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Jeanette Ruiz featured in UC Davis First Generation Faculty Project

The daughter of farmworkers, Ruiz became the first in her family to go college.

Now Ruiz, who earned her bachelor's and doctoral degrees at UC Davis, is among faculty who are telling their stories as part of a UC program to connect first-generation students with professors who have walked in their shoes.

Ruiz said her background gave her the drive to succeed as a student, though there are a few things she wished she had known she started out: "That it’s OK to not know and important to ask. That getting through requires just as much strategy as smarts. That it’s OK to make friends and have fun!" 

Read her story.

UC Davis has also put together a directory so students can find faculty members in their field of interest who share the experience of being first-generation. Listed there, in addition to Ruiz, are two of her  Department of Communication colleagues: Professor and Chair Robert Bell and Assistant Professor Drew Cingel.