First Generation College Celebration

TRIO SSS and Student Life host panel discussion in Green Room

TRIO Student Support Services and Student Life hosted the Second Annual First Generation College Celebration at Inver Hills Community College. The event was held in the Green Room from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, November 8, 2018. The date represented the 53rd anniversary of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which first authorized Federal TRIO Programs. Celebrations were held across the U.S. that day.

Learn more by visiting:
Council for Opportunity in Education

The First Generation College Celebration included:

  • Faculty and staff panelists who are first-generation college graduates
    • Nicole Bietz, Counselor
    • Randi Goettl, Director of Accessibility Resources
    • Karen Schmidberger, Office Administrative Specialist
  • Discussion of first-generation student success at Inver Hills and nationally
  • Student-designed buttons celebrating their first-generation identity
    • Buttons were the result of a contest leading up to the event

Matt Kruger, TRIO SSS director at Inver Hills, reported that the federal definition of first-generation reads as follows:

(A) An individual both of whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree; OR
(B) In the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree.

“This event was directly relevant to education, sociology, anthropology, human services and several other disciplines,” Matt said. “We had a great turnout of students, staff and faculty.”

First-Generation Student Spotlight: Houa Vang

Houa Vang
Houa Vang

Originally from Wat Tham Krabok, a village in Thailand, Houa Vang, 17, arrived with her family in Wisconsin in 2004. Thirteen years later, Houa graduated from Eagan High School after skipping kindergarten, first grade and second grade. She’s a sophomore at Inver Hills and belongs to Phi Theta Kappa and Asian Club. She also serves as a TRIO SSS peer mentor.

Houa is a pre-Nursing student with plans to enroll in the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) program and earn a Bachelor of Nursing (B.S.N.) through Metropolitan State University. She has focused her career plans on becoming a midwife nurse.

In her free time, Houa likes reading fantasy novels. She especially enjoyed the Twilight vampire-themed series.

Three words that describe you as a college student:
QUIET. HELPFUL. HAPPY.

Houa Vang | Q & A

What’s one thing every first-generation college student should know?
Learn all you can about resources at the college, including financial aid and tutoring.

What do you like best about TRIO?
The advisors are really helpful. They make sure you take the courses you need to graduate. That’s important for the pre-Nursing curriculum.

What one word best describes your experience at Inver Hills?
WARM.

Houa Vang | 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Badminton
  2. aaa_badmintonPlace you would most like to visit: Seoul, South Korea
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Canoeing at the Audubon Center during Summer Bridge
  4. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Go for what you want.”
  5. Favorite all-time TV show: Criminal Minds
  6. Favorite all-time movie: One Liter of Tears
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Finish college and be a nurse
  8. Most valuable material possession: Necklace from my mom
  9. aaa_got7Dream occupation: Midwife nurse
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Got7 (South Korean boy band)
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Communication skills
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Climate change

First Generation College Celebration gallery


 First-Generation Student Spotlight: Ashley Mollers

Ashley Mollers
Ashley Mollers

Ashley Mollers, 19, graduated from Lakeville North High School, Class of 2017. Ashley’s a sophomore at Inver Hills and she works while going to school as a in-home personal care assistant. She studying biology with plans to transfer to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to major in biology or ecology.

Ashley has also considered going on with her schooling to become a veterinarian. Her focus at the moment is on making a career in conservation and ecology. She loves the idea of working in the field conducting experiments and collecting data.

When she’s not studying or working, Ashley enjoys watching movies. She likes action films best and is a big fan of the Marvel cinematic universe.

Three words that describe you as a college student:
COMMITTED. OUTGOING. HARD-WORKING.

Ashley Mollers | Q & A

What’s one thing every first-generation college student should know?
There will be times when you can’t relate to what you’re experiencing in college. TRIO provides a great support system of advisors and friends. You can depend on them and lean on them. You get out of TRIO what you put into it. All your hard work will pay off in the end. You will see the results.

What do you like best about TRIO?
I like the services TRIO provides, including academic advising and transfer planning. I’m way better off with TRIO than I would be without it.

What one word best describes your experience at Inver Hills?
REWARDING.

Ashley Mollers | 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Frisbee—I love playing Frisbee with my brother, Devin; it’s a great bonding experience.
  2. aaa_netherlandsPlace you would most like to visit: The Netherlands
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Water-tubing with my family
  4. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Stick with it.”
  5. Favorite all-time TV show: That ’70s Show
  6. Favorite all-time movie: Guardians of the Galaxy
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Be proud of myself.
  8. Most valuable material possession: iPhone 6
  9. aaa_harrietDream occupation: Exotic animal vet
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Harriet Tubman
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Cello
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Environment, pollution, taking care of the Earth
Learn more about TRIO Student Support Services at Inver Hills by contacting:

Matt Kruger
TRIO Student Support Services Director
Travelers EDGE Director
651-450-3701

Alicia Atwater
TRIO Student Support Services Advisor
651-450-3558

Carolyn Vue
TRIO Student Support Services Advisor
Travelers EDGE Advisor
651-450-3742

Learn more about Student Life at Inver Hills by contacting:

Nicki Bottko
Associate Director of Student Life
651-450-3530

Jenni Yamada
Student Life Activites Coordinator
651-450-3754

Student Life
651-450-3530
College Center Room 116

(left to right) Matt Kruger, Karen Schmidberger, Randi Goettl, Nicole Bietz
(left to right) Matt Kruger, Karen Schmidberger, Randi Goettl, Nicole Bietz

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