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smiling students at first generation dragons celebration

Tiffin University to Observe National First-Generation College Celebration Day

On November 8 at 12:30 p.m., Tiffin University will honor current students who are the first in their families to attend college at the Osceola Theater on TU’s campus. The event coincides with National First-Generation College Celebration Day, an initiative of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Suder Foundation. The public is invited to attend.

The lecture will feature a panel of former first-generation college students who are also Tiffin University graduates. The group will share words of wisdom and advice with attendees. Akeem Needum, class of 2015 and 2017, will be the keynote speaker. Needum is the Operations Manager for Lululemon in Columbus.

Members of the panel include:

●      Michael Saliba, class of 2019, Digital Marketing Advisor for Haley Marketing in Cleveland

●      Chari Mullen, class of 2006 and 2010, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the City of     Fremont

●      Dr. David Farler, class of 2022, Machinery and Heavy Craft Maintenance Execution Superintendent for BP Oil

●      Latrice Ponder, class of 2022, Talent Acquisition Coordinator for Mercy Health

●      Professor Nicholas Reinhard, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at Tiffin University

“I am so happy and humbled to be hosting National First-Generation College Student Day with First-Generation Dragons for the second year in a row,” said Kylie Stocker, faculty advisor for the First-Generation Dragons student-run organization. “It thrills me to donate my time to a student population who are paving new paths in their families for generations to come. This is truly a day to celebrate how far we have come in the world of higher education because academia should be accessible to all students regardless of race, gender and socioeconomic status. First-Gen students are living proof that we can all achieve our dreams.”

According to NASPA, “November 8 was selected as the date for the annual National First-Generation College Celebration to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The Higher Education Act (HEA) emerged out of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Much like other hallmark legislation of that era, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, HEA was intended to help level a playing field that for too long had been weighed against Americans from minority and low-income backgrounds.”

For more information about the event, contact Kylie Stocker at 419.448.5868 or

To support TU’s first-generation students, visit