PODCAST

The Rural College Student Experience

Matt Newlin

The Rural College Student Experience is the only podcast dedicated exclusively to centering rural college student voices in broader conversations about higher education access and equity. Hosted by Dr. Matt Newlin (www.mattnewlin.com), each episode will feature a co-host who is a currently enrolled student from a rural community. Co-hosts will share their perspectives on higher education and the needs of students from rural backgrounds. Each episode will also feature a guest who will bring additional insight and perspectives to the rural college student experience. Guests are researchers, scholars, practitioners, or counselors whose work focuses primarily on rural students in college. Follow RCSE on Twitter at @rcsepod. The Rural College Student Experience is presented in partnership with Believe in Students (www.believeinstudents.org). Believe in Students is the nation’s only non-profit organization focused exclusively on helping college students to meet their basic needs.

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Episode 8: A Student's Perspective: Attending The Rural Summit
3d ago
Episode 8: A Student's Perspective: Attending The Rural Summit
Welcome to the first episode of Season 2 of the Rural College Student Experience podcast. After a successful first season, we are thrilled to continue featuring conversations with and about rural students in college. On this episode, creator/host Dr. Matt Newlin is joined by co-host Chase Carson and guest Dreama Gentry from Partners for Rural Impact (PRI). In this roundtable-style conversation we discuss each of our experiences at The Rural Summit which was co-presented by PRI and Education Forward Arizona in Flagstaff, Arizona in April 2022. Chase shares his perspective as a rural student attending the conference, as well as his thoughts on the work being done by institutions and organizations around the country. Dreama shares some background on PRI, their future goals, and the major needs of rural students.  Chase Carson graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in May 2022 with a bachelor’s of business administration in Accounting. Chase was born and raised in Laurel County, Kentucky and graduated from South Laurel High School. In addition to being a recent graduate, Chase is also the founder and CEO of Unity Allies. His goal is to educate and lead his community forward in welcoming all groups of diversity to areas across the nation. Please follow Chase and Unity Allies on Instagram (@kingcarsonn, @unity_allies) or visit the Unity Allies Facebook page.  In the second half of the episode, Chase and Matt are joined by Dreama Gentry, president and CEO of Partners for Rural Impact. Dreama founded the organization to ensure rural students have the opportunity to fulfill their educational aspirations, and the national dialogue around educational success includes rural voices. A first-generation college graduate from Appalachia, Gentry is an Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow and a Prichard Committee Equity Coalition member, among other honors. To learn more about PRI’s work, follow Dreama on Twitter (@dreaminky). Please be sure to subscribe to the Rural College Student Experience wherever you download your podcasts so you’ll be notified when a new episode is available. Also, follow us on Twitter (@rcsepod) and our partners Believe in Students (@believestudents).
Episode 8: A Student's Perspective: Attending The Rural Summit
3d ago
Episode 8: A Student's Perspective: Attending The Rural Summit
Welcome to the first episode of Season 2 of the Rural College Student Experience podcast. After a successful first season, we are thrilled to continue featuring conversations with and about rural students in college. On this episode, creator/host Dr. Matt Newlin is joined by co-host Chase Carson and guest Dreama Gentry from Partners for Rural Impact (PRI). In this roundtable-style conversation we discuss each of our experiences at The Rural Summit which was co-presented by PRI and Education Forward Arizona in Flagstaff, Arizona in April 2022. Chase shares his perspective as a rural student attending the conference, as well as his thoughts on the work being done by institutions and organizations around the country. Dreama shares some background on PRI, their future goals, and the major needs of rural students.  Chase Carson graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in May 2022 with a bachelor’s of business administration in Accounting. Chase was born and raised in Laurel County, Kentucky and graduated from South Laurel High School. In addition to being a recent graduate, Chase is also the founder and CEO of Unity Allies. His goal is to educate and lead his community forward in welcoming all groups of diversity to areas across the nation. Please follow Chase and Unity Allies on Instagram (@kingcarsonn, @unity_allies) or visit the Unity Allies Facebook page.  In the second half of the episode, Chase and Matt are joined by Dreama Gentry, president and CEO of Partners for Rural Impact. Dreama founded the organization to ensure rural students have the opportunity to fulfill their educational aspirations, and the national dialogue around educational success includes rural voices. A first-generation college graduate from Appalachia, Gentry is an Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow and a Prichard Committee Equity Coalition member, among other honors. To learn more about PRI’s work, follow Dreama on Twitter (@dreaminky). Please be sure to subscribe to the Rural College Student Experience wherever you download your podcasts so you’ll be notified when a new episode is available. Also, follow us on Twitter (@rcsepod) and our partners Believe in Students (@believestudents).
