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#UofTGrad17: Anam Zaheer

One lesson Anam Zaheer taught herself while at UTSC was to go for whatever she wanted no matter how challenging it may appear to be. (Photo by Ken Jones)

Anam Zaheer discovered what she considers U of T Scarborough’s best-kept secret early one in her university career. The Leigha Lee Browne Theatre.

“UTSC has a theatre where spectacular shows are performed all throughout the year,” she says.

Zaheer majored in Human Biology and Psychology and found an outlet for her passion for “experiencing different lives” in her Theatre and Performance Minor at UTSC.

In fact her recommendation for a something all students must-do is audition for a play on campus despite any previous acting experience.

“It sounds crazy but trust me, whether you get the role or not, the confidence, and tolerance towards constructive criticism you get from directors are worthwhile skills to possess,” Zaheer says.

However, her passion don’t only lie in the theatre. Zaheer is also passionate about education and social justice and hopes to go to law school in the future as she in currently preparing to take her LSATs.

Where did you go to high school?

 Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. 

What was your favourite class? Why? 

Without a doubt, ACMA01 (Exploring Key Questions in the Humanities) with Professor Sarah Kleeb, as it changed my perspective on life entirely. Learning the realities of Columbus Day allowed me to reassess our beliefs and traditions, and question what the “truth” is. Each story’s perspective changes based on its author and their own (unperceived) bias, so what is the definition of reality?

This course also taught me to be sensitive to the needs of men. While society emphasises feminism and female-targeted campaigns, we shouldn’t forget about men. Men are targets of emotional manipulation when it comes to feelings or expressiveness and we all need to understand each other’s struggles to combat such dehumanizing stereotypes.  

Where do you feel most at home on campus? 

Where I spent most of time in my senior years – the Kronzucker Lab (haha, yes I am a nerd). 

Quick tip for new first years? 

Make connections. Try to meet as many people as possible be it students, faulty, the caretaking staff, or Nasir the hotdog guy! How? Just strike up a conversation. Ask how their day is going; or if you’re in a lecture, turn to the person beside you and ask what other courses they’re taking or what program they’re in. These connections will last you throughout your undergraduate and even post-grad. Make friends, make connections, have a lasting impact!  

What is a “must-do” on campus – what should every student do before graduating? 

Audition for plays. It sounds crazy but trust me, whether you get the role or not, the confidence, and tolerance towards constructive criticism you get from directors are worthwhile skills to possess. If you are a shy person, even better! Auditions are held in a small room with a small panel, and everyone is extremely encouraging with take two’s or more. Just take that step. Learn from everything.   

What are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about education and justice. I believe that knowledge is indeed power (despite what Cersei says) which lead me to work in Steve Joordens’ peerScholar lab. We discovered alternative methods of education which have the potential to empower and educate people all over the globe. As cliché as it sounds, that is justice.  

What’s next? 

Continue working at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto as a Coordinator for International Doctors, while preparing for my LSAT’s. Alongside, I also hope to pass all my belt tests and receive my black belt in Krav Maga before heading to law school! 

If we call you up in five years, where do you think we will find you? 

We make plans but life has its own plans: you would ideally find me in law school but you never know. Always be open to ideas and different opportunities, and you’ll be amazed at where life can take you. 


To read about more of the class of 2017 graduates click here

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