Broadcasting Live: September 2, 2015 at 1 p.m. ET
Across the U.S., colleges and universities are preparing for the start of the fall semester or quarter. Welcoming first-year students to campus, engaging them in purposeful academic and co-curricular experiences, and ultimately retaining students through to graduation are common goals of those who work in student affairs. Many campuses have long offered transition programs, academic resources, and support offices specifically designed to serve low-income and first-generation students. Federal programs, student success initiatives, and summer bridge programs, are designed with the recognition that a “one-size, fits-all” approach doesn’t work. But what are the unique needs facing first-gen and low-income students and how can we best meet these needs as they transition to campus this fall?

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Heather Shea Gasser will discuss with an esteemed panel the unique transition experiences of low-income and first-generation students and how student affairs can work to strengthen campus programs, resources, and supports to improve student outcomes. Joining Heather are Latricia Brand, Judy Marquez Kiyama, Amy Martin, and Yolanda Norman.

This is the first episode of a two-part series about serving first-generation and low-income students. On September 9th, join Heather as she talks with the contributors to the recent Lumina Foundation report, Beyond Financial Aid: A Guidebook for Strengthening Stability of Low Income College Students.


Episode Host

Heather Shea Gasser

Heather Shea Gasser

Heather Shea Gasser’s career in student affairs spans 16+ years and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she is a true Student Affairs Generalist. Heather is currently serving as the assistant director of RISE (Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment), a living-learning community at Michigan State University while also a full-time doctoral student in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University in 2000. She currently serves as the Director of Membership Development for ACPA-College Student Educators International and blogs for Feminists in Student Affairs. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heathergasser


Latricia Brand

Tricia Brand is Associate Dean for Student Development at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. Her professional and personal commitments are to diversity, equity and achievement in higher education and dedicates her time to leading a variety of programs and academic services for first-generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students. Tricia’s research interests include student retention and persistence, civic engagement, digital citizenship, leadership identity and self-authorship within student development. She received her bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. She would like to hear from you, find her on Twitter: @triciabrand


Judy Marquez Kiyama

Dr. Judy Marquez Kiyama is an associate professor in the Higher Education department at the University of Denver’s Mogridge College of Education. Dr. Kiyama’s research examines the structures that shape college access and success for underserved groups. Dr. Kiyama focuses on the role of parents and families, equity and power in educational research, and underserved groups as collective networks of change. Dr. Kiyama earned her bachelors, masters, and PhD from the University of Arizona. Connect with Judy on Twitter at @JudyMKiyama.


Amy Martin

Amy received her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, her MA in Counseling from Eastern Michigan University, and her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Martin has served for over 20 years as a higher education leader in student affairs divisions at the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland. Currently, Amy serves as the Associate Director for Neighborhoods Student Success and UIA Fellow at Michigan State University. Amy’s progressive leadership experience includes: research and writing about women and leadership in higher education; developing strong student-centered academic communities on large, diverse, research campuses; tackling tough student behavioral issues and campus crises; and teaching, developing, and training multiple levels of student, graduate, and professional staff. Connect with Amy on twitter @Amartin5Amy


Yolanda Norman

Yolanda Norman is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of FirstGenCollege Consulting, LLC. She has successfully helped students, families, colleges, school districts, and organizations better understand college student development and specializes in first-generation college student success. With over a decade of experience in higher education and as the former District Manger of College Readiness for Houston ISD, Yolanda is a passionate student advocate who strives to affect change through the power of education and leadership. In her newest venture as host of the YouTube series #YouBelong, Yolanda speaks to current first-generation college students about the ins and outs of college success and becoming a college graduate. Find Yolanda on twitter, @FirstGenCollege.