DEI Celebrates First Gen: Dr. Scott Boltwood

Posted by Carleigh Blaylock
The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion celebrates First Generation Celebration Week from November 8th - November 13th, 2020! We will be highlighting & lifting up the voices of First Gen students, faculty & staff this week. We are so proud of the incredible hard work and courage it takes to be a first generation college student. We honor these students and are here to support them during their time at Emory & Henry and beyond!

Dr. Scott Boltwood is a professor of English and the Chair of the English Department at Emory & Henry College. He has been a Research Fellow at the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages, Londonderry (2003-04), Visiting Professor at The Queen’s University, Belfast (2008), and returned to Queens as a Fulbright Scholar in Drama (2011-12). He is currently working on several projects associated with Belfast’s Ulster Group Theater. He was awarded the CASE Carnegie Foundation’s Professor of the Year award for the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2013. You can read more about Dr. Boltwood here: https://www.ehc.edu/live/profiles/446-scott-boltwood

We asked him to share his first gen story with us:

“Neither of my parents finished high school, my mother never even started, and I was raised by my semi-literate grandmother in a house without a single book, not even the Bible. Despite that, I liked school, and it wasn’t a big challenge for me, but college was: I struggled in just about every course, every semester. No one in my family thought too much about supporting me through college: they all had a lot of their own problems. So I didn’t really have any cheerleaders–it was a bit of the opposite: in my second year of college, I was told that my parents couldn’t help pay for college any more. However, by that time, I had come to believe that my road to a successful future ran through college, and I had made friends and found a few sympathetic professors who believed in me. So, I dug in, held on, and earned a Bachelor’s degree. I’d like to say that was the happy ending to that story, but it took a couple of more years for that.”

As Dr. Boltwood’s story teaches us, not all experiences of First Gen students are easy ones. It can sometimes be a very isolating & challenging experience. However, even for students who’s road is harder than most, the results of that experience can be greatly rewarding. It is our hope that all first generation students at Emory & Henry find staff & faculty members who support and celebrate them through their journey as Dr. Boltwood did!

Scott Boltwood is #FirstGen!

We, at the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, understand that it is our job to support & celebrate First Gen students, no matter what kind of support they have outside our institution. This is a job we wholeheartedly embrace. Please contact our office with any needs, great or small, and we will help in any way we can. 

  • Scott Boltwood Photo.

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