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Sadé Lindsay

PhD candidate, sociology

In April 2019, Sadé Lindsay, a PhD candidate in sociology, was announced as one of Ohio State's 150 Sesquicentennial Scholars — 32 of which are in the Arts and Sciences. The Sesquicentennial Student Leader Scholarship program aims to increase access and affordability, as well as recognize students’ academic and non-academic accomplishments and diverse interests.


Why did you choose your major?

I grew up in a Black working-class neighborhood and vividly recall loved ones cycling in and out of prison, and our community dealing with over-policing, poverty and crime. Sociologists and criminologists can empirically and theoretically explain and understand the lived experiences of people like myself, while also humanizing and advocating for policies to help address such inequality. These attributes are congruent with my intellectual interests, morals and values, and are what ultimately drew me to sociology.

What does being a Sesquicentennial Scholar mean to you?

Being a Sesquicentennial Scholar holds a very special place in my heart. My mom, a first-generation student, graduated from Ohio State in 1982. Although she had a college degree, she was a single mother, and we struggled to stay afloat, particularly during the Great Recession. Yet she continued to instill in me the importance of college, and specifically Ohio State. This university has been a major cause of my family’s happiest moments and traditions. I vividly remember Saturdays being practically holidays during football season. My mom worked long hours during the week, but she ensured that Saturdays were family days. We began Saturdays with a large breakfast, cleaned the house while listening to music, wore football jerseys, and typically ended the day with laughter, joy and a Buckeye win. These memories would likely not exist without Ohio State imparting the importance of community, family and tradition in my mother. I am so happy that I was selected to represent and give back to a university that has given so much to me.

Explain what you love about being in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State.

A few things that I love about being in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State are the intellectual diversity and centrality of the college to the university. The college has many different majors and courses that span the arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and natural sciences, which means that it is nearly impossible for a student to graduate without coming in contact with the college and its intellectual diversity. This fact makes the college vital for expanding the knowledge of students and teaching students how to synthesize and apply information to solve real-world problems.

How do you hope to inspire the next generation?

I hope to inspire the next generation of change agents through education, mentorship and training. My career goal is to obtain a tenure-track faculty position at a research university like Ohio State. I look forward to employing my research inside the classroom to show how inequality in the criminal justice system perpetuates inequality in other institutions, such as the labor market and education system. As I do currently, I also hope to include students on research projects and advise them on conducting their own research to help solve pressing social issues. I also want to lead by example as an educator by continuing to directly serve incarcerated populations and reentry organizations, while using my research to advocate for policies that ease formerly incarcerated people’s transition from prison back home. When the most marginalized populations do well, we all do well.

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