About Us

We feel it is important to reveal a little about each of us behind this blog.  We will update our material as our lives change and move forward.

Aisha Williams
I am a second year graduate student studying Student Affairs and Higher Education at Indiana State University (ISU). I am a graduate assistant in the Bayh College of Education Dean's Office where I serve as the Events and Conference Coordinator. I also serve as a Graduate Retention Counselor in the African American Cultural Center for the I SUcceed program at ISU and co-advise #teamSPEAK and African American Student Educators (AASE). I was the Campus Ambassador and The Placement Exchange Phoenix 2012 Intern. I received my B.S. in Communications with a Public Relations concentration from Florida International University in Miami, Florida-where I was born and raised. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, scarpbooking, cooking, learning new things and reading.

James Jones
I am currently working on my Masters degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education in Indiana State University. As part of my assistantship I work in the Student Health Promotion Office where I educate students regarding topics ranging from homesickness to drug and alcohol abuse. Though I spent most of my life in Hoboken, New Jersey. I went to the Pennsylvania College of Technology where I obtained my Bachelors in Culinary Arts.  I never really understood what a first generation student was until starting my Masters.  Now that I do I understand what I went through I feel I can help those who are going through what I went through. 


Jaimie Biermann
I am a second-year graduate student in the Student Affairs and Higher Education program at Indiana State University.  I am also an Assistant Hall Director for Residential Life at ISU.  I am originally from Sterling Heights, MI.  I received my bachelor’s degree in Communication Students with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI.  I then took a year off and did the Disney College Program and moved to North Carolina to become an intern at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in their Residence Life Programs and Housing department.  I never knew what a first generation student was until I started the graduate program at ISU.  I am not a first generation student, but am very interested in learning more about first generation students and the reasons why many first generation students pursue a career in the field of Student Affairs.  

Nicci Cisarik
I am a Student Affairs and Higher Education graduate student at Indiana State University.  I am also working in ISU's College of Technology as an Academic Advisor for students who are on academic probation. Originally, I am from Chicago, Illinois. I received my undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts, from Dominican University (River Forest, IL) in Painting and Photography. While I was at DU I jumped on a number of opportunities to get involved with campus life and academic affairs including being the President of DU's programming board and assisting in the creation and implementation of a Peer Advising program. I also have a passion for Social Justice and Civic Engagement work and was involved in a few nonprofit organizations in the Chicago land area.  Recently, I have become more interested in learning about 1st generation college students, being one myself, and why so many 1st gens end up pursuing a career in Student Affairs post graduation. Check out my about.me page! Nicci Cisarik--About.Me

Shereen Hassanein
I am currently a Community Director at Georgetown University, working with a community of upperclass students. I am originally from Teaneck, New Jersey. I earned a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers the State University of New Jersey where I studied Journalism and Media Studies as well as Middle Eastern Studies.I earned a Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher education from Indiana State University, where I also served as an Assistant Hall Director for 2 years. I am a 1st gen, how about you?


Stavroula Sparagis
I am currently a Resident Director at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, working with first-year students. I earned a Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education at Indiana State University where my assistantship was with ISU Residential Life as an Assistant Hall Director in a first-year area. I earned a bachelor's degree in Finance and Accounting from Eastern Illinois University. My family came to this country so that I could have the chance to receive an education. I am the first person in my family to go to college and I am Project 1st Gen.

Will Barratt
I am a Professor of Educational Leadership at Indiana State University and I have been working in the area of social class since 2002.  I have a blog of my own http://socialclassoncampus.blogspot.com/ and a book http://stylus.styluspub.com/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=278156.  As you might imagine I think that social class, in all its complexities and forms, is an important topic.  While first generation is not the same as social class, they are related ideas, and I am consequently interested. I teach Program Evaluation, Campus Environments, and a Research Seminar for Doc students.  I love working with current and former students because of the insights and enthusiasms they bring to the conversation.