Arthur Ipek awarded Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowship

The late Mrs. Dolores Zohrab Liebmann was the daughter of the great early twentieth-century Armenian intellectual, writer, and statesman Krikor Zohrab. During her lifetime, Mrs. Liebmann supported students and educational and charitable organizations, with a primary concern to attract and support students with outstanding character and ability, who would hold promise for achievement and distinction in their chosen fields of study.

Through a generous bequest at her death, Mrs. Liebmann created a perpetual charitable trust designated as “The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund” for the purpose of funding advanced education and graduate study grants, which must be carried out entirely in the United States of America.

Beginning in 2022, the Trustees of the Liebmann Fund, at the suggestion of the Selection Committee, decided that the Eastern Diocese would be among the select institutions eligible to nominate one candidate per year for the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Graduate Fellowship.

The Eastern Diocese is pleased to announce that Arthur Ipek, a Masters of Science student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, has been awarded the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowship for academic year 2023–2024. Fellowships cover the cost of tuition and provide a stipend for living expenses.

In 2020, Mr. Ipek earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in Psychology and Linguistics. While still a high school student, he began interning at the Zohrab Information Center, where he worked for several years between 2015–2017. He has also taught music at Holy Martyrs Armenian Language School. On June 4 of this year, he was ordained to the diaconate at Saint Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church (White Plains, NY), where he has played the organ and served at the altar since 2020.

With experience in both natural languages (e.g., Armenian, Turkish, French) and programming languages (e.g., Python, R, SPSS), Mr. Ipek is currently pursuing courses in behavioral neuroscience, the cognitive neuroscience of memory, and psycholinguistics during his Masters program. He is also conducting research at the intersection of language, perception, and cognition, conducting studies that measure brain waves upon humans presented with sentences to process.

Mr. Ipek said, “My decision to apply to the fellowship was primarily driven by the legacy of Dolores Zohrab Liebmann and her earnest commitment to research, both to the American community at large, as well as the Armenian community. Apart from the scientific research that I intend to pursue with this generous scholarship, her establishment of the Zohrab Information Center in the heart of the Armenian community, at which I have interned for four years, has been a center of research for scholars of Armenian Studies, looking to enrich their research through its invaluable collections. There I gained experience in the rigor of conducting scholarly research, and I am grateful to be able to continue my graduate research thanks to this generous fellowship.”

The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships are awarded only to candidates who have outstanding undergraduate records, have demonstrated a need for financial assistance, are citizens of the United States of America, are enrolled in accredited colleges and universities in the United States, and have received baccalaureate degrees. The trustees welcome applications from students of all national origins who are United States citizens.

Applications for the next cycle of funding will be announced in the Fall.

Upcoming Events: Khachaturian Film & Remarkable Facts About Armenians

The Zohrab Information Center invites you to attend two upcoming events in NYC.

On Tuesday, June 6th, at 7:00pm, “Khachaturian: An Archival Film” will be screened at Kavookjian Hall in the Diocesan Complex to commemorate Aram Khachaturian’s 120th birthday. Before the screening, introductory remarks will be made by pianist and composer Şahan Arzruni.

On Wednesday, June 14, at 6:00 P.M., under the leadership of Prof. Harold Takooshian, the inaugural public forum titled “Remarkable Facts About Armenians” will be held at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, 113 West 60th Street (near 9th Avenue), Room 604. There will be discussed not well known facts about Armenians in New York City (Prof. Takooshian) and in three legal matters at turnings points in history (Souren Israelyan, Esq.) that touch upon the existential question as to who we are as people and what makes Armenians so remarkable.

Both programs are free and all are welcome to attend.

David Hotson to present St. Sarkis Armenian Church (Dallas) at Fordham’s International Conference on Sacred Space

“The Shape of the Sacred: Eastern Christianity and Architectural Modernity,” an international conference organized by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America opened this evening, Tuesday, May 30th, at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus.

This three-day public international symposium explores the challenges of the dialogue between contemporary architecture and theological concepts of space. Sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in association with Fordham University, the symposium will be the first of its kind in North America. It honors the recently built and consecrated Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, located at the World Trade Center and designed by Santiago Calatrava. The symposium includes a special event at Saint Nicholas Shrine featuring a welcome address by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and a keynote conversation.

