Teaching First-Year and First-Generation Students: A Conversation with Lisa Nunn


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In this episode you’ll hear about: distinguishing between student abilities and academic skill sets, why the goal should not be making first-generation students more like continuing generation students, how to introduce yourself in a way that promotes student success, the mini-midterm, and other strategies to promote student success.

Our guest is: Lisa M. Nunn, Ph.D., author of 33 Simple Strategies for Faculty: A Week-by-Week Resource for Teaching First-Year and First-Generation Students (Rutgers University Press, 2018) and Professor of Sociology at the University of San Diego. She is the Director of her campus' Center for Educational Excellence. She is also the author of College Belonging: How First-Year and First-Generation Students Navigate Campus Life as well as a book on high school students, Defining Student Success: The Role of School and Culture. She didn't grow up knowing that she would become a sociologist and she graduated college as a literature and theater major, still not knowing that she would become a sociologist. It was during her years with the Peace Corps in Limbaži, Latvia in her early twenties when she started to recognize how fascinating cultural ideas and social structures are. How they shape who we are, who we want to become, and how they also constrain the paths available to us to get there. She hasn't stopped thinking about or talking about these dynamics since.

Your host is: Dr. Dana Malone, a higher education scholar and practitioner. She specializes in college student relationships, gender, sexuality, and religious identities as well as assessment planning. Dana enjoys engaging conversations, delicious food, practicing yoga, and wandering the Jersey shore.

Listeners to this episode might be interested in:

  • College Belonging: How First-Year and First-Generation Students Navigate Campus Life by Lisa M. Nunn
  • Interview with Lisa Nunn on her book College Belonging.
  • Defining Student Success: The Role of School and Culture by Lisa Nunn
  • The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom by Stephen Brookfield
  • Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes by Flower Darby and James Lang

Your Host

Dana Malone

Dr. Dana Malone (she/her) is a scholar and practitioner energized by facilitating meaningful learning experiences for students and educators alike.

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