Student Spotlight: Ken Bingham, U.S. Navy

Cornell University Cohort

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

I was an average student in high school, and I was smart enough to skate by on good grades without needing to study. In doing so, I didn’t realize any academic passions. I tried college for two years and primarily learned quite painfully how poor a student I was, so I decided to “take a break” from school and enlist in the Navy. After boot camp, I was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA where I earned an Associate’s Degree in Spanish. From all this, I learned I had the capacity to be a good student, and I needed to define for myself what my academic direction would be.

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

This is my first virtual learning program.

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

Very much so! I hope to attend Cornell after getting out of the Navy. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to learn from the very same professors that might be teaching me if I’m accepted to Cornell.

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

I have never before annotated a book while reading it. Going back and reflecting on my thought processes to particular passages really helps the material stick.

What was your favorite session, and why?

I really enjoyed the Declaration in Context and Constitutional Framework seminars. I’ve never offered so much critical thought about our founding documents. It was enlightening to think about both in a new light.

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

All the instructors and fellows were awesome! Dr. Dani and Dr. Bujalski were a great dynamic-duo in teaching us good academic writing.

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

Absolutely! I’m constantly drawing parallels to the skills I’ve learned in the Navy and how I’ve been able to apply them in our virtual classroom. 

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