November 8th is National First-generation College Celebration day. Designated by the Council of Opportunity in Education and the Center for First-generation Student Success in 2017, it was recognized as the date for the annual celebration to honor the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The celebration encourages universities to highlight the contributions first-gen college students bring to their campuses and address the systemic barriers that exist in higher education to better support this resilient population.

UW-Stout annually celebrates the successes of first-generation college students, staff, and faculty on November 8th. This year's theme, lifelong growth, captures the evolution of the first-generation identity as one progresses from student to professional. The campus-wide event will be filled with an all-day celebration including several sessions to attend.


Monday, November 8th, 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Memorial Student Center Ballroom


11:15 – 12:10 PM          Keynote Speaker – Tori Svoboda, Ed.D.

12: 20 – 1:15 PM            First-generation Staff and Faculty Meet and Greet

1:00 - 4:00 PM                Outside the Involvement Center (Games, Photo Booth, and Favors)

1:25 – 2:20 PM               Career Readiness Community Conversation

2:30 – 3:25 PM               First-generation Panel

Please register for the individual session below.

Keynote Speaker: Tori Svoboda (Hybrid Event)

Tori is a former first-gen student and current first-gen faculty member with a 30-year career in higher education. She worked as a practitioner in higher education for a few decades before transitioning to full-time faculty life in the last third of her career. Her research focuses on the ways in which college / higher education common practices can be alienating to students from working-class backgrounds.


Students, staff, and faculty register here.

First-gen Staff and Faculty Meet and Greet (In-person)

To strengthen our first-gen community on campus, students are invited to network with staff and faculty to discuss shared identities, majors and minors, and career aspirations. First-gen swag and cookies will also be available.


All student participants will be entered into a drawing for $25 Amazon gift cards.


Students register here.

Career Readiness Community Conversation (In-person)

Led by Career Counselor, Anthony Goettl, also a first-gen college student, this session will foster a safe space to process barriers first-gen students face and what tools and resources are available to help overcome challenges toward a successful, meaningful career.


All student participants will receive a padfolio and be entered into a drawing for $25 Amazon gift cards.


Students register here.

First-generation Panel Discussion (In-person)

To close the celebration, current Stout students, staff, and faculty will do a Q&A to discuss the theme of lifelong growth as a first-gen and share their college experiences.


Vickie Sanchez

Student Services Coordinator, Multicultural Student Services

Keith Gilland

Program Director / Assistant Professor, Biology Department

Anthony Goettl

Career Counselor, Career Services

Isaiah Vang

MSS Graduate Assistant

School Counseling, M.S.

Anri Bien-Aime

Senior, EDI Student Fellow

Business Administration major Project Management minor


Students, staff, and faculty register here.