Clark University Names Simon Payaslian as Armenian Studies Chair

WORCESTER–Mass.–Clark University has appointed Simon Payaslian–Ph.D. as the first recipient of the Robert Aram & Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephan & Marian Mugar Endowed Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies. Payaslian will join the university’s highly acclaimed Ph.D. program in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies and will teach modern Armenian History and the Armenian Genocide this fall.

Payaslian received his bachelor’s–master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Wayne State University in Detroit–MI. He most recently served as a teaching fellow and will receive his second Ph.D. next month from the Department of History at UCLA where he focused on Armenian History–US diplomatic history–British Empire and the Middle East. He is the author of "The Armenian Genocide–1915-1923: A Handbook for Students and Teachers."

"We are pleased that Dr. Payaslian will join our faculty of esteemed scholars and will help us educate our students about the Armenian Genocide," said Deborah Dwork–Rose Professor and Founding Director of the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. "It is critically important to study different genocides so we can uncover patterns preceding the onslaught of mass violence. We hope this will help us identify their repetition early. Our aim is the prevention of such atrocities in our own time–and in the future."

The Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History and Armenian Genocide Studies was established in October 2001 by Carolyn Mugar and her (late) husband John O’Connor–a Clark University trustee and graduate of the Class of 1978. It resides in the university’s History Department and is part of the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. It is the third endowed chair in the Center–joining the Rose Professor of Holocaust History and the Strassler Professor of Holocaust History.

The Chair is named in honor of Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian; and Carolyn Mugar’s parents–Stephan and Marian Mugar. Robert Aram Kaloosdian graduated from Clark University in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree. He is a lawyer in Watertown–Mass.–and is active in Armenian affairs.

Kaloosdian believes the new Chair will "help ensure a permanent intellectual stimulus for the study of the Armenian Genocide and Modern Armenian History."

Clark University is a private–co-educational liberal arts research university with 2,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students. Since its founding in 1887 as the first all-graduate school in New England–Clark has challenged convention with innovative programs such as the International Studies Stream–the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the five-year BA/MA programs with the fifth year tuition-free.

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