Major accomplishment

Chemistry graduate embraces future in forensics after juggling three minors and soccer at MSU Texas

Sarah Stewart came to Midwestern State University to play college soccer. Her job on the field as a starting defender was to prevent goals. A game-winning kick to win the conference championship as a sophomore was a bonus.

But achieving goals is her MSU Texas legacy. Stewart will receive her diploma Saturday at the Fall 2019 commencement ceremony.

Stewart graduates with a major in chemistry, concentration biochemistry, and three minors (mathematics, biology, and criminal justice). She has been named to the Lone Star Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll seven times.

Stewart scored three career goals and registered five assists on the field. It’s tougher to measure the assists around campus, but Stewart loved helping others as well while setting herself up for a wide variety of opportunities in life.

NO MINOR ACCOMPLISHMENT

Stewart realizes having three minors draws attention, but she took care not to accumulate wasted classes. She started with many credits from AP tests and dual-credit courses.

“I was already going to get the biology minor because I was on a bio-chem path, and then I was two or three classes away from a math minor, so I was like, might as well finish,” Stewart said.

The third minor, criminal justice, could be credited to television, as Stewart has long been fascinated by the prospect of working in forensics. “My love of classic TV shows; I watched CSI, Criminal Minds growing up,” she said. “I was like, I really love this but I’m also really good at science. How can I tie those things together?”

A goal of MSU Texas with the minors, and recently added signature minors, has been to provide learning opportunities to give students advantages in the job market. 

“Everyone is always confused by the criminal justice minor – chemistry, biology, math, criminal justice,” Stewart said.

There are not many buildings on campus Stewart is not familiar with. “I found where the Martin building is for sure,” she added.

Her dream would be to work in a forensics lab, maybe even with the FBI, but her immediate plan is to attend graduate school at Sam Houston State in Fall 2020.

 Sarah Stewart with her cap and gown on at the Fall 2019 commencement.

FIELD WORK

Stewart enjoyed her athletic career – she played in 76 career matches from 2016-19 – for the Mustangs.

“I came to MSU for soccer but women’s soccer ends in college, and I knew my future is what I’m doing besides soccer,” Stewart said.

Achieving what she wanted academically while playing time management was key, she said. “I would have to look at it and realize I may not have a lot of time this weekend because I have a game so I need to do this now. I’m already excited for grad school, to be able to do school without soccer and all the free time I’ll have.”

Her favorite memory came during her sophomore season in Commerce, Texas. MSU Texas had lost two regular-season matches with Commerce, but the tables turned in the Lone Star Conference championship as MSU won in a shootout. Stewart had the penalty kick to clinch the win and set off the celebration. Stewart also converted a PK in the shootout in an NCAA tournament win over St. Edward’s University.

“We beat them in the tournament in PKs and I had the final PK, that was really cool,” Stewart said. “It felt like we played more games at Commerce (six) than at home that year.

“I loved Midwestern; I loved the program and the environment. Even times when it was really hard and I’d think it’d be so much easier to quit, I really wanted to finish it out.”

Sarah Stewart
Whether on the field on in study hall, Sarah Stewart enjoys sharing her knowledge.

GIVING BACK

Steward had a redshirt season and she noted that her career spanned three coaches. But staying the course is something she’s proud of. And she said many of her friends were also athletes at Midwestern State. She enjoyed the camaraderie between the sports teams at MSU Texas.

And being an athlete led to another great experience for Stewart on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Stewart wanted to be a part of something good, and she enjoyed collaborating with Reagan Foster, the assistant director of Athletics for Student Athlete/Community Outreach, on many projects. “We won a national award of excellence this year for SAAC,” Stewart said.

She became the president for SAAC and attended two retreats with the Lone Star Conference. “I got to meet and make friends from other schools, and that’s one of the coolest things I’ve done,” Stewart said. “They would ask how do you get this? How did you get that done? I would say, that’s Reagan.”

Stewart enjoyed a lighter course load for her final season which gave her time to help teammates with their studies. “We had team study hall on the road and they would come up and say, I have a question, I have a question. Mathematics can be tough, and I helped some teammates pass their math classes.”

Stewart came to MSU Texas looking for ways to help her team while searching for a way to utilize her diverse individual skill set. Three minors later, Stewart walks across stage with a major victory.

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Sarah Stewart on senior day for the soccer team in 2019
Sarah Stewart walks on Senior Day with her mother, Carrie Stewart, and her uncle, Zach Kerr. Stewart scored three career goals, registered five assists and played 76 matches in her career at MSU Texas.

Related story:

https://thewichitan.com/64537/sports/sarah-stewart/

Sarah Stewart and Dillon Pineda with their community service awards.
MSU Texas soccer player Sarah Stewart and men's tennis player Dillon Pineda won 2019 community service awards.

 

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