Episode #7: Native American Students in College
Dec 15 2021
Episode #7: Native American Students in College
In the final episode of Season 1,  we are focusing on the experiences of Native American Students in College. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Native American students make up just 19 percent of total college enrollment, the lowest of all racial and ethnic groups. Native American students also have the lowest six-year college graduation rate at 39 percent. Additionally, there are 32 accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities in the U.S. which enroll just under 9 percent of the Native American student population. While these statistics tell us WHAT is happening, they don’t get at the “WHY”. In this episode, we discuss some of those “whys” and how they affect native student enrollment. We also talk about the work that colleges and universities need to do in order to serve these students. In this episode, host Dr. Matt Newlin is joined by co-host today is Patience Teboe, a senior at Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota. Patience grew up in Bloomfield, Nebraska, and is a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. In our conversation, she talks about “finding her people” on campus and discusses how having a “home” community helped her feel connected to the institution. She also shares her perspective about being a Native student who did NOT grow up on a reservation and how her experiences differ from Native students who did. Our guest on this episode is Dr. Marleigh Perez. Dr. Perez is the director of student success at Oregon State University Ecampus and coordinates the Ecampus Tribal Communities Initiative. She talks with us about how OSU is using virtual learning to expand tribal student access and enrollment, but also to strengthen the trust and relationships between OSU and the tribal communities in Oregon. Finally, this first season would not have been possible without our partners Believe in Students. We are so grateful for their partnership and support this season. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please follow them on Twitter at @believestudents.
Episode #6: Multiple Identities in Rural Spaces
Dec 6 2021
Episode #6: Multiple Identities in Rural Spaces
The Rural College Student Experience is back with Episode 6: Multiple Identities in Rural Spaces. In this episode, host Dr. Matt Newlin talks with co-host Aron Garcia and guest Ty McNamee about the diverse identities and experiences present in rural communities.  We discuss why it’s important to understand the diversity of experiences, perspectives, and needs of rural populations in order to break down the stereotype that rural communities are all the same. In this episode we touch on the different identities and lived experiences of rural students and how it can impact their college journey. Co-host Aron Garcia is from Kress, Texas and attends South Plains College, a two-year institution in Levelland, Texas. Aron also works as a student researcher in the Department of Forensic Science at Texas Tech University. He hopes to eventually earn his Ph.D. and work for the federal government. He got married in January 2021 and has an older brother and three nieces with whom he is very close. Aron talks about his experience as a Hispanic man who is navigating predominately white spaces at both a community college and a four-year institution. We also discuss how family relationships change when students pursue postsecondary education. Later in the episode, we talk with our guest Ty McNamee, a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University and Instructor in the Colorado State University Student Affairs in Higher Education program. We’ll discuss Ty’s research on rural populations and his own background as a rural student.   We are very grateful for our partners, Believe in Students, which has made RCSE possible. If you haven’t had a chance yet,  check out the #RealCollege Blog which is presented by Believe in Students and the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. The blog is intended as a space for students, presidents, educators, and more to lend their voices. Please take some time to check out the blog to read some of the student stories which are so compelling.
Episode #5: Navigating the Game of College
Nov 23 2021
Episode #5: Navigating the Game of College
"[Colleges] can have as much resources as [they] want, but if you're not making sure rural students know they exist then those resource are pointless." Bryson Henriott joins Dr. Matt Newlin as co-host of Episode 5 to discuss how rural students navigate the "game" of college. For many rural students - especially those who are the first in their families to attend a postsecondary institution - college can really feel like a game where everyone knows the rules except you. Unfamiliar and burdensome policies can make college feel like a maze that is too daunting to begin. Co-host Bryson Henriott is a third year student at the University of Georgia. Bryson grew up in Vidalia, Georgia and is now double majoring in Political Science and Public Relations with certificates in Applied Politics and Organizational and Personal Leadership. He is also the president of a student organization called RISE, Rural Students Igniting Success in Education. He also serves in the Student Government Association and was an Orientation Leader.Our guest today is Dr. Tricia Seifert, a professor in the Adult & Higher Education program at Montana State University who also maintains a faculty appointment at the University of Toronto. Her research broadly investigates the relationship between college student experiences and postsecondary learning and success. Dr. Seifert has begun examining how to support students in the college transition and has launched Success Prints Crash Course® for use in conjunction with college readiness curricula in high schools and first-year experience programs in colleges and universities. Dr. Siefert was named Most Valuable Professor at Montana State University in 2018 and received the Award of Honour from the Canadian Association for College and University Student Services in 2015.We are greatly appreciative of our partners Believe in Students and their mission to elevate students' voices in order to meet the basic needs of today's college students. Please check out the #RealCollege blog for student stories and perspectives.
