A Message From Dean Gonzalez

Dear Members of the Princeton Class of 2025 (we hope!), 

Hello from New Jersey! My name is Khristina Gonzalez and I’m the Associate Dean of the College and Director of Programs for Access and Inclusion (PAI). Here at Princeton, I work with the awesome PAI team (Dr. Shaw, Dr. Hakim, Courtney, Josh, Christy, and [another] Dr. Shaw) to create resources, programs, and community for our awesome first-gen, lower-income (Fli) students.

On behalf of our whole team, I want to welcome you to the FLI community at Princeton—or, as we like to call it, the Fli-Ger community. We know that this email is a bit lengthy, but we got so excited about sharing information with you! Please bear with us, and read below for lots of great opportunities.

 Message of Support

First of all, we want to take a moment to recognize the tremendous achievement that you have all accomplished. You have all worked so hard to get to this moment—and most recently, you’ve done it through the challenges, losses, and uncertainty of a global crisis. We know that in many cases, you have also accomplished this while trailblazing—for example, setting forth as the first in your family to be able to graduate from high school, transfer from a community college, or pursue higher education at a college like Princeton. In the midst of what we know has been a very difficult time, we want you to know that we celebrate you and your strength, your work, and your spirit. We also celebrate the loved ones, teachers, and mentors that have helped you get to this point. And we so hope to have you all as members of our community. We can’t wait to hear your ideas, engage with your scholarship, and be a part of the Princeton that you will help to lead.

We also want you to know that, if you decide to join us at Princeton, we are here to support you in your transition to the University and your journey through college and beyond. We know that this next step may be daunting (what do I do in faculty office hours? How can I get involved in a dance group? Which Math class should I take? Where can I get some good pupusas?).

Through our programs like the Freshman Scholars Institute, the Scholars Institute Fellows Program, and more, we aim to ensure that you have the resources, networks, and metaphorical supportive “pit crew” that you need to define and pursue your academic, co-curricular, personal, and professional goals.

Why Fli @Princeton Virtual Preview Week!

In order to help you learn more about these opportunities and the people who make up our community, we are hosting our first annual (and first virtual!) Why Fli @ Princeton Virtual Preview Week!

This week, from April 6-16, we will be hosting special events to welcome you to the Fli Community and life at Princeton. We’ll feature special panels with our PAI Student Ambassadors, tips on college success from your fellow students, workshops on navigating college life, and “office hours” (or virtual meeting space) with our staff and faculty! You can access our FLi Virtual Student Panel HERE.

Check out our SIFP Webpage for more information and follow us @PrincetonPAI on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

This Summer

One of the best times of the year for the Fli Community at Princeton is the summer. Each year, we welcome a group of our incoming Fli-gers to campus for our Freshman Scholars Institute, an 8-week residential summer program that gives students an early immersion in the academic, social, and co-curricular life at Princeton. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, it has become clear that, in order to promote our community’s health and well-being, we will need to convert FSI into a virtual program this summer. But wait, there is good news! Our staff, faculty, and students are working hard right now to design a virtual experience that will still provide invited scholars with a credit-bearing course in scholarly thinking, reading, and writing; connections with campus resources and opportunities; and the chance to connect with a whole new community of friends. Quite frankly, we think it will be awesome!

In addition, we will be launching a brand new mentoring program designed to connect you with current Fli students at Princeton, so that you can have an easy place to ask questions and get to know the community. This program will serve as a launch pad to our 4-year mentorship community, the Scholars Institute Fellows Program, which provides networks, academic enrichment, co-curricular opportunities, resources, and fun (!) to students hailing from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented at Princeton.

So please, stay tuned in the next few weeks for an email from us inviting you to participate in one of our programs! If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to pop on one of our open office hours or send us an email at sifp@princeton.edu

As you navigate the next few months, we know that there will be difficult moments. We want you to know that it is precisely for times like these that our Fli-Ger community is made. We are here over email and with open virtual meeting times to check in, answer your questions, or just talk! And…don’t forget: there are brighter days ahead, all. We so hope to be able to celebrate them on campus with you all very soon.

Sending all my very best,

Dean G

pai staff is here for you all

(Our PAI staff looks forward to welcoming you to Princeton!)