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About Us

The UC Berkeley Armenian Student Association cultivates a spirit of appreciation toward Armenian history, heritage, and culture through active cultural functions, historical and political awareness, as well as, social and recreational events. It strives to create an association where Armenians and non-Armenians alike can come together, without any outside political affiliations and/or influence.

Executive Board 2014-15



Karineh Minissian

Major: Rhetoric


Vice President

Armen Mardirossian

Major: Political Science


Cultural Chair


Maria Elvajyan

Major: Social Welfare



Social Chair


Raffi Margossian

Major: Applied Mathematics and Statistics



Public Relations Chair


Sareen Habeshian

Major: Undeclared



Gohar Abrahamyan

Major: History and English





Ricky Philipossian

Major: Chemical Biology



Rafayel Mkrtchyan

Major: Computer Science



Varak Ghazarian

Major: Molecular and Cell Biology



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1. Van Ajemian - August 20, 2012

Bari yereko, UCB ASA.

A charity with which I am working is looking to fill paying positions on the executive team of an innovative social enterprise whose work could include considerable funding for sustainable development in Armenia. Is there somebody in UCB ASA whom I could speak about the possible interest of Armenian students in leading in a national social enterprise? Thank you. Van Ajemian, JD, Montebello, CA, vanajemian@hotmail.com, 323.803.8960

2. Nancy Mazmanian - September 13, 2012

I have recently acquired two DVDs (150 minutes) of an interview my now-deceased grandmother did with the Zoryan Institute about her genocide experiences. The entire interview was spoken in Armenian but, unfortunately, I do not speak the language and I am unable to understand what she is saying. I am not exactly sure what specific Armenian language she spoke but she was born in Sivas, Turkey so it may be considered “western” Armenian. I am inquiring if there is anyone at USC who would be able to transcribe the DVDs and provide a written translation of this interview? We would be willing to pay someone for this service. I appreciate your response. Thank you

3. Lisa Manning - February 15, 2013


We’d like your group to know about a terrific upcoming concert : the Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble on Saturday, February 23 @ the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. Student tickets are half-price. Details are here:



4. Eve Thomas - February 25, 2013

Dear UC Berkeley Armenian Student Association staff,

The armenian-american alternative band Deleyaman will be performing live at the La Pena Cultural Center on Thursday April 18, 2013. As we were unable to find an email contact address on your site, I’ve pasted the press release for the concert below.

We would very much like to notify the UC Berkeley Armenian Student association and their families about this very unique and one time event.
Also, could you possibly provide us with a phone contact number so as to speak to you about this event which will take place in Berkeley ?

Kind Regards,
Eve Thomas


For Immediate Release – February 25, 2013
Press Contact / Eve Thomas
email ttorecords@ymail.com



The independent-ambient-experimental band Deleyaman founded in 2000 by the armenian-american musician and multi-instrumentalist Aret Madilian, will be performing live at La Pena Cultural Center on Thursday April 18, 2013 at 8 pm.

Their unique, emotional and enigmatic sound and the divers cultures of the three Deleyaman band members allow them to create an inspiring music which is as profound as it is universal.

Deleyaman is the first alternative band to have included the rare and haunting ancient armenian wind instrument called the “duduk” as a permanent instrument in their compositions.

Their musical influences are vast. From anatolian music to ambient, experimental and coldwave, their ethereal and otherworldly sound offers something far beyond the music heard in mainstream rock or pop genres.

Deleyaman’s first three albums have often been likened to Dead Can Dance’s work. Music journalists have mentioned the Velvet Underground, the minimalistic side of Erik Satie, Pink Floyd and Krautrock bands upon hearing a piece of music or a passage from Deleyaman.

What is certain is that Deleyaman’s band members don’t seem to get sidetracked by trends. They follow their own creative path while shaping their sincere and authentic sound. They have released five eclectic albums to date in Europe and in the U.S. defying the narrow vision of single genres.

Deleyaman shows are often inspiring and emotionally charged. They will be at La Pena Cultural Center on Thursday April 18th to perform a special set of songs from their new and upcoming album entitled “The Weight of Things” which will be released in the fall.

For concert and ticket information, contact La Pena Cultural Center at 510-849-2568

La Pena Cultural Center 3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA



5. Sonia Parnoutsoukian - April 15, 2013

Hello; I was perusing this website and am very interested in this association. I will be coming to Berkeley in the fall of 2013 (quite soon).Is there any way I can receive more information about this? Thank you.

