Skip to Main Content
Beginning this summer and throughout the fall semester, we are working to upgrade the research experience by making ongoing improvements to our Research Guides.
You may encounter changes in the look and feel of the Research Guides website along with structural changes to our existing guides.
If you have any questions or concerns about this process
please let us know
Student Narratives & Resources
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Now a major motion picture from Lionsgate starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts. MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST The perennially bestselling, extraordinary, one-of-a-kind, "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly) memoir from one of the world's most gifted storytellers. The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered. The Glass Castle is truly astonishing--a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2006
Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
*Finalist for the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize* *Instant New York Times Bestseller* *Named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, The New York Post, BuzzFeed, Shelf Awareness, Bustle, and Publishers Weekly* An essential read for our times: an eye-opening memoir of working-class poverty in America that will deepen our understanding of the ways in which class shapes our country. Sarah Smarsh was born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side, and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. Through her experiences growing up on a farm thirty miles west of Wichita, we are given a unique and essential look into the lives of poor and working class Americans living in the heartland. During Sarah's turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, she enjoyed the freedom of a country childhood, but observed the painful challenges of the poverty around her; untreated medical conditions for lack of insurance or consistent care, unsafe job conditions, abusive relationships, and limited resources and information that would provide for the upward mobility that is the American Dream. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves with clarity and precision but without judgement, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country. A beautifully written memoir that combines personal narrative with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Heartland examines the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. "A deeply humane memoir that crackles with clarifying insight, Heartland is one of a growing number of important works--including Matthew Desmond's Evicted and Amy Goldstein's Janesville--that together merit their own section in nonfiction aisles across the country: America's postindustrial decline...Smarsh shows how the false promise of the 'American dream' was used to subjugate the poor. It's a powerful mantra" (The New York Times Book Review).
Call Number: Request Curbside Pick-up: HD8073.S637 A3 2018
Publication Date: 2018
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
National Book Award Finalist! Instant New York Times Bestseller! The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home. Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed. But it's not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister's story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal? "Alive and crackling--a gritty tale wrapped in a page-turner. "--The New York Times "Unique and fresh." --Entertainment Weekly "A standout." --NPR
Call Number: Request Curbside Pick-up: PZ7.1.S257 2017
Publication Date: 2017
The Journey Before Us by Laura Nichols
More students are enrolling in college than ever before in U.S. history. Yet, many never graduate. In The Journey Before Us, Laura Nichols examines why this is by sharing the experiences of aspiring first-generation college students as they move from middle-school to young adulthood. By following the educational trajectories and transitions of Latinx, mainly second-generation immigrant students and analyzing national data, Nichols explores the different paths that students take and the factors that make a difference. The interconnected role of schools, neighborhoods, policy, employment, advocates, identity, social class, and family reveal what must change to address the "college completion crisis." Appropriate for anyone wanting to understand their own educational journey as well as students, teachers, counselors, school administrators, scholars, and policymakers, The Journey Before Us outlines what is needed so that education can once again be a means of social mobility for those who would be the first in their families to graduate from college.
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2020
Limbo: blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams by Alfred Lubrano
In Limbo, award-winning journalist Alfred Lubrano identifies and describes an overlooked cultural phenomenon: the internal conflict within individuals raised in blue-collar homes, now living white-collar lives. These people often find that the values of the working class are not sufficient guidance to navigate the white-collar world, where unspoken rules reflect primarily upper-class values. Torn between the world they were raised in and the life they aspire too, they hover between worlds, not quite accepted in either. Himself the son of a Brooklyn bricklayer, Lubrano informs his account with personal experience and interviews with other professionals living in limbo. For millions of Americans, these stories will serve as familiar reminders of the struggles of achieving the American Dream.
Call Number: Request Curbside Pick-up: HN90.S65 L83 2004
Publication Date: 2003
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
"The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. Here is the story of a precarious childhood, with an alcoholic father (who would die when she was nine) and a devoted but overburdened mother, and of the refuge a little girl took from the turmoil at home with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. But it was when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes that the precocious Sonia recognized she must ultimately depend on herself. She would learn to give herself the insulin shots she needed to survive and soon imagined a path to a different life. With only television characters for her professional role models, and little understanding of what was involved, she determined to become a lawyer, a dream that would sustain her on an unlikely course, from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale
Call Number: Request Curbside Pick-up: KF8745.S67 A3 2013
Publication Date: 2013
Paper Daughter by M. Elaine Mar
A woman born in Hong Kong shares her life story, describing her family's move to Denver when she was five and the resulting conflict between her own desires to adopt American culture and her mother's wish to maintain traditional Chinese values.
