A family tradition of healthcare: Sisters are among the first grads from San Diego nursing program

May 23, 2022

Class of 2022 nursing graduates Sonia and Homa Sher standing next to each other wearing their regalia.

Photo Credit: Joshua Sudock for UMass Global

IRVINE, Calif. (May 23, 2022) – UMass Global graduates Sonia Sher and Homa Sher, who both started nursing school together in 2019, on Sunday celebrated their completion of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. They are among the first graduates to complete the nursing program the launched in September 2019  at its San Diego campus, and both persisted to their degrees while the COVID-19 pandemic overshadowed the healthcare field.

“For me personally, I wished that I was already a nurse so I could be there helping,” Sonia Sher of San Diego said.

Sonia Sher and Homa Sher joined more than 100 other University of Massachusetts Global nursing graduates gathered Sunday at FivePoint Amphitheatre for commencement celebrations. The assembly included students who, like the Sher sisters, earned their bachelor’s degrees while simultaneously preparing to begin licensed practice.

Additional graduates included registered nurses who came to the university to increase their education levels and obtain bachelor’s degrees, as well as highly-skilled nurses who earned Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.

“I stand before you in complete admiration of your steadfast determination in these very challenging times,” UMass Global interim Chancellor David Andrews said.

After expanding its nursing program to San Diego, the university renovated its campus there by equipping a modern simulation lab preparing them for clinical practice. Students also completed several clinical learning experiences on the way to earning their degrees.

“We persevered and it made it that much more worth it,” said Homa Sher, also of San Diego.

The Sher sisters’ mother and aunt both immigrated to the United States from Afghanistan about three decades ago. Their aunt, Samana, joined the nursing profession after her arrival in this country, and Sonia Sher paid tribute to her example while delivering the commencement address to the UMass Global’s new nursing graduates.

“I would watch my aunt as she put on her scrubs and got ready to go to a job where she would help those who needed it,” Sonia Sher said in her remarks. “She’d tell me stories about her patients and the lives that she touched. And if you ask her, she’ll tell you how much she loves her career, the joy and excitement it brings, and how rewarding it is even when it’s difficult and trying. I grew up wanting to be exactly like Samana, she is the one who showed me what it truly means to be a nurse.”

Photography is available. To request photo assets, or to request an interview with Sonia Sher, Homa Sher, or a representative of UMass Global, contact Andrew Edwards in the Office of Advancement, Alumni Relations, and Public Affairs via [email protected] or 949-383-3156.

University of Massachusetts Global, formerly Brandman University, is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, credential, and certificate programs designed to be relevant to more than 90 career paths. UMass Global serves nearly 23,000 students, about 16,000 of whom are enrolled in academic credit programs, at 25 physical campuses in California and Washington, as well as online. UMass Global offers fully online courses for students anywhere in the United States and for military personnel serving abroad. For more information, visit the university’s website.

Media Contacts:

Terri M. Carbaugh, UMass Global Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs: [email protected]

Andrew Edwards, UMass Global Senior Multimedia News Writer: [email protected]

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