Episode #4: Meeting the Basic Needs of Rural Students
Nov 4 2021
Episode #4: Meeting the Basic Needs of Rural Students
"Only 57 percent of community colleges have [public ]transit stops within walking distance to campus." -  Abigail Seldin, CEO, Seldin-Haring Smith Foundation.  On Episode 4 of the Rural College Student Experience, we're discussing the basic needs of rural students and how colleges and universities often lack resources and amenities that address the needs of this population.  Dr. Matt Newlin is joined by co-host Lily Nagengast, a graduate student and teaching assistant in the Department of English at Georgetown University. She is from Bloomfield, Nebraska, and graduated from Boston College in 2018 with a degree in English and gender studies. Lily is also the author of an excellent op-ed in the Hechinger Report called, “Why rural students like me are meant to be here in college.” We discuss the cultural and financial shocks of moving to large metropolitan areas from small towns and why finding a community on campus is so critical for rural students. Lily and Matt are joined by guest  Abigail Seldin. Abigail is the CEO of the Seldin-Haring Smith Foundation which focuses on access to public services and accountability for abuse of authority. At the foundation, Seldin directed the creation of the SHSF Public Transit Map and co-produced the New College Majority Photo Series with Getty Images, a new images project highlighting the demographics of today’s college students. Seldin is the co-author of SHSF's July report “Sex Trafficking in State-Authorized Massage Schools: A Case Study,” which was featured on the front page of USA Today and prompted an investigation by the House Oversight Committee. Lily and Matt talk to Abigail about the foundation's work and how it intersects with the needs of rural students at both community colleges and four-year institutions. The Rural College Student Experience is presented in partnership with Believe in Students. Believe in Students is committed to advancing voices and policies that advocate for meeting college students' basic needs. RCSE is extremely grateful for their support and partnership. You can follow Believe in Students on Twitter: @BelieveStudents.Please subscribe to RCSE wherever you download your podcasts and follow us on Twitter: @rcsepod.
Episode #3: Black Students from Rural Spaces
Oct 21 2021
Episode #3: Black Students from Rural Spaces
"You can't be it if you can't see it," says Jenay Willis, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh and co-host of Episode 3 of RCSE, "Black Students from Rural Spaces." In this episode, host Matt Newlin talks with Jenay about her identity as a Black woman who grew up in a rural community and her passion for being a role model for other Black students pursuing college or a doctoral degree. Jenay is pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education at Pitt and her research agenda highlights college access, success, persistence and transition for the respective student population in uplifting such experiences and narratives. Jenay and Matt are joined by their guest, Dr. Darris R. Means, an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Dean’s Faculty Scholar in Equity, Justice, and Rural Education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Means is also Jenay's doctoral adviser. Dr. Means talks about his research which focuses on how economic, educational, and social conditions shape pathways to and through postsecondary education for rural students, Black students, and students from low-income backgrounds. Matt, Jenay, and Dr. Means discuss a variety of topics, including the low percentage of Black students on most college campuses and how this may prevent many Black students from pursuing higher education. The Rural College Student Experience is presented in partnership with Believe in Students. Believe in Students is committed to advancing voices and policies that advocate for meeting college students' basic needs. RCSE is extremely grateful for their support and partnership. You can follow Believe in Students on Twitter: @BelieveStudents. Please subscribe to RCSE wherever you download your podcasts and follow us on Twitter: @rcsepod.
Episode #2: Social Class Issues for Rural Students
Sep 30 2021
Episode #2: Social Class Issues for Rural Students
The Rural College Student Experience is back! In Episode 2,  host Dr. Matt Newlin is joined by co-host Clayton Land to discuss social class issues for rural students in college. Clayton is a senior at Yale University pursuing a double major in Global Affairs and History. Clayton is from a small town in central Kentucky called Lawrenceburg and is one of the first people from his community to attend an Ivy League institution. Being from a small town has shaped much of his involvement on campus and career aspirations which includes rural international development in Latin America.  In the second part of the episode, Clayton and Matt are joined by Dr. Sonja Ardoin, an associate professor and the Student Affairs Administration program director at Appalachian State University.  Among her many research interests, Sonja studies social class identity and college access and success for rural and first-generation college students. Sonja discusses her roots as a first-generation college student from a working class background in rural Louisiana and how it informed her college student to Ph.D. journey. MORE The Rural College Student Experience is proud to partner with Believe in Students to recognize and uplift rural student voices. Believe in Students is dedicated to ensuring that all students have their basic needs met so that they can learn and thrive. They also engage individuals in telling their stories and advocating for change, so that higher education can better serve today’s real college students.
Episode #1: Understanding the Experiences of Rural Students in College
Sep 22 2021
Episode #1: Understanding the Experiences of Rural Students in College
In our first episode of the Rural College Student Experience, host Dr. Matt Newlin is joined by co-host Karolin Miranda, a junior at the University of South Carolina Upstate who is on the pre-med track. Karolin grew up in a rural community in Greenville, South Carolina and is the first person in her family to attend college (a "first-generation college student"). Karolin discusses her experiences as a rural student, overcoming her natural timidness, and how financial issues have affected her college journey. Later in the episode, Karolin and Matt are joined by guest Dr. Andrew Koricich, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges (ARRC) and an associate professor in the higher education program at Appalachian State University. Dr. Koricich's work is based, in part, on his experiences growing up in a rural Pennsylvania town. We discuss his research interests which focuses on postsecondary education issues facing rural communities. We also discuss the work of ARRC and how regional colleges, which serve large populations of rural students, are often perceived as less prestigious despite providing excellent education and support to students. The Rural College Student Experience is presented in partnership with Believe in Students, the nation’s only non-profit organization focused exclusively on helping college students to meet their basic needs.  Believe in Students engages individuals in telling their stories and advocating for change, so that higher education can better serve today’s real college students. We are extremely grateful for their partnership and support for this podcast.