Everyone has a purpose. Everyone has a story to tell.
Sumreen Asim lives and breathes this sentiment.
As an assistant professor of elementary science and technology education at Indiana University Southeast, Asim’s teaching philosophy is based on the idea that everyone is a global citizen.
“We aren’t just citizens of the United States,” Asim explains. “We’re citizens of the world; it’s important to grow and change and to know that we’re all in this together.”
A devout Muslim and the child of immigrants, Asim has long believed in the promise of America. She credits her parents for instilling in her a love of learning. Those ideals are evident in her classroom, where she believes every student can learn, and every student has the potential to succeed.That means recognizing and learning from each other’s values and perspectives—something Asim constantly emphasizes in her teaching. Asim notes that although we can define diversity in many different ways, such as race or socioeconomic class, working together to create a better world and providing the necessary education are vital to ensure a brighter future.
“We need to understand the different lenses through which people communicate and collaborate,” Asim says. “And, we need to do this collectively because one person alone cannot change the world. It’s so important for me to think about how we’re changing globally.”
In 2020, Asim received the IU Southeast Diversity Award for her efforts in fostering an inclusive and diverse campus community. “Having cultural understanding and awareness allows relationships to build, brings together harmony, and makes us more emotionally intelligent,” Asim says. “Education does not stop at the classroom walls.”