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La’Tonya Rease Miles “Discovering a First-Gen Identity, Resilience for First-Year Students, and the Power of Virtual Communities”

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by dr. Saby Labor in Audio, Blog, Resources
July 2, 2018 0 comments

This resonant episode focuses a lot on the first generation college student experience in general and how it has shaped our awesome guest, Dr. La’Tonya Rease Miles. She shares her story and the wisdom her journey has given her as she works to support other first generation students. As an authentic, driven, and passionate professional, “LT” as she is called, serves as a great resource that we can’t wait for you to hear from.

About La’Tonya:
La’Tonya “LT” Rease Miles is the Director of First Year Experience at UCLA, where she works collaboratively with Residential Life, Student Affairs departments more generally and academic departments campus-wide to develop initiatives and to increase awareness of the first-year experience on campus. She earned a Ph.D. in American literature from UCLA; and her research interests include the hidden curriculum in higher education, narratives about the first-generation college experience, and the relationship of physical space and college student engagement. Further, she is passionate about NBA basketball, college football, “The Flash” and “Friday Night Lights.”

Show Highlights

  • La’Tonya shares what it is like being a first gen college graduate and parent 13:13
  • Hear more about the value of La’Tonya’s current work in building student resilience 14:45
  • Listen as La’Tonya tells us more about how her own college experience shaped how she arrived to this work 24:18
  • Check out why La’Tonya recommends these two great books for inclusion professionals 36:52
  • Listen to the most powerful professional lesson La’Tonya has learned 40:34
  • La’Tonya shares a piece of resonate guidance about professional identity 42:31

Notable Quotes

  • “[In regards to being a parent and a first gen college graduate] It’s been quite an experience watching [my children] grow. I feel very blessed to be able to support them in their passions, perhaps in a way my mom wishes she could have but didn’t have the resources. You can see how much of a difference a generation makes.” 13:47
  • “[In regards to first-gen college students] A lot of the current scholarship or popular articles, go into extremes when they’re represented. The frameworks are these students need to foster more grit…or this sort of hyper resiliency about how they struggle. It needs to be somewhere in the middle. Sometimes our students need a little a bit of slack and grace.” 18:56
  • “When I went to college back in the 1980s, I knew I was black. Race was a concept that was often discussed. I was prepared to be black. I wasn’t prepared to be a first-gen student. No one was really talking about that. I was not comfortable and I couldn’t put my finger on why…I know there are others with similar stories.” 24:18
  • Inspirational quote from Audre Lorde:
    “Tomorrow belongs to those of us who conceive of it as belonging to everyone; who lend the best of ourselves to it, and with joy.” 52:38

Links Mentioned:

 

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