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First-Generation Scholar Tiana Martin Shines

October 2016

First Generation Scholar Tiana MartinTiana Martin, C’2018, had already achieved a milestone when she became the first person in her immediate family to attend a four-year college.

With support of the First-Generation Scholars Program at Spelman, the biochemistry major from Chicago, Illinois has thrived as she works toward her goal of earning a doctorate in forensic science.

The program provides resources and mentoring to help first-generation college students to succeed. In addition, first-gens are encouraged to support each other as a cohort and to network with Spelman alumnae, said Tarshia Stanley, Ph.D., chair of the English department and program coordinator.

In the summer of 2016, Martin served as a research trainee and studied prostate cancer among men of African descent using bioinformatic tools and some coding at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. While at UL, Martin was mentored by Spelman alumna La Creis R. Kidd,  Ph.D., M.P.H., C'90, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and holds the James Graham Brown Foundation “Our Highest Potential” Chair in Cancer Research. 

Martin's First Generation Experience at Spelman in Her Own Words ...

"During my first year at Spelman, I was accepted into the First Generation Program led by Dr. Jane Smith. I had no idea how much of a big deal it was or what being a first-generation student stood for or meant. Going to all the different meetings made me feel proud of myself for being the first person in my immediate family to attend a four-year college. This is a prestigious accomplishment and I feel so proud to be apart of a wonderful group of young woman who all share a common background. We can grow, learn and succeed together with the help and encouragement of one another."

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