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Class of 2021: Katherine Poteet

Congratulations, Sondheim Scholars Class of 2021!

Katherine Poteet

Majors: Political Science and Global Studies

Certificates: Honors College and Spanish

Minor: Arabic Language and Culture

Hometown: Jarrettsville, Maryland

Katherine ‘Katie’ Poteet is a talented researcher, educator and public servant. She is also a 2021 UMBC Valedictorian! During her time at UMBC, Katie  has served as an ESL tutor at the Esperanza Center, an Honors College team leader, and a Writing Center fellow. She completed  summer internships with the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education and state government. Katie received an Undergraduate Research Award (URA) to conduct her honors thesis research on the effects of mandatory national service on patriotism, which she presented at URCAD. Katie is the recipient of several UMBC awards, including the Global Studies Program’s Award for Outstanding Researcher, the Political Science Department’s Outstanding Senior Award, and the Honors College’s Community Service Award. After graduation from UMBC, Katie will pursue her master’s degree in education, globalization and international development at the University of Cambridge, with future plans to pursue a PhD and work on educational equity for women and girls worldwide.

A few thoughts from Katie on her time as a Sondheim Scholar:

What is your most memorable public service experience as a Sondheim Scholar? 

My most memorable public service experience was volunteering at the Esperanza Center throughout my freshman year. I enjoyed using my Spanish skills and my love of teaching to help others and valued the personal connections I made with students. It was also a great experience to learn more about the immigration process in the US!


What is an important thing you learned about yourself at UMBC?

I learned that I can do anything that I put my mind to! During my time at UMBC, I have participated in volunteer experiences, conducted research, interned at large international organizations, helped teach classes, and much more. I tried to dip my toes into many different areas to discover what I am truly passionate about while I have the opportunity to experiment. I discovered things at which I excel (and things at which I do not excel) that I never would have considered, and I am leaving UMBC feeling like a much more capable and prepared young adult!


What's an important thing you learned about the world beyond campus while you were a student at UMBC?

At UMBC, I learned that the world is smaller and more interconnected than I thought, which has helped me think about how to solve global problems. I learned that many types of organizations and actors come together to address large societal problems worldwide and that there are many ways to contribute to solving these issues on different levels. This makes change seem much more attainable and much less daunting!

Katie was featured in a UMBC News story about 2021 graduates: UMBC grads share what inspires them: Family, Baltimore communities, international experiences and in the Baltimore Sun story, Harford's Katie Poteet is a valedictorian at UMBC for 2021, plans a career in international affairs

Posted: May 21, 2021, 9:31 AM