Speakers and Special Guests

Keynote Speakers

Sarah Whitley

Senior Director, Center for First-generation Student Success at NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

Sarah E. Whitley serves as senior director of the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation. Prior to joining NASPA, Sarah earned a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Virginia's ...
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La’Tonya Rease Miles

Director of First Year Experience & Strategic Initiatives at UCLA

La’Tonya (LT) is the director of First Year Experience & Strategic Initiatives at UCLA, where she works collaboratively with the residential life and student affairs departments as well as academic departments campus-wide to develop initiatives and increase awareness of the first-year experience. Dr. Miles has ...
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FGLI Stories Speakers

Josh Farris

Conference Co-Director at University of Virginia

Josh Farris is a 4th year student at the University of Virginia. He studies Youth & Social Innovation at the Curry School of Education. Outside of class, Josh serves as the Co-Director for the 2019 AL1GN Conference. He also assists a professor in designing a ...
Read More

Darnisha Pitts

Student at University of Virginia

Darnisha Pitts is a 4th year nursing student formerly in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, she decided that nursing was her passion and transferred into the School of Nursing in her 2nd year. During her 5 years at UVA, she has been involved ...
Read More

I. Pettie Perkins

Old Dominion University

I. Pettie Perkins is a student, daughter, friend and single parent that is learning new ways to help herself and others through life. She likes to cook, dance, make organic toiletries, and write. She is going to graduate with a bachelor's degree in English and ...
Read More

Brandon Thompson

Economics Student at University of Virginia

Brandon Thompson is a 3rd year student at UVA studying Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a minor in Government. On Grounds, his main commitments are the UVA Career Center as a Career Peer Educator and Vice Chair for Communication, being a ...
Read More

Elizabeth Foshe

Student at Virginia Commonwealth University

Elizabeth Foshe is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University and will be graduating Summer 2019. She will receive her Bachelor’s Degree in both Political Science and Philosophy with concentrations in civil rights and law. She plans to pursue her Master’s in Women’s Studies this fall.

Regina Carter

UVA

Regina Sierra Carter is a Teaching and Learning Librarian at the University of Virginia (UVA). Carter joined the UVA Library in June 2016 and serves as the Program Coordinator for the library’s high school internship program, which provides local youth from underrepresented groups with work ...
Read More

Tarnika Edmunds

Old Dominion University

While growing up in a predominantly African- American assisted living neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, Tarnika has exceeded and have beaten all of the odds that were put against her. Tarnika Edmunds is a sophomore who goes above and beyond to succeed in life. Tarnika was ...
Read More

Student Success Panelists

Ellie Brasacchio

Conference Co-Director at University of Virginia

Ellie Brasacchio is a third-year first-generation student from Manassas, VA. She currently serves as the Chair of the Representative Body of the UVA Student Council and the Co-Chair for the AL1GN Conference. On Grounds, she worked to open the UVA Community Food Pantry and start ...
Read More

Cameron Stokes

Student at University of Virginia

Cameron Stokes is a 4th Year student in the Curry School of Education and Human Development double majoring in Youth & Social Innovation and Psychology. He is from Portsmouth, VA. Currently he holds positions around Grounds as the Vice President of the Iota Beta Chapter ...
Read More

Brandon Kim

Student at University of Virginia

Brandon Kim is a 4th year studying Political and Social Thought at UVA. On Grounds, his main involvements are the University Guide Service, PULSE, and the Asian Student Union. Working closely with the Outreach team in the Undergraduate Admissions Office, Brandon helped start Hoos First ...
Read More

Alara Bedir

Student at University of Virginia

Alara Bedir is a 3rd year studying Systems Engineering and is the current President of UVa's Questbridge Scholars Network - an organization that supports many FGLI students. Outside of academics, Alara is a manager at Cavalier Connect, the fundraising phonathon at UVa. She also spends ...
Read More

Margie Sosa

Student at The College of Wooster

A Peruvian immigrant and first-generation student, Margie is a passionate advocate for education and immigration reform. She is currently a visiting student at the University of Oxford where she studies Politics and International Relations. At her home institution, The College of Wooster, she is a ...
Read More

Michaela Moses

Programs Chair at University of Virginia

Michaela is a 4th year student at the University of Virginia where she majors in History. Her research primarily inquires into the economic, political, and social status of the southern African American population in post-Reconstruction America and the mass migration of blacks out of the ...
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Workshop Leaders

Grace Cleveland

Director of Admissions at University of Virginia School of Law

Grace Cleveland is director of admissions for the University of Virginia School of Law. She previously worked as a law clerk for Stephanie A. Gallagher, U.S. magistrate judge for the District of Maryland, and for David C. Norton, U.S. district judge for the District of ...
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Career Peer Educators

