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South Florida Armenian Students Participate in Summer Internships

By Taniel Koushakjian
FLArmenians Managing Editor

Instead of taking the summer off, five South Florida Armenian students are working in a variety of industries to advance their careers. From finance to international relations to law, Florida’s Armenian American youth are growing fast and branching out across America.

Mariam Grigoryan

Mariam Grigoryan

Mariam Grigoryan, a Boca Raton native and senior at the University of Florida (UF), is currently a legal intern in the Broward County Public Defender office in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Under the director of Public Defender Howard Finkelstein Grigoryan’s work will focus on indigent defense. Grigoryan looks to graduate with a double major in Political Science and Criminology, as well as a minor in Business Administration. She plans to attend law school in the fall of 2015.

Gevork Sarkisian

Gevork Sarkisian

Boca Raton resident and Queens, New York native, Gevork Sarkisian, is also pursuing his career in the legal field. A second year law student at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Sarkisian is currently interning with the law firm Kanner and Pintaluga, P.A. in Delray Beach, Florida. Sarkisian received his B.A. in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Following his internship, Sarkisian plans to visit Washington, DC to “explore new opportunities in the legal field,” he said.

Carine Kazandjian

Carine Kazandjian

Palm Beach County native Carine Kazandjian, a communications major and commercial music minor at FAU, is spending her summer interning with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Company in West Palm Beach, Florida. The FAU junior has a passion for music and has even released a few songs of her own, available on ITunes. “I am gaining so much knowledge working with the different departments whether it is radio or promotions. The music industry is mainly what I want my future in and this internship is giving me the opportunity to learn more and more each day,” Kazandjian said.

Sarine Kazandjian

Sarine Kazandjian

Meanwhile, her twin sister, Sarine Kazandjian, is currently interning at Morgan Stanley’s Palm Beach Gardens office. A finance major with a minor focus in entrepreneurship, Kazandjian is a junior at the University of Florida.

Florida International University (FIU) junior Gevorg Shahbazyan is currently an intern in the office of the Nagorno Karabakh Representative in Washington, DC as a participant in the Armenian Assembly of America’s Terjenian-Thomas Summer Internship Program, the first student internship program offered by an Armenian organization in America. Recently, Shabazyan worked with his fellow students and FIU faculty to have the flags of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh raised in the school’s atrium. Hailing from Yerevan, Armenia, Shahbazyan studies international relations and hopes to continue his studies in graduate school and someday be a diplomat.

Gevorg Shahbazyan with Nagorno Karabakh Representative Robert Avetisyan

Gevorg Shahbazyan with Nagorno Karabakh Representative Robert Avetisyan

These young, bright, rising stars of the South Florida Armenian American community are sure to impress their friends and colleagues, while representing our community proudly in all their endeavors.

University of Florida Hillel Raises Genocide Awareness

By Gillian Stoney
Alligator Contributing Writer

The opening ceremony of the “From One Witness to Another: Genocide Awareness Series” began Sunday on Bo Diddley Community Plaza at the University of Florida (UF).

The series will continue through Wednesday as UF Hillel recognizes Genocide Awareness Month.

(Also on FLArmenians: 98th Anniversary Armenian Genocide Commemorations in Florida)

Genocide is traditionally defined as the deliberate killing of a large group of people, particularly those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

Rabbi Daniel Wolnerman, of UF Hillel, lights a candle at a memorial ceremony commemorating genocide victims on Bo Diddley Community Plaza on Sunday. April is Genocide Awareness Month. Photo courtesy Tony Sadiku, Alligator

Rabbi Daniel Wolnerman, of UF Hillel, lights a candle at a memorial ceremony commemorating genocide victims on Bo Diddley Community Plaza on Sunday. April is Genocide Awareness Month. Photo courtesy Tony Sadiku, Alligator

During the opening ceremony, UF students Sarah Pila, a 22-year-old psychology senior; Kimmie Klaiman, a 20-year-old economics and family, youth and community sciences senior; and Stefani Pila, a 22-year-old history major; read testimonies of survivors from the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide and the Cambodian genocide. UF Hillel Rabbi Daniel Wolnerman spoke about being the grandson of Holocaust survivors.

The series is an effort to inform the community of the acts of hatred that have occurred in 43 countries, Sarah Pila said.

(Also on FLArmenians: American, Turkish and Armenian Universities Participate in Joint Tourism Project)

“I think it’s very special that here at the University of Florida, we’re able to not only acknowledge the Holocaust, which affected predominantly the Jewish population, but also able to incorporate that into the larger scheme of genocide awareness,” Wolnerman said.

Five candles were lit to commemorate the billions of deaths. White ribbons were handed out to represent people lost to genocide.

“It’s important because we always say, ‘Never again,’ and it’s still happening,” said Katie Gillen, a 21-year-old UF telecommunication senior.

This story originally appeared in the Alligator and is reprinted with the permission of the author.