About Us

The purpose of 1st Gen Engin is to both establish and foster a community amongst the first generation students in the College of Engineering by providing resources, workshops, and events to the students. We aim to make the first generation identity more visible among the engineering community and provide support for the unique challenges that they may face in the engineering discipline.

Meet our Student Advisory Board!

Johnny Huang, President

Major: Industrial & Operations Engineering, 2022

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Why did you join 1st Gen Engin? I joined 1st Gen Engin because I know matriculating into college as first gen can be a storm to navigate (especially during the time of COVID!) and would like to assist other students like me either it is academically, professionally, and socially 🙂

David Pulido, Corporate Relations Director

Major: Electrical Engineering, 2023

Hometown: Oxnard, California

Why did you join 1st Gen Engin?:
Becoming familiar with all college has to offer and how best to navigate it during your time here can be a daunting task. 1st Gen Engin is uniquely capable at helping people find their way or have an easier time moving forward professionally, academically, and socially.

Emily Siew, Secretary/Treasurer

Major: Chemical Engineering, 2023

Hometown: New York City

Why did you join 1st Gen Engin? I joined FGE because being a first-gen is a huge part of my identity and I wanted to meet other first-gen students on campus. I think having a support network with people who can relate to your experiences is super important and I’ve been able to meet so many really cool people through FGE 🙂

Sue Chong, Marketing/Public Relations

Major: Biomedical Engineering, 2023  

Hometown: New York, NY  

Why did you join 1st Gen Engin?: It’s a community that reminds me to be proud of where I came from and to connect with others who have the same experiences as me! It is a safe place with some amazing people.            

Wayne Zhu, Mentorship/Alumni Outreach

Major: Mechanical Engineering, 2023  

Hometown: Mason, OH  

Why did you join 1st Gen Engin?: Being a first generation student has always posed its challenges. From lack of understanding common college resources to confusion with the college experience, I always thought that everyone else naturally had the same problems as me. Over time as I grew accustomed and learned more about being a college student, I realized that there were many students like me who were equally alone in this experience. Being able to share this confusing yet incredibly exciting experience with others like me motivated me to make my impact here with FGE. Go blue ^-^

Angela Yu

Major: Computer Science, 2021

Hometown: Queens, NYC

Why did you join 1st Gen Engin? I joined 1st Gen Engin in order to help other first generation students that are in the same shoes that I was in. I felt isolated knowing that I was a first generation student with immigrant parents and felt like I had no one to turn to for advice about school, internships, or jobs. Thankfully, I was able to find friends who could relate and help me but I wanted to be able to create that kind of community for the first generation population at U of M so that they all feel welcome and at home. This is my goal and hope for 1st Gen Engin.

Alumni of 1st Gen Engin

Michael Laframboise, President 2020

Major: Master’s Systems Engineering & Design, Semiconductor Optoelectronics  

Hometown: Northville, MI  

Why did you join 1st Gen Engin? I joined 1st Gen Engin because I struggled greatly with university life, academics, and professional engagement throughout my undergraduate career. I am passionate about this group because I believe that if I had had access to 1st Generation Engineers when I was in undergrad I would have had the support of people who understood the difficulty of being a 1st Gen student. The work we do through 1st Gen Engin helps make the UMich experience smoother and more engaging for our students.  

Program Advisors

Megan Taylor, EAC Academic Advisor & 1st Gen Engin Program Advisor

Hometown: Houghton Lake, MI  

Why do you love advising 1st Gen Engin? As a two-time alum of the University of Michigan, I know that Michigan offers many exciting and unique opportunities to our students, but it can also at times be difficult to navigate. As an advisor, I love empowering students to make the most of their experiences on campus. I love supporting this program because it creates an important community for first-gens to meet, support, and celebrate each other. Our First Generation Engineers are adaptable, caring, and creating their own path through Michigan which is an honor to be apart of!

Leonora Lucaj, IOE Academic Advisor & 1st Gen Engin Founder

Hometown: Milford, MI  

Why did you create 1st Gen Engin? I am a two time UM alum and also a first generation college student. Personally, undergrad was challenging to navigate as a first gen student. The only way I got through was by asking lots of questions and constantly building my network. I created 1st Gen Engin to do the same: to help students connect, provide them with resources, and build a community where we celebrate being a first gen!    

Kathryn McLravy, Graduate Intern 

Hometown: East Lansing, MI  

Why did you join 1st Gen Engin? Prior to joining 1st Gen Engin, I served in a high school supporting 1st generation students with college applications, financial aid, and other college materials. While I was excited for my students, I was not sure what services and groups were available to students as they transition to college. I was so excited to see this organization available for students in the College of Engineering, and I knew I had to get involved!