates for and supports first-generation, low-income, and undocumented students. Jaime’s passion lies in working with marginalized student populations at colleges and universities. He has previous experience working in multicultural student affairs and fraternity and sorority life. When he is not working, he likes to listen to podcasts, visit local coffee shops, and read.
The University of Michigan
As a Hall Director at The University of Michigan, Trebby's responsibilities include managing the day-to-day operations of a Residence Hall and ensuring proper implementation of all safety and emergency management protocols in the hall. As part of managing her Residence Hall, Trebby also oversees the 1st Gen Theme Community where first-year students can opt into living in a specific hall within the Residential Community to live and learn alongside those who identify similarly. Trebby received her Master of Education in Higher Education from Loyola University of Chicago and received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Indiana University-Bloomington.
Robert Mack serves as the Chief Diversity Officer, Associate Provost, Associate Dean for Student Success and Advising and Director of the BLAST program at Tufts University. He oversees the Office for Student Success and Advising and the FIRST Resource Center. Rob came to Tufts in 2012 from Curry College, where he directed the academic advising system and provided support to students who faced transitional and academic challenges. Prior to Curry, he was Director of Student Support Services program. Rob received his Doctorate in Education Administration and Supervision (Ed.D.) from the American International College.
Margot Cardamone started at Tufts University in 2016 and has been working in the Office for Student Success and Advising since June of 2017, first as a Student Success Advisor with a focus on supporting students with undocumented status and in June 2018 she transitioned to Associate Director for Student Success and Advising managing the operations of the office and the FIRST Resource Center a center established to support First Generation, Low Income and Undocumented students. Before coming to Tufts she completed her Master's in Higher Education at Harvard University and before that taught fourth grade in Charlotte North Carolina.
Jared Smith started at Tufts University in 2016 as a Student Success Advisor (SSA). In addition to his work as an SSA, Jared serves as the Assistant Director of the BLAST Program, a bridge program designed to support, develop, and retain students who may be first in their family to attend a four year college, and/or have attended under resourced high school and/or have been affiliated with a college access agency. In addition to his position in the Office for Student Success and Advising and the FIRST Resource Center, Jared is currently pursuing a Master's in Diversity and inclusion Leadership at Tufts.
University of Notre Dame
Consuela G. Howell has been with the university for the past 11 years. She is the Director of The Office of Student Enrichment which is Notre Dame's premier resource for First Gen/UnderResourced students. She hails from Southern California and obtained her undergraduate degree from The University of California Los Angeles. She has her masters in education from Indiana University. She is a lover of books and considers herself to be a lifelong learner. Her passion and mission are to instill and encourage hope in others.
Washington University in St. Louis
Lucy Chin is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis who now works as the Coordinator for Student Success Programs within the Office for Student Success. Her role centers around facilitating community development opportunities and managing the staff of twenty-four students who engage in mentorship and outreach with Deneb STARS program participants. In her time as an undergraduate at Washington University, Lucy double majored in Anthropology and American Culture Studies and participated in various civic engagement initiatives across the St. Louis area.
Dr. Fields, Assistant Dean, Student Success, manages academic initiatives for the Office for Student Success. Dr. Fields, first generation and low-income as an undergraduate, earned bachelors in chemistry (Morehouse) and chemical engineering (Georgia Tech), and a doctorate in chemistry (WashU). He created and directed Academic Programs; directed TRiO SSS; and chaired the Provost’s socioeconomic diversity advisory group. Dr. Fields’ report, “Increasing Undergraduate Socioeconomic Diversity at Washington University in St. Louis,” summarized preparedness for, and offered recommendations to, facilitate student success. Dr. Fields has worked for Procter & Gamble, pastored a local church, and been recognized for teaching and mentoring students.
April Ruiz is Associate Dean at Williams College. In this role she supports students at all stages in their undergraduate education and oversees the college's First Generation Student Program. Before arriving at Williams in 2018, April served as a Residential College Dean at Yale University and as Dean of First-Year Scholars at Yale, a summer program designed to enhance the transition to Yale for incoming FGLI students. April was the first in her family to go to college and graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Cognitive Science and the University of St. Andrews with a Ph.D. in Psychology.