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For as long as he can remember, government and law graduate Alex Karapetian ’04 has been deeply connected to the Armenian community. He attended an Armenian school in Los Angeles for eight years, visited Armenia, and is fluent in the language.

As grassroots assistant director and internship program manager for the Armenian Assembly of America, he faces the challenge of motivating Armenian Americans to become involved in their communities at the grassroots level and advocate for key issues to their elected public officials.

The assembly’s internship program offers college-aged students the chance to work in Armenian government agencies, such as the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs. The eight-week summer experience is also designed to include meetings with government and non-governmental officials, as well as cultural and social opportunities.

While at Lafayette, Karapetian interned for Pennsylvania Congressman Pat Toomey as part of the Armenian Assembly’s internship program in Washington, D.C. In 2003, he served as summer intern coordinator, organizing all aspects of the internship program involving public events and the coordination of housing, transportation, logistics, and scheduling.

“When I returned to Lafayette to start my senior year, I began to talk to some classmates of Armenian descent on issues pertinent to our community,” Karapetian explains. “I noticed they began to appreciate debating and exchanging views. I figured if I can make an impact on a few college students, I could definitely make an impact on a national level.”

He has earned the support of lawmakers on various bills and resolutions impacting Armenia or the Armenian American community.

“I attribute my success today to Lafayette and the incredible professors I came into contact with throughout my four years,” Karapetian says. “Two particular professors that made an impact on me and motivated me to pursue my career in public service were Katalin Fabian [assistant professor of government and law] and Javad Tavakoli [associate professor and head of chemical engineering] . . ..They are both an asset to Lafayette.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles