Student Spotlight: Katy Dominguez, U.S. Army WSP-University of Pennsylvania Cohort

What was your educational experience prior to WSP? Would you consider yourself a confident student?

My educational experience prior to WSP was some college, but no degree. I would not consider myself a confident student prior to this week.

Had you participated in any sort of virtual learning before? If so, how does your WSP experience compare to that?

I have had some experience with virtual learning, but nothing like this program. My virtual learning experience outside of WSP was very isolated, not very involved with classmates or instructors, and just lacking in any connections being made. WSP was very involved. We got to spend time with amazing professors face-to-face in Zoom, along with tutors and writing instructors in real-time. The professors seemed invested in us, as did the fellows. It was night and day.

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

I’ve heard great things about WSP from other transitioned and transitioning veterans, and I was excited to see what it was all about.

What have you learned so far that you think will be helpful as you pursue your degree?

I have learned that it’s important to get involved with clubs and student programs to find a sense of community that may be lost in transitioning out of the military. In addition, I gained analytical reading skills, writing skills, and some helpful note-taking skills.

What was your favorite session, and why?

My favorite session was unit five. It taught me that attitude is everything going forward. I was caught up in the idea of being “old” and a non-traditional student, and that was really bringing me down. After that session, I feel like it’s no big deal. I add to the diversity of college just like other students, and I’m excited to get started.

Are there any instructors or fellows who have made a difference for you at WSP?

All of the professors who spoke to us and led discussions at UPenn were incredibly inspiring. Still, the writing instructors were so invested and genuine about their support for teaching us and helping us improve. I thought that was particularly special. Also, we had great fellows who shared their experiences transitioning, and that also made a difference in my attitude about being a non-traditional student on campus.

Is WSP having any effect on how confident you feel as a student?

Yes, I would say I am feeling much more confident as a student than I did prior to the WSP course. Before the course, I was feeling very self-conscious about being an older student and vet on campus. Now, I feel like I will apply all the advice and guidance I received during WSP to use office hours, join clubs, and just soak up the student experience.

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