Two graduate students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, who bonded through conversations about the pressures, challenges and stereotypes Midwest millennial women face, recently started a podcast.

Liv Leblanc and Liz Ready met during the fall 2018 semester while teaching visual communications classes. They talked about women their age and their success in the Midwest and decided it would be important to share their stories.

“We’re both from Nebraska and felt extremely connected,” Leblanc said. “We just sat down and talked about creating so many different things, but took an opportunity right in front of us and utilized it.”

Leblanc said they were interested in the audio modules they taught, and four weeks ago, they decided to step into audio booth two in Andersen Hall and begin their podcast, called “Liz and Let Liv.” Leblanc said they started using Liberated Syndication, a hosting site for podcasts, which an undergraduate student of Leblanc’s introduced to them.

They record their podcast on Thursdays and Fridays immediately after writing the script. After the first four episodes, Leblanc and Ready said they want to incorporate guests.

Leblanc, a Lincoln native, said the podcast mainly focuses on the stereotypes that social media puts on women.

“When we see our friends on the coast living their lives, we tend to feel a bit secluded, like nothing is out here,” Leblanc said. “We want to live like them, but we’re trying to talk about how we can live like that in the Midwest.”

According to the pair, their first episode gave them a moment to break through and tell stories they wouldn’t tell otherwise. They said their goal is to have each episode’s topic relate to the next episode.

Ready, who is from Uehling, Nebraska, said growing up in a small town gave her motivation to talk about things related to Midwestern women.

“I think I was very fortunate to grow up in northeast Nebraska,” Ready said. “Going from a town of 300 to Lincoln was kind of a shock to the system but gave me another place to become a part of a community.”

Leblanc and Ready said being connected with the CoJMC has been the foundation of their success in graduate school and starting the podcast. They both said they feel supported there and have never been in an environment that supports who they are like the college does.

“There’s something about the way the professors teach here,” Leblanc said. “I have all of these media-related interests and the professors really pushed me to find those. They really motivate students to try something and go for it.”

Both Leblanc and Ready said the CoJMC has given them education to build on creative skills, including within the podcast. They said they would love to see the podcast grow and speak about women seeking education and who have big dreams.

“As women, we don’t really talk about these things,” Ready said. “We really just want to open that conversation up for women.”

Leblanc and Ready said their own life journeys motivated them to begin these conversations. Growing up going to school and working in Nebraska made them connect with each other and want to connect with other women.

“We’re inspired by each other and other women,” Leblanc said. “We want to erase this idea of women doubting themselves, especially in the Midwest.”