The First Generation Initiative (FGI) is an institutional initiative that strives to build a connected and supportive community of first generation students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae. The program was started in 2006 and is currently directed by Christine de Denus, an Associate Professor of Chemistry who is first generation herself. At HWS, we define first generation students as students who are the first in their immediate families (not including siblings) to attend a four-year college or university in the United States. It is important to us that all HWS students (~15% are first generation) are welcomed, supported, and encouraged to succeed to their full academic potential.

FGI News

HWS Celebrates First Gen Seniors

First Gen GradThe First Generation Initiative (HWS FGI) honored seniors who are the first in their family to graduate from a four-year college. HWS First Generation Students are trailblazers, the first in…
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Announcing the HWS STEM Scholars Program

STEM 3A new program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is designed to support more inclusion of racially and ethnically underrepresented scholars in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The…
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Life as a First-Generation College Student

Marciniak Gianella '21004On the I'm First! blog, an initiative of the national nonprofit Strive for College, Gianella Marciniak '21 writes about her experience as a first-generation college student. The blog space is…
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More First Generation Initiative News >>




Christine de Denus
Associate Professor of Chemistry and FGI Director


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.