University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Humanities Academic Boot Camp

Apply now to be part of our free humanities academic boot camp for service members and veterans in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill!

This week-long humanities academic boot camp prepares service members and veterans for the challenges and rigor of humanities or liberal arts bachelor’s degree programs. Using the topic of American democracy to guide discussions and assignments, veterans and service members will learn foundational skills to help them succeed with their transition from the military to higher education.

During the week, students are taught by professors from our partner college and mentored by peers who have completed the program and have successfully transitioned to college.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cohort and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Cohort

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

I attended a local community college prior to joining the Army. After serving in the military for over four years, I lost confidence in myself as a student. After my service, I returned to the local community college, regained my confidence, and was accepted to Brown University. 

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

While attending a local community college, I had to switch from in-person classes to virtual learning via Zoom due to COVID-19. In comparison, I enjoyed the virtual learning with WSP fellows and participants more since everyone actively engaged and participated at all times. 

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

I was very excited and grateful to take a course at one of the top universities in this nation. More importantly, I was excited to participate in the WSP STEM curriculum this summer with my interest in environmental science. In addition, I am thankful to be connected with other veterans and fellows who are passionate about higher education. 

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

One of the most insightful experiences with WSP was how kind and willing other veterans are to help. It was nice to know that there are resources available to support and guide me through my journey in higher education. 

What were you looking forward to learning during STEM week?

I was looking forward to connecting with other veterans interested in obtaining a degree. I was especially interested in learning Python programming while participating in the research project during STEM week. 

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

My research project was on gravitational waves with guidance from Sylvia Biscoveanu. This phenomenal research project taught me how Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory or LIGO detects gravitational waves. Furthermore, using Python programming, we analyzed and interpreted LIGO data. From this experience, I learned to cherish teamwork as my peers helped each other understand the concepts and present the work we completed through a well-constructed presentation. 

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

All of the fellows and instructors were phenomenal. All the participants, including myself, felt very welcomed and comfortable in this healthy learning environment. 

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

Yes, WSP has helped me gain more confidence as a student. One of the more prominent realizations I experienced from this program is to let myself relax and have fun in academic settings by asking questions and sharing my personal experiences during discussions or seminars. Lastly, with studying skills and tips given by WSP, I feel more confident as a student.  

After serving in the Navy for over seven years, Timothy Raiford was planning his next steps. One night in 2019, he typed a question into the Google search box: “How does a veteran go to college?”

When the link to the Warrior-Scholar Project website appeared as a result, he immediately applied — even though it was 1 a.m. 

He’s grateful he did. Raiford, now 31, participated in the 2019 WSP program at Cornell and plans to attend UNC this fall as an undergraduate. (continued)

Read the full article here.

On a recent day, about a dozen veterans and active-duty troops sat in a semi-circle inside a University of North Carolina classroom. They listened intently as Hilary Lithgow, an associate professor of English, helped them refine essays they had begun writing about the philosophical underpinnings of American democracy.

Right up front was Master Gunnery Sergeant Eric Gonzalez, tattooed and heavily-muscled, with a tour of duty in Iraq under his belt.

He’s been in the Marine Corps for 23 years. During a class break, Gonzalez said that when he retires from the Corps in a few years, he plans to enroll in a four-year college to become a physical therapist. (continued)

Read the full article here.