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Re-Envisioning the Student Experience for First-Generation Students

May 21, 2024
12:00 PM EST
Partner Stories

Register to Watch

You're invited! Please join Esmeralda Levesque (Program Coordinator), Jackie Cao (Success Coach & Outreach Specialist), and Matthew Hurwitz, Ph.D. (Director) from the River Hawk Scholars Academy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell on May 21st at 12pm (ET) as they dive into how they are transforming the success of first-generation students with the River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA) initiative.

RHSA's purpose at UMass Lowell is to aid first-generation students to excel in their studies, earn their degrees, and move with confidence into graduate school and their careers.

The RHSA platform powered by Suitable, is required for all first-generation students part of the RHSA program. The initiative provides first-generation students with activities, experiences, and opportunities outside of the classroom available to them on and off campus. All program requirements live on Suitable's mobile app and as students attend events or activities, they will then document it in the app by either scanning a QR code at the event or submitting a written reflection. As students complete their requirements they earn points, various badges, and prizes that reflect their progress through the program.

By participating in the RHSA program students can discover what being first-generation means to them all while focusing on their learning inside and outside the classroom.

This event will provide:

  • An overview of the RHSA initiative, and the chosen competencies.
  • A breakdown of the program structure, branding, and how students complete it.
  • Useful strategies and best practices for launching a program specifically for first-generation students.
  • Examples of RHSA branding, badges, and communication strategy to students, faculty/staff. 
  • Insights into RHSA's engagement data and student feedback from their first semester for the 2023-2024 academic year.
  • A glance at what is next for RHSA for the 2024-2025 academic year!
  • "The Wheel of Fun" Prize Wheel!
  • Live Q&A with Esmeralda, Jackie, and Matt!

The "Wheel of Fun" prize is...a Suitable Swag bag! The "Wheel of Fun" will be spun during the webinar, and to be entered to win, you must attend the live event.

As always, there is no cost to attend, and a post-event recording will be sent out to all who register!


Tuesday, May 21 12:00PM-12:05PM

Opening Remarks

By: Natalie Chadwell

Tuesday, May 21 12:05PM-12:45PM

Re-Envisioning the Student Experience for First-Generation Students

UMass Lowell's RHSA team will discuss their student success initiative for first-generation students.

Tuesday, May 21 12:45PM-1:00PM

Live Q&A!

Get your burning questions answered by Esmeralda, Jackie, and Matt!


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Natalie Chadwell

Event Marketing Manager, Suitable

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Matthew Hurwitz, Ph.D.

Associate Teaching Professor, First Year Writing Program, Director, River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA), UMass Lowell

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Esmeralda Levesque

RHSA Program Coordinator, UMass Lowell

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Jackie Cao

RHSA Success Coach & Outreach Specialist, UMass Lowell

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