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Lithgow teaching student veterans.
Photo: Ira Wilder/UNC-Chapel Hill

By Rose Steptoe

In a week-long humanities intensive this July, Professor Hilary Lithgow led the Warrior-Scholar Project for incoming student veterans at UNC.

The Warrior-Scholar Project “hosts intensive, one and two-week college-preparatory academic boot camps for enlisted veterans and transitioning service members.” The program’s goal is to help veterans “acquire the skills to succeed in higher education and navigate the cultural shift from military service to college.”

For Lithgow, the program is about helping student veterans situates themselves within a scholarly community:

“The main experience that I hope the students take away by the end of each summer program is the experience of feeling like they are part of a community of scholars able to read, discuss, and write about difficult material that’s relevant to the history of democracy, relevant to the history of scholarly inquiry, and relevant to their everyday lives.”

UNC has been offering the Warrior-Scholar Project summer boot camp in the humanities since 2015, and Lithgow has assisted with the project since its first year on campus. Over the years, Lithgows describes, she has “come to learn much more about student veterans and the incredible diversity of experiences that people who serve in the military have and bring to the undergraduate classroom.”

“I keep in touch with a wide range of alumni of the Warrior-Scholar Project who are in college at other places or are graduated and working. Learning where [students]  go afterward helps me be more of a resource for the Warrior-Scholar when they come into my classroom. I can have a better sense of where they’re coming from and also give them some previews of some paths they might take once they complete the program and even after they finish their college degrees,” says Lithgow.

Faculty, staff, and students who are civilians can take part in UNC’s Green Zone Training, which “ trains members of the Carolina community to know more about the issues and concerns faced by military-affiliated students and to identify individuals who are available to assist this population.”

Read more about Prof. Lithgow’s work with the Warrior-Scholar Project here.

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