Hampshire campus aerial shot of Cole Science building

FIRST Network

Who We Are

FIRST is a network of faculty and staff that aims to support the holistic well-being of first generation college students at Hampshire College by fostering a sense of belonging in community. The network provides access to information, guidance, mentorship, and academic, social, and career support. FIRST intends to promote awareness and support to first generation college students from the moment they choose Hampshire as their home institution to the moment they can call themselves Hampshire alumni. At its core, FIRST functions to identify barriers that first generation college students face and works to remove the challenges that prevent the students from maximizing their full potential.

The network hosts a number of events for first generation students throughout the academic year, including a welcome dinner, end of year brunch, film screenings, and workshops. FIRST also helps to coordinate student participation in local and regional first generation conferences.

The Pilot FIRST Network Mentor Program

During our pilot year the mentor program aims to provide students with exposure to Hampshire College resources and help students navigate the College. You will be paired with a FIRST Network staff or faculty who is eager to support you.
Program Eligibility
Be a first generation college student.
Be currently enrolled at Hampshire College.
Apply by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 20
Benefits of the program for mentees:
Feel connected and supported through their Hampshire College journey.
Have a consistent link at the institution to guide you to the next place.
Being connected to resources on campus and receive help in using the resources.
Expectations for the mentees:
2-3 meetings a semester with your mentor.

Student Group

The FIRST Network works closely with the FIRST on the Journey student group, which provides a closed safe space for students who identify as first generation college students. As a community, the group discusses issues surrounding topics such as language barriers, financial challenges, cultural shock, anxiety, adjustment, and much more. The student group sponsors special events that highlight the journeys of faculty, staff, and alumni who identify as first-generation and collaborates with first generation student groups throughout the Five College Consortium. Students are encouraged to connect with the student group via CollegiateLink, Facebook, and their Hampshire email listserv to learn more about upcoming events and resources.

Network Members

Rene Cruz, admissions counselor

Dre Domingue, assistant dean of students and the director for the multicultural and international student services office

Laura Howard, div II student

Kristen Luschen, dean of multicultural education and inclusion

Laura Melbin, associate dean of advising

Carin Rank, director, career options resource center

Miguel Santiago, associate director of admissions and coordinator of multicultural recruitment and retention

Pam Tinto, associate dean of students

View Member Bios

Stay In Touch
With The Office for Diversity and Multicultural Education
Snail Mail
Office for Diversity and Multicultural Education
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002