AIWALA 3 From left: Carla Khatchaturian, Vivian Kesedjian, Ani Aivazian , Zarig Youredjian and Rene Arakelian.

Armenian International Women’s Association LA Affiliate Presents Scholarship Awards at Annual Spring Luncheon


LOS ANGELES — Guests and members of the Los Angeles Affiliate of the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) gathered for the Hasmik Mgrdichian Scholarship Spring Luncheon on June 8 at the home of Jack and Zarig Youredjian. Guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and an elaborate buffet graciously hosted by Zarig Youredjian.

Nicole Nishanian, president of AIWA-LA, welcomed the guests and expressed her thanks and appreciation to Zarig Youredjian for opening up her picturesque home in this magnificent scenic setting and for her hospitality. “We are delighted to present the recipients of the 2019 Hasmik Mgrdichian Scolarship Awards and to recognize their talent, ability, and perseverance to achieve their career goals. We are also honored today to have as our Guest Speaker, our dear friend and supporter Anita Vogel, who needs no introduction and has had a distinguished career as a noted journalist and newscaster for Fox-TV. Her rise and success in the broadcast industry will justly serve as an inspiration to our young women.”

Margaret Mgrublian, vice president of AIWA-LA, presented guest speaker Anita Vogel, and reflected on her illustrious career as a news correspondent. Mgrublian pointed out that they were cousins and that they had enjoyed a longtime friendship. She reviewed Vogel’s journalism career beginning at ABC Network News in Washington, D.C. as desk assistant for “This Week with David Brinkley,” followed by WJET-TV (ABC) in Eric, PA; KCRA-TV (NBC) in Sacramento and WTLC-TV (NBC) in Jacksonville, Fla. Vogel joined Fox-News in 2001 and currently serves as a Los Angeles-based correspondent covering news stories. Mgrublian reported on the many awards Vogel has received through the years, including the Golden Mike Award for best broadcasting news coverage by a network; the Edwin R.Murrow Award; Regional Emmy Award for best newscaster; the Pennsylvania Association Broadcasters Award for best documentary; and the recipient of a RIAS Fellowship Award in 2006, a German-American Journalism Exchange Program, spending two weeks in Germany representing Fox News Channel.

Vogel captivated the guests with her remarks on her career. She focused on the years she spent pursuing her career and the many rejections she received from news stations throughout the United States. Her determination, diligence and tenacity were finally rewarded with her position at ABC Network News as Desk Assistant for This Week with David Brinkley, which was followed by associations with other network news in Pennsylvania, Sacramento and Florida. Vogel’s association with Fox-TV News began in 2001 and continues and, in her own words, she is ready with her suitcase in hand, to journey and report on the news wherever it is happening.

Standing, left to right: Hermine Janoyan, Nicole Nishanian, President, AIWA-LA, Anita Vogel, Fox-TV Newscaster, Jean Kelegian; Seated, left to right; Joan Agajanian Quinn, Lily Balian

The highlight of the afternoon’s program was the presentation by Lily Balian, chair of the Scholarship Committee, of the recipients of the 2019 Hasmik Mgrdichian Scholarship Awards. Balian introduced and presented five of the six recipients receiving $5,000 scholarships. In her remarks, Balian stated that the committee had the difficult task of selecting the recipients from the huge amount of applications that were received. Balian introduced, the following five recipients who were present:

•Nora Galoustian, currently attending UC Berkeley, majoring in molecular and cell neurobiology and minoring in disciplinary human rights; after completing her bachelor’s degree, she will be applying to medical school.

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•Meghmik Harabedian currently attends CSU Fullerton majoring in communication sciences and disorders. Upon graduation she plans to attend Loma Linda University studying to receive a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders in order to become a certified speech-language pathologist.

•Tara Rose Kessedjian, currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley, as a physics major, with her goal to attain a degree in physics, specializing in astrophysics and to continue to graduate school to again a master’s degree in astrophysics and eventually a doctorate.

•Julie Poladian, currently a graduate student at UCLA in her second and final year majoring in the Teacher Education Program and will graduate with a master’s degree in education. As a resident she will be a full-time elementary school teacher in the L.A. United School District., while continuing to work on her Master’s Inquiry Project.

•Grace Raphaella Vertanessian, currently a sophomore at UCLA, majoring in economics, focusing on finance and international economics; with a minor in French, concentrating on writing and speaking skills and business culture.

•Tatevik Kechiyants, who was not present, received her bachelor’s degree in linguistics from YSLU, Armenia. She currently is a graduate student in her first year at the LLM program at USC Gould School of Law, specializing in American Law, arbitration and mediation.

The five recipients who were present enthralled the guests with their words of thanks and appreciation for receiving the awards.


In her closing remarks, Nicole Neshanian, President of AIWA-LA, thanked everyone for being present and stated that the proceeds from this event would benefit the Women’s Shelter Program in Armenia. Nishanian expressed her thanks to Zarig Yaredjian for also making a generous donation to the Women’s Shelter Program.

For further information regarding AIWA-LA, contact AIWA-LA at

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