Pioneer Scholar Spotlight: Journey

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Pioneer Scholar Spotlight: Journey

Journey Washingtonhigh 1

“What’s keeping me going now is that drive to want to know more, or be able to gain knowledge to then figure out what I want to do with that knowledge.”

Dance, graphic arts, robotics and neuroscience may sound like an odd mix of interests, but Pioneer Scholar Journey is using them all to get as much as possible from her first year at Stanford, which is, of course, online. Journey, who is studying from her home in Florida, honed the skills of combining interests and adapting to new circumstances through her Pioneer Research Program. She chose the research area of neuroscience, because “I knew that I was interested in engineering as a whole, but I also knew that I was interested in the relationship between engineering and life science and I was trying to combine the two in different ways.” Pioneer provided an opportunity to work with both and to do creative independent research that brought the two together in a unique way. Journey’s research topic was about the development of a robotic hand with sensory motor capabilities—an artificial hand that could actually send the signals of “feeling” to the user’s brain.

Trying new things is something that Journey learned at a young age. She credits her mother with encouraging her to try out anything that seemed to interest her long enough to discover how deep the interest was, and to be comfortable with deciding something didn’t work. “Getting things wrong and failing isn’t a bad thing because that’s how you learn. You ask questions and you learn through that and even if you don’t get it right, now you know what the right answer is, and you know where to take it further from that.”

For Journey, the point in learning is what one is going to do with the knowledge. “Will you make something happen? Are you going to change something?” Thinking creatively, asking “What is the next option? How can we make something better?” is, in her opinion, what research is all about.

The process of being involved in research of any kind is also, for Journey, part of a journey. She understands that once a project is completed and something new has been made, or a new concept has been understood, it is not an end but a building block for the next study. “It’s a good mindset to have because someone else, if it’s not yourself, will come along and say, ‘hey, we can make this even better.’”

Journey hopes to use this mindset in her future work to help create better prosthetics. Again, Pioneer gave her some tools for seeing possible directions for this work. Her experience with her international cohort of peers, learning that people’s different interests lead them to focus on different aspects of assigned readings, made her open to the possibility that people may have different visions of what a prosthetic should do and look like.

And having the experience of an online Pioneer Research Program was “highly beneficial,” giving Journey some familiarity with online study and interactions, so her Stanford studies from her home in Florida are not as strange as they might be.

Dear educator friend,

In the critical process of preparing students to transition to college, you are key. The
ramifications of your guidance are far-reaching.

The Pioneer Research Program believes that it, too, has a role to play in preparing students of special potential and passion for learning. This is a role we trust you will appreciate knowing about. Our mission is to offer a deep and otherwise unavailable opportunity to exceptionally motivated young scholars who want to learn and research at the college level and to explore their potential for innovation.

What makes Pioneer a unique deep-dive learning experience is not just the mentorship of distinguished professors. It is the rigorous quality controls developed conjointly by Pioneer and Oberlin College. Professors (must) adhere to rubrics for

1) setting learning goals;

2) syllabus development;

3) oversight, feedback and evaluation, and

4) grading standardization.

This rigorous academic system is supported by thorough admission process and a high-minded ethics code. The combination gives students an exceptional learning experience that is brought to fruition in a college-level research paper documenting their findings.

You can follow this link Pioneer’s concrete academic system to learn more about the academic system. Academic quality control and academic oversight assure Pioneer’s focus is on learning and learners, and therefore all of our practices were built upon the following principles:

No conflict of interests Pioneer’s academic ethical standards
Because of its high academic and ethical standards, the Pioneer program has earned the trust of college admissions departments and formed the basis for the ground-breaking collaboration with Oberlin College. Pioneer scholars get two college credits upon completing their Pioneer research.

Click to learn about Pioneer and Oberlin College's groundbreaking academic collaboration.

Pioneer has a rigorous admission process. Students who have genuine academic interests and are highly motivated are a good fit with Pioneer’s values. Pioneer’s founding board insisted that Pioneer commit to a professor-blind policy during the application process, ensuring that applicants have authentic field interest and correct priorities. Consequently, no information about professors is released before admission to the program. This policy is much appreciated and respected by universities. Professor-blind admission policy
On this page is the critical information needed to meet your needs.

If you have additional questions, feel free to let us know how we can help you by emailing or calling 855-572-8863.


Matthew Jaskol

Founder & Program Director