WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Terjenian-Thomas Assembly Summer Internship Program in our nation’s capital completed nearly four decades of providing opportunities for Armenians across the globe, with this summer’s class hailing from the United States, Armenia, and Belgium.
“The Armenian Assembly of America’s internship program gave me the opportunity to reconnect with the Armenian-American community while at the same time acquainting myself with the political process through my placement with Congressman Frank Pallone,” said Robert Arzoumanian, a student from Brown University who grew up in Yerevan.
Participants interned with Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chair Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), as well as the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly), the Armenian National Institute (ANI), and the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
As part of the Capital Ideas and Lecture Series, the 2016 intern class met with Members of Congress, including newly appointed Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Armenian Caucus Vice Co-Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA). In addition, the interns met with the Republic of Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Grigor Hovhannissian and discussed current developments as well as their future involvement in the Diaspora.
The interns also attended events around D.C., such as the Voice of America’s 60th Anniversary of the Armenian Service, the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival, and the American Hellenic Institute and American Hellenic Caucus’ Commemoration of the 42nd Year of Occupied Cyprus, where they met the Cypriot Ambassador to the U.S., along with discussions at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Russian Violations of Borders, Treaties, and Human Rights, the Brookings Institution talk on Turkey after the coup attempt, and a briefing held by Politico on national security and cybersecurity.
The students had the opportunity to learn more about their cultural heritage and the Armenian Genocide in conversations and lectures with ANI Director Dr. Rouben Adalian, Smithsonian Institution Guest Scholar Dr. Harutyun Marutyan, and Library of Congress Armenian and Georgian Specialist Dr. Levon Avdoyan. The students also explored Washington with special tours of the Capitol, State Department, and White House.
“My internship at the Armenian National Institute helped me realize that working towards the recognition of the Armenian Genocide makes a difference for the Armenian community,” stated Nadya Movsisyan, an intern from Belgium. “The Capitol Hill visits and Lecture Series educated me on the Assembly’s leading role in advancing the Armenian cause. I had the opportunity to talk and get to know people who can have a meaningful impact on important policy objectives,” she added.
The 2016 Assembly Terjenian-Thomas Summer Interns included Andrew Adalian, Robert Arzoumanian, Diana Atanesyan, Edward Barsoumian, Eduard Hovsepyan, Joann Khaloyan, and Nadya Movsisyan. This summer’s internship program was led by Assembly Intern Coordinator Mariam Khaloyan.
“As the Assembly’s 2016 Summer Internship Program Intern Coordinator, I wanted to make sure the interns had the best experience here in Washington just as I had the year before,” Intern Coordinator Khaloyan said. “Since they arrived, I set up nonstop meetings, events, and tours around the capital and continued the conversation even when the day was done. This is such a great internship program, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to return.”
Founded in 1977, the Assembly Summer Internship Program was the first internship program offered by an Armenian organization in the U.S. The eight-week summer program is designed to provide college students of Armenian descent the chance to live and work in the nation’s capital while taking part in a full schedule of educational, social, and cultural activities.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a 501©(3) tax-exempt membership organization.
Photo Caption 1: The Terjenian-Thomas Assembly Summer Interns meeting with the Republic of Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States Grigor Hovhannissian at the Armenian Embassy.
Photo Caption 2 (L-R, clockwise): The Armenian Assembly of America interns and staff meeting with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Vice Co-Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chair Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).