Student Spotlight 2023: Maxwell Davis, U.S. Air Force

Tell us about yourself.

I am from Apalachicola, Florida, and I served in the United States Air Force as a cardiopulmonary laboratory specialist. I decided to enlist in the Air Force because I once believed -strongly, at the time- that God had called me to serve my country. I was heavily motivated by an internal religious inclination, ready to fill whatever position they needed to be filled. A fun fact about me is that I am an Aspiring author currently drafting my first manuscript. I am most interested in works of literary fiction with some shared aspects of a Bildungsroman or a family saga. My favorite book is “The Grapes of Wrath,” nearly tied with “All The Light We Cannot See” as a close second.

Why did you decide to participate in WSP this summer, and was there a shift in your confidence level from the first day of the course to the last day?

I attended the virtual humanities and STEM course at Cornell University in 2021. My career goals have changed much since then, and I have come back into academia sober-minded and hopeful that I can still succeed. This is why I attended the in-person humanities and business course at Yale University this past summer. 

My confidence level on the first day of the course could be described as medial. Impostor syndrome was much of a concern I had going into the course, despite exhortations from family members and friends. I experienced improved confidence upon completion of the WSP curriculum. Impostor syndrome still exists in my mind, but is much easier to mitigate with the knowledge they imparted. Humility is what allows one to maintain this improved confidence level.

What were some key insights you gained during your course, and what is your biggest takeaway?

Among key insights to the course; the pride and appreciation that one experiences when being instructed by as high of intellectuals as those professors that volunteer to instruct WSP Cohorts is one of them. However, my biggest takeaway is that mindset is everything. It is in military training, so it is in academic pursuits. I also learned to enjoy scholarship and be patient in understanding difficult subjects.

In one word, How would you describe your overall experience?

Refining!

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