A component of DrewFIRST are Advocates. DrewFIRST Advocates are Staff and Faculty at Drew University dedicated to the success of first generation college students. Some Advocates were first generation college students themselves, and are willing to talk about their experiences and advice for other first gens! Below is listed each Advocate, their title, when they are available and their specialty in topics/subjects that could used as resources.
DrewFIRST encourages Fellows to reach out to Advocates, as they are willing to continue the conversation of the unique challenges of first generation college students to help create a welcoming environment at Drew University.
Drew INTO, Student Services Coordinator
Willing to meet: over coffee, during Lunch, or during my office hours
Resource for: campus involvement, whatever I can do to help!
My name is Ashley and I am currently a Student Services Coordinator with INTO in the International Student Center at Drew! I was born and raised in Newark, NJ just a few blocks from Newark Penn Station in the very cool Ironbound Community. My parents had immigrated from their home country Portugal and settled in the community given their language, cultural and familial ties to the area. My father was the first in the family to go to college and I am only the second one to do so. We both attended New Jersey Institute of Technology, class of ’88 and ’13, 25 years apart making the experience very different for us both. While it was helpful to speak with my father about college and how to navigate it, I found myself needing to discover things on my own and not really sure how to do so. Thankfully I made a connection with a wonderful professional in the Office of Leadership and Diversity at NJIT who helped me to shape my college experience into a successful one. This inspired me to continue in the field of student affairs in Higher Education and I pursued my Masters of Education at Rutgers University in New Brunswick graduating in 2015. I am so excited to be a part of DrewFIRSTbecause I hope to inspire students to create their own successful experiences at college the way I was as an undergrad. Working with college students now at Drew, I am always surprised by how many options there available to get involved and explore. I find myself thinking “If only I had known something like this was available when I was starting, I would have definitely taken advantage of it”. I hope to be able to help students by facilitating that exploration and discovery.
Sangay Mishra, Ph. D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Willing to meet: over coffee, during lunch, during my office hours: Monday( 12-2 PM) Wednesday( 12-1 PM)
Sangay Mishra specializes in immigrant political incorporation, global immigration, and racial and ethnic politics. Before joining Drew University in 2013, he was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Lehigh University, PA. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He served as the co-chair of Asian and Pacific American Caucus of the American Political Science Association from 2014-2016 and is currently a member of Committee on the Status of Asian Pacific Americans of the Western Political Science Association.
He teaches courses on Race and Politics, Immigration, Public Policy and International Relations.
Complex Residence Director
Willing to meet: over coffee, during lunch, during my office hours (9AM-3PM
Resource for: Campus involvement/resources, dealing with family dynamics as first gen, understanding Drew and how to find where you fit, advice
Kayla Corzine is the Complex Residence Director for the Suites. She’s funny, awkward, and a first generation college student! Kayla attended Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL and received a Bachelor of Arts in Biopsychology. Her love for learning then led her to get her Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. When she’s not at Drew sporting events or working with her Resident Assistants, she can be found baking delicious chocolate chip cookies. Her office is in McLendon 121, so feel free to stop by.First generation college students have to be brave. It takes courage to embark on a journey that no one in their family has ever taken. The unchartered environment can be difficult to navigate, but it is important for them to know they have help and support. Supporting first generation college students is important because they need to know they are not alone and they can succeed!
Raúl Rosales, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Willing to meet: over coffee, or depends on schedule, office hours M 8-9AM, TH 1:15-2:15PM
Resource for: Advice; transitioning to college; pressure from home
Raúl Rosales (Ph.D, Columbia University) is Chair and Associate Professor of Spanish at Drew University, where he has been teaching since 2004 and where he also completed his undergraduate studies in 1999. Raul’s research centers on autobiographical discourse and theory, as well as on the relationships between melodramatic modalities and popular/national discourses within the Spanish-speaking world. His articles have appeared in the journals Tinta, Hispania, Caribe, and in the anthologies Language and Identity in Chicano/Latino Discourse, Fotogramas para la multiculturalidad: migraciones y alteridad en el cine español contemporáneo, and Latinos and American Popular Culture. He also has contributed entries to World Literature in Spanish: An Encyclopedia. His book Fictional First-Person Discourses in Cuban Diaspora Novels was released in 2012. A National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship recipient, Raúl also chairs the subject area “Latin Americans & Latinos: Identity Issues and Cultural Stereotypes” for the Popular Culture Association.
