LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder last week announced the initial appointments to the Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education. The council consists of 15 members appointed by the governor.
The Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education was created to promote, within schools and the general population of Michigan, implementation of genocide education by identifying strategies for providing and enhancing genocide education to students and identifying programs and resources to train teachers in providing genocide education.
“It is incredibly important that future generations of students understand the impact that genocide has had on this world. This council will be instrumental in assessing and advising schools on how we can educate Michigan students on this topic,” Snyder said.
- Robin Axelrod of Ann Arbor is founder and principal of Axelrod Consulting and education director of the Holocaust Memorial Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Judaic studies and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan as well as a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.
- Edmond Y. Azadian of West Bloomfield retired as an executive administrator at Masco Corporation in 2012. He has a degree in business administration from the American University in Beirut, studied English and American Literature at Northeastern University in Boston, and Near Eastern Studies at Wayne State University. Azadian is an advisor to the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum, advisor from the Diaspora to the Ministry of Culture of Armenia, and Director of Publications for Baikar and the Armenian Mirror-Spectator. His books include Portraits and Profiles and History on the Move. He is the senior columnist at the Mirror-Spectator.
- B. Scott Durham of East Lansing is a Lakeview High School teacher. He was named an American Memory Fellow by the Library of Congress, and has partnered with the United States National Holocaust Museum and the Jim Crow Museum. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University, a master’s degree from Aquinas College, and is a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University.
- Corey Harbaugh of Gobles is the director of teaching and learning at Fennville Public Schools. He also is a regional educator/teacher fellow of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a master teacher of the USC Shoah Foundation and a participant and satellite leader of the Memorial Library Holocaust Educators Network. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University.
- Nelson Hersh of Orchard Lake is an orthodontist at Hersh Beattie Orthodontic. He is a member of the West Bloomfield School Board, sits on the Holocaust Memorial Center board of directors and is a member of the International Alliance to End Genocide. Hersh holds a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of dental surgery from the University of Michigan and holds a master’s degree from Saint Louis University Medical Center.
- Cindy Hughey of East Lansing is the executive director of Hillel The Foundation for Jewish Student Life at Michigan State University. She also is the architect and executive director of the Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.
- Corinne Khederian of Bloomfield Township is the assistant to Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. She also serves as a member of the Armenian Genocide Education Committee and the Facing History and Ourselves Committee which is responsible for hosting educational workshops for Michigan teachers interested in learning and teaching about genocide. Khederian holds a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Binghamton and a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law.
- Lara Nercessian of Royal Oak is an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Wayne County Persecutor’s Office. She also serves as the vice chair of the Armenian Relief Society, is a member of the Michigan Chapter of the Armenian National Committee and is a member of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Greater Detroit. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a law degree from Wayne State University.
- Richard Norsigian of Farmington Hills is an adjunct professor at Madonna University. He is a member of the Armenian Genocide Education Committee, an active member of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America Diocesan Council. Norsigian holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University, a master’s degree in education administration from Southern Illinois University, and an education specialist degree from Wayne State University.
- Ara Sanjian of Dearborn is a professor of Armenian and Middle Eastern History and also serves as the director of the Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He holds a master’s degree from Yerevan State University Armenia and a Ph.D. in modern Middle Eastern history from the University of London.
- Lori Talsky of Bloomfield Hills recently retired as an attorney after 20 years with the Maddin Hauser law firm. She founded and is a consultant to the Center for International Human Rights at MSU Law School. Talsky is currently a member of the Henry Ford Health System Neuroscience Advisory Board and the Wayne State Medical School Board of Visitors. She holds a degree from York University, a degree from the University of Toronto, and a law degree from Michigan State University Detroit College of Law.
- Michael Walenta of Grand Rapids is the general manager for WGVU Public Media at Grand Valley State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and cinematic arts and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University.
- Kenneth Waltzer of Haslett previously served as the executive director of the Academic Engagement Network and the director of Jewish Studies at the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University and both a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
- Yosef Weingarten of Grand Rapids is a rabbi and director of the Chabad House of Western Michigan. Chabad House of Western Michigan provides the education and means to promote Jewish awareness, knowledge, and practice through outreach, education, and social services ensuring Jewish continuity. Weingarten studied at The Rabbinical College of America.
- Lori Weisberg of West Bloomfield is a docent at the Holocaust Memorial Center and is a board member of the Women’s Philanthropy for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Detroit.
Members will serve two-year terms expiring on August 26, 2018.