Student Spotlight: Edwin Sandavol, USMC

Columbia University Cohort

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

Currently, I attend Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ where I have a full year of college education. I have been confident in completing any tasks and challenges proposed by the academic community. But I humbly said that each day I will become more knowledgeable in this field of education.

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

I had a couple of virtual learning experiences. One is the infamous annual training requirement through Marine Net, and the other is being a full-time student at Rutgers University in the spring semester of 2019. WSP shocked me and ensured that every message or learning goal was communicated to every student. I will repeat that I thank and appreciate the logistics, the fellows, WSP Staff, and professors for conducting an amazing course!

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

After I received the notice to participate in WSP this summer, I was ECSTATIC! I felt like things were lining up perfectly in my life and that I was awaiting another challenge to put in my belt. These “challenges” I refer to are my stepping stones towards success. Lastly, this experience enabled me to understand the rigorous academic schedule in an Ivy League school setting.

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

The major components that WSP exposed me to are attending office hours for all classes throughout the course and “de-greening.” Both of which are vital in academia.

What were you looking forward to learning during STEM week?

I was looking forward to STEM week because my goal is to obtain an engineering degree. Let’s just say that I was lost for words during STEM week and will forever remember my experience.

What research project did you work on, and what did you learn from that experience?

My research was based on objects and projectile motion. I calculated the velocity and time it will take for a rocket of my choosing to reach a destination both in and out of our solar system. I used the rocket equation (The Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation) to my advantage and incorporated my son into my project, making it more exciting and worthwhile! Since he was a toddler, he would sing all the planets in order and the dwarf planets. Hence, as my destination, I chose a dwarf planet called Makemake and revealed the coding necessary to complete the mission.

Are there any instructors or fellows who have made a difference for you this week so far?

Max and Frankie are incredible! Fully responsible and will always understand that at the end of the day we are all human beings and we need to be there for one another. They gave me this sense of brotherhood and were always respectful. Their hospitality was on point and they worked with such poise that it made the virtual environment a great place to be in. Even more than that, they helped me solve physic problems and instructed me during humanities week.

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

YES..YES..and YES! After this course, I feel invincible. This course allowed me to understand my eagerness to be the best student as possible and confirmed that I’m in the right place! Thank you, WSP!