NEW YORK, NY—ARS Norian Youth Connect Program (YCP) will return to Columbia University on Saturday, March 4, after being held virtually for two years due to the pandemic.
The daylong program for university students will feature short talks, round tables and discussions on a variety of topics ranging from art and culture to international affairs and Artificial Intelligence. It will conclude with a dinner and networking event on Saturday evening.
Speakers include Dr. Vatche Isahagian, Dr. Henry Theriault, Whitney Kite, Dr. Lalai Manjikian and Nareg Seferian. Dr. Khatchig Mouradian will serve as program director.
Registration is $50 and includes meals, dinner and accommodations for Friday and Saturday nights (for out-of-town students only). University students (age limit 18-26) are urged to register promptly, as space is limited.
The ARS Norian YCP is organized by the Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA.
Dr. Vatche Isahagian is a senior research scientist and manager at IBM Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Boston University in 2013. His research spans a broad set of disciplines across distributed systems, machine learning and business processes. His current focus is on utilizing AI techniques such as natural language processing and multi-agent systems to enable AI-enhanced business automations. Vatche’s work has resulted in multiple patent filings, peer-reviewed publications in conferences and journals, as well as two best paper awards. Additionally, he has organized several workshops and served as a member of program committees, as well as co-chair and publicity chair for various conferences. He is a senior member of both the IEEE and the ACM.
Dr. Henry C. Theriault is currently Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University in the United States, after teaching in its philosophy department from 1998 to 2017. From 1999 to 2007, he coordinated the university’s Center for the Study of Human Rights. Theriault’s research focuses on genocide denial, genocide prevention, post-genocide victim-perpetrator relations, reparations and mass violence against women and girls. He has lectured and appeared on panels around the world. Since 2007, he has chaired the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group and is lead author of its March 2015 final report, “Resolution with Justice.” He has published numerous journal articles and chapters, and his work has appeared in English, Spanish, Armenian, Turkish, Russian, French and Polish. With Samuel Totten, he co-authored The United Nations Genocide Convention: An Introduction (University of Toronto Press, 2019). Theriault served two terms as President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), 2017-2019 and 2019-2021. He is founding co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Genocide Studies International. From 2007 to 2012 he served as co-editor of the International Association of Genocide Scholars’ peer-reviewed Genocide Studies and Prevention.
Whitney Kite is a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, where she specializes in Armenian art and architecture. Her dissertation explores the connections between medieval Armenian monasteries and their local topography. Her master’s thesis, “The Madonna’s Magic Carpet: The Construction of Presence in an Armenian Tympanum Relief” was awarded the 2020 graduate student essay award by the International Center of Medieval Art. Prior to her doctoral work, Whitney received an MA in art history from Tufts University and a BA in biological anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been generously supported by the Medieval Academy of America, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, the Claudia Rattazzi Papka Memorial Fund, the Dr. Paula Gerson Fund, Casa Muraro, the Armenian General Benevolent Union and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Dr. Lalai Manjikian is a humanities professor at Vanier College in Montreal. She also teaches in the Women and Gender Studies program at Vanier. Her main teaching and research interests are in the areas of immigration and refugee studies, media representations of migration, the ethics of migration and migrant narratives. She is the author of Collective Memory and Home in the Diaspora: The Armenian Community in Montreal (2008). Dr. Manjikian’s articles have been published in a number of newspapers and journals including The Armenian Weekly, Horizon Weekly, 100 Lives (The Aurora Prize), The Montreal Gazette, and Refuge. A former Birthright Armenia participant (2005), over the years, Dr. Manjikian has been active in volunteering both within the Armenian community in Montreal and the local community at large, namely engaged in immigrant and refugee integration. She previously served as a qualitative researcher on the Armenian Diaspora Survey in Montreal. Dr. Manjikian also serves as a board member for the Foundation for Genocide Education. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from McGill University (2013).