Yale’s Adrina Garbooshian Edits Papers on Benjamin Franklin

If Steve Jobs’ mother was behind the making of the Apple genius, then accolades should also go to area residents Sharon Parnagian and Jack Garbooshian for encouraging and nurturing their daughter, Adrina, to reach for the stars in her educational and professional career.

A graduate of Detroit’s Wayne State University, Adrina Garbooshian, 36, started her illustrious career at Dearborn’s Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Day School while also attending Sunday School classes at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church.

Her parents and older brother, Levon, always urged her to do her best, but admit their Adrina was a dream child, never having to be prodded to do her homework. Mother Sharon says, “She always was reading and studying, getting A’s. Her teachers loved her and she carried her hard work ethic through college and her work career. She was a Phi Beta Kappa but most importantly Adrina is a person of integrity. She would never compromise herself to benefit herself.”

While a student at Redford Union High School, Adrina was inspired by teacher Thea Cohen, who possessed a passion for French language and literature. Adrina again garnered all A’s in French winning herself a French award. Because she was noticeably talented in languages, having an aptitude in both Spanish and German, her courses at Wayne State were in French language and literature, and she had a strong interest in 18th-century literature.

At Wayne State she earned a B.A. and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She went on to earn an M.A. in French with distinction and a Ph.D. in modern languages. She spent two years at the University of Toronto.

Adrina says, “The writings of the 18th century focus on the rights of man, natural law, ideas about the ideal form of government and religion. I truly was passionate about learning more about each of these areas. When I took a course in history, it was then I knew I wanted to write my dissertation on both the French and American Enlightenments, the title being, “The Concept of Human Dignity in the French and American Enlightenments: Religion, Virtue, Liberty.”

An extremely cumulative reading list of books were required for her M.A. and Ph.D., covering the 17th through 20th centuries, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, literary works, sermons, and correspondence.

Along the way Garbooshian taught French at Both Wayne State and Rochester’s Oakland University.

From 2007 to the present, Adrina has been working as an editor at “The Papers of Benjamin Franklin” at Yale University, transcribing documents, comparing typescripts to manuscripts, conducting research, and writing annotation (footnotes) for Franklin’s correspondence and writings—tedious work that she loves.

She says, “I have very much enjoyed this work. Franklin was a brilliant scientist and statesman. I feel privileged to have worked on his correspondence. I may return to teaching for a while but in the future I would like to return to the field of documentary editing. If there is an opening at another similar project, I will apply.” She may one day again call Detroit “home.”

Adrina has been published and has attended numerous conferences. She packs an intellectual wallop and her beginnings were at the ARS Day School.

A recently published article about Adrina appeared in Wayne State’s “World Talk” and said “that in her position she has taken trips to the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, and to the Library of Congress where she has viewed the original manuscripts to verify the accuracy of the Benjamin Franklin typescripts in connection on the period when Franklin was serving as a diplomat to France.”

Her locally well-known father, Jack Garbooshian, says this about his daughter: “I should give credit to my mother’s side of the family (Boghikian) for Adrina’s writing ability.” Her proud grandmother is Nani, Arpine Garbooshian. “All of us in the family are proud of her perseverance and dedication. She is a person of virtue. When she approached getting burned out, we kept encouraging her to attain her goals.”

Adrina’s parents are quick to state they are equally proud of their son Levon to whom his sister is especially close. Levon is the father of the Garbooshian granddaughter, little Sarah.

Both her parents speak of Adrina’s prowess as a tennis player, loving the game since she was eight. Now a vegetarian, she works out, plays tennis, and lifts weights. Dad says, “She still plays a mean game of tennis. All we want is for her is to have a happy, healthy, fulfilling life.”

Asked if obstacles exist for intelligent women in the modern-day workplace, Adrina says, “I don’t think so. However, I do think women should support each other more than they do. They should put aside competition and jealousy and work together.”

When asked if the young Ph.D. liked being called “doctor,” she proved she has a level head on her intelligent shoulders, replying, “No! I studied for my benefit and because of my interests. However, I do not think that makes me superior to anyone else. Therefore, I do not want a title to separate me from others. I think that all work has dignity. What is important is that one supports oneself and one’s family. Rank and degrees should not matter. I value character and morality above all else.”

Possessing a humble, refreshing attitude encompassing all her accomplishments, coupled with an impressive resume, Adrina Garbooshian will for certain be a valuable asset to anyone who is fortunate enough to have her in their employ.

Betty Apigian-Kessel

Betty Apigian-Kessel

Betty (Serpouhie) Apigian Kessel was born in Pontiac, Mich. Together with her husband, Robert Kessel, she was the proprietor of Woodward Market in Pontiac and has two sons, Bradley and Brant Kessel. She belonged to the St. Sarkis Ladies Guild for 12 years, serving as secretary for many of those years. During the aftermath of the earthquake in Armenia in 1988, the Detroit community selected her to be the English-language secretary and she happily dedicated her efforts to help the earthquake victims. She has a column in the Armenian Weekly entitled “Michigan High Beat.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.