To find information on the conference schedule, which is free and open to the public, visit: The Shape of the Sacred: Eastern Christianity and Architectural Modernity | Fordham

To register visit: Forever Fordham – The Shape of the Sacred: Eastern Christianity and Architectural Modernity – Registrant

For those unable to attend in person, the conference may be livestreamed at the following link:

On Thursday morning, David Hotson, architect, will present “The Making of Saint Sarkis Church, Dallas” on a panel titled “Tradition Today and Tomorrow.” Saint Sarkis Church is also one of the sacred buildings featured on a poster at the exhibit that opened at the start of the conference.

Generous Gift from Dean V. Shahinian to Fund Summer Internship for College and High School Students

The Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center’s 2023 summer internship and community service program for high school and college students will be named “The Lily E. Jelalian Internship and Community Service Program,” thanks to a generous donation from Mr. Dean Vahan Shahinian, Esq., which will provide modest stipends to the interns and lunches for interns and volunteers.

The program will last for approximately six weeks, from June 19th to July 28th. High school and college students interested in applying may do so via the form here. Please submit your application by Sunday, May 28th to be considered for the program.

Ms. Lily Elizabeth Jelalian, Mr. Shahinian’s aunt, was a lifelong member of the Armenian Church, belonging to St. Leon Armenian Church in New Jersey, where her father, Rev. Fr. Vahan Jelalian, served as the parish’s priest from 1941–1947. She was a faithful and avid supporter of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, and other Armenian cultural and Christian causes. She read widely in Armenian art, history, and other subjects and worked through various avenues and means to promote effective ministry in the Church.

In her career, Ms. Jelalian was a school psychologist, who helped countless children with their various psychological and emotional needs. She pursued doctoral studies in educational psychology at New York University after receiving a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Douglas College. Her yearbook described her as “warm, sincere, ardent…about things big and little.”

Lily E. Jelalian, aunt of Dean V. Shahinian

In addition to being a loving and caring aunt involved in the life of her nephew, Ms. Jelalian played a mentoring role to the young Dean Shahinian, acquainting him with the activities and leaders of Armenian Christian and cultural organizations, many of whom she knew personally. She was a constant source of encouragement, offering advice and guidance to her nephew as he pursued his education, career, and concurrent involvement in Armenian Church affairs.

Mr. Shahinian recalls how his beloved aunt “sparked my interest in various Armenian subjects through our many discussions, buying me Armenian books to read and sending me subscriptions to Armenian publications. She made me feel comfortable and well informed about the Armenian Church, leading me to assume positions of responsibility on the Diocesan Council, as a representative on the National Ecclesiastical Assembly, and in other ways.”

It is Mr. Shahinian’s intention that through the internship and community service program sponsored in his aunt’s name, young Armenian Americans will see how their efforts and contributions are valued by the Church and community. He hopes that the program will provide them with experience and mentorship like that he received from his aunt, helping Armenian youth to feel at home and find their place in the Armenian Church and culture.

Internship / Community Service Opportunity for College and High School Students at The Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center

High School and College students in the Tri-State area who are interested in Armenian history, literature, theology, culture, arts and contemporary affairs are invited to apply to become an intern or to perform community service at the Zohrab Center this summer.

Zohrab Center interns and volunteers will assist in all manner of library and center operations, including cataloging and organizing books and other materials, digitizing rare materials, assisting with research projects and at ZIC events, and creating content for the ZIC blog and social media pages.

Zohrab Center interns and volunteers will gain valuable exposure to and experience in Armenian studies and scholarship, in Armenian literary and artistic culture, and in community outreach in an environment that is connected both to the Armenian church, scholarly world, and general community, in the heart of New York City.

Hours are flexible. Reading knowledge of Armenian is preferred but not required. Limited internships are available.

Those interested may apply by filling in the contact form below, providing information in the Statement field about their personal background, school/academic interests, prior experience with the Armenian language, and why they are interested in an internship or volunteering at the Zohrab Center and what they hope to gain from the experience.

