College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Rashné R. Jehangir

  • Professor; Robert Beck Chair of Ideas in Education; Founding Director, CEHD First Gen Institute

  • Office Hours

    by appointment

Rashné Jehangir

Areas of interest

College Student Development
First-generation and underrepresented students
Emancipatory curriculum and pedagogy
Social justice, equity, and inclusion in higher education


PhD, University of Minnesota, higher education
MA, University of Minnesota, counseling and student personnel psychology
BA, Lawrence University, psychology


My academic work is at the nexus of research and praxis shaped by my early career as a student affairs practitioner and advisor in federally funded TRIO programs. Access and equity remain at the center of my research inquiry with a focus on experiences of first-generation students, Students of Color, and/or immigrant and poor and working-class college students, faculty and practitioners. I employ their narratives to raise questions about institutional systems in higher education that need de-construction and re-imagining. I have employed emancipatory frameworks to challenge the deficit narratives that have often defined minoritized students’ place in higher education. I chose to teach across the curriculum in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary spaces, with first year college students, juniors and seniors, and masters and doctoral students with a recognition of the ways in which students in these different parts of their journey inform and raise questions that shape my research inquiry.

I come to this work as a South Asian immigrant whose lived experience is informed by a bi-cultural, multilingual, post-colonial context and liminality. These lived experiences, and my work in equity programs, raised questions about the (in) equities of structural design of higher education and its commonly employed policies and practices. I see my body of work as an intentional triangulation of community-engaged, research, teaching, and service efforts. I am interested in how research influences practice in student development, policy, and pedagogy and am equally interested in how praxis informs research and illuminates gaps that are worthy of inquiry toward justice and equity.

My scholarly inquiry incorporates these lenses to build greater understanding of the intersectionality of underrepresented students, and the importance of recognizing the power structures that constrain their engagement in higher education. My current work falls into three arenas: Complicating First Generation Identit(ies); Emancipatory Curriculum and Pedagogy; and De-constructing Barriers in the Academy. While each stream has a particular focus, they have informed each other with a focus on exploring ways to create more just and equitable spaces for underrepresented, immigrant, refugee, Black, Indigenous, People of Color and Poor and Working-class students in higher education.  Given the tripartite focus of my research, I am eager to intentionally curate and situate scholarship that rests in a place that attends to both strengths and challenges of underrepresented students, staff and faculty in higher education with implications that remedy systems not designed to serve this new majority.


Jehangir, R. R., & Molengraff, T. J. (2023). First-Generation Students in Visual Composition: The Centrality of Race, Rootedness, and Relationship. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice

Jehangir, R., Stebleton, M..J., *Collins, K. (2023). STEM stories: Fostering STEM persistence for underrepresented minority students attending predominantly white institutions, Journal of Career Development.50, (1). 87-103.

Jehangir, R. *Collins, K., & *Molengraff, T. (2022). Class matters: Employing photovoice with first generation, poor and working-class college students as a lens on intersecting identities. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Advance online publication.

Collins, K. & Jehangir, R. (2021). “It’s hard for everybody”: Navigating the tensions and tolerance of graduate  school as a first-generation scholar. The Good Society: A Journal of Civic Studies 30 (1-2): 48–70.

Jehangir, R. & Romasanta, L. (April 2021). How TRIO Sparked the First that Fuels the First-Generation Movement; An Interview with Arnold Mitchem and Maureen Hoyler. Journal of First Generation Student Success, 1, (1)

Jehangir, R., *Telles, A., & *Deenanath, V. (2020). Career into a New Focus: First-Generation College Students and Photovoice, Journal of Career Development, 47(1), 59-79. Doi: 10.1177%2F0894845318824746.

Jehangir, R. (2010). Stories as knowledge: Bringing the lived experience of first-generation college students into the academy. Urban Education, 45(4),533-553. [Special issue: Bringing the neighborhood into the classroom: Implications for urban education Podcast of  authors’ discussion available at


Jehangir, R. (2010). Higher education and first-generation students: Cultivating community, voice and place for  the new majority. Palgrave Macmillan  

Jehangir, R., Stebleton, M.J. & Deenanath, V. (August 2015). An exploration of intersecting identities of first-generation, low-income college students. (Research Report No 5). National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Stylus.  

Essays, or Book Chapters

Jehangir, R., *Moock, K., Williams, T. (2022). First-Generation and working-class students in the workforce. In  M. Buford, M. Sharp & M. J. Stebleton (Eds.) Mapping the future of undergraduate career education:  Equitable career learning, development, and preparation in the new world of work. 

Jehangir, R. & Collins, K. (April 2021).  What’s in a name? Narratives and counter-Narratives of the first generation moniker.  In Longwell- Grice, R., & Longwell- Grice, H. (Eds.) At the Intersection: First Generation Students and the Influence of Identities. Stylus Publishing.

Jehangir, R. First-Generation students (2020). In Amey, M. & David. M (Eds.) SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education, 5v. SAGE Publications Inc. 


Stebleton, M., Jehangir, R. & Do, T. (2022, June). (2022, June 26). ‘I Wasn’t Supposed to Be There’ Examining the  Experiences of Underrepresented Women of Color in Undergraduate STEM Majors. National Career Development Association (NCDA). Anaheim, CA 

Jehangir, R., Romasanta. L., Longwell, G. Means, D., Nguyen, D., * Molengraff, T (2022, March). Explicit & implicit approaches to publishing about first generation student success. National Conference for the  Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Baltimore, MD

Jehangir, R. Smith, M, Ardoin, M. (2022, March). At the intersection: Understanding and supporting first generation college students. National Conference for the Association of Student Personnel Administrators  (NASPA). Baltimore, MD  

Jehangir, R. Collins, K, *Molengraff (2022, March). First generation poor and working class students: A visual  topography of social class meaning making. National Conference for the Association of Student Personnel  Administrators (NASPA). Baltimore, MD  

Jehangir, R, Collins, K, Byrd, D. (2022, March) Voices of first-gen graduate students & faculty: Attending to  intersections of race, social class, & first-generation status. Keeping Our Faculty of Color, Biennial  National Conference, Minneapolis, MN online

Jehangir, R. (June 30, 2020).  Plenary Speaker. Toward Full Citizenship for All Students in Higher Education: Mapping a Path Forward. Annual Student Success in Higher Education Virtual Conference, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)

Jehangir, R. (June 27, 2020). Keynote Speaker. As I See It: First Generation College Students & Photo Narratives, Interactive Keynote Photovoice Methodology, First Gen Student Success Conference, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Jehangir, R. (June, 2018). Keynote speaker. First-Generation Strong: Upholding Our Commitment to First-Generation College Students. Inaugural system-wide forum on first-generation college students in the University of California, University of San Diego, CA

Selected media

Jehangir, R. & Do. T.,(August 29, 2022). Why Institutional Narratives About First-Gen Students Matter. Inside Higher Education 

Guest appearance on: DeGuzman, G. (Host). (2021, Oct 27). Being First (Part 1): First-Generation Students’ Experiences (No. 67) [Audio podcast episode]. In Student Affairs NOW.

Invited Guest on Minnesota Public Radio’s Daily Circuit with Kerri Miller. (Dec 5, 2013). When the first in a family goes to college: