Microcollege:

The Thoreau College Podcast

MICROCOLLEGE is an exploration of the crisis in higher education and the innovative projects and thinkers working to address it, with a special focus on the human-scaled, place-based, meaning-oriented learning communities we call “microcolleges.”

The podcast is hosted by Jacob Hundt, Founder of Thoreau College, a microcollege initiative rooted in the Driftless Region of rural southwestern Wisconsin, and inspired by the model of Deep Springs College, the pedagogy of the Waldorf schools, and the life of Henry David Thoreau.

This is a podcast for thoughtful, motivated teenagers and young adults who are disappointed by the options available to them in post-secondary education, as well as their teachers, parents, counselors, and mentors, and anyone interested in the quality of higher education and its role within our culture.

Listeners will be introduced to new ideas and alternative opportunities for post-secondary education, as well as thoughtful criticism of mainstream models and practices at colleges and universities. Listeners will discover exciting educational programs to apply to, books to read, and thinkers to learn more about.

Microcollege:

The Thoreau College Podcast

 

MICROCOLLEGE is an exploration of the crisis in higher education and the innovative projects and thinkers working to address it, with a special focus on the human-scaled, place-based, meaning-oriented learning communities we call “microcolleges.”

The podcast is hosted by Jacob Hundt, Founder of Thoreau College, a microcollege initiative rooted in the Driftless Region of rural southwestern Wisconsin, and inspired by the model of Deep Springs College, the pedagogy of the Waldorf schools, and the life of Henry David Thoreau.

This is a podcast for thoughtful, motivated teenagers and young adults who are disappointed by the options available to them in post-secondary education, as well as their teachers, parents, counselors, and mentors, and anyone interested in the quality of higher education and its role within our culture.

Listeners will be introduced to new ideas and alternative opportunities for post-secondary education, as well as thoughtful criticism of mainstream models and practices at colleges and universities. Listeners will discover exciting educational programs to apply to, books to read, and thinkers to learn more about.

4 + 11 =

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Episode 22 – Vilhelm Skoglund – Effective Altruism and the Future Academy

Vilhelm Skoglund is the secretary-general of Effective Altruism Sweden.  In October 2022, Vilhelm and Effective Altruism Sweden launched Future Academy, a five month long free program aimed to equip university students and young professionals from around the world with the thinking, skills, and resources they will need to pursue ambitious and impactful careers. He has several board positions within the non-profit sector and co-founded Nema Problema, a non-profit aiming to make migration policies more effective. Vilhelm has previously worked as a consultant and has studied law, developmental economics, and sustainability studies at Uppsala, Yale, and Cornell University.

Effective Altruism: https://www.effektivaltruism.org/

Future Academy: https://www.effektivaltruism.org/futureacademyNema Problema: https://www.nemaproblema.se/mentoring-program/

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 20 – Marcus Ford – Flagstaff College

Marcus Ford, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Flagstaff College and a retired professor from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.  He is the author of several books, including Beyond the Modern University: Toward a Constructive Post-Modern University and William James: A New Perspective

Flagstaff College: https://www.flagstaffcollege.education/

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 19 – Dave Puig, Justys Grenier – Outward Bound and Expeditionary Learning

Dave, Justys, and Jacob trade tales of transformational wilderness experiences, and discuss the origins and importance of expeditionary learning as a field.

Dave Puig has been a wilderness instructor for fourteen years, leading expeditions in the desert, the Arctic, the wondrous Northwoods, and into the minds of authors, social critics, and high school students. He developed the expedition-based Land Ethics Curriculum at Youth Initiative High School which challenges students to see their own growth in reciprocity with their peers, those they see as different from themselves, and the earth. He also builds houses and lives on his wife’s family farm where they are embarking on the incredible journey of parenthood!

Justys Grenier is a Viroqua native, alumni of Youth Initiative High School, experiential educator and outdoor enthusiast. I grew up in the Driftless area and enjoyed a community supported upbringing while exploring the creeks and hills of our unique landscape. After a few years of traveling overseas, learning and growing into myself, I found a calling in outdoor education. For the last three years I have been working as an instructor at Voyageur Outward Bound School, leading trips with small groups of young people through the wilderness of the Boundary Waters, and through the Chihuahua desert of Big Bend, Texas. My desire for a change of pace and time to explore other interests has led me back to the Driftless area for the foreseeable future. Here I am learning carpentry and finding ways to engage with my community and give back with the knowledge and experience I have gained over the past few years.

