HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut was home to a program of music, demonstrations, a panel of renowned scholars and Armenian food on Saturday, March 30, as the University of Connecticut presented a comprehensive program and festival titled “Discovering Armenian Heritage and Culture.”
Held at the historic Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, the program drew some 150 people from Connecticut and the northeast eager to learn more about all things Armenian.
The event was sponsored by the University of Connecticut’s Office of Global Affairs and School of Social Work and was made possible by the generous support of the Alice K. Norian Endowment at the University. In 2004, Alice K. Norian bequeathed more than $500,000 to restart Armenian studies at the University of Connecticut. The bequest included funds to be dedicated to an annual lecture on Armenia, which would be open to the public as well as the University community.
The program began with a welcome by Dr. Nina Rovinelli Heller, dean of the UConn School of Social Work, who co-chairs the committee along with Daniel Weiner, vice president for Global Affairs.
Heller reviewed some of the history of bringing Armenian students to UConn and welcomed visiting faculty and students in social work from Yerevan State University. She also reviewed other joint programs including archeology social work and agriculture between the two universities.
During the first segment of the morning program, Yerezkin Maggie Stepanian gave a demonstration on making Armenian string cheese, with samples for all and Prof. Mari Firkatian of the University of Hartford discussed her new book, Home Again: Armenian Recipes from the Ottoman Empire.