Welcome to Maverick Firsts

Approximately 40% of Minnesota State students are what we call First-Generation College Students. By first-generation we mean your parents or guardians did not earn a college degree (though you may have had a sibling attend college).

We’ve heard some first-generation students over the years say “hey, don’t put a label on me; I don’t want to be put into a box.” We don’t mean to put anyone in a box, but we do think it’s important to recognize a few things about first-generation students.

  • First-generation students are awesome. Let’s start here.
  • First-generation students are trailblazers, trying something that is new to them and to their families—this takes courage.
  • First-generation students are often extremely motived to earn a college degree, not just for themselves but for their families and communities.
  • First-generation students are every bit as smart and capable as students whose parents or guardians went to college.

Speaking of parents or guardians, let’s say something about them as well.

Attending college is not the only way to get smart in this world—far from it. If your parents went to college, however, they can teach you about some of the hidden rules of college. If your parents or guardians didn’t attend college, even if they are highly successful and intelligent, they might not be able to help you make sense out of college.

Maverick Firsts is a group complementing the work done by your family and others on campus to help you find a place in college. We focus specifically on building a community of first-generation students. We hope to see you on social media or at one of our online or in-person events.

The Maverick-Firsts Leadership Team

  • Dave Engen (Faculty, Department of Communication Studies)
  • Margaret Hesser (Director, TRIO Student Support Services)
  • Prisca  Payanzo Maba (Graduate Student, College of Science, Engineering & Techonology) 
  • Mackenize Malone (Student Leader)
  • Susan Schalge (Faculty, Department of Anthropology)
  • Kristen Treinen (Faculty, Department of Communication Studies)