First-Gen Owls: Lifting Off into Higher Education
Are you a first-generation college student (i.e.: neither parent has graduated with a 4-year degree)? “First-Gen Owls: Lifting
Off into Higher Education” is a learning community designed with you in mind!
First-gen students possess valuable strengths and skill-sets that can aid their success
in college and beyond. In this learning community, students will have the opportunity
to develop a strong foundation for achieving their higher education goals, and build
a lasting network of fellow first-gen peers, professors, and mentors who can help
them make the most of their time at KSU.
Participants will enroll in up to three classes together for Fall 2018 (KSU First-Year Seminar, English 1101, and Latin American Studies 1102) and up to two classes together for Spring 2019 (English 1102 and History 2112). All courses fulfill general education requirements.
In their classes, students will learn about common aspects of the first-gen experience
through the study of multimedia narratives by and about other first-gen students.
Assignments will include a community-based learning project, where students will pass
on their knowledge about college life to prospective university students. Additionally,
professors will help students connect with scholarship, internship, and employment
opportunities, as well as co-curricular experiences like undergraduate research, publishing,
and study abroad.
If you’re looking for an edge as you take flight on your college journey, the “First-Gen
Owls” Learning Community is here to welcome you to KSU! Call the Learning Communities
office at (470)578-6243 to pre-enroll or for more information on class selections
Meet Your Professors
Donald A. Coleman Jr.
is a former first-generation college student that has dedicated his career to assisting
students with a successful transition into college. He is a Part-time Instructor of
Higher Education and Director of Orientation Programs here at Kennesaw State University.
He received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Georgia State University
in Atlanta, Georgia and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from
Loyola University-Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. He is also an award-winning karaoke
singer that interprets life through song and dance.
Dr. Stephanie Kartalopoulos
earned her PhD in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing and American Literature
from the University of Missouri, where she was a Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry
from 2008-2012. Her poems have been published and are forthcoming in national literary
journals that include Comstock Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, 32 Poems, Laurel
Review, and many others, and her first poetry collection, AMULET, was published in
2018 by St. Julian Press. Dr. Kartalopoulos has taught English at the college level
for over 17 years, and her course offerings have spanned expository & academic writing,
business & technical writing, literature, and poetry. Dr. Kartalopoulos has been teaching
at KSU since the Fall 2016 semester and is very excited to be part of this learning
Lydia Ellen Laucella
is the first in her family to pursue a Ph.D. In 2005, Lydia E. Laucella earned her
B.A. in Political Science with a Focus in International Affairs with a Minor in French
from Georgia State University; she graduated Magna cum Laude with Distinction in her
Specified Major. In 2006, she graduated Summa cum Laude with her M.Ed. with Teacher
Certification for Middle Childhood, Grades 4-8 from Georgia State University. Her
thesis was: Art to Teach What? A Look at Urban Teachers’ Negative Perceptions of Using
Hands-on, Art and Process Drama-Based Instruction to Teach Content Area. Currently,
she is in her second year of her Ph.D. studies in Curriculum, Instruction and the
Science of Learning, which she is completing online through the University at Buffalo-SUNY. She
plans to focus her dissertation on motivation in the transition to college and first-generation
college students. Lydia E. Laucella has been working with freshmen in higher education
for more than three years. Seeing them grow and develop their own passions is why
she loves to teach!