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First Generation Faculty at Foster

We celebrate the Foster faculty in our community who are first generation students, the first in their families to graduate from a four year college. Below, please see some of the faculty in our midst, who share their thoughts about what being a first generation student means to them!

Crystal Finkelstein

Crystal FinkelsteinAssociate Teaching Professor of Accounting

“I LOVE working with and supporting my first-generation students. As a fellow first-generation student, I know how important support and resources can be when you are trying to navigate an overwhelming system. Know that we are here to help!”

Michael Wagner

Michael WagnerAssociate Professor of Operations Management
Alexis Leon

Alexis LeonAssociate Teaching Professor of Finance and Business Economics
Yong Tan

Yong TanProfessor of Information Systems

“My parents did not have the opportunity to go beyond elementary school, but they always placed the education of their children as top priority. They worked in two cities when I was ready to go to school, and my mom insisted on sending me to where my dad worked because his city was bigger and the schools were much better. Not being able to be with me was so hard for her, she boarded the wrong bus going back after leaving me to my dad. Without the dedication of my parents, I would not have had the chance to go to college. College life was an eye-opening experience for me. I had to make the transition from the pride of a small town to one of many who were equally, if not more, intelligent and hardworking. I remember looking up to the best professors and aspiring to become one like them. I was lucky to further my studies in US and learn from the greatest minds in the world. They taught me how to do research, and most importantly had a great influence on me to become a person who is humble and appreciative. I am very thankful to my parents, teachers, and mentors for where I am now, and hope I can follow their great examples to be helpful to my students.”

Matt Van Winkle

Matt Van WinkleDirector of MPAcc &
Associate Teaching Professor
Yong-Pin Zhou

Yong-Pin ZhouProfessor of
Operations Management
Dan Turner

Dan TurnerTeaching Professor of Marketing

“Being a First Gen student felt like being plunked down in a foreign land where I didn’t know the customs, speak the language, or understand the culture. It was wonderfully exotic but also extraordinarily confusing. But stepping far outside of my comfort zone, realizing that almost no one has it all figured out in the way it might superficially appear, and asking for help and guidance from faculty, from staff, and from fellow students provided a map. I still had to make the hike, but I wasn’t alone.”

Dawn Matsumoto

Dawn MatsumotoProfessor of Accounting
Ming Fan

Ming FanAssociate Professor of Information Systems
Lea Stern

Lea SternAssistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics

“My parents raised us so that going to college and grad school was the normal path; the path they would have chosen under different circumstances. I am very grateful to them for ingraining this in me. Looking back, I realize this was one of their greatest gift. Every first-gen student’s story and background is different. I guess my advice is to fully embrace the opportunity. You’ve made it here, you might as well make the most out of it!”

Warren Boeker

Warren BoekerProfessor of Management
Diane Legg

Diane LeggLecturer of Management
Tim McCormack

Tim McCormackLecturer of Management and Organization
Michael Thomas, CFA

Michael Thomas, CFALecturer of Finance and Business Economics
Kevin Boeh

Kevin BoehAssistant Teaching Professor of Finance
William NewellRetired professor of Management