Literary Lights: American Wildflowers by Susan Barba in conversation with Jesse Arlen

Our next Literary Lights event features poet Susan Barba, editor of American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide (Abrams Books, 2022) in conversation with Zohrab Center director Dr. Jesse S. Arlen. The event will take place on May 17, 2023 at 7:30 PM Eastern, at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) in Belmont, Massachusetts (No registration required).

Literary Lights is a monthly reading series organized by the International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA), NAASR, and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center. The series, which launched in February 2023, will be held until November in a mixed online and in-person format. You are invited to read along with the series!

American Wildflowers, edited by Susan Barba and illustrated by Leanne Shapton, is a literary anthology filled with classic and contemporary poems, essays, and letters inspired by wildflowers—perfect for writers, artists, and botanists alike.


On Pentecost Sunday, May 28th, St. Vartan Cathedral and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center will host a book presentation by author David Karamian with a piano performance and poetry recital after Badarak in Kavookjian Hall. All are welcome to attend!

In his book, Armenia – The Lone Stone, David Karamian brings a deeply personal and spiritual perspective to his Armenian heritage through breathtaking color and black-and-white photographs of the most spectacular monasteries and monuments in Armenia and Artsakh, taken over nearly two decades. While The Lone Stone can be experienced merely on a visual level, it has a multi-themed focus and is complimented by Armenia’s rugged and magnificent geography, architectural innovations, and aesthetic achievements in art, poetry, music, and literature, selections from which it contains within its pages. Armenia – The Lone Stone is a passionate love letter to Armenians everywhere, as well as an intelligent and emotionally compelling introduction to this extraordinary country, aimed at Armenians and non-Armenians alike.

David Karamian has worked and consulted for five Fortune 20 companies (United Technologies, Ford, GM, HP, and Microsoft) and has visited over 25 countries on five continents. In the mid-2000s, he was the founder and CEO of two technology firms (Siamanto and PACE). He is a part-time artist and photographer who loves history and architecture, especially in Armenia. His abstract photos have been published in the magazine Black and White Photography, and his book Armenia – The Lone Stone has been featured in Armenian Weekly, the Armenian Museum of Fresno, and the Armenian Museum of Moscow. He is the founder and CEO of NorArtGallery Publishing and is working on the second volume of The Lone Stone, as well as a book of his abstract photographs.

12 Lectures on Medieval Armenian Poetry Now on YouTube

A 12-part lecture series on Medieval Armenian Poetry delivered by Zohrab Information Center director Dr. Jesse S. Arlen is available to stream on YouTube. The series was delivered through the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary Zoom public lecture series in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023.

The scope of the series spans from the pre-Christian gusan (bardic) tradition of oral epic verse to the origin of sacred music and its various genres (sharakan, gandz, tagh, meghedi) to penitential poetry, biblical epic, laments, lyric and wisdom poetry, and the early modern ashugh (minstrel) tradition, featuring masters like Sayat Nova.

Upcoming Literary Evenings: Mar 29, Apr 3, Apr 13

We invite you to join us for three upcoming in-person literary events in New York City, the first two of which are part of the Literary Lights series organized by the International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA), the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center: Deanna Cachoian-Schanz, translator of Shushan Avagyan’s A Book, Untitled, will be in conversation with Dr. Lisa Gulesserian on March 29, and Aram Mrjoian, editor of the anthology We Are All Armenian: Voices from the Diaspora, will be joined by volume contributors Chris Bohjalian, Nancy Kricorian, Scout Tufankjian, and Hrag Vartanian on April 3.

On April 13, the Zohrab Information Center is hosting a poetry night (քերթուածի գիշեր), featuring experimental and innovative young poets reading from their original works in English and Armenian: Hrayr Varaz (Հրայր Վարազ), Alina Gregorian (Ալինա Գրիգորեան), Aram Ronaldo (Արամ Ռոնալտօ), Jesse Arlen (Ճեսի Արլէն), Lillian Avedian (Լիլիան Աւետեան), Sharisse Zeroonian (Շարիս Ծերունեան).

See below for details of time and place!