At Drew, Raúl has served as chair of the Global Education Faculty Advisory Committee, co-chair of the Foreign Language Council, and has been an active member of the Student Life Advisory Board, the Academic Integrity Committee, the Honors Committee, the Academic Standing Committee, and the First Year Task Force. He is also the faculty advisor to Ariel, the university’s Latino student organization. Raúl has led or co-led student groups to Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has twice served as Director of Drew’s summer program in Barcelona. In 2009 Raúl received Drew University’s Student Activities Faculty Recognition Award, and in 2016 he received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in Drew University’s College of Liberal Arts.
Supporting first generation college students is important to me. As the first in my family to go to college, I understand well the daily challenges confronted by students in navigating the many arenas of college — be it on the academic, social or financial side. Since many of these challenges can be a source of shame, it’s all the more important that they be recognized and discussed openly and honestly.
Virginia Reiner, Ed.D.,
Student Success Specialist
Willing to meet: during office hours: M-W, & F 9-4:30; TH 12:30-8:00
Resource for: Study skills, mindset, self-management, goal-setting, etc.
My research interests include student self-efficacy and success mindset, retention of at-risk students, delivery of high-quality support services, Universal Design in teaching, mentoring, and advising, and retention of doctoral students. My professional experiences in higher education have focused on providing high-quality assistance to at-risk, first-generation and other underrepresented students.
Campus Recreation Director
Willing to meet: During Lunch, During my office hours (M – F: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Resource for: campus involvement, student life
I have been the Coordinator of Campus Recreation at Drew University since the Summer of 2013. Before that I was a Residence Director at Drew from 2011-2013. Before that, I was a college student coming to Drew in the Summer of 2005 with no idea how colleges worked or what to expect. Words like “bursar,” “registrar,” “RA,” and “meal plan” were foreign concepts to me, even though I had two older siblings who had been through college already. The beginning of college can be a difficult period for any new student, but can be even harder for first-generation students. I want to serve as extra support to our first-generation students so they can be the success story that their family at home and at Drew know they can be! If you have any questions at all: from “How do I register for classes?” to “Where do I put my plate when I’m done eating at the Commons?” (a real problem that I had on my first day!) you can stop by my office in the Simon Forum (first door on the right when you walk in), send me an email ( @drew.edu) or give me a call (973-408-3444) and I’ll be glad to help!
Kesha Moore, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
Willing to meet: over coffee, lunch, and during my office hours
Resource for: cultural adjustment to college, successful academic engagement strategies, career planning
Kesha Moore is a first generation college student. She received her P.h.D and M.A. degrees in Sociology with a Certificate in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.S.W. in Community Organizing from the University of Michigan, and her B.A. degree in Cross-cultural Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College. Her areas of interest include race and class stratification, urban neighborhoods & gentrification, mass incarceration and prison education.
Christopher Andrews, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Willing to meet: over coffee, during lunch, during my office hours (Wednesdays 1-2) and by appointment
Resource for: I’m happy to talk about my own experiences as well as those of others.
Christopher Andrews (PhD University of Maryland, 2009) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Drew University. His research focuses on the effect of technology on work, employment, and consumer culture. He co-authored a book chapter on the “virtual assembly line” in Management, Labour Process, and Software Development (2005), based on a collaborative study of thirty software startups in the Washington DC metro. Currently, he is writing a book on the use of self-service technology in the retail food industry, examining how the growing use of self-service is further blurring the boundaries between work and leisure. He teaches courses on social psychology and research methods as well as a course on the sociology of work and occupations that is cross-listed with the University’s Business program.Sociologists note that formal education often includes a “hidden curriculum”, or unwritten, unofficial, and often unintended lessons, values, and perspectives that students learn in school. Yet, what is “common sense” to some of our college students may be unfamiliar to others, especially if they come from families with little or no previous experience with college. This is where I think faculty and staff can play a useful role in helping first generation students to identify and learn some of these important albeit less formal aspects of education.