Rebecca Nagy Miller
For this year’s First-Generation Week celebration, we asked students like Rebecca Nagy Miller to share what it means to be a first-generation student (or First Osprey), how it impacted their college experience and what support they have received since choosing Stockton University.
According to Rebecca, being first-generation means constantly exploring opportunities on campus, which can lead to unexpected and fulfilling experiences within the realm of Esports.
To me, being a first osprey means being a trailblazer in my family and being able to have a unique opportunity that my other family members may not have had.
At Stockton there are so many events and networking opportunities that occur every day here on campus; so much so that there have been instances where I'll just peek my head into something going on at Stockton, and the next thing you know, it leads me to opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Whether it's something small...or something major... I want to take the privilege that Dr. E, First Ospreys and Stockton Esports have given me and empower students who may not have been given the privilege or had the experience that I have, so that I may equip and empower them to advance in their communities and excel in their careers.
A great example was my impromptu attendance of the casino esports conference. I was, actually, just getting out of my business law class upstairs in the John F. Scarpa Academic building, and I saw this banner that said “Casino Esports Conference”, with a table near the Fannie Lou Hammer Event room, with people surrounding it. I was looking around the tables and banners, thinking, ‘Huh, this looks interesting. I didn’t know Stockton had this’. After a few moments, the director of the conference, Arti Fox, walks up to me and asks, ‘Hey, you good?’
To which I responded ‘Yeah, I'm good, I’m just curious about what this is?’
He explained what the conference was, and asked if I wanted to attend. I accepted his offer, and not only did I have the honor of meeting the former director of sales at Caesars, but I also got to witness the grand opening of Esports Innovation Center at Kesselman Hall.
Stockton has supported me in a variety of ways: they’ve supported me financially through the Foundation Scholarship as well as through the Educational Opportunity Fund. They've also supported me academically and emotionally with the Learning Access Program as well as the Counseling Center.
They’ve also been helping me advance my career through a variety of different opportunities, such as the Cultural Engagement Ospreys internship, of which I have recently acquired the role of Chief CEO. I’m also part of the Stockton Esports Collegiate Organization, where I’ve recently become the Community liaison between the CEO project and Esports, where my primary objective is to help facilitate collaborations and communication between the two organizations.
Both the CEO project as well as the Esports Collegiate organization have given me many opportunities to showcase my leadership, but there is one particular opportunity granted to me by both organizations that I will never forget.
The first generation of the Inclusive Leadership Conference, at that point, had just ended, and I was hearing that a bunch of my colleagues from the Esports Organization were going to DreamHack. I was very excited for them, and was wishing them a safe and fun trip to Dallas, where the convention was being held.
A few days later, I had gotten a message from a colleague saying , ‘Hey, Demetrios* might be calling you soon. He wants to talk to you about something.’
You know that feeling when you get called to the principal's office, and you're just kind of scared as to what they might say, even though you didn't get in trouble? That’s how I was feeling prior to the call.
When Demetrios did contact me later that evening, he had said to me, ‘Hey, Dr. E (Ana Edmondson)** has personally funded you going to DreamHack, do you want to come with us?’ After a few seconds of silence from my mouth being agape from the surprise of this opportunity, I accepted it!
For this trip, I was given the role of the journalism lead, with my main task being to conduct interviews with guests and attendees. Addtionally, it was my personal objective to get as much out of this opportunity as possible, through networking and learning more about the landscape of esports.
This trip was the furthest I had gone away from home, with the exception of maybe Florida. Beyond that, I’ve rarely left the state, let alone the eastern standard time zone. This was also my first time going to an actual gaming convention, and being able to see amazing cosplays, as well as meeting inspiring and talented industry leaders and professionals like Debra Wilson (voice actor for Star Wars and Owl House), Claudia Beaton (vice president for People & Culture for ESL FACEIT Group) and Josh Bound (president of Video Game Clubs of America) was an experience I will never forget.
Rebecca and the team went to DreamHack in Dallas this summer for an unforgettable experience. Photos by Alice Henry Roubos.
It was actually through this trip that I was able to fully clarify my future career. While my degree and my dream job is marketing within esports, I also have thorough experience within DEI due to my experiences as part of the Osprey’s Excellence Experience, as well as my former position as Assistant Coordinator and current position of Chief CEO within the Cultural Engagement Osprey’s Internship. Prior to Dreamhack, I was unsure as to how the two could be combined into one career.
However, when I spoke to Claudia Beaton, vice president for People & Culture for ESL FACEIT Group, she introduced me to a new career opportunity, where DEI, marketing, and gaming can intersect. This conversation alone gave a fresh perspective on my career, which furthered my desire and drive toward my career goal of becoming a catalyst for change within the world of gaming and minority communities.
Whether it's something small, such as giving advice, or something major, like teaching students how to be able to properly network, I want to take the privilege that Dr. E, First Ospreys and Stockton Esports have given me and empower students who may not have been given the privilege or had the experience that I have, so that I may equip and empower them to advance in their communities and excel in their careers.
I'm looking forward to using the CEO initiative and the knowledge acquired from the Dreamhack trip to enact change within this university and be able to take this absolute privilege and opportunity and bring what I've learned to other people.
*Demetrios Roubos is the Information Security Officer, an adjunct professor and a faculty advisor for the Stockton Esports Collegiate Organization.
**Ana Edmondson is the assistant vice president for Student Transitions, Access and Retention and advisor for the Cultural Engagement Ospreys (CEO).
Elevate Your Voice!
Galloway, N.J. – There are three things that students should be focused on during their higher education journey – themselves, their circle and the finish line waiting for them once they earn their degree – according to Michael Spence, first-generation college graduate and keynote speaker at the First to Soar Celebration on Nov. 7
“For all of us in here, we're going down the path that no one in our family has ever gone down, and sometimes, it's probably one of the hardest things to go through,” Spence told the audience of first-generation students at Stockton. “See, it's easy to walk in someone else's footprints, but how about walking footprints that were never laid out for you? How do I make this journey that I got sent out to do and that I wanted people before me to do? I’m here to tell you that that pressure could either burst pipes or turn into diamonds, but it’s all about what you’re made of. I’m here to tell you that this journey here is not here to burst your pipes but to help make you a diamond.”
— Story by Loukaia Taylor