Meet Shepherd White

B.A. INDS: Radicalization of Right-Wing Extremists In the United States

My INDS Degree

I value empathy above all else, and I often try to view issues through the perspectives of others. Despite this, I have never been able to understand what drives people to the kind of hate and violence extremists engage in. I truly want to be able to see the world through their eyes, to understand what drives them to think and act the way they do. Right-wing extremism is a significant threat to both the United States and the world. These groups are becoming increasingly influential and have even begun to have an impact on more moderate conservatives. Extremist groups are using the Internet to build online communities of hate that draw in people from around the world. It is therefore important to disrupt the radicalization process and starve such groups of new members.

Degree Mentors

  •  Shawn Bediako, Psychology
  •  Kathryn Hemmis,Sociology
  • Carrie Sauter, Individualized Study

Post Graduation Plans

In order to learn practical research skills necessary for my work, I plan to pursue either a master’s degree in applied sociology at UMBC or a graduate certificate in Terrorism Analysis at the University of Maryland after I graduate from the INDS program. After my graduate education, I plan
to apply for a job at START or as a professor.


Courses In My INDS Degree

The Context of Right-Wing Extremism: By understanding the social, political, and historical context of right-wing extremism as well as the psychology of hate, I will be able to analyze the meanings of extremist messages rather than just their effectiveness. (AMST 200/HIST 208/PSYC 304/ SOCY 321/ GWST 340/ PSYC 342/HIST 355AMST 376/ PSYC 380)

The Influence of Groups on Decision-Making: The media, peers, and extremist groups all contribute to a person’s decision to engage with extremist ideologies. (MCS 222/SOCY 330/MCS 334/PSYC 340/ SOCY 397)

Research Methods: Because my work will focus on research, it is essential that I develop practical research skills relevant to my field. (SOCY 300/MLL 301/SOCY 301)

Individualized Study: These courses are required for the INDS major and allow me to develop my degree plan and capstone project. (INDS 330/INDS 335/INDS 399/ INDS 480 / INDS 490)