What is the UI First-Generation Task Force?



NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success Blog, October 2019
"Ways to make a difference: Building awareness and celebrating first-generation students"


NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success Blog, October 2018
"Grassroots Mobilization of Faculty and Staff to Support and Celebrate First-Generation Students"


Want to learn more about the 1stGen@Iowa campus-wide initiative to support and celebrate first-generation students? Click here for more information.


Leadership and Membership

  • Tanya Uden-Holman, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the University College, and Wayne Jacobson, Director of Assessment, are co-directors of the First-Generation Task Force.
  • Angela Lamb, Assistant Director of Academic Support and Retention, serves as the group's functional lead and leads the 1stGen@Iowa Initiative.


Current members of the First-Generation Task Force include: 

Amy Korthank                      CLAS Administration
Amy Baumgartner  Residence Education
Andrew Beckett  University College
Angela Ward  Distance and Online Education
Angela Lamb  University College
Angi McKie  Career Center
Anna Flaming  Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology Center for Teaching
Benjamin Hassman  Department of Rhetoric
Blaine Greteman  Department of English
Bret Gothe  Student Life
Carolyn Colvin  Teaching & Learning
Chandler Easley  Student Athlete Academic Services
Cody Pritchard  Center for Diversity & Enrichment
Cynthia Seyfer  Student Financial Aid
Dana Thomann  Department of Rhetoric
David Johnson  Office of the Registrar
Diane Crosby  Academic Advising Center
Erin Barnes  Rehabilitation & Counselor Education
Gabriela Rivera  Undergraduate Program Office, Tippie College of Business
Jamarco Clark  Office of the Dean of Students
James Ankrum  Biomedical Engineering
Jane Dorman  Engineering Administration
Jeffrey Hart  Department of Finance
Jenay Solomon  Library Administration 
Karen Torno Fashimpaur  CLAS Administration
Katherine McCullough  Diversity Equity & Inclusion
Kathryn Stoltenberg  Office of the Registrar
Lauren Garcia  College of Pharmacy
Linda Varvel  CCOM Administration
Lisa Ingram  Academic Advising Center
Maggy Tomova  Department of Mathematics
Margaret Chorazy  Public Health Administration
Martha Kirby  CLAS Administration
Mary Aldugom  Psychological and Brain Sciences
Matt Anson  Office of Assessment
Matthew Miller  Center for Diversity & Enrichment
Mirra Anson  University College
Patrick Rossmann  Student Health and Wellness
Sabrina Tapps-Fee  Office of Admissions
Sara Nasrollahian Mojarad  Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology Center for Teaching
Shaun Vecera  Psychological and Brain Sciences
Tabitha Wiggins  Center for Diversity & Enrichment
Tanya Uden-Holman  Provost Administration
Teri Schnelle  Office of the Vice President for Student Life
Wayne Jacobson  Office of Assessment



In the past, the University of Iowa has not had integrated campus-wide oversight and direction for coordinating first-generation student initiatives throughout campus, identifying unmet needs, selecting areas for further collaboration, disseminating lessons learned, or advocating for policies and practices that support these students.  However, given that nearly a quarter of undergraduate students at the University of Iowa identify as first-generation, the need for such guidance has become increasingly apparent. As a result, the First-Generation Task Force was created to serve some of these functions.


The First-Gen Task Force was convened in Spring 2017, to follow-up on initial recommendations of the 2016 Student Success Task Force and to further examine ways the institution can better support first-generation students. The Task Force was also specifically charged with considering the unique roles of faculty and staff in supporting the academic success of students with whom they work.


Task-Force Accomplishments

The Task Force began its work by reviewing literature- sharing research and best practices related to supporting first-generation students among its members- and assembling current institutional data. Because the Task Force meets only a few times throughout each semester, much of its work is done through smaller working groups that are assigned a specific task to complete and bring back to the larger group. As of October 2018, the working groups have so far:


  • Developed a handout that distills current research and institutional data and provides a brief introduction to the campus community on first-generation student concerns.   
  • Entered a partnership with the UI Undergraduate Student Government to host a now annual "I'm the First" First-Generation Summit.
  • Discussed plans for networking and mentoring opportunities that involve students, faculty, staff, and potentially, alumni. 
  • Initiated conversations on strategic dissemination of a cohesive, data-informed message to faculty and staff through trainings and purposeful discussions that will create systematic institutional change. 
  • Created a website designed to serve as a faculty and staff-facing campus hub of materials that includes critical information and a comprehensive listing of current Task Force events and initiatives. 
  • Collaborated with UI Marketing & Design to create the “1stGen@Iowa” logo and branding identity of the institutional initiative that seeks to inform and educate the campus community, support first-generation students in their academic and career endeavors, and ensure that students ultimately succeed at the University of Iowa. 
  • Led efforts to participate in the annual National First-Generation College Celebration through a week-long, campus-wide series of events every November.
  • Launched plans to recognize and celebrate first-generation students and advocates in an annual First-Generation Award and Recognition ceremony (inaugural event held in November 2019).
  • Worked to increase awareness of and celebrate the first-generation identity on campus through various campus initiatives. 
  • Created the "1stGen@Iowa Celebration Day" t-shirt distribution and coordinated efforts for all t-shirt owners to wear their shirts on the first Thursday of the fall semester, which also coincides with CDE's Community of Color Day.
  • Partnered with Residence Education and Rhetoric to bring back the First-Gen LLC and helped with programming elements.
  • Earned a First-Gen Forward designation, which recognizes institutions of higher education across the country that have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes for first-generation college students.