Student Veterans Prepare for Success at Fifth Annual Warrior-Scholar Project

Last week, for the fifth year in a row, Syracuse University hosted the esteemed Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP), a no-cost academic boot camp for first-year student veterans.

Hosted at just 18 institutions nationwide, the WSP empowers enlisted military veterans by providing them with a skill bridge that enables a successful transition from the battlefield to the classroom, maximizes their education opportunities by making them informed consumers of education, and increases the confidence they will need to successfully complete a rigorous four-year undergraduate program at a top-tier school.

“Transitioning from military service to civilian life can be a daunting endeavor, and the transition to higher education post-service can be even more intimidating,” says retired U.S. Army Col. Ron Novack, executive director of the University’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA). “The Warrior-Scholar Project plays a critical role in engaging and preparing these service members to transition successfully into higher education and succeed at universities around the U.S.”

WSP at Syracuse University is a collaborative effort of the OVMA and the College of Arts and Sciences. Syracuse faculty who taught during this year’s program include:

  • Tessa Murphy, assistant professor, Maxwell School
  • Mark Schmeller, associate professor, Maxwell School
  • Genevieve García de Müeller, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Andrew Cohen, professor, Maxwell School
  • Corri Zoli, research assistant professor, Maxwell School

“The course is excellent! I wish this could be offered to all veterans as they are transitioning from the military, whether they intend to attend college or not,” says Pieter Botes, Syracuse University WSP alumnus. “The course is incredible at building both confidence in our skills and excitement to attend higher education. The staff was incredible, always approachable and keen to help.”

WSP launched its first program at Yale University in 2012 with nine participants. Since then, WSP has expanded to serve 275 veterans at boot camps across the country in 2019. In addition to Syracuse University, WSP graduates have gone on to enroll at such prestigious institutions as Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale.

Student veterans attended the weeklong academic boot camp July 12-21 with participants residing in campus housing and attending lectures in various classrooms and facilities, providing a comprehensive campus experience. In-kind support from Syracuse University and investments made by foundations, corporations and private donors cover the entire cost of the program for participants.