Welcome to The Scholars’ Circle

Producers: Maria Armoudian (host), Doug Becker (host), Ankine Aghassian & Melissa Chiprin
contact us : host (at) scholarscircle.org

The Scholars’ Circle is a weekly production. Our library contains interviews from 2011 to present.

Below are our 10 most recent recordings.



Scholars’ Circle -Discerning facts from fiction on the internet; Forces and means of preventing Genocide – April 11, 2021

The great promise of the internet to provide interconnectedness and the spread of great ideas has brought great challenges in discerning facts from fiction. Our guest discusses ways we can identify misinformation and disinformation. [ dur: 27 mins. ]

  • Damaso Reyes is a freelance journalist and a researcher, speaker and trainer in the field of media and information literacy.

Then, April is a notorious month for genocide and mass human rights abuses. We will analyze the forces of genocide and the means of preventing genocide. [ dur: 27mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Managing Pandemic in Brazil and Mexico; Kenyan Entrepreneur adapting to aid during pandemic – April 4, 2021

The effects of the Covid Pandemic are particularly devastating across the Global South.  Two of the largest nations in Latin America, Mexico and Brazil, have some similarities but key differences in their responses to the pandemic.  We explore these two nations. Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 39mins. ]

We explore the pandemic in Kenya and a company in Nairobi that has developed a creative model to aid vulnerable populations. [ dur: 19mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Yemini War and humanitarian crisis; Secret Heroes Who Shaped the World – March 28, 2021

The Yemeni War has created the world’s largest humanitarian disaster. Over 80% of the population is at risk, with particular vulnerabilities to children. And the Covid pandemic has worsened conditions. What are the causes of the war? Why is it not ending? And how can it be resolved? Hosted by Doug Becker.  [ dur: 43mins. ]

Then, secret heroes. We know the role of presidents and other leaders in shaping history, however we hear little about the unsung heroes; many who have risked their lives to liberate and rescue others. Who might some of those secret heroes be?  Hosted by Maria Armoudian.[ dur: 14mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Rise of Anti-Asian hate crimes and Leading the US Department of Justice – March 21, 2021

Anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise since the outbreak of Covid. What is at its root? [ dur: 29mins. ]

To report a hate incident and for more information visit https://stopaapihate.org/

A new Attorney General will lead to new priorities. How should Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice confront hate crimes and terrorism? [ dur: 27mins. ]

  • Chuck Rosenberg is a senior counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group. He served as the Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (2015 to 2017) and as the Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to FBI Director Jim Comey (2013 to 2015). He is the host of the podcast on MSNBC called The Oath.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Role of Attorney General at US Department of Justice and Necessary push towards elimination of Nuclear Weapons – March 14, 2021

Who does the Attorney General work for? What has led to the increasing control of the Department of Justice by the Presidency.[ dur: 29mins. ]

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is now in force. What does this mean for the future of nuclear armament? Can an international treaty lead to the removal of the nuclear threat to the planet? [ dur: 29mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Addressing Institutional Racism and Genocide – March 7, 2021

With the world facing multiple crises, we speak with three preeminent scholars from psychology, anthropology and philosophy about the crossroads before us and ways that we can navigate them for the betterment of humanity. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Facts and Myths of Poverty in USA – February 28, 2021

What are our assumptions about poverty in America? How much of it is just mistaken? How do the assumptions we make influence the policies we adopt? We explore these assumptions and the realities. Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – The Future of the Republican Party – February 21, 2021

The Republican Party is at a crossroads. Parties that lose presidential election frequently reconsider their trajectories and their political messaging. How much will the party be determined by the politics and policy of the last four years? How much will it try to reconceptualize and rebrand itself for the 2022 and 2024 elections? We discuss the future of the Republican Party. Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Impeachement of Donald Trump and President Biden’s immigration policy – February 14, 2021

What is the future of impeachment as a constitutional tool after the Second Trump Impeachment Trial? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 33mins. ]

How will Biden change American immigration policy? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 25mins. ]

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Military Coup snatches away young democracy from people of Myanmar-Burma – February 7, 2021

The Burmese military has again overthrown the democratic government in Myanmar. What is the future of the government and how should democracy advocates respond? We discuss how international actors committed to democracy in Myanmar should use their influence to counter the military coup. Also, Burma has been a nation of trauma. We look at how the coup continues this pattern. Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Seinenu M. Thein-Lemelson is Visiting Scholar in the Anthropology Department at UCLA and a senior research scientist for the Foundation for Psychocultural Research (FPR). She is the author of forthcoming book chapter Healing Our Sacrifice: Trauma and Translation in the Burmese Democracy Movement and her forthcoming book is entitled, Naingkyin: Body of Sacrifice, Spirit of Resilience.
  • Kosal Path is Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Master’s Program in International Affairs and Global Justice at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He is the author of the book Vietnam’s Strategic Thinking During the Third Indochina War.
  • Jonathan Lijeblad is Senior Lecturer at Australian National University. He’s the author of the forthcoming book chapter The Prospects for Amending Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution in its Transition to Democracy and Democracy, Rule of Law, & Legal Ethics Education: Directing Lawyers to Support Democratization in Myanmar.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.