LOS ANGELES — The Armenian Mirror-Spectator is expanding its coverage of the community in the Greater Los Angeles area, home to the largest concentration of Armenians in the world.
Helping the Mirror-Spectator in this endeavor are a trio of writers, Taleen Babayan, Monique Svazlian Tallon and Michael Melkonian.
(Kevork Keushkerian, a Tekeyan member, covers many of the group’s activities at the Beshgetourian Center Hall in Altadena.)
• Taleen Babayan, a longtime correspondent for the newspaper in the New York-New Jersey area, earned an MS degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and a BA in history and international relations from Tufts University. She currently serves as the associate director of communications, development and stewardship at the American University of Armenia in Los Angeles. She volunteers for countless Armenian organizations, including the Tekeyan Cultural Association, Armenian Network of America and the Armenian Radio Hour of New Jersey. The first play she wrote, directed and produced, “Where Is Your Groom?” (Pesad Oor Eh) and its sequel touched upon the themes of assimilation and cultural identity through satire while speaking to audience’s hearts and minds as the 25-person Armenian cast and crew performed for 15 Armenian-American communities in sold-out shows across the country. Another play she wrote, directed and produced, “From Sacred Wrath,” focuses on an Armenian-American family who shares mixed emotions during the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. This play was also well-received, performed to two sold-out audiences at the Davenport Theatre in Manhattan and named Honorable Mention in the ADAA’s William Saroyan Playwriting Prize. Other projects include her short film, “Basbousa,” shot on location in Paterson, NJ, which was accepted into the Indie Street Film Festival and Atlantic City Cinefest as well as the selection of her play “Thirty,” for the Theater for the New City’s New City New Blood reading series in New York City. She has worked in communications, research and development for New York City-based non-profits and has published widely in print and digital media.
• Monique Svazlian Tallon is a first-generation Armenian-American born in San Francisco, CA. She is a Women’s Leadership Expert, Executive Coach and the CEO of Highest Path Global, focused on diversity & inclusion training inside organizations. Monique is also the author of Leading Gracefully: A Woman’s Guide to Confident, Authentic and Effective Leadership. Having lived and worked internationally, her unique worldview is progressive, curious, and well-balanced. She currently lives in Glendale, CA where she is very active in the Armenian community.
- Michael Melkonian, from Los Angeles, is a freshman at Glendale Community College who is majoring in political science and economics, hoping to one day make positive changes through public policy. With a passion for politics and history, Michael has been interning in the political arena since his junior year of high school, which included Brian Mast’s Congressional Campaign, Marco Rubio’s Senatorial Campaign, and Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign. For the past year and a half, Michael has been interning for high profile political consulting firm, Majority Strategies, and is currently working with their clients for the 2018 Midterm Elections.