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 1999
Faculty and Staff Resources
Academic Library Services for First-Generation Students by Xan Arch; Isaac Gilman
Presenting strategies for improving academic library services for first-generation students, this timely book focuses on programs and services that will increase student academic engagement and success. Demographic data and secondary school graduation rates suggest that colleges and universities will enroll growing numbers of first-generation students over the next decade. Academic Library Services for First-Generation Students focuses on ways academic libraries can uniquely contribute to the successful transition to college and year-to-year retention of first-generation students. The practical recommendations in this book include a wide range of ideas for the design and modification of library services and facilities to be more inclusive of the needs of first-generation students. All of the recommendations are specifically aimed at addressing challenges faced by first-generation students. Topics covered range from study spaces and service points to information literacy instruction and campus partnerships. The book makes the case--both explicitly and implicitly--that academic libraries can help address known risk factors (e.g., by helping students build academic cultural competencies) and thereby improve success, persistence, and retention for first-generation students. Academic library professionals in both leadership roles and public service positions will benefit from the actionable strategies presented here. Includes practical strategies for modifying existing library services to be more inclusive of first-generation student needs Incorporates suggestions for new services targeted toward first-generation students Offers insight into first-generation students' perspectives on academic libraries Builds understanding of the role libraries can play in first-generation student success and retention
Call Number: Request Curbside Pick-up: LC4069.6 .A73 2020
Publication Date: 2020
Bandwidth Recovery by Cia Verschelden; Lynn Pasquerella (Foreword by)
Published in association with This book argues that the cognitive resources for learning of over half our young people have been diminished by the negative effects of economic insecurity, discrimination and hostility against non-majority groups based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity, and other aspects of difference. Recognizing that these students are no different than their peers in terms of cognitive capacity, this book offers a set of strategies and interventions to rebuild the available cognitive resources necessary to succeed in college and reach their full potential. Members of these groups systematically experience conditions in their lives that result in chronic stress and, therefore, decreased physical and mental health and social and economic opportunity. The costs of the many kinds of scarcity in their lives - money, health, respect, safety, affirmation, choices, belonging - is seriously reduced "mental bandwidth," the cognitive and emotional resources needed to deal with making good decisions, learning, healthy relationships, and more. People who are operating with depleted mental bandwidth are less able to succeed in school, starting in childhood, and are much less likely to make it to college. For those who do make it, their bandwidth capacity often interferes with learning, and therefore, persisting and graduating from college. This book presents variety of evidence-based interventions that have been shown, through implementation in high schools and colleges, to help students to regain bandwidth. They are variously intended for application inside and outside the classroom and address not only cognitive processes but also social-psychological, non-cognitive factors that are relevant to the college environment as a whole. Beginning with an analysis of the impacts on mental and physical health and cognitive capacity, of poverty, racism, and other forms of social marginalization, Cia Verschelden presents strategies for promoting a growth mindset and self-efficacy, for developing supports that build upon students' values and prior knowledge and for creating learning environments both in and out of the classroom so students can feel a sense of belonging and community. She addresses issues of stereotyping and exclusion and discusses institutional structures and processes that create identity-safe rather than identity-threat learning environment. This book is intended for faculty, student affairs professionals, and college and university administrators, all of whom have an interest in creating learning environments where all students have a chance to succeed.
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2017
Creating the Path to Success in the Classroom by Kathleen F. Gabriel; Stephen Carroll (Foreword by)
This is a book for all faculty who are concerned with promoting the persistence of all students whom they teach. Most recognize that faculty play a major role in student retention and success because they typically have more direct contact with students than others on campus. However, little attention has been paid to role of the faculty in this specific mission or to the corresponding characteristics of teaching, teacher-student interactions, and connection to student affairs activities that lead to students' long-term engagement, to their academic success, and ultimately to graduation. At a time when the numbers of underrepresented students - working adults, minority, first-generation, low-income, and international students - is increasing, this book, a companion to her earlier Teaching Underprepared Students, addresses that lack of specific guidance by providing faculty with additional evidence-based instructional practices geared toward reaching all the students in their classrooms, including those from groups that traditionally have been the least successful, while maintaining high standards and expectations. Recognizing that there are no easy answers, Kathleen Gabriel offers faculty ideas that can be incorporated in, or modified to align with, faculty's existing teaching methods. She covers topics such as creating a positive and inclusive course climate, fostering a community of learners, increasing engagement and students' interactions, activating connections with culturally relevant material, reinforcing self-efficacy with growth mindset and mental toughness techniques, improving lectures by building in meaningful educational activities, designing reading and writing assignments for stimulating deep learning and critical thinking, and making grade and assessment choices that can promote learning.
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2018
Teaching STEM to First Generation College Students by Gail Horowitz
"Some students come to college knowing the ropes, knowing what it takes to be successful as STEM students. But many do not. Research shows that students who are the first-generation in their family to attend or complete college are likely to arrive at your classroom not knowing what it takes to be successful. And data shows that more first-generation students are likely to be arriving on your doorstep in the near future. What can you do to help these students be successful? This book can provide you with some quick, easy, and effortless steps that you can take to help first-generation college students succeed without having to change the way you teach. Why put in this effort in the first place? The payoff is truly worth it. First-generation college students are frequently low-income students and from ethnic groups underrepresented in STEM. With a little effort, you can enhance the retention of underrepresented groups in your discipline, at your institution and play a role in national efforts to enhance diversity in STEM"--
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2019
Last updated on Mar 28, 2023 2:54 PM