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Faculty & Academic Programs

Academic Programs Designed for First-Gen Students

North Central has developed academic programs and networks of expert faculty to support you in your major and career goals. Listed below are the current academic areas offering first-gen specific programming designed largely by first-gen faculty. Don't see your major listed? Contact us and we can connect you with the right faculty member!

  • First-gen Cardinals in Actuarial Science - Dr. Marco Martinez
  • First-gen Cardinals in Art & Design - Profs. Christine Rabenold & Kate Pszotka
  • First-gen Cardinals in Biology - Dr. Joanna Weremijewicz
  • First-gen Cardinals in Business & Entrepreneurship - Drs. Brenden Mason & 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 - Dr. Caroline St. Clair
  • First-gen Cardinals in English - Drs. Jennifer Jackson & Jenny Smith
  • First-gen Cardinals in Engineering - Dr. Frank Harwath
  • First-gen Cardinals in Financial Literacy - Dr. Ryan Decker
  • First-gen Cardinals in Health Science - Dr. Nikki Gorman & Prof. Tami Kadera
  • First-gen Cardinals in Kinesiology - Professor Taylor Arman
  • First-gen Cardinals in Philosophy - Dr. Shaeen Moosa
  • First-gen Cardinals in Physics - Drs. Paul Bloom & Susan Kempinger
  • First-gen Cardinals in Political Science - Drs. Suzanne Chod & William Muck
  • First-gen Cardinals in Psychology & Neuroscience - Dr. Nicole Rivera
  • First-gen Cardinals in Sociology - Drs. Anne Groggel and Raleigh Blasdell
  • Teach First Program for first-generation education majors - Julie Carballo, Drs. Lindsay Wexler & Cheryl Widman

Find your Cardinal First Peers & Mentors

You will never be far from another first-generation college student at North Central College. We are especially proud of the many faculty, staff and graduate assistants at North Central who were first-generation students. These members of the campus community proudly display signs outside their offices showcasing their first-gen status, seek to mentor our first-gen students and actively engage in first-gen programs. We encourage you to reach out to these accomplished individuals for support as you progress through your college experience.

Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Professor of Political Science

"I'm a proud first-generation college student, and a proud supporter of Cardinal First."

Dr. Caliendo with students

Dr. Nicole Rivera

Assistant Professor of Psychology

"I am proud to be a part of a program that shows our students what it means to be a part of the Cardinal family."

Dr. Rivera with students

Dr. Donnavieve Smith

Associate Professor of Marketing

"I am honored to be a part of Cardinal First. The program offers a wealth of support and a sense of community. Participating in Cardinal First greatly enhances a student’s experience at North Central."

Dr. Smith in classroom

First-Generation Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff