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Graduation and Retention Network

  • UofSC first-generation student celebration

First-Generation Students

You've made it to college, and to the University of South Carolina. USC has plenty of experiences, opportunities, and resources to help you find success.

Welcome from Dr. Shelley Dempsey, Assistant Provost for Graduation and Retention

Welcome to the University of South Carolina where we are proud to boast a significant population of  First-Generation students, faculty, and staff.  As Gamecocks, we pride ourselves on the ability to participate as a community of learners who support each other and celebrate the small victories along the way to graduation.

As evidence of this culture of support, we are in the active process of opening the inaugural First-Gen Center on the USC campus to serve anyone who identifies as first generation. Through a faculty-led Living and Learning Community, opportunities for mentoring, and partnerships and collaborations with academic and administrative units, we will be able to serve first generation students better than ever and also provide a venue for faculty and staff to support these students along their journey to degree completion. 

We need your help!  If you are a student, faculty, or staff member who wants to help us prepare for the First-Gen Center launch, please reach out to  If you are a faculty or staff member who was a first gen student and would like to stay up to date on opportunities to be involved, please complete this form and we will send you a sticker or pin to advertise your proud First-Gen status. 

To all members of the First-Gen community, thank you for your contributions to our campus.  Let’s keep going together!


First-Gen Center Committees

  • Jessica Allison
  • Lara Lomicka Anderson
  • Jennifer Asouzu
  • Laquanda Baker
  • Marilee Birchfield
  • Charles Bloom
  • Shelley Dempsey
  • Morgan Edlin
  • Adrienne Foster
  • Xavery Hopkins
  • Rushondra James
  • Erica Lake
  • Helen Le
  • Bryan Scheffler
  • Sonya Singleton
  • Amanda Therrell, Co-Chair
  • Kay Thomas
  • Kyana Thompson
  • Audra Vaz
  • Dana Woodward, Co-Chair
  • Lara Lomicka Anderson
  • April Barnes
  • Ashley Dantzler
  • Shelley Dempsey, Chair
  • Helen Le
  • Curtis Pernell
  • Amanda Therrell
  • Catherine Wiggins
  • Dana Woodward
  • Brandi Anderson
  • Lara Lomicka Anderson, Co-Chair
  • Ava Baber
  • April Barnes, Co-Chair
  • Shelley Dempsey
  • Pinkney Epps
  • Amber Falluca
  • Maria Hickman
  • Joe Jones
  • Sarah Kelly
  • Helen Le
  • Meg Lipinoga
  • Jared Logan
  • David Mahatha
  • David Martinez
  • Brian McCaster
  • Morgan Ruebusch
  • Amanda Therrell
  • Lara Lomicka Anderson
  • Charlie Ball
  • Althea Counts, Co-Chair
  • Shelley Dempsey
  • Mai-Ling Francis
  • Ed Gatzke
  • Deborah Hazzard
  • Keren Herran
  • Cassandra Jones Havard
  • Helen Le, Co-Chair
  • Dollie Newhouse
  • Spencer Platt
  • Mandi Schlegel
  • Zo Sediqi
  • Michael Stovall
  • Suzanne Sutton
  • Rachel Williams
  • Karen Worthy
  • Lara Lomicka Anderson
  • Jerel Arceneaux
  • Shannon Blake-Lynch
  • Karen Brown
  • Matt Childs
  • Althea Counts
  • Shelley Dempsey
  • Lauren Epps, Co-Chair
  • Tharangi Fernando
  • Maryah Fram
  • Amanda Heinsman
  • Alison Leach Hughes
  • Helen Le
  • Elise Lewis
  • Sam McMillion
  • Cierra Pinckney
  • Helen Powers
  • Amanda Therrell, Co-Chair
  • Julian Williams
  • Paulia Williams


First Forward

The University of South Carolina is honored to be named a First Forward Institution by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrations (NASPA) for our work with first-generation students.

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