Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Vahick Yedgarian

Everything I do today is inextricably linked to my past and our family values. Everything.

My doctorial journey began with the unconditional love, understanding, and support of my darling wife, Gillian, and our sons, Vazrick and Armond, our daughter, Emma, and my mother, Lusik Panossian. In my life I have faced and overcome challenges such as a life-threatening illness and changing family life locations to three different countries on three different continents. I have faced revolution, war, property losses, financial disasters, and difficulties, but they all made me a “tough guy”. None of these, however, made me tough enough to face my darling wife’s unexpected life-threatening illness: cancer. Despite her health condition, she supported me to continue my studies. I vividly remember sitting in her doctor’s office while the doctor explained her findings to us. All this “tough guy” could do was cry!

As in any individual or team activity/game, there must be a coach to guide the players. Otherwise, even some of the best players’ progress may stall. I am not shy to say that I work very hard at anything that I set my mind to. That is the only way that I know how to get things done. I studied hard to earn my Ph.D., but I needed a coach but not just any coach. I needed one that would assess my situation, care enough to tap into my enthusiasm and hard work, and guide me to final success. I was fortunate to have Dr. Robin Throne, the Chairwoman of my dissertation committee. Her experience, professionalism, untiring attitude in supporting and deep caring, coupled with continual words of encouragement, assisted me to get where I am, a very grateful and happy doctoral graduate. I do not believe there are words in any language that I can even remotely use to express my feelings of gratitude for Dr. Throne.

I have also been very fortunate to have the support of my dear friends and colleagues whom I have known for many years for their advice, time, resources, and support.

It is obvious that without the collective support of everybody, I probably would not have succeeded.