First-Generation Faculty-Student Mentoring Program

Bringing faculty members into residence halls as mentors for first-generation students will enhance students’ academic experience providing opportunities to connect with faculty in formal and co-curricular settings. Pairs of faculty members will engage with groups of students to provide insights into academic expectations and success strategies. Faculty mentors will be supported by staff from Student Affairs and the Division of Academic Enhancement to support students’ growth and holistic development through academic and co-curricular explorations and to expand students’ campus-wide support and success network. 


Faculty Mentors for the 2019-20 Academic Year

Dr. Gary Green, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Natural Resources, Recreation and Tourism

Dr. Mardi Schmeichel, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Theory and Practice

Swati Bhandarkar, Lecturer in the J.M. Tull School of Accounting

Dr. Rodney Mauricio, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Genetics

Dr. James Anderson, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication. Dr. Anderson serves as a consultant for the program.


Through participation in this program, students will

  • cultivate meaningful connections with faculty members and staff members from Student Affairs and the Division of Academic Enhancement;
  • develop a sense of community with other first-generation students;
  • feel an increased sense of belonging at UGA;
  • know where and how to access campus resources; and
  • develop a campus-wide support and success network.



Program Overview

August 28, 5pm-6.30pm - Introductory Meeting (Rooker Hall, Fireside Lounge)

Dr. James Anderson – Why do I need a mentor? The role of mentorship; setting expectations
Meet your faculty mentors


September 11, 5.30pm-6.30pm– Office Hours and Class Participation (Building 1516, Room 317)

Office Hours - Why should I go? What do I talk about? How do I talk to my professor

What does “participation” mean? How do I participate in a discussion?


October 9; 5.30pm-6.30pm – Getting the most out of Advising Sessions (Building 1516, Room 317)

How do I prepare for a meeting with my advisor? What questions should I ask?


November 13, 5.30pm- 6.30pm – Goal Setting, Learning How to Learn (Building 1516, Room 317)

Reflect on your first semester at UGA, set goals for the spring semester

How do you learn?


December – Study Break Meeting



January 21, 2020

What is research and how can I get involved? CURO

Academic Majors - What can I do with a major in...?


February 12, 2020

Failing Forward and Bouncing Back - Resilience and Well-being


March 18, 2020

Shared Reading


April 15, 2020

Etiquette Dinner (5-7pm)

Looking back at Year 1 and Looking ahead to Year 2


Final Exam Week – End of Year Celebration

Contact Information

Kara Fresk
Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs - Learning Strategy