Book-Signing Celebration for Melissa Osborne's 'Polished'



Haggard Hall 222
Cover of the book "Polished: College, Class, and the Burdens of Social Mobility," by Melissa Osborne.

Contact Person

A special book-signing celebration of WWU Associate Professor of Sociology Melissa Osborne’s new book, Polished: College, Class, and the Burdens of Social Mobility, will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 3:30 p.m. at Western Libraries in Haggard room 222.  

Polished explores the impacts and transition of college for low-income and first-generation students through drawing on in-depth interviews from one hundred and fifty first-generation and low-income students across eighteen elite institutions. From the publisher’s description 

Polished uncovers the hidden consequences of the promise of social mobility in today’s educational landscape. Sociologist Melissa Osborne reveals how the very support designed to propel first-generation students forward can unexpectedly reshape their identities, often putting them at odds with their peers and families. Without direct institutional support, this emotional journey can lead to alienation, mental health challenges, poor academic outcomes, and difficult choices between upward mobility or maintaining authenticity and community. 

This event is hosted by WWU’s First-Gen Faculty Taskforce with additional support from the Kitto Graduate Student Hub. For more information, please contact: Cameron Ali Wühr,, 360-650-7592, and to request disability accommodation, please contact: Gretchen Rumsey-Richardson,, 360-650-2172.