WSP 2020 University of Michigan Cohort Spotlight: Esteban Barfknecht and Koral Flores

Esteban Barfknecht, active duty in the U.S. Army

Esteban Barfknecht
Esteban Barfknecht

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

I had completed 30 credits at my local community college prior to attending the WSP humanities program. I didn’t feel really confident as a student previously. I have worked hard and have 3.5 GPA, but it was through a lot of long hours and I was constantly checking my grades. As soon as I turned in an assignment, I would nervously check my grades waiting to see how I did.

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

I had done a one-day analytical reading seminar with WSP. The one-day seminar was fantastic and covered the same material that was covered in the week-long course. The weeklong course was fantastic.

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

I was excited for the opportunities to work with professors and students from one of the top-ranked universities in the nation.

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

Even though I want to pursue a degree in nursing, I really thought that the humanities program helped me become a better reader. I believe that being able to read effectively and for content will help me while I continue along my degree path and in the future when I go for an advanced degree. It also really helped me greatly with my confidence in my writing.

What was your favorite session, and why?

I really enjoyed the first unit and getting to interact with professors in ways I don’t think I would be able to in any other situation.

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

Professor Karen Springsteen and Cassie Michael were amazing in their help with my writing. I went from feeling unsure about the quality of my writing to believing that I was capable of more than I believed before the class had begun.

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

I absolutely feel that my confidence as a student has greatly improved. My confidence in my reading and writing has grown greatly, much more than I ever would have imagined it could have in a few short days.