Kelly Craig ’16 will return to campus as the inaugural alumnae speaker hosted by the Colleges’ First-Generation Initiative (FGI) on Wednesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Geneva Room. Craig will discuss her time at HWS and share how she navigated the college experience as the first in her family to earn a college degree.
“I’m very excited to be returning to campus,” says Craig, who played an integral role in the FGI as a student coordinator. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the dialogue on first-generation students once again.”
FGI, which is currently directed by Associate Professor of Chemistry Christine de Denus, is an HWS initiative that was spearheaded by William Smith Associate Dean Lisa Kaenzig in 2006. The initiative seeks to help first-generation students maximize their academic experience by ensuring that the students have academic, social and co-curricular guidance; have visibility as a group on campus; graduate; and take advantage of the resources and opportunities that HWS offers, both during and after their undergraduate years.
In November 2016, the initiative received a grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation to sustain and expand its programming. FGI student workers and student coordinators have been an integral part of developing activities and spreading awareness of the program.
“I hope that my talk will help others to see that being first generation is something to be celebrated, not hidden,” Craig says.
Craig currently works at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, a Las Vegas-based company that works with students of all ages to develop sensory cognitive processing skills that help with communication. She recently published a short story, “The Loop,” in Bodega, an online literary magazine and is looking to pursue a Ph.D. in English.
Craig graduated summa cum laude in English and completed an Honors project, “What Happens Here Stays Here: Sense of Place and Identity in Las Vegas,” under the direction of Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature Katherine Cowles. She was a member of the Hai Timiai William Smith Honor Society, president of the Colleges Chorale and a participant in Public Leadership Education Network events.