Meet Nara Alice Avakian '20, an exemplary undergraduate student in our program

Department: Armenian Studies

Post Date: May 22, 2019

News Details

Nara Alice Avakian is currently a third year sociology major. When Nara attended UC Santa Cruz, she worked with the Armenian Studies Association to pass a resolution for formal Armenian Genocide recognition. “Growing up, my heritage was never represented in the classes I took throughout my schooling,” Nara expressed. “I was lucky if I got one or two sentences in a textbook about the Armenian Genocide, which was always mistakenly undermined as a ‘massacre.’” Now, Nara is interested in establishing a wider presence for Armenians on our UCI campus: “I will always remember the way my heart fluttered when I would see Armenia labelled on a map in my world history courses. Now I experience that feeling continuously in my courses within the Armenian studies program.”

Nara gains inspiration for her solo musical project, NARA AVAKIAN, in part from Armenian folk melodies that she grew up hearing. Her new album, MOSQUITO, just debuted on Spotify! Lend her your listening ear here.

“I especially feel fortunate to be a part of the first set of Armenian language courses. There's a special, indefinable feeling felt with learning your mother tongue at your academic institution, and it's so humbling to have that experience, especially being taught by Professor Chahinian, the absolute best. I would also like to give a shout out to Professor Berberian, for not only giving out baklava at the perfect times, but for also giving me and other Armenians the chance to learn about our history in an academic setting.”

Great work, Nara!