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See a list of who is attending and interested in networking and sharing resources.


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Aaron McClendon, Ph.D.

Aaron McClendon received a PhD in American Literature and Culture from Saint Louis University.  He currently teaches first-year writing--with an emphasis on gender, race, and ethnicity--at Truckee Meadows Community College. 

Anza Jarschke, M.A.

Anza Jarschke (they/she/he) is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist for UNR at Lake Tahoe and Coordinator of the MFA Low-Residency Programs. They aim to be a truth teller, relentless co-conspirator, and positive force for change. Anza holds degrees in Social Justice and Community Organizing, Psychology, and Fine Arts.

Becky-Linda Arevalos

Becky-Linda is First-Gen student born and raised in Reno, Nevada. She graduated with her BS in Elementary education from the University of Nevada, Reno and is currently working on her Master in Equity and Diversity. She is proud to be a program coordinator for NFGN as her way to give back to her community.

Don Massie, M.S.Ed

Don is an instructional designer who has spent the majority of his career developing educational materials and online learning for widely varying audiences, needs, and industries. He taught accessibility trainings at UNR as an instructional technologist for the past five years and is now focused on supporting Universal Design for Learning with technology in his instructional designer role. He is passionate about designing content that encourages and supports the needs of all learners. 

Fabian Kovac

Fabian Kovac is an undergraduate student pursuing his B.A. in History & Secondary Education. Fabian is a Latino Identifying Marine Corps Veteran, dedicated to the development of leadership, honor and curiosity in the next generation of Youth. His experiences in youth leadership workshops for international exchange students and First Generation students reflects his dedication to youth betterment.

Jafeth Sanchez, Ph.D.

Jafeth E. Sanchez, Ph.D., is the Director of the Latino Research Center and an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research centers on educational leadership practices, organizational change efforts, and equitable outcomes across P-20 pathways. Her passion for educational improvement and access to higher education are embedded in all aspects of her work in teaching, research and service.

Karla Hernandez, Ph.D., M.S.

Doctora Karla Hernández is an immigrant, first-generation college graduate, and scientist. In addition to her broad administrative experience developing scalable programs and providing holistic student support services, she has over a decade of biomedical and basic research experience. Karla currently serves as the Director of Hispanic - Latina/o/x Community Relations at the University of Nevada, Reno. In this role, Karla employs her bilingual and bicultural skills to connect community members with University resources and fosters inclusive collaborative efforts with diverse stakeholders to augment equity and access to higher education.

Kenia Ramirez Moreno

Originally from Michoacan, Mexico I have lived in the Reno-Sparks community for the last 21 years and enjoy playing in Mariachi music. As a first-gen professional, I have been very fortunate to find my passion in advocating for and guiding other first-generation students in their education journeys! 

Lance West

Lance West is an Educational Leadership doctoral student and citizen of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.  He is co-founder and President of Indigenous Educators Empowerment (IEE). IEE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on improving Indigenous education in Nevada.  Lance is currently Principal of Schurz Elementary School, a public K-6 school on the traditional tribal lands of the Walker River Paiute Tribe. Lance was raised in Schurz and is honored to returned to serve the Walker River tribal community.  

Micaela Rubalcava, Ph.D.

Micaela Rubalcava, Professor of Education and co-leader on the whole campus inclusion project, TMCC's Year of Sustainability, is publishing a textbook with Routledge this year entitled, Transformative Teaching Now: Multicultural Mindfulness for Environmental Liberation Education. This interactive Zoom workshop describes the structure tool for Environmental Liberation Education, Diversity Circles, which are the evolving home base for sustainable inclusion activities during academic routines for belonging now.  

Monika Bharti

My name is Monika Bharti, and I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Education program with an emphasis on Literacy studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. My research currently focuses on the Writing development of Multilingual Students.

Osvaldo Jimenez-Estupinan, M.B.A.

Osvaldo's parents migrated from Jalisco, Mexico at an extremely young age and they were able to build a life in Reno, Nevada with a family of six. With the support of the people around him and the Deans Future Scholars (DFS) program, he was able to attend The University of Nevada, Reno and graduate, twice! In 2020, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration – Management, then later in 2021, his Masters in Business Administration (MBA). He is now the Project Manager for the Nevada First-Gen Network.

Paige Eriksen

Paige Eriksen is an undergraduate student pursuing her B.S. in Ed. in Integrated Elementary Teaching with a double minor in Mathematics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Paige hopes to positively impact students all around the world while teaching internationally, instilling a love for learning and thirst for knowledge in all her future students. She is committed to learning extensively about how to support English language learners in a variety of classroom settings both in Nevada and abroad.

Noah Walls

Noah Walls is the Interim Grant Counselor/Coordinator for Upward Bound Classic + Math & Science Programs at the University of Nevada, Reno, a federally-funded program that provides intensive college preparatory services to income qualified, first-generation high school students in the Lyon County and Washoe County School Districts. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, with undergraduate degrees in Agricultural Science, Biology, and Secondary Education. Currently, he is pursuing his master’s in Equity and Diversity in Education at UNR, focusing on access and equity for low-income, first-generation students on their path to college.

Sarah Cummings, Ph.D.

Sarah Cummings (she/her) is a Teaching Professor and the Director of Advancements in Teaching Excellence at the University of Nevada, Reno. Sarah is a reflective practitioner and an award-winning educator whose approach to teaching has developed as learning-focused, learner-centered, and scholarly. In her current role, Sarah is thrilled to partner with faculty in advancing teaching practice, especially in creating and facilitating learning environments where all students feel a sense of belonging and are able to access their full potential. 

Stacie Jenkins, M.Ed.

Stacie Jenkins has been working at 4-year universities in California and Nevada since 2008 and has primarily worked in academic advising. She is currently working for the UNR College of Business as their Coordinator of Academic Success, focusing her efforts on academic advising and assessment. Stacie is invested in practices that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, because she knows every individual has both seen and unseen identities that contribute to a unique lived experience and world view.

Vallabhi Shah

I am currently a freshman at UNR, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology. I was born in India and migrated to America in 2010 with my parents. I love advocating for my first-generation peers and I am also involved with the TRIO STEM Scholars program here at UNR. 

Zaira Diaz

Zaira is one of the Program Coordinators for the Nevada First-Gen Network. She will be graduating this semester with a Masters in School Counseling from UNR. She is a First- generation and low-income student and hopes to continue giving back to our community as a school counselor and with the goals of NFGN!

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