Ten Post-9/11 military veterans recently took up residence at North Quad for Warrior Scholars Program, a unique six-day, 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. total-immersion academic marathon.

Office of Undergraduate Admissions Senior Associate Director Clark Brigger (left) greets WSP National Director of Studies David Howell (right) and WSP’s Co-Founder and Executive Director Chris Howell. (Photo by Scott Soderberg, Michigan Photography)
Incoming U-M sophomore Riva Szostkowski — U.S. Air Force veteran, now serving in the Air National Guard — joins fellow WSP participants at Day Two dinner. (Photo by Scott Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

Also known as academic boot camp, WSP gives select military veterans a chance to experience the academic rigor and expectations of top-tier universities.  It also encourages them to aim high. Following two successful pilot years at Yale University, where WSP first appeared in 2012, U-M and Harvard University were asked to host the Project’s first steps to expansion this summer. These three sites may soon be joined by the likes of the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College and Cornell University in coming years.

“This is an opportunity for veterans to learn the culture of schools of this caliber, and to gain confidence about their ability to succeed in academically challenging environments. The project can provide an invaluable step in the transition into college,” said WSP’s Michigan Director and U.S. Marines/Iraq veteran Ryan Pavel, a 2012 LSA graduate.  

Ryan Pavel

While at U-M, Pavel chaired the U-M chapter of the Student Veterans of America. The national SVA was co-founded at U-M in 2007 by Derek Blumke, a 2010 LSA graduate, WSP Board of Directors member and U.S. Air Force/Afghanistan veteran.  

WSP is a private, non-profit — underwritten by individuals, foundations, and the National Endowment for the Humanities — that collaborates with select universities to provide this opportunity to veterans who are actively exploring options in higher education.

For more information about the Warrior Scholars Program, go to www.warrior-scholar.org.