Shippensburg University is celebrating the achievements and contributions of first-generation students during First-Gen Celebration Day on November 6. First-generation students are defined as those who are the first in their family to attend college.

According to the Center for First-Generation Student Success first-generation students are often academically capable, but may struggle to navigate college policies, procedures and expectations. At Shippensburg University, the Office for Students First uses research-based programs and best practices to provide support and resources that help first-gen students navigate their college experience. That support has made all the difference for students like Dameeyah Floyd of Philadelphia.

As a member of the marching band and vocal group Harmonic Voices of Truth, Floyd is a thriving member of the Ship community, but she didn’t always feel that way. The transition to Ship was hard at times hard and sometimes overwhelming for Floyd, but the Office for Students First helped her to find her place.

Now, the history major is pursuing a secondary education certification and hopes to educate and support future generations.

“My favorite thing about Ship is my support team and everyone who is there to give me a helping hand,” Floyd said.

To learn more about how you can support first-generation students and the Office for Students First join the celebration on November 6.

Noon to 1:00 p.m., Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Lunch and Learn (Reisner, T-Room): The Office for Students First and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning are partnering to celebrate first-generation students at SU through this lunch and learn experience. Guest speaker Irnande Altema, attorney, strategist and the author of “The Rise of a First Gen,” will be sharing her experience and giving vital strategies to help support first-gen students. For more information on the speaker, visit; attendees also have an opportunity to purchase her book after the event. Please RSVP at Limited seating is available.

2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Privilege Walk Social Activity: Join us as we take a journey on a privilege walkMarvin Worthy, area specialist consultant, will lead a privilege walk, in the CUB, MPR and discuss how we are all connected even when our backgrounds vary. This is a great classroom activity to participate in. To find out more information on what a Privilege Walk entails, check out this video.

3:30 to 4:30 p.m., First-generation Student Panel (CUB, Orndorff): Whether you’re faculty, staff, or a student, come out and hear from our panel of first-gen students on campus. They will share their experiences and discuss what being First-gen means to them and why first-gen students are invaluable to our campus life.

5:00 to 7:00 p.m., First-Gen Student Alliance Cookie-Off: The campus community is invited to join us and/or enter our first cookie-off competition. The winner, selected by a panel of judges, will receive a “golden” FG whisk, $25 gift card, and bragging rights as the Cookie Master. A $2 entry fee is required. Register online. If baking isn’t your skill, that’s okay; these yummy cookies will need eating. Join us in the CUB, MPR for open discussion, hot chocolate, apple cider, cookies and fun. You’ll also have time to bid on some great items. All funds received support FGSA student organization.