Marli Coonrod and Shelby Morrison know first-hand the obstacles facing first-generation students. They are both the first in their families to go to college, and now they’re helping grow Missouri State’s support network for others like them.
Students invited to first meeting on Nov. 19
This month will mark the first meeting of MSU’s newest student organization, MSU: I’m First, with Coonrod and Morrison leading the group as co-presidents. COAL Associate Dean Mark Biggs is the group’s advisor.
The first meeting will be 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Plaster Student Union, room 312 B&C. Secretary and treasurer will be elected during the second meeting.
Organization hopes to create connections
“This organization is important for the students at our university in order for them to feel more connected with the campus and faculty, provide them with resources needed to achieve academic success and to help lay the groundwork for their future career path,” Coonrod said.
Meetings will include activities such as a FASFA workshop, scholarship information night, mentoring program, movie nights, Springfield Cardinals game, 1984 arcade and a leadership retreat.
Meet the students behind MSU: I’m First
Coonrod is a junior studying public relations. She’s from Nevada, Missouri.
“Coming into college as a first-generation student was terrifying because I had a great amount of the weight on my shoulders. My parents didn’t know how to help me … so I had to step up and take responsibility,” she said.
Morrison, also a junior, is studying health communication. She is from Wood River, Illinois.
“Speaking from experience, it was difficult (and still is!) being away from my family and not knowing where to turn to get answers about university life, such as advising issues, study habits, and what I needed to do differently to become more successful,” she said.
Read more about Coonrod and Morrison on the College of Arts and Letters blog.
Come to the first meeting
Date: Nov. 19
Time: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union, room 312 B&C