Stereotype Life

a biweekly podcast on mental health, disability & access in higher education

Episode Number 3: Beth Vigoren
Image: #3 Beth Vigoren. June 3, 2020. #stopthestereotype

Life as a first-generation college student and a single mother from rural Minnesota with Beth Vigoren

Episode 3

In this episode, we discuss

Life as a first generation student and single mother from rural Minnesota with Beth Vigoren. What assumptions do we make about first-generation and/or rural students? How do we handle sensitive, but timely topics in our classroom, that could potentially divide the classroom community, and at the same time, take care of our students’ emotional well-being during these conversations? How do we develop skills in self-advocacy and asking powerful questions?

Highlights include:

  1. First experiences transitioning into college (2:15)
  2. Self-advocacy and rural students’ perception of professors (6:55)
  3. Student conferences and de-centering authority (10:15)
  4. Finding and developing an on-campus community (13:02)
  5. Stereotypes of rural students (14:57)
  6. Being belittled in academia as a rural student (18:00)
  7. Defining rural intersectional feminism (20:40)
  8. The death of George Floyd and the recent protests (23:00)
  9. Handling sensitive, but timely topics in the classroom and asking powerful questions (25:41)
  10. Challenging thoughts and beliefs when one feels their identities are at-stake (35:47)
  11. Process-Based Pedagogy (42:52)
  12. What failure teaches about having good conversations (45:55)

Resources Mentioned

About Beth Vigoren

Beth Vigoren (she/her/hers) was born and raised near Fosston, MN, and earned her MA in English at Bemidji State University. She identifies as a rural writer and focuses her attention primarily on stories that delve into the experiences of working-class women living in rural America. Her academic interests include creative writing and composition pedagogy, rural feminism, rural and working-class women writers, and the work of Willa Cather.

In addition to writing, Beth teaches English Composition and Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and hopes to pursue a professorship position after completing her Ph.D. in Creative Writing – Fiction, Women’s and Gender Studies certificate, and a Special Emphasis in Writing Program Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

She is currently working on a collection of short stories that center on the people of the fictional rural town of Nede. 


“Fresh Fallen Snow” by Chris Haugen

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