Faculty Mentor

Brenda DeVore Marshall


This study analyzes interview videos and transcripts produced by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The first-generation interviews, known as “Carolina Firsts,” include current students, staff, and faculty. The phenomenological method was used to identify common themes in the videos and transcripts of six interviewees. Eight essential themes were revealed: the dream comes true, beating the odds, facing the unknown, a challenging first semester, reaching for the degree, it gets easier, the issue of pride, and Carolina keeps its promise. The eight themes identified provide new insights into similar communication experiences among Carolina Firsts interviewees. The study offers suggestions for future research in order to continue gaining new insights into first-generation undergraduate experiences.



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