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New Honor Society Highlights First-Generation College Students

by Janelle Hill Apr 15, 2019

Twenty students are now part of DeSales University’s newest honor society that’s designed exclusively for first-generation college students.

The members were inducted into the Eta chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha during a ceremony in Connelly Chapel. Moravian College established the honor society in 2018. To qualify for the Eta chapter, students must be first generation, have a minimum GPA of 3.2, and have completed 60 or more credits toward graduation. 

“To be part of Alpha Alpha Alpha’s first class at DeSales University is an extraordinary honor,” says Jerrica Rosario ’19, a business administration major. “This holds a value that goes beyond words can ever say.”

Not only is Rosario a full-time ACCESS student, she also works a full-time job and has two children. For her, being a first-generation college student allows her to pave the way for her children and future generations.

“I have given the time that I have taken away from my children to invest in what I believe to be the most viable investment we can give ourselves. It sends a message to my children that nothing can stop them from accomplishing their dreams.” 

 Jerrica Rosario '19

Ann Koefer, director of the Academic Resource Center, and Brother Daniel Wisniewski, provost, serve as the honor society’s advisors. Both were also the first to go to college in their families. 

“First-generation college students are opening their minds to a world of ideas that their parents never experienced,” says Koefer. “They’re asked to do a little bit more because they don’t have that environment at home to lean on. It is a unique experience and we want to recognize them for that uniqueness.”

During the ceremony, Marian Gehringer, senior accountant in the treasurer’s office, and Scott Mattingly, associate dean of academic life, were inducted as honorary members. The society plans to induct an alumni honorary member next year. 

Along with Rosario, this year’s class is comprised of Emily Chambers, Nikki Darby, Ashley Eckert, Jarod Fountain, Crystal Moyer, Anthony Angeloni, Sara Biege, Dana Evans, Jenna Frick, Noah Goldberg, Bethany Hojnowski, Kayla Homan, Samantha Kane, Noel Kelly, Kera Kulp, Sabrina Lin, Emily Madden, Erin Elizabeth Sullivan, and Claudio Velardo.