Math Club President
Student Senate Vice President
Two Saint Paul College students were chosen to speak at the LEADMN 2020 Student Leadership Summit on the importance of leadership as it applies to the growing issue of Imposter Syndrome. These two students proudly represented Saint Paul College with a dynamic presentation: Hebah Alzahlaf, Student Senate Vice President from Jordan, and Audrey Merriweather, Math Club President. These two students were introduced to this subject at the 2020 Power of Diversity Conference in Saint Cloud, MN, and they had a strong desire to further address this issue from a leadership perspective. Audrey began developing this presentation for the NorthStar STEM Alliance, an organization dedicated to the retention and advancement of underrepresented minorities in STEM. Together, Hebah and Audrey eventually brought this topic to a broader audience with the LEADMn 2020 Student Leadership Summit.
So, just what is Imposter Syndrome? It is defined as a psychological pattern in which individuals doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud.” Some early signs include gnawing self-doubt, negative self-talk, seeing achievements as luck instead of the result of hard work, and compulsive overachievement. According to some initial research, as many as 70% will experience this phenomenon at some point in their life. There are five different impostor types: 1) The Perfectionist; 2) The Expert; 3) The Soloist; 4) The Superwoman, and 5) The Great Mind. These are manifested internally, and leaders act to help identify and assist those suffering from this syndrome.
Hebah and Audrey addressed the importance of initiating action, helping others build confidence, consolidating priorities based on positive thinking, and improving work environments.
Below is direct feedback we received from two participants who attended the workshop:
“I learned that it is ok to ask for help when I need it.”
“I’ll remember not to be so hard on myself personally, and in times of struggle, I will take a step back and breathe.”
This topic's significance is further accelerated during the pandemic when students of all ages are struggling to connect on a deep interpersonal level during our times of social distancing.
Lamar Shingles, Director of Student Life and Diversity, expressed his appreciation for these students and their leadership on this topic by stating,
"I am so proud of the leadership shown by these students who took on a serious challenge and helped turn it into an exceptional learning opportunity for all future leaders."
Learn more about LEADMN.
Learn more about the Imposter Syndrome