Fisher Celebrates Its First-Generation Students

November 9, 2020

More than 450 first-generation students currently call St. John Fisher College home. They lead student organizations, conduct research in labs, and volunteer in the community. On Monday, Nov. 9, Fisher joins a nation-wide celebration of first-generation students and the positive impacts they have on campuses across the country.

First-generation students Diana Delrio, Lindsey Walton, and Mariangelis Gonzalez.

College News Highlights features three Fisher first-gens, sharing their academic goals and the things they love best about campus.

Coming from a public school in New York City, Diana Delrio ’22 was looking for a college that would provide a personalized education. A first-generation student, she is shaping her college experience to focus on civic engagement.

“I am very passionate about politics so I have dedicated my college career to working with the Division of Student Affairs, Student Government Association, and the Executive Intern program,” said Delrio, who is a political science major with a minor in criminology and criminal justice.

With the goal of applying for law school and running for state congress, she brought her passion for politics to campus, working with Student Affairs to increase voter participation on campus.

Last year, she served as Fisher’s student representative for the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, and had a firsthand look at lobbying in our state congress and met many state congressional representatives.

“I have met so many different people and I have participated in events and meetings that I never knew were available to me,” she said. “I am very grateful for Fisher and I feel like I am more prepared to begin my future in politics now.”

Among those who have offered her support is Michelle Price, health sciences and special collections librarian at Lavery Library.

“She has provided me the academic and personal support and has connected me with different opportunities on campus,” Delrio said. “It is very comforting to have faculty and staff members that really care about their students and she is one of them.”

Lindsey Walton ’23 first visited Fisher’s campus as a sophomore in high school. As a senior going through the college search process, she returned and found the same welcoming community. Today, she serves on the executive board for the Black Student Union and is the First-Generation Senator for the Student Government Association.

“Everything just felt right so I made it my goal to be accepted into the Class of 2023,” said Walton. “Choosing Fisher has been the most rewarding decision of my life. I love my Fisher family and I cannot wait to graduate with all my peers.”

A sociology major with minors in biology and psychology, she said Dr. Roja Singh’s Introduction to Sociology course inspired her to pursue the discipline as a major.

“She’s a great professor and an even greater person. She provides her students with amazing opportunities such as video chatting with people across the world,” Walton said. 

Honors student Mariangelis Gonzalez ’23 chose Fisher because she knew she would be able to build close relationships with students and professors. With a passion for improving the health and lives of others, she is majoring in biology, with a minor in Spanish for the health professions minor.

“I would like the opportunity to address the health disparities based on socioeconomic, geographic, and race/ethnicity,” Gonzalez said.

In addition to her membership in the Honors program, she is also a First-Generation Scholar, student ambassador, and member of Fisher Cru and the Prehealth Club.

“My experience at Fisher has opened opportunities for me to continue pursuing my dreams,” said Gonzalez. “I learn something new each day being a first-generation college student and I am grateful for this opportunity.”