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 his findings, Dr. Chackerian began to dive deeper into how 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, and Executive Vice President at PSS/World Medical, an international medical products distributor.
Noushig Hovhannesian was first introduced to Nor Luyce when she was a Birthright Armenia and Armenian Volunteer Corps 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 them to 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 three-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.
𝐑𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐥 𝐎𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐍𝐚𝐝𝐣𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧
Rachel has been an active contributor to several Armenian communities in the diaspora and actively engaged with efforts in Armenia for most of her life. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the Armenian International Women’s Association, brought in by the Board to lead the organization through a strategic revamping of their operations and marketing. Rachel came to AIWA after 10+ years as an Independent Consultant where she helped solve strategic marketing, fundraising, and management challenges for international and national non-profits and start-ups. Select clients included the Armenia Tree Project, the Armenian Prelacy, IDeA Foundation, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, SarkissianMason, Mamus Creative, UC Berkeley Armenian Studies Program, the Armenian Health Alliance, and the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA).
Rachel served as the first Director of Advancement at The Speyer School in NYC, where she oversaw the creation of the development and marketing departments and exceeded fundraising goals in support of the $13M budget. She previously held leadership positions at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Museum of Science, Boston University’s MBA Career Center, and Bernard Hodes Advertising in Cambridge.
Rachel currently serves on the Board of the Aleppo Compatriot Charitable Organization (ACCO) in Armenia as well as the Arlington Children’s Chorus of Virginia. Past volunteer involvement includes the Armenian Relief Society, St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral, the Hovnanian School, Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA), the Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston, the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA), the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), and Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Cambridge, MA.
Rachel received her BA in Economics and Sociology from Wellesley College and her MBA with Certification in Public/Non-Profit Management from Boston University.
Born and raised in Arlington, MA, Rachel now lives in Washington, DC and is proud to be the mother of her amazing three children: Haig, Vahan, and Nairi.
Tania started her career as a sales manager in Brooklyn, NY. Feeling unfulfilled 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 every day, she became passionate about women’s rights and education and joined Shogher at Nor Luyce that 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 works as the Operations and Development Manager for Children of Armenia Fund.
Armand had the pleasure of being introduced to Nor Luyce during his stay in Gyumri while volunteering with Birthright Armenia in the winter of 2020. During this time, he grew passionate about advancing Nor Luyce’s mission and continuing to support the growth of the organization in providing youth in Gyumri with the resources necessary to enhance their personal and professional development. As a part of the board, Armand will be responsible for Nor Luyce’s financial affairs as they look to expand their footprint within Armenia. Armand earned his B.S. in Finance from Rutgers University and currently works in healthcare financial planning and analysis in New Jersey.
Advisory Board Member
Whitney Szmodis is a community-based global educator and researcher working in community health epidemiology at St Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. Previously, she was director of the Lehigh University-United Nations Youth Representative Program and Director of Global Citizenship at Lehigh University. Her research interests focus on social cognition in both local and global contexts, as well as education and health promotion as a catalyst for individual and community thriving and resilience. Whitney serves on the advisory board for Nor Luyce Mentoring Center for Youth in Gyumri, Armenia.
Eileen Adamian is a faculty member at City College of San Francisco. She has been a language educator for over 20 years. Her areas of expertise include curriculum development, instructional technology and teacher training. In 2019, she established an English language corner in Gyumri’s public library to help provide teachers and students in the city and nearby towns access to textbooks and teaching resources and materials. As a student of history, she has always been interested in stories and storytelling. She pursues this interest through photography. She has exhibited a portrait series titled “Immigrant Narratives”, where she explores the human condition and seeks to humanize the immigrant experience.
Marissa is from Knoxville, Tennessee. She is a joint major in International Relations and Economics at Lehigh with a minor in Spanish and loves to dance in her free time. She is a UN Youth Representative and Assistant Research Intern for Nor Luyce. She represents Nor Luyce and spreads our goal of empowering young women on a variety of different platforms. She has been doing research to discover the most successful mentoring techniques and how to implement them as well as creating evaluations to assess the progress of the Nor Luyce mentees and mentors. Marissa strives to continue educating herself and others about the pressing issues young girls face.
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 received her bachelor’s in psychology at Shirak State University and is currently pursuing a MA degree in psychology at the same university. Karine joined Nor Luyce in 2018 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 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 a position on 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 a challenge.
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. She is currently pursuing an MA in the service department at Yerevan State University. Arpi has been a part of Nor Luyce since 2015, when she was a volunteer mentor for the first time. 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.