"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.
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