16:15 PM

Ohio State to celebrate first-generation students at women’s basketball game

University provides opportunities and support for more than 10,000 first-gen students

A showdown between two powerhouse women’s basketball teams will set the stage for a celebration of the experiences of and the opportunities for first-generation students in higher education. The Ohio State University will honor these students during the game between the Buckeyes and the University of Tennessee tomorrow night at the Schottenstein Center.

Maleia Mirasol, president of Buckeyes First, a student organization connecting and supporting first-generation students, said she’s excited for the game and the celebration that will go along with it.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to get our name out there, and let people know what we do and what we hope to achieve in our community,” she said. “I love that we’ve received this opportunity because it really does go with our theme for this year, which is, ‘Amplify your voice.’”

The basketball game is one of several events honoring first-generation students in the first weeks of November. It comes on the annual National First-Generation College Celebration Day: Nov. 8 was chosen to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

“We have over 10,000 first-generation undergraduate students enrolled on the Columbus campus. As a result, participating in this celebration is aligned with Ohio State’s Shared Values because we intentionally celebrate all our student identities and their success while creating space and resources for them to engage, learn and thrive at The Ohio State University and beyond,” said David Graham, assistant vice provost for transition and academic growth.

Ohio State offers several programs for first-generation students to prepare for college and succeed while on campus. Buckeyes First is a university initiative that offers academic, social, emotional and career support resources to aid first-generation students. The Young Scholars Program and First-Gen Connections Cohort also contribute to first-generation achievement and belonging.

Mirasol, a fourth-year chemical engineering major, said first-generation students can be part of an identity that is overlooked on campus but shares a connection with the diversity of Ohio State’s community.

“There’s a huge intersectionality with a lot of first-gen students who are either lower income or scholarship students or have culturally diverse backgrounds, and that all goes into being first-gen,” she said. “Which is why I think it’s something that should be celebrated and talked about more.”

The Offices of Student Academic Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion, and Student Life and the Department of Athletics helped plan the basketball evening and will also host a first-generation pre-game celebration and networking event.

The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. and both teams start the season ranked in the top 15. Fans are encouraged to wear white as the first 2,000 fans will receive a free t-shirt. Student Admission is free and a limited number of faculty and staff tickets are available with pre-registration; otherwise, tickets are $11.00 – use www.go.osu.edu/FirstGenDay2022 to request a ticket.

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