During midterm finals week, Asher Khokhar, a senior set to graduate in May 2024, was leaving Dutch Bros. Coffee when he received quite the energy boost — and it wasn’t just from the caffeine.
While heading home, Khokhar received a call from the Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (KansasCOM) — a call he had been waiting for since September. Khokhar was told he had been one of the few to be accepted into the school.
“I thought, ‘Oh man, is this the call or is it not the call?’” Khokhar said. “When I answered, the lady told me they would like to offer me a seat. And I just started crying.”
They were the tears of someone who had waited for this day to come, and meticulously prepared for it.
“I have wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old,” Khokhar said. “It’s just something that I’ve worked so hard for and now I finally get to go to medical school. I studied (for the MCAT) for eight weeks, Monday through Friday, from what felt like 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.”
Khokhar shared the news with his family. He finally took a sigh of relief from what was a rigorous summer of studying and a semester of patiently waiting.
“Seeing the fruits of my labor paid off at that very moment just made me know in my heart that I am in the right place,” Khokhar said.
That wasn’t the first time Khokhar felt as though he was in the right place. When he applied to Newman University, he felt similar.
“My high school teacher was the one that told me I should go to Newman because of how amazing the science program is,” Khokhar said. “Ever since I started as a freshman to now, I just feel like the amount of love and effort that the professors put into the students made me want to put in more effort.”
During Khokhar’s sophomore year, Talia Powers ’23, the teacher’s assistant for his general chemistry lab, heard him singing. She convinced him to try out for the upcoming musical. Khokhar wasn’t sure how he would be able to juggle his classwork and an extracurricular.
“The fact that she told me other pre-med students participate really drew me to it,” Khokhar said. “Ever since then, I’ve been involved with the chorale and troubadours and I’ve found some of my closest friends that way. That is why I love doing choir and musicals because I’ve formed such close-knit relationships with those people — it’s a family that I’ve formed here at Newman.”
Powers wasn’t the only person who inspired Khokhar during his journey as a Newman Jet. Assistant Professor of Biology Tomoko Bell and Director of Music Deanne Zogleman also served as mentors for Khokhar.
“I almost had to step down from my senior musical (‘The Wedding Singer’) because of a job change and my classwork piling up, but Professor Zogleman didn’t give up on me and said she wanted me to be in it,” Khokhar said. “She made it work for me and I was able to do my final musical here.”
Khokhar also attributes former Newman professors Jenna Persons and David Shubert for their support, as well as his high school teacher, Mrs. Gerber, who convinced him to go to Newman University.
From tediously studying for the MCAT to juggling involvement in theatrical extracurriculars, Khokhar is one giant step closer to turning his childhood dreams into reality.
So, what is next for Khokhar?
After graduating from KansasCOM, he hopes to become a pediatric doctor or an anesthesiologist. In the meantime, he plans to take a celebratory trip this summer.
“I’m a very big Disney fan and my mom promised me that if I got into medical school, she would take me to Disneyland,” Khokhar said. “So we’re planning that trip right now.”
Apply to Newman University
Experience a super-charged student support and success program designed to help you thrive in a rapidly changing world.