University of Virginia

Career Peer Educators (CPEs) are full-time undergraduates who serve as a bridge between the Career Center and students. They support the UVA Career Center mission by expanding the Career Center's ability to reach students through staffing office hours, giving outreach workshops, and supporting career community ...
Read More

Nicole Fischer

Assistant Director for Outreach at UVA Student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Nicole L. Fischer, PhD is the Assistant Director for Outreach and a licensed clinical psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in the Department of Student Health and Wellness at the University of Virginia. She oversees CAPS community engagement, mental wellness outreach, and prevention for ...
Read More

Alicia Frantz

Instructor at University of Virginia

Alicia Frantz is an instructor for Organic Chemistry lecture. She earned a B.S. in Forensic Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. She is currently focusing on implementation of guided inquiry based learning in courses with large enrollment. Attending a large ...
Read More

Kris Harvey

Founder and Director at FirstGenerationCollegeStudents.org

A first-generation college graduate from a rural midwestern town, Kris now holds a B.A. from Purdue University (graduated Phi Beta Kappa) and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University. Kris has been passionate for years about helping other first-generation and low-income students successfully navigate higher education, and ...
Read More

Sophie Logan

The Scale Project (Bard College)

Sophie grew up in Middlebury, Vermont and is now a senior at Bard College double majoring in Economics and German Studies. Her interest in equity stemmed from the socioeconomic divides she saw at her high school. She founded The Scale Project in summer of 2017, ...
Read More

Josipa Roksa

Professor of Sociology and Education & Senior Advisor for Academic Programs at Office of Executive VP and Provost, University of Virginia

Josipa Roksa is professor of sociology and education at the University of Virginia. She also serves as Senior Advisor for Academic Programs in the Office of Executive Vice President and Provost. Professor Roksa’s research has focused on understanding social inequality in higher education, and in ...
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Lauren Schandevel

Student at University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Lauren Schandevel is a 4th year student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor studying Public Policy with a minor in Community Action and Social Change. She and her friend Griffin founded the student organization Michigan Affordability and Advocacy Coalition (MAAC) in March 2018 ...
Read More

Chris Sinclair

Executive Director - External Affairs at FLIP National

Chris Sinclair is a recent graduate of the School of General Studies at Columbia University, earning a BA in Political Science with a minor in Business Management. Chris is a founding member of FLIP at Columbia, served as its first GS Representative, was a co-chair ...
Read More

Quinton Swan

Graduate Intern at UVA Career Center

At the UVA Career Center, Quinton serves as a Graduate Intern for the Counseling Team and works closely with the First Generation initiatives in the office. He also works with the Public Service and Government Career Community as well as supporting all Career Communities. Quinton ...
Read More

Chris Doran

Communications and Financial Wellness and Education Manager at UVA Student Financial Services

Chris Doran is an Accredited Financial Counselor and has worked in Student Financial Services at the University of Virginia since 2010 as the Communications and Financial Wellness and Education Manager. He has presented on personal finance topics and service operations at conferences across the United ...
Read More

Gwen Dilworth

Student at University of Virginia

Gwen Dilworth is a fourth-year student at UVA majoring in American Studies with a concentration in the South. She is one of the co-founders of the UVA Community Food Pantry and currently serves as the pantry’s Executive Director.

Dudley Doane

Director of the International Studies Office (ISO) and Summer and Special Academic Programs at University of Virginia

Dudley Doane is Director of the International Studies Office (ISO) and Summer and Special Academic Programs. He oversees Education Abroad, the International Students and Scholars Program, the Lorna Sundberg International Center, Summer Session, January Term, and Center for American English Language and Culture. Dudley came ...
Read More

Margaret Walter

Education Abroad Advisor at University of Virginia

Margaret Walter joined the Education Abroad team in January 2016. Previously, Margaret worked in the study abroad office at Fordham University and in the College of Global Studies at Arcadia University, and briefly in UVA’s Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of ...
Read More

Mairin Shea

Student at University of Virginia

Mairin Shea is a third-year student at the University of Virginia studying Public Policy in the Batten School and minoring in Foreign Affairs. She is currently the Operations Manager for the UVA Community Food Pantry and played an integral role in the pantry’s founding.

