BELMONT, Mass. — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) has welcomed four highly accomplished new members to its 27-person Board of Directors, after its 67th Assembly of Members on Saturday, November 7, 2021. The new board members are poet, translator and editor Dr. Susan Barba of Cambridge, MA; lawyer, adjunct professor and avid collector of Armenian social history Mark A. Momjian of Philadelphia, PA; author, lecturer and Library of Congress specialist Dr. Khatchig Mouradian of Washington, DC; and scholar, author and professor Dr. Anna Ohanyan of Concord, MA.
“We are honored to welcome these talented and distinguished new members to the NAASR Board and will work together to move NAASR forward as we expand our national and international collaborations, programming and scholar support for the benefit of Armenians throughout the world,” said chairman of the board Yervant Chekijian of Watertown, MA. Joining the chairman as NAASR officers elected for 2021-22 are Judith Saryan, first vice chairman; Roxanne Etmekjian, second vice chairman; Stepan Piligian, secretary; Bruce Roat, treasurer; Arlene Saryan Alexander, advisor; and Nancy R. Kolligian, advisor.
Preceding the Board elections at the Annual Assembly were fascinating remarks from Dr. Mouradian, Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress, in a talk entitled “From Illumination to Digitization: The Armenian Collections at The Library of Congress.” He acknowledged the cooperation he has enjoyed with NAASR first as a scholar, then as a lecturer at Columbia University, and now at the Library of Congress.
Chekijian thanked the three outgoing board members for their years of dedication, generosity and excellent service: George Aghjayan of Westminster, MA; Nurhan Becidyan of Paramus, NJ; and Sylvia Parsons, formerly of Bethesda, MD, now of San Diego, CA.
Distinguished New Board Members
The newly elected NAASR Board members are highly distinguished in their respective fields. Dr. Barba is a poet, a translator and a senior editor at New York Review Books. She has been a member of NAASR for 18 years and participated in NAASR’s international conference on “Rethinking Armenian Studies: Past, Present, and Future” in 2002, as a graduate student at Harvard University. She is the author of Fair Sun (2017) and geode (2020), a finalist for the New England Book Awards and the Massachusetts Book Awards. Her first book, awarded the Anahid Literary Prize from Columbia University and the Minas & Kohar Tölölyan Prize, devotes its second section to a series of prose poems about a child speaking with her grandfather who details his experiences in the Armenian Genocide. She is also the co-editor, with Victoria Rowe, of I Want to Live: Poems of Shushanik Kurghinian and the editor of A Literary Field Guide to American Wildflowers, illustrated by Leanne Shapton, forthcoming in September 2022 from Abrams Press. She received her PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University; her dissertation, Poets of the Crossroads, focused on the work of Yeghishe Charents, Osip Mandelstam and W.H. Auden.
Momjian has been actively involved in Armenian Studies for over three decades. He has been a NAASR member for many years and a frequent collaborator on programs with Columbia University, co-sponsored by NAASR. After graduating from Columbia Law School, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Armenian Center at Columbia University, where he is the immediate past chair. He served as co-chair of the Armenian Church Earthquake Fund, spearheading a regional effort that raised over a half-million dollars for the survivors of the devastating 1988 earthquake. A passionate collector of Armenian social history, his material artifacts were exhibited at the centennial anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. He is an adjunct professor of Law at Villanova University and an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the Drexel University College of Medicine. He has won numerous awards for his public-interest work on behalf of underserved and minority communities and is listed in Who’s Who in America and Best Lawyers in America.
Dr. Mouradian is the Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division (Near East Section) at the Library of Congress; and a lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University. He is the author of The Resistance Network: The Armenian Genocide and Humanitarianism in Ottoman Syria, 1915-1918. He is a NAASR member, a frequent presenter at NAASR programs and Leadership Circle events, and works closely with NAASR on programs at Columbia University. A former editor of the Armenian Weekly, Dr. Mouradian is the co-editor of a forthcoming book on late-Ottoman history and the editor of The Armenian Review. He served as the Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan visiting professor at California State University – Fresno and was a visiting assistant professor at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University. He has received numerous awards and fellowships. He holds a PhD in history from the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University and a BS in biology from Haigazian University.
Dr. Ohanyan is the Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Stonehill College and two-time Fulbright Scholar to the South Caucasus. She is a NAASR Leadership Circle member, a frequent presenter at NAASR programs and a very active member of NAASR’s Contemporary Topics Committee. She is an author and (co)editor of five books, including Russia Abroad: Driving Regional Fracture in Post-Communist Eurasia and Beyond (edited, Georgetown University Press, 2018), and Networked Regionalism as Conflict Management (Stanford University Press, 2015). Her most recent book manuscript is The Neighborhood Effect: The Imperial Roots of Regional Fracture in Eurasia, forthcoming with Stanford University Press in 2022. Her articles have appeared in numerous prestigious journals and newspapers. She served as a doctoral and post-doctoral fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She received her PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University.
Incumbents re-elected for a three-year term were Roupen Berberian of Glendale, CA; Joan Kolligian of Arlington, MA; Nancy Kolligian of Watertown, MA; Margaret Mgrublian, of Pasadena, CA; Bruce Roat of Los Angeles, CA; and Raffi Yeghiayan, advisor, of Bedford, MA.