The mission of Cardinal First is to provide a supportive and welcoming community for first-generation college students and their families, a campus culture that recognizes and celebrates first-generation student identity as an asset, and a program that intentionally connects first-generation students to faculty, resources, information and experiences that promote academic and personal success from enrollment through graduation.
Reasons to participate in Cardinal First:
- Access to a network of first-generation peers, faculty and staff who offer mentoring and support.
- Opportunity to earn a renewable $1,000 Cardinal First Scholarship after one year of participation in the program.
- A series of workshops for each year of your North Central experience:
- Cardinal First Fridays: interactive workshops on the first and third Friday of each month designed to provide information specific to your first-year, first generation experience.
- Cardinal First Sophomore Suppers: monthly workshops for first-gen sophomores and first-gen faculty.
- Cardinal First Penultimate: monthly workshops for first-gen juniors.
- Cardinal First Homestretch: monthly workshops for first-gen seniors.
- Breakfast or lunch is available at each workshop. That's right, free food always included!
- A yearly planner and calendar to keep you on schedule and informed of what's happening on campus.
- An exclusive Cardinal First T-shirt, pen, water bottle and more.
- Leadership opportunities available after one year of participation in the program.
- Special First-Gen Academic Groups facilitated by first-gen faculty—see next section for details.
- Connection to opportunities, information, resources and experiences.
- First-gen Cardinals in Art & Design - Profs. Christine Rabenold and Kate Pszotka
- First-gen Cardinals in Biology - Drs. Greg Ruthig & Joanna Weremijewicz
- First-gen Cardinals in Business - Dr. Donnavieve Smith
- First-gen Cardinals in Chemistry - Dr. Paul Brandt
- First-gen Cardinals in Communication & Media Studies - Prof. John Stanley
- First-gen Cardinals in Computer Science & Computer Engineering - Prof. Luis Aloia
- First-gen Cardinals in English - Drs. Quanisha Charles and Jennifer Jackson
- First-gen Cardinals in Engineering & Physics - Dr. D. Rico-Aniles
- First-gen Cardinals in Environmental Studies - Dr. Reed Perkins
- First-gen Cardinals in History - Dr. Ann Keating
- First-gen Cardinals in Health Science & Sport Management - Prof. Tami Kadera
- First-gen Cardinals in Kinesiology - Prof. Taylor Arman
- First-gen Cardinals in Mathematics & Actuarial Science - Prof. Maria Orjuela Garavito
- First-gen Cardinals in Philosophy - Dr. Shaheen Moosa
- First-gen Cardinals in Political Science - Dr. William Muck
- First-gen Cardinals in Psychology & Neuroscience - Drs. Alexis Chambers and Nicole Rivera
- First-gen Cardinals in Shimer - Dr. Stuart Patterson
- First-gen Cardinals in Theatre - Dr. Laura Lodewyck
- First-gen Cardinals in Athletic Training - Dr. Kendall Selsky
- First-gen Cardinals in Education & Higher Education Leadership - Dr. Maureen Spelman
- First-gen Cardinals in Occupational Therapy - Dr. Kelly Frystak
- First-gen Cardinals in Physical Therapy - Drs. Leanna Blanchard and Gillians McLean
- First-gen Cardinals in Physician Assistant Studies - Dr. Tim Woods
- First-gen Cardinals in Professional & Creative Writing - Dr. Zachary Jack
Cardinal First Ambassadors
Our Cardinal First Ambassadors are a group of first-gen student-leaders who are excited to meet you. This built-in network of mentorship and support is ready to welcome you, answer any questions, and provide you with encouragement and guidance as you work toward earning your college degree.