LOS ANGELES — The growing power of mass and social media in organizational development has prompted the addition of yet another panel for Homenetmen Western U.S.A.’s Centennial Youth Forum, which will take place at Woodbury University’s Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium on Saturday, June 23, at 11 a.m. The panel will feature two exceptional media experts and professionals, who will discuss how youth can best harness media tools and platforms to grow their organizations’ causes. The panel, entitled Fusing the Future: The Power of Mass and Social Media, will be led by Emmy Award-nominated general assignment reporter for KTLA 5 News Ellina Abovian, founder and Director of New Michigan Media Hayg Oshagan and founder of Savient Studios Sevan Torossian.
“Abovian, Oshagan and Torossian bring with them years of invaluable experience in the media world,” Homenetmen Western USA Spokesperson Elen Asatryan said. “Now, more than ever, mass and social media are critical aspects of any organization. We look forward to having them share their expertise with our youth and communicating the tools they need to develop their organizations along with the more technical aspects of utilizing various social media platforms.”
Abovian earned a broadcast journalism degree from California State University, Los Angeles. Upon graduation, she worked for CBS Television and LA2DAY.com in areas of production, marketing and online publishing.
The inevitable move from the Los Angeles market took Abovian to San Luis Obispo in 2011 to work as a “one-man-band” journalist where she shot, wrote and edited her own stories, in addition to being in front of the camera.
She eventually traded the Central Coast for the Central Valley and worked in Fresno, covering the California drought, wildfires and various animal cruelty cases.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Oshagan immigrated to the United States with his parents and family in 1975. He attended the University of Pennsylvania for his bachelor’s degree, and received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He has taught at Stanford University, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and is currently a professor in the communication department at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Oshagan’s academic research is on the influence of the mass media, and on the role of ethnic and minority media. He has presented and published many papers, and has received multiple national grants for his work.
Oshagan is the founder and director of New Michigan Media, which is a collaboration of the leading ethnic and minority media in Michigan. He is also on the Detroit City Council’s Immigration Task Force, Michigan Governor Snyder’s Global Michigan Commission and was appointed by the Governor of Michigan to the Michigan Genocide and Holocaust Education Committee. He is a frequent public speaker and media commentator.
Oshagan is also a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee of the Eastern Region of the U.S., has been a member of the A.R.F. Bureau, and was editor of the Armenian Review.
Torossian is the founder of Seviant™ Studios, a full-service social, design and media studio based out of Los Angeles.
An experienced executive in the social communication field, his strengths lie in the infrastructural development and strategic execution of social media, technology, photography, design and communications system within institutions.
At Seviant™ Studios, Torossian helps clients build a digital identity, creating a portfolio and helping them reach out to customers by managing innovative campaigns ranging from digital identity creation, online engagement and brand management to socially based digital campaigns. Over the course of the last five years as Director of Information Systems and Technology Management at Operation HOPE, Torossian managed the entire technology infrastructure for over 300 employees and partners with over 1200 assets while establishing the social infrastructure for over 20 independent social identities.
Torossian was also a guest speaker as part of Glendale Tech Week. The talk, titled “The New Media Landscape,” discussed how the strategies of engaging three different audiences – customers, readers and residents — has evolved as technology and its platforms have changed.
The forum will also include previously announced panels — “Empowering the Future: Your Step For a Stronger Armenia” will feature Director of the Sosé and Allen’s Legacy Foundation Vaché Thomassian, Volunteer Public Relations Coordinator for the Hidden Road Initiative Margarita Baghdasaryan and political consultant and former ANCA-Western Region Executive Director Elen Asatryan.
“Mobilizing the Future: Elevating Your Cause Through Activism” will feature moderator Dr. Talin P. Kargodorian, currently principal of Vahan and Anoush Chamlian Armenian School; former Armenian Youth Federation Central Executive member Joseph Kaskanian; Founding Board Member of the Homenetmen Youth Committee Varand Avanesian; Hyer United Board Member Meher Khechadori; Bridge of Health President Robert Agaverdian; and All-Armenian Student Association Advisor to the Executive Board Ripsime Biyazyan. A Mix and Mingle Social will follow the forum at Alumni Quad on the green.
The Youth Forum is part of a series of events for Homenetmen Western Region’s centennial anniversary. Additional details on the forum and other panels are forthcoming.
The forum will be followed by an innovative, historical exhibition — open to the public on September 16; an all-day street festival on the same day of the exhibition opening; the Navasartian Games and Festival from July 3–7; and a Victory Ball on July 1. Centennial activities will conclude with the official Centennial Celebration Programs scheduled for October 5 in Northern California and October 28 in Southern California at Glendale High School.
The Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts — referred to as Homenetmen — is a 501 (C)3 non-profit organization founded in 1918, which has to date served more than 800,000 youth in five continents. Homenetmen Western Region currently has 19 chapters. It is the largest Armenian athletic and scouting organization in the United States.