Celebrating the Class of 2022
In the coming days, FresnoStateNews.com will highlight the stories of inspiring students who will be graduating this spring. The opening ceremonies of the eight colleges and schools of the University as well as several celebrations of affinity will take place on May 20 and 21. commencement.fresnostate.edu for more details.

Arthur Khachatrian

Arthur Khachatrian still remembers the words his mother said to him when she dropped him off for the first day of kindergarten.

“No matter what happens or what you go through, don’t forget that you are Armenian. Be strong, be fearless, but always be kind and work hard,” he recalled saying.

Khachatrian, whose parents immigrated from Armenia’s Shirak province to the United States in the mid-1990s, took those words to heart. In fact, they served as motivation throughout his academic journey. As he prepares to walk across the stage at the Fresno State College of Health and Human Services at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 at the Save Mart Center, those words will hold a deeper meaning.

Khachatrian is in the process of earning his master’s degree in communication science and deaf studies, with a specialization in speech therapy. He also holds the distinction of being a Dean’s Medal candidate for the college.

“I never imagined that the shy kid who didn’t speak English would be here 20 years later as a candidate for such a great honor,” Khachatrian said, still in disbelief.

From learning the intricate nuances of the English language to helping others rediscover their own language, Khatchatrian’s journey has been one of determination, but also a genuine desire to help others. to improve their lives.

When he came to Fresno State as a freshman, he didn’t have that career in mind. In fact, he didn’t even know it existed. Like many other students exploring higher education, Khachatrian changed majors a few times before learning about speech therapy from a family friend.

“I checked out and took a few introductory courses and ended up falling in love with the field,” Khachatrian said. “But I didn’t realize you had to go to college to become a licensed speech-language pathologist. So, towards the end of my bachelor’s program, I was like, ‘OK, well, I guess I have to get my master’s degree now.’ I knew from the beginning that this was where I had to be.

While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in the same field at Fresno State, and now through the two-year graduate program, Khachatrian noticed a trend. He is the only male student in his cohort of 20 graduates. Even at his clinical sites, he has noticed how the profession is dominated by women.

According to a study published in Teaching and learning in science and communication disordersmen represent only 3.7% of the workforce of speech therapists.

Khachatrian says this only strengthens his passion for the field.

“I don’t know why there aren’t more men in this field,” Khachatrian said. “It’s the coolest profession ever, but I’ll say it’s pretty awesome to be surrounded by strong women in this field. As a man, I feel like seeing all these powerful women just inspires me to do a better job.

At Fresno State, Khatchatrian was a clinical student for three semesters at the Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, where he worked with children and adults to improve their language, cognition and social skills. Along the way, he participated in The LOUD Crowd, a group therapy program for people with Parkinson’s disease.

“I see Arthur as a blessing to his future patients and their families,” said Dr. Brooke Findley, assistant professor of speech-language pathology at Fresno State. “His thoughtful and compassionate nature will be of real benefit to him when he enters this helping profession.”

Khachatrian’s core service extends beyond the clinic and the classroom and onto campus. Throughout his time at Fresno State, he served as president, vice president, and treasurer of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association and even recently represented Fresno State at the College Bowl, held at the California Speech, Language and Hearing Convention in Pasadena, testing their knowledge and expertise in the field.

Khachatrian’s dedication has earned him numerous scholarships, including the Trinity Health-Saint Agnes Medical Center Scholarship, specific to graduate students, which has given him the peace of mind to pursue his studies and extracurricular activities without worrying about additional expenses. in books and other school supplies.

Now, as he officially enters the profession, Khachatrian said the intimate and personal nature of the speech-language pathology field is something he will treasure most.

“We can help patients with their memory and thinking skills and even help them with swallowing and eating techniques, which is something so sensitive and sacred for an individual,” Khatchatrian said. “These are things that many of us take for granted, so being able to help our patients eat and drink again, or remember their granddaughter’s name, is huge. That’s all.