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Humans of the U: Sydney Kincart

“I wanted to minor in disability studies and there are just a handful of schools that offer this program, including the University of Utah. I knew I wanted to work in disability policy, so I chose to major in political science.

I have been interested in disability since I was a kid. I grew up with an aunt who has a genetic disability that runs in our family. And because of that, I was really aware of what disability looked like from a young age. I thought I wanted to go into special education or something like that, but then I fell in love with political science through debate.

I was trying to figure out how to combine my two interests when I attended a summer camp during high school and someone helped me understand how disability and politics intersect and that disability policy was a career I could pursue.

I lived in Utah from ages 2 to 14 and grew up dancing with Tanner Dance on campus. They have a lot of programs for adults with disabilities, so when I was coming to the U, I emailed them and asked if I could volunteer. They have a community partnership with the Bennion Center and through that, I volunteered with Elevate Theater Company for the four years that I was at the U.

This experience was awesome. Every Saturday, I’d spend two hours working on a show and getting to perform with the participants. I took some special education classes as an undergraduate student, and I was able to apply what I was learning to my volunteer opportunity. I loved the chance to gain firsthand experience working with people with disabilities and meeting other students who wanted to volunteer.

Undergraduate research was another important part of my time at the U. I had an awesome professor, Dr. Phillip Singer, who helped me find research opportunities and connected me with Ph.D. students with similar interests in disability policy. Dr. Singer helped supervise my honors thesis and was a really great mentor. He helped me combine my interests of political science and disability studies and helped me figure out applying for grad school.

In August I am moving to Dublin, Ireland to do a master’s in disability studies. I will be there for a year and I am super excited to have an international experience. It’s one of the only disability studies programs you can earn a grad degree from, so I’m just really excited to have a chance to pursue my studies in this field further.”

— Sydney Kincart, bachelor of science political science, disabilities studies minor, ’24