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Therapist Earns Doctorate Working With Troubled Armenian Children

August 15, 1993|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

Therapist Sharon Aroian was recently awarded a Ph.D. from the Graduate Center for Child Development and Psychotherapy in Los Angeles after completing her work on "Diagnostic and Therapeutic Significance of Art Therapy in Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children."

Aroian spent time in Armenia four years ago helping children recover from the devastating effects of a killer earthquake.

"I arrived two months after the quake," said the Los Angeles resident. "The children had been forbidden to speak about the quake and were living in tents, broken down buildings and deserted dwellings."

Aroian tried to help the children deal with the death and destruction that loomed in their city by using art therapy. With paper and crayons, she asked the children to draw pictures reflecting their terror and confusion.

"The pictures helped them deal with their losses," said Aroian. "It was also like a window for (me)."

During her visit, Aroian studied the psychology of the children's behavior. She focused her research on the ways in which their culture dealt with stress. She found that the Armenian professionals had little experience and were overwhelmed with patients who were having problems with bed-wetting, depression and anxiety.

Born to parents who had emigrated from the former Soviet Union, Aroian grew up in Southern California. She learned to speak Armenian at the urging of her father. It was his insistence that later helped her communicate without the aide of a translator.

"You cannot reach a child through an interpreter or empathize with them," she said. "I was so blessed to go . . . if I had not known the language, I would not have had any effect."

Using data collected from her visit to Armenia, Aroian completed her dissertation and graduated this summer.

Since graduating, she has been working to get the paper translated into Armenian so that professionals there can use it as a guide. She also hopes stronger ties can be built between America and Armenia in the future.

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Los Angeles investor Arthur Levine has been appointed vice chairman of the board of advisers for the Entrepreneurial Studies Center at UCLA.

Levine, a graduate of the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, is a partner with Levine, Leichtman Capital Partners. He also earned a law degree from Columbia University Law School and has a bachelor's degree from UCLA.

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Vicki Daly Redholtz attended the National Volunteer Development Conference organized by the Youth For Understanding International Exchange.

Redholtz attend the three-day conference in Washington, D.C., last month to help establish a national volunteer system to support the organization.

She is a resident of Culver City.

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Milt Hyman was elected president of Sinai Temple at the congregation's annual meeting.

Hyman, a member of the congregation for nearly two decades, has held numerous positions with the temple. His duties as president will include overseeing daily operations, membership and fund raising.

Hyman is a tax and business attorney and a partner with the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella.

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UCLA Prof. Mostafa El-Sayed has been awarded an honorary doctor of philosophy degree by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

El-Sayed was recognized for his work on photochemistry and photobiology. He is currently directing a research project aimed at discovering how nature converts solar energy into electric energy.

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The Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the National Assn. for Advancement of Colored People competed in the Afro-American Academic Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics sponsored by NAACP.

Westside medal winners were Storling Jenkins, Brian Bonner, Joseph Gerges, Kehinde Wiley, Jamal Story and Daniel Ingram.

Students in grades 9 through 12 competed against other students from across the country. The competition was held last month in Indianapolis.

Mail items to People Column, Suite 200, 1717 4th St., Santa Monica, Calif. 90401.

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