Much time has passed since my last Doers Series post. I can explain. There are these assignments in a doctoral program called course projects and they consumed me. Fifty pages and 100 sources later I emerge ready to jump back in to showcase some more amazing ‘doer’ women. In a nutshell, this series showcases women that I have observed being strong authentic leaders, while boldly pursuing their purpose in life.
The next incredible doer I feature not only emulates the elements of this series, but takes it to the next level as a do-good-er. I’ll save the build-up and tell you that she helps international orphanages, in addition to holding a dual appointment at a university as an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Loyola Marymount University Children’s Center.
I met Ani Nikogossian Shabazian on a university committee during my time at LMU. She came to meetings with a purpose, contributing energy and enthusiasm, as well as a willingness to participate. I found myself seeking her out for coffee to chat. After my first conversation with her, I realized she would be a critical resource for me as I entered my doctoral program and began to explore faculty positions.
She gave me sage advice and a supportive ear. But, what was (and is) so unique about Ani is her open heart, forceful support and encouragement, as well as keen intelligence. I left my first one on one coffee chat with her wiped clean of most self-doubt on an issue I was struggling with at the time. Almost like a really good deep tissue massage therapist, she kneaded it out of me.
Looking through my list of doers that I wanted to interview, Ani was a must have. But because she holds both an administrative leadership position and a tenure track faculty role, she is very busy. Many emails and days later, our interview was inspiring and, like every time before with her, I left with more energy and encouragement than I came. . At every turn, Ani gave generously with compliments, recognition of my past work and support for my ideas for the future. She is a cheer captain, but delivers her message like a life/business coach.
My conversations with Ani taught me a lot, many of which we can all apply and consider in our own lives:
- Friendships will keep you healthy
- Educators need both theory and practice
- It is OK to spend time with just yourself
- Practice gratitude
- Be open and opportunities will come
Please read on, by clicking page ‘2’ below!