Rural Student Experiences at Research One and Liberal Arts Institutions

A virtual conference held February 10 and 11, 2023


Friday Evening Session 1: Opening Keynote on Rurality and Access to Higher Education with Corinne Smith

Members of the Dickinson communty are invited to gather in the Waidner Admissions House at 6:45 p.m. to join the keynote session together. Registration will not be required for in-person attendees on this date.

Session registration link
Time: 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PST

For the opening keynote to our conference, we will be joined by Corinne Smith. Corinne Smith
(she/her) is an Associate Director of Admissions at Yale University. Originally from a town of
about 8,000 people in Illinois, Corinne received her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and
Sociology as well as a Masters in Higher Education Administration and Policy from
Northwestern University. At Yale, Corinne has spent the last seven years developing the institution’s rural outreach and recruitment strategy as well as serving on national rural and small-town special interest groups. She is a co-advisor for the Rural Students Alliance at Yale (RSAY).

Outside of work, Corinne is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Diversity and Equity in
Education through the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation focuses on the
intersectional identities of rural students and the college access barriers they face. In April
2022, Corinne co-authored a book called College Essay Journal: A Mindful Manual for College
Applications, which helps students from all backgrounds brainstorm and write their college

Corinne’s keynote session will address topics related to rurality and access to higher education.
These include the complexities of geographic diversity and defining “rural,” challenges in
identifying rural and small-town applicants, college access barriers impacting rural students,
the importance of student organizations like RSAY, and identifying national efforts to support
rural and small-town students.

Friday Evening Session 2: Rural Student Speed Friending and Networking

Session registration link
Time: 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PST

Get to know some fellow rural students representing institutions and hometowns across the
country through a few informal, fast-paced rounds of speed friending!


Saturday Morning/Afternoon Session 1: Imposter Syndrome and the Rural Identity

Session registration link
Time: 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST

Facilitators will guide breakout groups through conversations about the rural identity. They will
ensure that the conversations include discussions about imposter syndrome, the joys of being a
rural student, and how the rural identity intersects with other identities.

Saturday Morning/Afternoon Session 2: Starting and Developing Your Rural Student Group

Session registration link
Time: 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST

A panel of students and alums from Princeton, Stanford, and Yale will share their experiences
starting and developing rural student groups on their campuses. Following the panel, there will
be time for questions as well as breakout room workshops to guide students through the process
of creating and developing a rural student group on their own campus.

Saturday Morning/Afternoon Session 3: Navigating Home and Careers

Session registration link
Time: 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PST

Coined by Dr. Darris Means, 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, a kitchen table conversation is an informal panel-like conversation that conjures up the feeling of sitting around the kitchen table with your family, soaking in all the wisdom of your elders and the excitement of younger siblings and cousins. Through casual, kitchen table-style conversation with rural alumni from Yale, the University of Georgia, and the University of Chicago, we hope to shed light on the myriad paths that rural students pursue after completing their undergraduate degrees and how they navigate thoughts of home throughout their journeys. At the end of the session, we will leave 20 minutes for questions from the audience.