Outward Bound: https://www.outwardbound.org/

National Outdoor Leadership School: https://www.nols.edu/en/

Voyageur Outward Bound School: https://www.vobs.org/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement: http://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 18 – Eric Anglada, Brenna Cussen Anglada – The Catholic Worker Movement, Nones & Nuns

Eric and Brenna Anglada describe the origins of the Catholic Worker Movement and the more recent organization Nuns and Nones.

Brenna Cussen Anglada is a founding member of the St. Isidore CW Farm in southwest Wisconsin, home of the Ho Chunk, Meskwaki, Sauk, and many other nations. She serves as the Religious Communities Liaison for the N&N Land Justice Project, and works with the Catholic Native Boarding School Accountability and Healing Project.

Eric Anglada is a college dropout and co-founder of St. Isidore Catholic Worker Farm outside of Cuba City, WI. He is the ecological programming coordinator at Sinsinawa Mound. He works a bit for the Nuns and Nones Land Justice Project. His interests are in the intersections of land, community, spirituality, and decolonization.

Contact the St. Isidore Catholic Worker Farm at catholicworkerschool@gmail.com.

Nuns and Nones: https://www.nunsandnones.org/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at: https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 17 – Lene Rachel Andersen – The Nordic Secret and Global Bildung

Lene Rachel Andersen expresses the importance of Bildung philosophy, describing its origins in 18th-century Denmark and impact on Scandinavian societies through to the present day.

Lene Rachel Andersen is a Danish author, economist, futurist, and philosopher, President of Nordic Bildung, and co-founder of Global Bildung Network. 

Nordic Metamodern Podcast

Global Bildung Network

Nordic Bildung

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 16 – Frank Eccher, Emily Drukman – Outer Coast College

Jacob is joined by Frank and Emily of Outer Coast College to talk their story in Sitka, microcolleges, place-based education, and more. 

Frank Eccher is the College Launch Lead at Outer Coast in Sitka, AK, where he is charting a course to accreditation for the launch of Outer Coast College in fall 2024. Originally from a small town in Colorado, he has written on trout conservation and wilderness narratives in the Mountain West, patterns of college attendance in rural America, among other topics. He plans to pursue doctoral study in the history of experimental colleges and the relationship between general education and American democracy.

Emily Drukman is currently a second year architecture student at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. She attended Outer Coast for the 2021-22 Academic Year program, and returned to Sitka last summer as the Dean’s Assistant, working in Tlingit translation and editing. 

A handful of spots for the Spring Semester 2023 at Outer Coast are still open and full scholarships are available. The application is available online at outercoast.org/apply.

Outer Coast College in Sitka, Alaska: https://outercoast.org/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at: https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 15 – John Vervaeke on a Meaningful Education

John Vervaeke and Jacob dissect the importance of thinking, reasoning, wisdom, and meaning, and ways to overcome the barriers we face today in understanding these facets of our humanity.

John Vervaeke, PhD, is an award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto in the departments of psychology, cognitive science and Buddhist psychology, who has published a 50-part lecture series known as “Awakening From the Meaning Crisis”.

Awakening From the Meaning Crisis

John’s website: http://johnvervaeke.com/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at: https://thoreaucollege.org/Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College

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Episode #14: Jonas Søvik – The Danish Folk High School Experience

Jonas Søvik joins the podcast and shares his experience as a student at a Danish folk high school, and the impact he think the folk high school model can have around the world.

Jonas Søvik is a 23-year old Danish university student currently studying psychology. Prior to entering university, he spent a year at the Vrå Folk High School in Vrå, Denmark where he experienced bildung firsthand.

VRAA Folk High School: https://vraahojskole.com/

Folk Education Association of America: https://www.folkschoolalliance.org/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at: https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 13 – Willie E. Jones III on Shakespeare, The Classics, and Theatre Education

Willie Jones joins the podcast for an earnest discussion on the importance of the classics in the theater, in education, and in the pursuit of truth and knowledge.

Willie E. Jones III is an actor, director, producer, and playwright who is the founding Actor/Manager of the Jones Classical Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois. He is the Artistic Director of the Juneteenth Theatre Justice Project, a Co-Founder of the Minnesota Black Theatre Circle, was the Executive Producer of the Blackness Is… Theatre Arts Festival, and also serves on the Board of Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo, Minnesota.

Willie is a graduate of the Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program at the University of Minnesota, and most recently directed As You Like It at the first ever Viroqua Shakespeare Festival, which he co-produced in collaboration with Thoreau College.