Katherine Alford

Senior Associate Director of Admissions at University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Katherine Alford has been on the Admissions Committee at Darden since 2009. She enjoys meeting applicants all around the world and specifically encouraging young adults to find meaningful careers in business. Prior to Darden she spent 3 years working as the Assistant Director at the ...
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All Speakers

Katherine Alford

Senior Associate Director of Admissions at University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Katherine Alford has been on the Admissions Committee at Darden since 2009. She enjoys meeting applicants all around the world and specifically encouraging young adults to find meaningful careers in business. Prior to Darden she spent 3 years working as the Assistant Director at the ...
Read More

Alara Bedir

Student at University of Virginia

Alara Bedir is a 3rd year studying Systems Engineering and is the current President of UVa's Questbridge Scholars Network - an organization that supports many FGLI students. Outside of academics, Alara is a manager at Cavalier Connect, the fundraising phonathon at UVa. She also spends ...
Read More

Ellie Brasacchio

Conference Co-Director at University of Virginia

Ellie Brasacchio is a third-year first-generation student from Manassas, VA. She currently serves as the Chair of the Representative Body of the UVA Student Council and the Co-Chair for the AL1GN Conference. On Grounds, she worked to open the UVA Community Food Pantry and start ...
Read More

Regina Carter

UVA

Regina Sierra Carter is a Teaching and Learning Librarian at the University of Virginia (UVA). Carter joined the UVA Library in June 2016 and serves as the Program Coordinator for the library’s high school internship program, which provides local youth from underrepresented groups with work ...
Read More

Grace Cleveland

Director of Admissions at University of Virginia School of Law

Grace Cleveland is director of admissions for the University of Virginia School of Law. She previously worked as a law clerk for Stephanie A. Gallagher, U.S. magistrate judge for the District of Maryland, and for David C. Norton, U.S. district judge for the District of ...
Read More

Gwen Dilworth

Student at University of Virginia

Gwen Dilworth is a fourth-year student at UVA majoring in American Studies with a concentration in the South. She is one of the co-founders of the UVA Community Food Pantry and currently serves as the pantry’s Executive Director.

Dudley Doane

Director of the International Studies Office (ISO) and Summer and Special Academic Programs at University of Virginia

Dudley Doane is Director of the International Studies Office (ISO) and Summer and Special Academic Programs. He oversees Education Abroad, the International Students and Scholars Program, the Lorna Sundberg International Center, Summer Session, January Term, and Center for American English Language and Culture. Dudley came ...
Read More

Chris Doran

Communications and Financial Wellness and Education Manager at UVA Student Financial Services

Chris Doran is an Accredited Financial Counselor and has worked in Student Financial Services at the University of Virginia since 2010 as the Communications and Financial Wellness and Education Manager. He has presented on personal finance topics and service operations at conferences across the United ...
Read More

Tarnika Edmunds

Old Dominion University

While growing up in a predominantly African- American assisted living neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, Tarnika has exceeded and have beaten all of the odds that were put against her. Tarnika Edmunds is a sophomore who goes above and beyond to succeed in life. Tarnika was ...
Read More

Career Peer Educators

University of Virginia

Career Peer Educators (CPEs) are full-time undergraduates who serve as a bridge between the Career Center and students. They support the UVA Career Center mission by expanding the Career Center's ability to reach students through staffing office hours, giving outreach workshops, and supporting career community ...
Read More

Josh Farris

Conference Co-Director at University of Virginia

Josh Farris is a 4th year student at the University of Virginia. He studies Youth & Social Innovation at the Curry School of Education. Outside of class, Josh serves as the Co-Director for the 2019 AL1GN Conference. He also assists a professor in designing a ...
Read More

Nicole Fischer

Assistant Director for Outreach at UVA Student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Nicole L. Fischer, PhD is the Assistant Director for Outreach and a licensed clinical psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in the Department of Student Health and Wellness at the University of Virginia. She oversees CAPS community engagement, mental wellness outreach, and prevention for ...
Read More

Elizabeth Foshe

Student at Virginia Commonwealth University

Elizabeth Foshe is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University and will be graduating Summer 2019. She will receive her Bachelor’s Degree in both Political Science and Philosophy with concentrations in civil rights and law. She plans to pursue her Master’s in Women’s Studies this fall.

Alicia Frantz

Instructor at University of Virginia

Alicia Frantz is an instructor for Organic Chemistry lecture. She earned a B.S. in Forensic Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. She is currently focusing on implementation of guided inquiry based learning in courses with large enrollment. Attending a large ...
Read More

Kris Harvey

Founder and Director at FirstGenerationCollegeStudents.org

A first-generation college graduate from a rural midwestern town, Kris now holds a B.A. from Purdue University (graduated Phi Beta Kappa) and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University. Kris has been passionate for years about helping other first-generation and low-income students successfully navigate higher education, and ...
Read More

