I was born in Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. By nationality I'm Armenian. All of my formal education was in Russian, since it was the main language of international communication in the former USSR. After I graduated from high school, I served in the Soviet Army (1975-1977). From 1978 to 1983, I attended Yerevan State University, which is located in the capital of Armenia. I majored in philology, which allowed me to pursue my interest in Russian and Western-European culture and literature and to continue my studies of the Russian language, literature and linguistics. I also studied pedagogy, which prepared me to teach Russian language and literature. In 1983 I defended my thesis "The Moral and Psychological Aspects of the Novels of A. Aleksin," and graduated from the university with the equivalent of an M.A. degree in Russian Philology.
After graduation, I started working as a teacher of Russian language and literature in the high school system. Due to political turmoil in Georgia, I was forced to flee to the city of Sochi in Russia, where I continued teaching until I emigrated to the U.S.A. in May 1992. At the time I arrived in the U.S.A., I was fluent in 3 languages: Russian, Armenian and Georgian and I also was able to communicate in French and Polish.
I currently teach first- and second-year Russian. In 2009 I became the Russian Club advisor. This club organizes many activities and gives students in the Russian section a chance to practice their conversational skills and socialize.