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.