Richard Chackerian, Ph.D., taught and researched at Florida State University for thirty four years before his retirement in 2003. His research and teachings reflected his lifelong interest in how the large tides of history affect our institutions. Based on those findings, Dr. Chackerian began to dive deeper into how then individuals define who they are and what they value. Richard is the son of two 1920 immigrants who migrated from Western Armenia (currently Turkey) to the United States.
Ara Chackerian is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and dedicated philanthropist. Ara has more than two decades of experience in building healthcare companies. Ara’s executive level operating experience includes Chief Executive Officer of BMC Diagnostics, Executive Chairman of PipelineRx and TMS Health Solutions, as well as Executive Vice President at PSS/World Medical, an international medical products distributor.
Tania started her career as a sales manager from Brooklyn, NY. Feeling unfilled and missing the “spark” she once had, she left her job and moved to Gyumri in October 2019. After discovering the hurdles that Armenian women face everyday, she became passionate about women’s rights and education, and joined Shogher at Nor Luyce in November. Together, Shogher and Tania streamlined Nor Luyce’s operations and finances, and laid the groundwork for their strategic plan and expansion. Tania returned home to New York in March 2020 and now currently works as Operations and Development Manager for Children of Armenia Fund.
Advisory Board President
Noushig Hovhannesian was first introduced to Nor Luyce when she was a Birthright Armenia and Armenian Volunteer Corp volunteer in Gyumri, Armenia during the summer of 2010. She witnessed, firsthand, Shogher Mikaelyan’s hard work and dedication to educating the young girls of the community and introducing to them the concept of self-sufficiency. Noushig’s volunteer work with children’s institutions in Armenia helped her recognize the deep importance of Nor Luyce’s mission with at-risk adolescents. Noushig holds a BS and MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA and has applied her education to creating a 3-year strategic plan for Nor Luyce. She is a full-time commercial real estate professional in Philadelphia and a member of Philadelphia’s Artemis Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society.
Advisory Board Member
Whitney Szmodis is the Assistant Director of Fellowship Advising and United Nations Programs, and Director of the Lehigh University-United Nations Youth Representative Program at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She also serves as a representative to the United Nations on behalf of Lehigh University. The objectives of the LU/UN Youth Representative program are to build and sustain partnerships with UN-accredited NGOs that share in our core values and mission both at Lehigh and at the United Nations. Whitney works with NGOs on five continents and focuses on issues related to environmental sustainability, gender equality, health, social justice, and youth empowerment. Prior to taking this position, Whitney was the Director of Global Citizenship at Lehigh. Her research interests focus on social cognitive factors that impact girls’ and women’s career aspirations. She has also worked extensively in Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on gender equality and education in Cambodia.
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Shoghik has been the Executive Director of Nor Luyce since 2009. She is a Gyumri native, with an advanced degree in psychology. In addition to Armenian, she speaks English, Spanish, and Russian. Shoghik has received her second MA in Counseling and Human Services as a Fulbright student in Lehigh University. In her spare time, she likes to play classical piano.
Mentoring Phase Coordinator
Karine did her bachelor’s in psychology at Shirak State University, and currently, she is pursuing her MA degree in psychology at the same university. Karine joined Nor Luyce in 2018 again as a volunteer mentor to support an adolescent girl.
Karine has conflict management skills, communication skills, and public speaking skills. She is very active, initiative, responsible, and hard-working. She can work both in teams and individually. She is also very good at working in stressful situations. Karine also knows English and Russian.
Her hobbies are watching a film and reading books.
Karine’s dream is to have self-confident, knowledgeable, and initiative youth in our community.
Naira has a degree in biology and pedagogy. Currently, she is studying in the Department of Biology at Shirak State University as a Master’s student. In 2020 Naira joined Nor Luyce as a volunteer mentor to work with an adolescent girl. In 2021 thanks to her productive and hard work Naira was offered to join the Nor Luyce team. She is a very knowledgeable, smart, and empathetic person. She has skills in project coordination, teamwork, communication, and networking. Naira is also creative and likes to take initiative and work with children. She is the type of person who is not afraid of challenges. Naira’s hobbies are embroidery, cooking, listening to music, and reading books.
She is good at Armenian, Russian, and English.
Naira’s dream is to see stable, developed, goal-oriented, and self-confident young women in the community.
PR & Evaluation Manager
Arpi got her bachelor’s as a journalist at Shirak State University. Currently, she is pursuing her MA in the Service department at Yerevan State University. Arpi was a part of Nor Luyce since 2015 when she was a volunteer mentor for the first time. Since then she has served as a mentor more than 2 times.
Arpi has good organizational, communication, and networking skills. She is good at working in a team and also individually. She has a number of professional skills such as video and photo editing, web designing, visual designing, etc. She knows English and Russian. Her hobbies are photography, listening to music, and reading to explore and learn new facts and gain new knowledge.
Arpi’s goal is to have stable, self-confident, and resilient youth in our community.
Rima is a 2011 graduate of Gyumri Medical College in the nursing department. Rima has been working full time at Nor Luyce as the Financial Manager. Additional to managing Nor Luyce’s finances, Rima also recruits and processes all new members into our programs. She believes in humility and equal rights for all people, as well as the freedom to act upon one’s own dream to success.