Randy Valdez

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

First Advisor

Robert Ricketts

Second Advisor

Jeremy Szteiter


Imposter Syndrome is a well-known psychological phenomenon characterized by a persistent feeling of inadequacy despite evidence of competence and success. While current research has identified five types of Impostor Syndrome, This synthesis offers the existence of an additional impostor type. This study aims to investigate the existence of "Impostor Two-Two-One” (ITTO), where college students coming from underrepresented backgrounds develop multiple social identities in which each social identity carries different fears of being exposed as a fraud or impostor. Data was collected in the form of structured interviews with students who identify as a combination of first-generation, low-income, and students of color. Results were analyzed using a qualitative case study approach to identify common themes related to the existence of this additional impostor type. In addition to the case study approach the results were also analyzed using the author’s years of professional experience, life experiences, and developed skills as a reflective practitioner gained during his studies as a graduate student of UMass Boston’s Critical and Creative Thinking program. The study aims to critically examine the effects of Impostor syndrome on college campuses, and document first-hand accounts of ITTO and its impact on specific student groups' well-being. The findings of this study are meant to provide information for future accessible digital resources for college students and to supply concerned institutions with effective methods of student support.