National First-Generation College Student Celebration Being First-Generation is beautiful and provides a unique perspective, and our department is teeming with first-generation students and faculty. To showcase this personally, we wanted to feature one of our students’ thoughts. Shelly Pate is a Graduate Research Assistant who is working on her Masters with a concentration in Plant Pathology and is currently stationed at the West TN Research & Education Center. She is also a First-Generation College Student and wanted to share her experience: As an only child, I have always received an abundant amount of love, support, and guidance. However, when the time came to start applying to colleges as an undergraduate, I realized something was starting to become a little different.