First Things First

Welcome to the the First Things First project, a test in “virtual” mentorship. This idea, an evolution of UCI’s First-Generation Faculty Initiative, is designed to help first-gen students overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic. This new virtual mentorship program pairs two incoming UCI first-gen students with first-gen faculty members for a year-long, social-media-distributed conversation about the transition to university life. The goal of First Things First is to help UCI’s entire first-gen population, as well as first-gen students throughout higher education, build a sense of community—even in this remote college environment.


 

Questions

Final First Things First Conversations

Final First Things First Conversations

To commemorate the year-long First Things First virtual mentorship project, our first-gen students and their faculty mentors sit down for ...
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What Do You Suggest That Students Do Over Summer Break?

What Do You Suggest That Students Do Over Summer Break?

In the final First Things First video exchange of the year,  Professor Anita Casavantes Bradford and Professor Pavan Kadandale answer ...
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How Will You Support Students as They Adapt to In-Person Learning?

How Will You Support Students as They Adapt to In-Person Learning?

In this newest installment of the First Things First mentorship series, Professor Anita Casavantes Bradford and Professor Pavan Kadandale respond ...
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How Have You Adapted Your Courses or Teaching Style During the Pandemic?

How Have You Adapted Your Courses or Teaching Style During the Pandemic?

In this latest First Things First update, Professors Anita Casavantes Bradford and Pavan Kadandale discuss what they have done to ...
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How is the UCI Community Helping First-Gen Students with Financial Aid in the Remote Setting?

How is the UCI Community Helping First-Gen Students with Financial Aid in the Remote Setting?

It’s the final quarter of the First Things First project, and our first-gen students and their faculty mentors are changing ...
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Winter 2021 End-of-Quarter Student Interviews with Faculty

Winter 2021 End-of-Quarter Student Interviews with Faculty

In the final First Things First update of Winter Quarter 2021, our first-gen students and their faculty mentors finally come ...
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Has Being a College Student Changed Your Relationship With Your Family and/or Community?

Has Being a College Student Changed Your Relationship With Your Family and/or Community?

In this newest installment of First Things First, our student-mentor pairs respond to the prompt “Has Being a College Student ...
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Do You Disclose Your Identity as a First-Gen Student to Others?

Do You Disclose Your Identity as a First-Gen Student to Others?

In this First Things First update, Gretta and Leon and their faculty mentors, Prof. Casavantes Bradford and Prof. Kadandale, respond ...
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How has COVID and the Political Unrest in the Country Impacted You?

How has COVID and the Political Unrest in the Country Impacted You?

In the latest installment of First Things First, Gretta Ozuna and Leon Masuda respond to the question “How has COVID ...
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Do You Feel Differently About Being a University Student This Quarter?

Do You Feel Differently About Being a University Student This Quarter?

To kick off the Winter 2021 edition of First Things First, Gretta and Leon respond to the question: “Thinking back ...
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What To Expect

Each week, the two freshmen students (selected through a competitive application process) will record a video responding to a prompt provided by their faculty mentors. The prompts will encourage the students to share their unique impressions, experiences and insights on a range of topics related to their experiences as a first-gen, first-year student. Then, faculty mentors will respond with their own video, offering advice, sharing strategies and reflecting on their own similar experiences. The video dialogue aims to reach a wide community of UCI first-gen students and to help them feel recognized, understood and encouraged as they confront the challenges of their new remote learning environment.

During Weeks Five and Ten, the faculty and students will meet face-to-face via Zoom. These video calls will invite more in-depth conversations between mentor and mentee. Through the process of creating both individual and collaborative videos, faculty and students will establish rapport, get to know each other and strengthen their connections.