Zayn Karim, an undergraduate student studying secondary math education with a license addition to teach computer science, has been awarded the Kenneth R. R. Gros Louis Scholarship from Indiana University.
“As a Black Muslim female student (and the daughter of an immigrant), there are many times when I was in spaces where there was no one else who looked like me or could relate to my experiences. There have been many times when others have openly doubted my abilities, and — when you're doubted so often — I think it's natural to eventually start doubting yourself too sometimes,” Karim said. “So when I received the award, my first reaction was shock (almost like disbelief), which was then followed by an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I was super happy and humbled to be honored with such a notable campus-wide award.”
When she was a freshman at IU, Karim first learned about imposter syndrome from a Women in Math Club talk and realized she had experienced it. She recalled walking into her first math class at IU and already feeling like she was less intelligent and less capable than everyone else. Karim nearly switched to a lower level class, but ended up excelling through her hard work and dedication: “It goes to show the extent to which I’ve doubted myself, right from the very beginning of my journey at IU, when — in reality — I was capable of more than I thought.”