Samuel Merritt University enews



SMU Alum Takes on Roles as Director of Diversity

Vivian Wong, Zena SalesTorres, Tim Tividad, Katrina Carpo, Aara Amidi-Nouri

Aara Amidi-Nouri, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing (SoN) for pediatrics, has been named the new Director of Diversity for the School. 

Thanks to a $150,000 grant from the San Francisco Foundation, she will now oversee the School's commitment to enhance cultural competence and assist in the development of a strategic plan that promotes the goal of creating a diverse and culturally competent learning environment.  The three year grant includes the goal of increasing the recruitment and retention of African-American and Latino nursing students who are underrepresented in the field.  As Director of Diversity, Dr. Amidi-Nouri plans to implement targeted activities to achieve this goal.  She will also work to incorporate cultural competence into the curriculum and learning environment at the SoN. 

"I plan to develop workshops and practices designed to enhance our program so that it increasingly reflects the diverse landscape of the world in which we learn and live," explains Dr. Amidi-Nouri.  "As a former nursing student, I had really great role models and I am modeling my teaching after them.  I feel grateful for this opportunity to make a difference and fulfill one of our mission statements by educating "students to become highly skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals who positively transform the experience of care in diverse communities."

Vivian Wong, Zena SalesTorres, Tim Tividad, Katrina Carpo, Aara Amidi-Nouri

In this position Dr. Amidi-Nouri will report directly to SoN Dean, Dr. Audrey Berman and work closely with the Office of Admission and Alumni Affairs. 

"In addition to recruiting new students we also want to connect our current students with alums to serve as mentors in the field to help foster and advance their career in nursing, and support diversity in all aspects of university life," says Dr. Amidi Nouri.

"She is seriously tuned into the University community," says Dr. Berman. "That, coupled with the sense of continuity she will bring to the School of Nursing, enables her to hit the ground running, she will be able to take our diversity initiatives to new heights."

The Samuel Merritt University alum completed the BSN program in 1996 and the MSN program in Case Management in 2001. She completed her PhD in 2008 at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and always knew she wanted to come back to SMU to teach. 

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