To thrive means to grow or develop vigorously, to flourish. Students thrive when they engage socially and academically, and when they feel a sense of belonging in the Wildcat community. By focusing on the assets each student brings with them to college and connecting them with valuable campus resources, Thrive Center is committed to ensuring that students do not just survive at UA, but thrive.
is currently in his junior year at the University of Arizona pursuing a degree in Literacy, Learning and Leadership with a minor in American Indian Studies. Tony is originally from Coolidge, Arizona and is the first in his family to attend college. Tony serves as a Cat Coach for the First Cats program and shared that, "Being a First Cat means that I get to proudly embark on a new journey that other members of my family weren't given the opportunity to. It also means that I get to set a strong example and use my knowledge to help others, just like others have helped me." Tony's favorite part about being a student at UA are the connections he has made with fellow students, faculty and staff. After college, Tony plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career in higher education.
Dr. Vega is a first generation college graduate who received a B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University in 2006. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in School Psychology from The Ohio State University and went on to work as a bilingual school psychologist from 2010-2013. Dr. Vega then became a faculty member at Texas State University from 2013-2016 before coming to the University of Arizona in 2016. Dr. Vega is passionate about supporting first generation college students and serves as Thrive Center's Faculty Fellow.
The University of Arizona sits on the original homelands of indigenous peoples who have stewarded this land since time immemorial. Aligning with the university’s core value of a diverse and inclusive community, it is an institutional responsibility to recognize and acknowledge the people, culture and history that make up the Wildcat community. At the institutional level, it is important to be proactive in broadening awareness throughout campus to ensure our students feel represented and valued.
Black Lives Matter
Dear University of Arizona and Tucson Community,
BLACK LIVES MATTER. Thrive Center recognizes the violent injustices directed at our Black communities across this country are wrong, and we publicly condemn the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Dreasjon Reed, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Dion Johnson, and the many more lives lost to the depths of systemic racism. We express solidarity with those in mourning and feeling a range of emotions in light of this horrifying reality. We express solidarity as people, and movements continue to work to challenge white supremacy to envision and enact liberating realities.
In our work with students and campus partners, we prioritize a social justice lens and commitment to inclusion. We know social justice and inclusion carry no weight if we are unwilling to make these words come to life in our everyday work. As we continue to strive to create space for Black community members to feel as they need to feel and organize as they believe they should organize, we also call on our non-Black students and staff to consider your role in actively educating yourself, family and friends about the reality that Black Lives Matter (#blacklivesmatter) is a movement we all need to do our part in. Take this time to deeply reflect on what you are doing to unlearn and challenge anti-blackness within yourself and others.
We know that our learning is never complete, especially as we unpack and undo the salience of racism in our communities and systems. So, we assure you that we too, as a staff and student center, are continuing our own education, learning, and engagement as we encourage you to do the same.