Brandon Kim

Student at University of Virginia

Brandon Kim is a 4th year studying Political and Social Thought at UVA. On Grounds, his main involvements are the University Guide Service, PULSE, and the Asian Student Union. Working closely with the Outreach team in the Undergraduate Admissions Office, Brandon helped start Hoos First ...
Read More

Christopher Lam

Co-Founder at AL1GN

Chris Lam is one of the co-founders of AL1GN. Chris graduated in May 2017 with a dual Bachelor's from Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he majored in applied mathematics, and Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he ...
Read More

Sophie Logan

The Scale Project (Bard College)

Sophie grew up in Middlebury, Vermont and is now a senior at Bard College double majoring in Economics and German Studies. Her interest in equity stemmed from the socioeconomic divides she saw at her high school. She founded The Scale Project in summer of 2017, ...
Read More

La’Tonya Rease Miles

Director of First Year Experience & Strategic Initiatives at UCLA

La’Tonya (LT) is the director of First Year Experience & Strategic Initiatives at UCLA, where she works collaboratively with the residential life and student affairs departments as well as academic departments campus-wide to develop initiatives and increase awareness of the first-year experience. Dr. Miles has ...
Read More

Michaela Moses

Programs Chair at University of Virginia

Michaela is a 4th year student at the University of Virginia where she majors in History. Her research primarily inquires into the economic, political, and social status of the southern African American population in post-Reconstruction America and the mass migration of blacks out of the ...
Read More

I. Pettie Perkins

Old Dominion University

I. Pettie Perkins is a student, daughter, friend and single parent that is learning new ways to help herself and others through life. She likes to cook, dance, make organic toiletries, and write. She is going to graduate with a bachelor's degree in English and ...
Read More

Darnisha Pitts

Student at University of Virginia

Darnisha Pitts is a 4th year nursing student formerly in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, she decided that nursing was her passion and transferred into the School of Nursing in her 2nd year. During her 5 years at UVA, she has been involved ...
Read More

Josipa Roksa

Professor of Sociology and Education & Senior Advisor for Academic Programs at Office of Executive VP and Provost, University of Virginia

Josipa Roksa is professor of sociology and education at the University of Virginia. She also serves as Senior Advisor for Academic Programs in the Office of Executive Vice President and Provost. Professor Roksa’s research has focused on understanding social inequality in higher education, and in ...
Read More

Lauren Schandevel

Student at University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Lauren Schandevel is a 4th year student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor studying Public Policy with a minor in Community Action and Social Change. She and her friend Griffin founded the student organization Michigan Affordability and Advocacy Coalition (MAAC) in March 2018 ...
Read More

Mairin Shea

Student at University of Virginia

Mairin Shea is a third-year student at the University of Virginia studying Public Policy in the Batten School and minoring in Foreign Affairs. She is currently the Operations Manager for the UVA Community Food Pantry and played an integral role in the pantry’s founding.

Chris Sinclair

Executive Director - External Affairs at FLIP National

Chris Sinclair is a recent graduate of the School of General Studies at Columbia University, earning a BA in Political Science with a minor in Business Management. Chris is a founding member of FLIP at Columbia, served as its first GS Representative, was a co-chair ...
Read More

Margie Sosa

Student at The College of Wooster

A Peruvian immigrant and first-generation student, Margie is a passionate advocate for education and immigration reform. She is currently a visiting student at the University of Oxford where she studies Politics and International Relations. At her home institution, The College of Wooster, she is a ...
Read More

Cameron Stokes

Student at University of Virginia

Cameron Stokes is a 4th Year student in the Curry School of Education and Human Development double majoring in Youth & Social Innovation and Psychology. He is from Portsmouth, VA. Currently he holds positions around Grounds as the Vice President of the Iota Beta Chapter ...
Read More

Quinton Swan

Graduate Intern at UVA Career Center

At the UVA Career Center, Quinton serves as a Graduate Intern for the Counseling Team and works closely with the First Generation initiatives in the office. He also works with the Public Service and Government Career Community as well as supporting all Career Communities. Quinton ...
Read More

Brandon Thompson

Economics Student at University of Virginia

Brandon Thompson is a 3rd year student at UVA studying Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a minor in Government. On Grounds, his main commitments are the UVA Career Center as a Career Peer Educator and Vice Chair for Communication, being a ...
Read More

Margaret Walter

Education Abroad Advisor at University of Virginia

Margaret Walter joined the Education Abroad team in January 2016. Previously, Margaret worked in the study abroad office at Fordham University and in the College of Global Studies at Arcadia University, and briefly in UVA’s Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of ...
Read More

Sarah Whitley

Senior Director, Center for First-generation Student Success at NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

Sarah E. Whitley serves as senior director of the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation. Prior to joining NASPA, Sarah earned a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Virginia's ...
Read More