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BU/Duke/UNC 5th Annual First-Generation Graduate Student Symposium - The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success program

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BU/Duke/UNC 5th Annual First-Generation Graduate Student Symposium

March 25 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Join the Newbury Center, Duke University First-Generation Graduate Student Network, and UNC Chapel Hill Diversity and Student Success for our 5th annual symposium for graduate and professional students. The symposium will be on March 25, 2022 via Zoom. Please take a look at all the offerings we will have such as a talk with keynote speaker Rashné Jehangir, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Robert H. Beck Chair of Ideas, University of Minnesota, networking opportunities with other first-generation graduate/professional students at other institutions, sessions, and more! All times listed below are EST. Priority deadline for Boston University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill first-gen grad/professional students is Friday, March 11 before it is open to other institutions.

*This Symposium is only for current first-generation graduate and professional students.  While we appreciate the support of administrators, faculty, and staff, we would like to reserve the “seats” for students in this limited-capacity virtual event.  Thank you in advance for your understanding!


Keynote Speaker

Rashné Jehangir, PhD. is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and the Robert H. Beck Chair of Ideas in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. She began her career as an advisor for first-generation, low-income college students in the federally funded SSS TRIO program at the University of Minnesota. Her research and praxis interests focus on experience of low-income, first-generation students, critical pedagogy and identity development; learning communities and design and structure of undergraduate programs including First Year Experience Programs and partnerships with student services, advising and student affairs.

Symposium Schedule

1-1:10pm Welcoming Remarks

1:10-1:50pm   Networking 

1:50-2pm Break 

2:00-3pm Keynote Speaker: Rashne Jehangir, PhD, Associate Professor; Director of Undergraduate Studies; Beck Chair of Ideas in Education – University of Minnesota

3-3:10pm Break 

3:10-3:55pm Session 1  

Financial Literacy: Budgeting, Tips for Saving Money – Sarah Abbott, Brown University

The facilitator will present a template to assist students in developing a personal budget to track income and expenses. She will offer tips on budgeting fixed expenses (rent, insurance, essential groceries) and variable expenses (clothing, dining out, entertainment). She will also discuss how to obtain and maintain good credit and the importance of establishing a strong credit history for long-term financial health including financing a car, buying a home, and managing student loans and other debt.

How to say No: Setting Boundaries in the Academic Setting and Workplace – Juan Leon Parra, Boston University

Participants will explore strategies for creating and maintaining boundaries in all aspects of one’s life–school, work, relationships, etc.

Mentoring and Networking:  What You Need to Know – Brian Rybarczyk, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Two skills that are critical for success in graduate school and beyond are establishing productive mentoring relationships and building professional networks. This interactive workshop will provide participants with approaches, strategies, and opportunities to reflect on their mentoring and networking needs. Participants will create an action plan for finding mentors, ways to communicate with mentors, and reduce the anxiety around building networks with others.

3:55-4:05pm Break  

4:05-4:50pm Session 2 

Taking Credit: Owning Your Relationship With Money Ioannis Zacharioudakis, Boston University

Participants will explore spending, lending, balancing work responsibilities, and owning and talking about their financial situation.This interactive workshop is for all levels of budgeters.

Navigating Relationships – Jenya Fazletdinova, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

As a first-generation student, you may face lack of understanding and support from your family of origin. Even when your family is supportive, they may not understand the stressors you are going through at school. Additionally, you may start feeling different at school and at home. We will discuss together how to navigate family relationships, set boundaries, and help your family members to understand your school experiences.

You–The Brand  – Stacia Solomon, Duke University  

“Personal brand” is a common term mentioned in many settings today. But, what exactly is a personal brand and how does one create their brand? This session will help to demystify the concept of a personal brand by sharing strategies and tips for creating and showcasing your own. We will also cover how your background, attributes, and experiences create your unique story for an authentic career search.

4:50-5pm Closing Remarks 


March 25
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Chapel Hill, NC 27599 United States