Jones Theater Company: https://sites.google.com/view/thejonesclassicaltheatre/home

Juneteenth Theatre Justice Project

“Blackness Is…” Theatre Arts Festival

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College

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Episode 12 – “Bridget O’Brien, Dr. Charlie Brennan – Permaculture, Praxis, and Play”

Jacob speaks with Bridget O’Brien and Dr. Charlie Brennan of the Garden Juju Collective, as they take us on a foray into the world and practice of Permaculture: in agriculture, education, and life.

Bridget O’Brien is the director of Resilient Spirals LLC and co-founder of the Garden Juju Collective. Bridget’s studies and work focuses on the design of personal well-being, community building, and land use, through cultivating a range of regenerative applied skills in design, facilitation, horticulture, eco-landscaping, food growing, Permaculture, fermentation and yoga.

Dr. Charlie Brennan is the co-founder of Garden Juju Collective, with over 30 years of applied experience in gardening, farming, landscape design, conservation, horticulture, permaculture, and forest, river, and Australian bush regeneration,

Garden Juju Collective offers a range of in-person and online workshops, presentations, services and packages. These draw together design, facilitation, social ecology, food justice, permaculture, conservation, re-wilding, sustainability, environmental education, ecopsychology and deep respect for Indigenous land and culture.

Garden Juju Collective: https://gardenjujucollective.com/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 11 – “David W. Orr – Ecological Literacy in Higher Education”

This week on Microcollege, David Orr makes his case for the importance of a higher education that keeps the Earth in mind.

David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics Emeritus at Oberlin College, and presently Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. Orr is one of the original advocates of microcolleges, whose work focuses on ecological literacy, sustainable design, and eco-friendly practices in American higher education.

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

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Episode 9 – “Nathaniel Williams, Stefan Ambrose – Free Columbia, MC Richards Program”

Tune in this week for a discussion between Nathaniel Williams and Stefan Ambrose of the Free Columbia initiative in upstate New York as they describe the origins of the program and its pedagogy.

Nathaniel Williams is the co-founder of Free Columbia with Laura Summer. He studied visual art and marionette theater in Basel, Switzerland, graduating with a certificate in visual art from the neueKUNSTschule in 2002. He has a PhD in Political Science from the University at Albany and works as a performer, teacher and artist. 

Stefan Ambrose is the director of the MC Richards program at Free Columbia. He grew up in the shimmering heat of central Florida’s Green Swamp region, spending his youth immersed in the dark marsh water and sugar sand forests of old Florida. Stefan has studied Goethean science with the Nature Institute of Ghent, New York, storytelling at the International School of Storytelling at Emerson College, United Kingdom, and has trained extensively in Rogerian empathic dialogue and humanistic psychology through Satvatove Institute. 

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Free Columbia/MC Richards Program: https://www.freecolumbia.org/

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Episode 10

“Steve Lawless on Service Learning”

Steve and Jacob strike a rich vein of conversation in the topic of service learning, from its origins to its applications in the world of higher education today.

Steve Lawless has an M.A. in Education, and has taught in many settings including as a traditional writing and literature teacher on Native American reservations, farm schools, alternative middle and high schools and a Waldorf school. From his nearly thirty years of teaching and facilitating adventure and service learning experiences, Steve has an infectious enthusiasm for taking learning outside the classroom. He is currently the proprietor of Sittin Pretty Farm in Viroqua, WI and the man behind the wheel of the Merry Green Marvel, a rolling community of adventure and service.

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Merry Green Marvel: https://www.merrygreenmarvel.org/

Sittin Pretty Farm: https://www.sittinprettyfarm.org/

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Episode 8 – “Austin Smith – Leaving Stanford, Coming Home”

The poet Austin Robert Smith joins Microcollege for an examination of the current state of higher education and the role of poetry in a liberal arts education. 

Austin Smith is a poet and formerly a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. He grew up on a family dairy farm in northwestern Illinois before receiving a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MA from the University of California-Davis, and an MFA from the University of Virginia. Austin’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Yale Review, Sewanee Review, Ploughshares, New England Review, Poetry East, ZYZZYVA, Pleiades, Virginia Quarterly Review, 32 Poems and Threepenny Review, amongst others. His most recent collection of poetry, Flyover Country, a celebration of the rural Midwest and small-town life, is available through Princeton University Press. 

Flyover Country, Available Now: Flyover Country

Substack: Poem-a-Day

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

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Episode 7 – “Julie Tomaro, Nicholas WazeeGale – Folk Schools, Skills, and Knowledge”

Julie Tomaro and Nicholas WazeeGale are both instructors at the Driftless Folk School in rural southwestern Wisconsin. Their dialogue this week revolves around the Folk School tradition in America, some of their life experiences leading to their involvement in one, and the important role a Folk school can play in helping to build personal and cultural resilience.