6. John Chookasian - June 30, 2013

UC Berkeley – ASA
Ms. Talar Kaklian, President
Ms. Yeva Papayan-Yeganyan, Cultural Chair

Dear fellow Armenians and ASA members,

I hope this finds you and your ASA members of UC Berkeley in the best of health.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you and your ASA
to our ‘Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble,’ for a proposed traditional Armenian concert program in the future for the students, faculty and for the general public at large; by our conservatory graduate artists, performing on acoustic folk instruments, indigenous to the Armenians for millennia.

lso, it would be great to involve the local PBS TV station to advertise the proposed Armenian concert event from CSU, Fresno. I have a 6 minute PBS TV Promo, that would need very little editing, in order to be shown by PBS TV, to the people of your community!

We would appreciate it very much, if you please consider us for an Armenian concert event in your university concert hall in the future.

We are a non-profit 501© (3) organization.
All sponsors donations will be tax-deductable.

*******On Saturday, October 12, 2013 7:00 P M, we are presenting another Armenian concert program for the general public of San Francisco, at the William Saroyan Concert Hall 825 Brotherhood Way. SF, CA.

I would appreciate it very much if you would please contact and send E-mails to other ASA’s, UC Berkeley Music & Dance Depts, Churches, Organizations, businesses, etc. in No. CA to attend and support our Armenian music and culture. Thank you very much for your efforts!

I wish to inform you that most of our highly financially successful Armenian concert programs for the past 17 years have been attended by the general American public!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our multiple award winning conservatory graduate musicians of the ‘Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble,’ from Fresno and Los Angeles, CA.

Our Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble has presented traditional Armenian Concert programs on numerous CSU Campuses throughout CA, over the past 17 years.

During our 2007 Eastern Seaboard Armenian Concert Tour, we performed for the Egg, Performing Arts Center, in Albany, NY; for the Armenians and the general public at large.

At the end of our concert presentation, Troy, NY, Mayor, Harry Tutunjian, presented us with a ‘Proclamation” stating that on September 29th, 2007, shall be proclaimed, ‘The Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble Day,’ in Troy, NY.

We also performed our Armenian Concert programs on the East Coast tours for:

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.
St. Sahag & Mesrop Armenian Church in Wynnewood, PA;
Republic of Armenia, Embassy Concert, Washington, D.C;
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY;
St. Paul’s Armenian Church fundraiser, Syracuse, NY;
Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY;
Arsenal Center for the Arts Theater, Watertown, MA;
Columbus Theater, Providence, R.I;
Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension, Trumbull, CT;
New York University, NY.

Thank you so very much for your future assistance regarding promoting our unique Chookasian Armenian Ensemble’s Armenian music, culture, it will be very much appreciated!!!!

I look forward to work with you, your ASA and other sponsors in the future.

Best wishes for good health and success in your ASA work.
I await your reply.

Sincerely yours,

John Chookasian, Artistic Director
“Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble”
(559) 213-1909

Some Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble’s Awards and Events:

The “Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble’s” was the 1st Place Winner of the “2010 International Armenian Grammy Awards” Celebration; that was held at the world-famous 7,000 seat Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, CA and our live concert CD was selected from thousands of CD submissions from around the world.

We are also Armenia’s ‘National Gold Medal Award’ Winners; T
The award was presented to us from the President of Armenia,
Mr. Robert Kocharian, after our one-month concert and festival tour.

Please type in our Chookasian Ensemble’s name on U-TUBE and see our very successful PBS, Channel 18 TV, Armenian concert program held in CSU, Fresno.
Over 2 million people in the Central Valley, CA, viewed our PBS TV Channel 18 TV broadcast of our Armenian music and culture several times! U-TUBE: Chookasian Armenian Ensemble.

The Fresno Arts Council and the Mayor Alan Autry, in Fresno City Hall, presented John Chookasian, with the ‘Artist of the Year’ Award, during the annual ‘Horizon Awards,’ celebration.

Fresno City Council President, Mr. Henry Perea, presented the ‘Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble’ with the “Key to Fresno City’ Award.

Our live concert Armenian CD’s can be purchased online at: CDBaby.com & Amazon.com

7. angela.duvalyan - July 4, 2013

Dear John Chookasian,
My name is Angela and I will be the upcoming webmaster for the UC Berkeley ASA. Thank you so much for your interest and I will directly forward this to our President, Vice President and Cultural Chair. While I personally cannot make any decisions regarding the events that we organize I’m sure that the executive board will keep the Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble in mind next time we look into presenting a musical program here at Berkeley.
We wish you the same success in your endeavors.
Angela Duvalyan

8. Annie - August 29, 2013

Hello There. my daughter is attending SFSU university this fall, but it seems like they don’t offer ASA, at her school, can she join your ASA group?

9. angela.duvalyan - September 24, 2013

Yes! Any student interested in Armenia and connecting with local Armenians can join in on our events!