Carolina Grad Student FIRSTS Networking Event
Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS Networking Event

The Graduate School provides opportunities and resources for our Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS to aid in their academic success and to build community.  We define Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS as those whose parents(s)/guardian(s) have not earned a Master’s or Doctoral degree.  We recognize that our graduate students come from a broad range of diverse educational experiences, with many first-generation graduate students also having been first-generation college students.  This initiative focuses on navigating academic culture as a graduate-level scholar and thriving as an advanced student.

Some of our activities include:

  • Orientation activities that specifically address acclimating to academic culture
  • Understanding mentor/mentee relationship dynamics
  • Learning to ask for help around the university
  • Learning to say “no”/ time management in academia
  • Adopting the professional or academic persona
  • Communicating your academic training to family and friends
  • Learning to ask questions you assume everyone already knows
  • Understanding funding basics
  • Maintaining your physical & mental health while in graduate school
  • Tapping into and creating informal support networks
  • First-generation faculty panel discussion
  • First-Gen Fridays—social networking events at a Chapel Hill Restaurant/Pub
  • Student Advisory Board

Want to keep up to date on First-Gen Events & Info? E-mail Maria.Erb@unc.edu to join the Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS listserv.

Additional Resources

The Carolina F1RSTS office supports undergraduate first-generation college students. Their office welcomes faculty, staff, and graduate students to become Carolina F1RSTS Advocates to serve as resources. Advocates trainings are offered throughout the academic year.

For more information, contact:
Maria Dykema Erb, Co-Director
Diversity & Student Success Program
Maria.Erb@unc.edu or (919) 966-2613