Julie Tomaro is the owner of Blue Bobbin Studio in Viroqua. Julie has been sewing and crafting for most of her life, though more recently her journey has led her to take these skills into the world of sustainability and reaching towards zero waste. Through sewing for herself and her community she has found a new platform to empower others reaching for those goals themselves. 

Nicholas WazeeGale has been a lifelong student of Nature, traditional culture, and sustainability. He is passionate about Nature observation, living closely with the Earth and natural rhythms, hunting and gathering, craft and handwork, and community. He resides in the Driftless region with his wife and children and has taught for DFS, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and independently for almost 20 years. He is a certified wilderness guide, holds a level three track and sign certificate through CyberTracker, and he and his wife earn their livelihood teaching outdoor skills and hand crafts, running summer camps, and selling fine handcrafts through their business, WildRoots HandCrafts.

Blue Bobbin Studio website: https://www.bluebobbinstudio.com/

Blue Bobbin Studio Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bluebobbinstudio/

Wildroots Handcrafts website: https://www.wildrootshandcrafts.com/

Wildroots Handcrafts Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildroots.handcrafts/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Folk Education Association of America: https://www.folkschoolalliance.org/

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Episode 6 – “Ciarán Willis – Rethinking Remote Learning at A Place Beyond”

Ciarán Willis speaks about his experiences leading up to the foundation of A Place Beyond, a unique approach to the remote learning boom prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ciarán is currently the operations director at Deep Springs College. Prior to founding A Place Beyond, he was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and studied English Literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He lectured English at the University of Finance and Economics in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and he is a faculty member at NOLS, instructing mountaineering, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and adaptive leadership throughout the Western US and Alaska.

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Deep Springs College: https://www.deepsprings.edu/

A Place Beyond: https://www.aplacebeyond.com/

National Outdoor Leadership School: https://www.nols.edu/en/

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 5 – “Sue Darlington – Deep Springs College and The Edge of Academia” 

On this episode of Microcollege, guest Sue Darlington and Jacob discuss the story of Deep Springs College and its subtle but resounding societal impact during its 105-year existence.

Sue Darlington is the current president of Deep Springs College, and former professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies at Hampshire College, where she taught for 30 years. Her research focuses on socially-engaged Buddhism, with particular attention to environmentalism and Buddhism in Thailand.

Deep Springs College: https://www.deepsprings.edu/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 4 – “Lucien Dante Lazar – Art and Anthroposophy as a Pedagogy for Self-Development”

Lucien joins Microcollege for a conversation about the intersections between art, spirituality, and education, as well as his artistic process and the divine wisdom with which his work is infused. 

Lucien Dante Lazar is a multi-disciplinary artist, musician, essayist, poet, social worker, philosopher, and anthroposophist from Evanston, IL. 

Find Lucien on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luciendantelazarart/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

Episode 3 – “Dr. Julie Shackelford and the International People’s College”

Dr. Julie Shackelford discusses the origins of the Scandinavian Folk School movement and its applications to a wide range of issues facing students and educators today. 

Dr. Julie Shackelford is an academic, writer, polyglot, anthropologist, Wisconsin native, and a teacher at the International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark. 

International People’s College: https://ipc.dk/

Folk Education Association of America: https://www.folkschoolalliance.org/

Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark: https://danishfolkhighschools.com/

Find Julie on linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/julie-shackelford

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Episode 2 – “Jacob Rowland, Liam McGilligan – Thoreau College Alumni Reflections”

Thoreau College alumni Liam McGilligan and Jacob Rowland outline their educational upbringing and reflect on their experiences at Thoreau College versus other more traditional institutions of higher education.

Liam McGilligan is an actor, artist, scholar, and citizen, alumnus of the Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program and Thoreau College, and the producer of this podcast.

Jacob Rowland is an alumnus of Thoreau College who is currently enrolled at Oberlin College, with interests in philosophy and literature. 

Thoreau College Podcast

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Episode 1 – “Jacob Hundt — An Introduction to Microcolleges and Thoreau College”

Podcast host Jacob Hundt provides an introduction to the concept of “microcolleges” as an alternative to traditional forms of higher education. 

Jacob Hundt is the Executive Director of Thoreau College in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Growing up on a dairy farm in the Driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin, and as a founding student at the Youth Initiative High School, Jacob gathered inspiration for transformation in higher education through his studies at Deep Springs College, the American University in Bulgaria, and the University of Chicago.