Feature Article

Extra Credit

Robin Sherman MSM '06

Sherman at work on the gerontology course she teaches.

Robin Sherman first learned of Lasell's master's program in Elder Care Administration at a Board of Overseers meeting in 2005. A longtime Lasell Overseer, she was intrigued by the possibility of pursuing a graduate degree in an emerging field while juggling a busy family life. Sherman had enjoyed a successful two-decade career in real estate management, ultimately as a senior vice president in commercial management for Capital Properties, Inc. But she was interested in transitioning to a profession that would better fit the demanding schedule of a single mother raising two growing daughters (Jessica, now 15, and Lila, 12).

A cum laude Brandeis University graduate, Sherman is an adjunct faculty in Salem State University's psychology department, an adjunct at University of Massachusetts Boston's College of Public and Community Service and is pursuing a PhD in Gerontology at the UMass McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. She is an active volunteer with the Brandeis Alumni Association, the Rashi School and the nonprofit Community Cooks initiative and is an overseer at Boston's Museum of Science. Leaves caught up with Sherman at her Newton Highlands home as she planned a lesson for the "Influencing Aging Policy" course she teaches at UMass Boston.

What attracted you to Lasell's graduate program? I've always found the area of gerontology-older learners, aging policy and successful aging-fascinating. And here was a program practically at my doorstep.

What was your experience like? I found the classes interesting, the professors knowledgeable and enlightening and the other students-a variety of men and women ranging from newly-minted college graduates to veteran professionals in related fields-to be wonderful peers to learn with. I was able to earn credits both in classroom and hybrid courses (some classroom teaching, some online). That combination, plus the flexibility and manageable schedule, worked well for my young family.

Did your Lasell master's program inform your new career? Lasell opened my eyes to opportunities for research and learning in the field of aging. After getting my MSM, I enrolled in a PhD program in Gerontology at UMass, where I'm working on a dissertation about philanthropy and older donors.. The career change has been fulfilling, and I have not looked back.

In your precious free time, what are some hobbies/passions? I'm an avid reader and love gardening, travel and summers at the Cape.

Why is it important for graduate alums to support Lasell? It's natural to support your undergraduate school, where bonds are formed as a result of the day-to-day experience with students and professors. It's also vitally important to support your graduate institution. You may not have the same life experience, but you get so much in terms of access to a vibrant learning community.

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