Western Carolina University

Alan Goggins (2010)

My First Generation Story

About the Student

Alan Goggins 2

A resident of Fayetteville, N.C., James Alan Goggins II received his undergraduate degree in environmental health from Western Carolina University in May. Goggins participated in undergraduate molecular research for vector-borne diseases, which he presented at regional and national conferences. This fall, he begins his doctoral studies in biomedical sciences at Tulane University, where he has received a full scholarship. Reflecting on the obstacles he’s overcome while a first-generation student – a rocky freshman year and his father’s death – Goggins said he pushed forward because his family taught him that education is the only thing no one can take from him.

Student Stats

Name: Alan Goggins (2010)
Age: 25
Year in School: Senior
Major: Environmental Health
Favorite Course: Epidemiology & Medical Entomology
Dream Job: Epidemic Intelligence Officer at the CDC

About the School

FGV: Western Carolina University

WCU was founded in 1889 to bring higher education and career opportunities to the western region of North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina system, WCU now provides an education to more than 9,000 students from 38 states and 32 countries. The university’s mission is focused on quality education and preparation for responsible citizenship in a changing world. Since its founding, WCU has grown in size to become a major cultural, scientific, and educational force in the region and the state—and we’re still growing.



  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662