First-Gen Faculty & Staff

Thad Teo

Director of Development
Pronouns: He/Him/His


B.S. Biology, University of Washington, 2012 

M.Ed. in Student Development Administration, Seattle University, 2015


What does being first-gen mean to you?

It's about being resilient no matter the many unknowns that come with navigating life, college, and career..

What challenges/barriers have you faced or overcome during college?

Not knowing what classes to take or what to major in or even what career to pursue was one of the greatest challenges as a university student. There weren't a lot of people I could talk to about the college experience, but learning to figure it out was one of the greatest lessons in resiliency and independence I learned.
What resource(s) or support helped you to be successful?

I didn't even realize there were academic and career counselors I could talk to about my academics while in college-- it wasn't even mandatory when I was a student. I went about mostly experimenting, making mistakes, but making it a point to learn from those experiences. Believe in yourself and trust the process of learning through living.
Do you have an inspirational quote that helped guide you through college?

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou
What advice would you give to someone else who is also first-gen?

There is an incredible amount of support all around you-- from faculty to campus resources that can help you figure things out-- it's important to be willing to seek help and advice. Navigating life is a challenge as a first-gen student and it's so important that you never ever give up on yourself. Know that you have a lot more to offer the world than you think you have!