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Meet Sara Stewart

INDS Spring 2024 Graduate Highlight Series

B.A.: Critical Carceral Studies

Indicate any other major, minor, certificate, and/or honors that will be on your graduation record:

  • Certificate in Spanish Studies
  • Honors College

Degree Mentors

  • Dr. Michael Casiano, Assistant Professor of American Studies
  • Dr. Jodi Kelber-kaye, Associate Director of the Honors College
  • Carrie Sauter, Assistant Director of the Individualized Study Program

Why did you choose to major in INDS?

During my first two years at UMBC, I was mostly taking Political Science, Africana Studies, and Gender & Women's Studies classes. I enjoyed most of my classes, but I found myself wanting to study something more specialized while integrating each of those disciplines. I was encouraged to learn more about INDS, where I met Ms. Sauter, and felt that the support of the program, in addition to the freedom I had to incorporate my social justice interests into my academic pursuits, made it the right major for me!

What are your plans for after graduation, and how do you see using your INDS degree?

After graduation, I'll be more involved in labor and anti-imperialist organizing in the DMV. Although it was mostly within the context of jails and prisons, my INDS degree allowed to study the systematic nature in which capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, and other forms of oppression interact to keep various peoples marginalized. My degree has also supported the development of my organizing and problem-solving skills, and will enable me to navigate different organizing situations. From an abolitionist standpoint, I understand that the way the carceral system functions is also reflected in everyday life, and that resolving issues of mass incarceration and over-policing will require a broad restructuring of society which I hope to help advance through my organizing work.


  • Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program
  • Honors College Student
  • Women's Center Student Staff
  • Queer People of Color Community Vice-President (2021-2022), President (2022-2023), Treasurer (2023-2024)
  • Writing Center Tutor
  • DC Peace Team Social Media Intern
  • Maryland Justice Project Intern
  • National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens Intern

For more information on Sara's INDS journey please click here:

Posted: April 9, 2024, 11:42 AM