Toolkit for 2021 First-Generation College Celebration Week

Events can be geared towards specific groups of students, faculty, staff... or everyone!

Not sure what "first-generation" means? Click here for more information.

Zoom Backgrounds

  1. Click on the Zoom background you want to use
  2. Right click on the image file and "save as" to your computer
  3. In your Zoom video settings, upload the .png file as your background
  4. Make sure the "Mirror my Video" is unchecked 

    Coming soon!

Ways To Participate

Events held as part of this celebration do not have to be expensive, time-consuming endeavors. Here are some ways your area can participate:

  • Already have a departmental event or meeting scheduled that week (or close to it)? Make it a themed event and feature the topic of first-generation students.
  • Do you and your colleagues have a 1stGen@Iowa T-shirt? If so, share pictures of you and your team wearing them on social media. Don't forget to use hashtags (below)
  • Be creative! Events may be held virtually- host a trivia night, virtual open mic, online yoga session...anything that brings people "together" to celebrate.
  • Host a faculty/student coffee hour and invite students to share their thoughts with each other on what it's like to be a first-gen student.
  • Work in a student service area? Host an informational session that specifically addresses issues that first-gen students may encounter or may find of particular interest.
  • Schedule a training session to help faculty/staff in your area learn how to better support first-generation students (contact for information).
  • Invite students to panel discussions, webinars, or film screenings.
  • Send an email to your department/students that recognizes the many accomplishments of your first-gen faculty, staff, and students (or alumni).
  • Review the Ways to Make a Difference webpage in your weekly departmental meeting and create (or enlist help to create) an action plan that is specific to your area.
  • Encourage everyone in your area to attend the Annual First-Gen at Iowa Awards & Recognition Ceremony on November 11 (see calendar for more information)
  • Need more ideas? Visit the NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success: 101 Ways to Celebrate on November 8

Advertising Your Event

  • Click here to add your event or planned activity to our master schedule. 
  • 1stGen@Iowa Logo- Use the 1stGen@logo on your electronic or printed correspondence. 
  • While we will be advertising as much as possible for this year's celebration, we also need your help! Please contact your target audience and invite them to attend your event (and encourage them to visit our website to see our full schedule of events).
  • Don't forget to utilize your social media accounts to help advertise for your event as well as the celebration in general.

During Your Event

  • Want to share photos & updates? Use #IowaFirstGen, #celebratefirstgen, @uiowa or #uiowa to participate in national and campus-wide social media campaigns.
  • Hosting an event and looking for some 1stGen@Iowa SWAG to distribute to your guests or use as prizes? Contact for 4-color pens, magnets, and stickers (supplies are limited). Bright yellow 1stGen@Iowa t-shirts may also be available. 

What's All Happening November 8 - 12?