UCLA — On May 23, Professor Richard Hovannisian was named the recipient of the UCLA Eugen Weber Honors Program Distinguished Teaching Award for his years of service to the honors division. He has been singled out for his motivational teaching, especially of the Honors Comparative Genocide colloquium, which has steadily won the praise of students, who attest that the course has deeply influenced them to strive for human rights and the prevention of the crime of genocide.
The Rose Gilbert Honors Spring Tea was opened by Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Patricia A. Turner, who spoke of the excellence of teaching and student scholarship at UCLA. Assistant Vice Provost for Honors, G. Jennifer Wilson, then lauded Professor Hovannisian for his inspirational work, reading three examples of the student evaluations that described the instructor and the course in superlative terms. She invited Hovannisian to the podium to receive his award. In thanking the Honors Program, the professor reflected on the role of the late UCLA Dean of Social Sciences Eugen Weber, a world renowned historian of Western Civilization, and of Mrs. Rose Gilbert, an outstanding teacher of English at Palisades High School, where she helped develop the writing skills of Raffi, Armen, and Ani Hovannisian and then to the next generation through Raffi’s son Garin. Rose Gilbert, who was present at the awards ceremony and continued to teach into her nineties, is a major benefactor of the scholarship programs at UCLA.
Although Richard Hovannisian is now an emeritus faculty member at UCLA, he is recalled annually to interact with bright, motivated students in the comparative study of genocide, with the Armenian Genocide being one of the major subjects.