First-Gen Mentorship
First-Gen Mentorship
The Microbiology & Immunology First-Generation University Student* Mentorship Program

*A first-generation university student is defined as a student whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and siblings have not completed a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent professional program. This means that you are the first in your family to attend a four-year college/university with the goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree.


The Microbiology & Immunology First-Generation University Student Mentorship Fund was established to support the career and personal development goals of undergraduates and graduate students in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology who are first-generation university students. This fund was created to celebrate Dr. Mike Gold’s tenure as Department Head from 2009-2019 and is intended to enrich the UBC experience for students who are the first in their family to attend university.


Having been a first-generation university student, Dr. Gold wishes to support others: “Being a first-generation university student makes one a pioneer in their family, which can come with additional challenges and responsibilities. I would like to provide these students with one-on-one mentoring and with financial support to participate in enhanced learning experiences such as workshops or scientific meetings that will broaden their horizons and expand their opportunities.”


Each student selected for the program will have an initial meeting with Dr. Gold to set goals for these interactions and to identify discussion areas that will be of most interest and value to the student. Subsequently the student will meet with Dr. Gold at least 2-3 times per term. Dr. Gold will also connect each student to relevant experts who can provide additional advice. Identifying an enhanced learning experience that will further the student’s career or personal goals will be a key discussion goal. This personal mentorship is intended to be on-going and extend beyond one year. The student can terminate their involvement at any time. At the end of the mentoring interactions, the student will provide a brief written summary of the mentoring experience and how they benefitted from it.


Read about the first cohort of mentees and their experiences in the mentorship program 



Applicants must be first-generation university students, as defined above.


Applicants will be chosen for one-on-one mentoring by Dr. Gold plus the opportunity to receive (partial) funding to participate in an enhanced learning experience that will further their career or personal goals. Candidates will be chosen based on their application and an informal interview/initial mentoring session.


*If you'd like to apply, the First-Generation University Students Mentorship Program is now accepting applications



*If you'd like to help financially support the program,  donate here