2019 1stGen@Iowa Award Recipient
First-Generation Student Achievement Award
Miguel Angel Jacobo is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Spanish and Interdepartmental Studies on the Pre-Med track. Miguel was born and raised in West Liberty, Iowa. This small town, which has a population of fewer than five thousand residents, is situated just outside of Iowa City and was the first town in Iowa to have a majority Hispanic population. Miguel, who is the oldest of four siblings, has long dreamt of coming to the University of Iowa, especially given its close proximity to his home town. Growing up in a household where neither parent had attended college made the reality of enrolling at the University of Iowa somewhat intimidating. Even though Miguel had always excelled in high school, he arrived at the university feeling uncertain with whether or not he could be just as successful in college. However, because of the numerous academic resources and developmental opportunities available to students, Miguel has continued to excel academically. In addition, upon his arrival Miguel struggled to meet peers with similar interests as his, and he initially found it difficult to connect to campus. Eventually Miguel discovered organizations like the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA), the Iowa Edge (TIE) student organization, and other minority-based communities on campus that helped him successfully transition to his new surroundings. Miguel is now president of the Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Director of Public Relations for TIE, a 3rd year Peer Leader for the Iowa Edge Program, a mentor through ALMA, a tutor for TRIO Student Support Services, a Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) Scholar, and a proud student leader that helped push the social media campaign, #DoesUiowaLoveMe. While Miguel has received numerous awards for his academic achievements and service to the University of Iowa and its surrounding communities, he attributes much of his success to the many mentors he has been blessed to cross paths with.