WSP Yale 2020 Cohort Spotlight: Ciara Slusarz and Isaiah Godbolt

Updated: Jun 17

Ciara Slusarz, U.S. Navy Veteran

Ciara Slusarz

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

Prior to WSP, my educational experience was high school and going through my military training.

Had you participated in any sort of virtual learning before?

This was my first time learning in a virtual setting. I think it will be helpful in case school will be online in the fall.


Why were you excited to participate in WSP at Yale this summer?

I was excited to learn from Yale professors and be better prepared for college!

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

In addition to more confidence in starting college, this has given me good study tips and has made me better prepared for class discussions.

What did you enjoy about STEM week?

The STEM program was very informative and I had a lot of fun! I think the week went well, and I feel a lot more comfortable going into an introductory physics class. The research project I did was numerical simulations. It was very challenging, but I learned a lot and am very grateful that I found resources to continue to learn about coding.

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

The writing instructor, Maria, was a great help to me. I really appreciated the insight she gave me with my essay. I felt like her comments were genuine and that her advice was very useful and encouraging. I definitely improved a lot because of her! She also hosted a kind of virtual dinner for us, it was really cool to get to know her and some of the other students more!


It's hard to pinpoint which fellow made the biggest difference to me since I think I ended up writing down at least one piece of advice from all of them! I think that Lisa helped me a lot. I was feeling a little overwhelmed at first and we ended up talking about impostor syndrome and listening to her and hearing her story helped me a lot.

Did WSP have any effect on how confident you feel as a student?

Absolutely! Just as an example, I never thought I'd be able to understand some of the material, like Tocqueville or the Federalist papers. The texts always seemed too dense and inaccessible to me. Having a class with very passionate instructors and students definitely helped me understand and appreciate the material and made me feel like I would be able to do well in this sort of college class.

Isaiah Godbolt, U.S. Navy Veteran

Isaiah Godbolt

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

I just recently finished my associate’s degree when I took this program. I would not have considered myself a confident student until after I finished the writing week.

Had you participated in any virtual learning before WSP? If so, how did your WSP experience compare?

I had all of my in-person courses changed to online courses during the spring semester. This was miles better than that and much more interactive. Even though this was the first time WSP was all virtual, I can see the effort from everyone to make it as engaging and welcoming as possible.


Why were you excited to participate in WSP at Yale this summer?

Yes, I was excited! I really wanted to be a part of this program. Even though it was online, I still gained a lot of valuable information and guidance.

What have you learned so far that you think will be helpful as you pursue your degree in computer science at Old Dominion?

I learned how to study more effectively, which will definitely help me when I start more rigorous classes in my degree. Also, I have new resources and skills I can experiment with as time goes on.

What were you looking forward to during STEM week?

I was really looking forward to talking about the concepts I will be using in my future career in computer science.

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

All of the instructors and people I worked with were so informative and upbeat that it is hard to single out one person. But if I were to say one or two people, I really enjoyed being around Maria del Mar Galindo and Lisa Elijah for their informative, yet quirky direction. This was quite beneficial because it made me and the other students comfortable as we worked.

Did WSP have any effect on how confident you feel as a student?

I feel much more confident as a student knowing that my writing is on par with people at an Ivy League institution. I am really excited to take what I have learned here and apply it to my studies.

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