03.24.09

Dr. Sonya Mkryan Named a "Woman of the Year" in the 29th Congressional District

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Dr. Sonya Mkryan Named a “Woman of the Year” in the 29th Congressional District

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday at a reception in Pasadena, Representative Adam Schiff honored Dr. Sonya Mkryan for her commitment and service to Altadena by naming her a “Woman of the Year.” 

“Sonya’s life story is a testament to the tenacity and generosity of the human spirit, and her steadfast dedication and selfless service are an invaluable addition to the legacy of Women’s History Month,” said Schiff.

Sonya was born in Sanjak, the French mandate of Syria, and emigrated at age ten to Soviet Armenia with her parents and three siblings. By the time she traveled from Armenia to the United States with her husband and three children in 1979, she had obtained a PhD in Technical Studies and worked for two decades as a scientist and researcher at the Armenian Academy of Sciences. Her first job in America was as a mechanical inspector for Robertshaw Industrial Products.

As an educator and geophysicist, Sonya has taught in the Pasadena Unified School District was a professor of physics at Polytechnic Institute. For the past twenty-three years she has contributed her knowledge and experience to the County of Los Angeles’ Department of Public Social Services in hopes of serving society for the better.

A woman of multiple talents, Sonya is also an artist and a writer. Over the last twenty years she has held several solo shows and has actively participated in many group exhibitions. Aside from scientific articles published in the Russian, she has published six books of poetry and short stories: five in Armenian and the sixth in English. She is a member of the Armenian Writers Union of California and is an honorable member of the International Society of Poets.

Every March, during Women’s History Month, Rep. Schiff honors one outstanding woman from each of the communities in the 29th Congressional District.  These women come from all walks of life and represent the thousands of women who make a positive impact in our region.  While there are no specific criteria for nomination, Rep. Schiff looks for women who — through their work or volunteerism — have improved the quality of life for our community.

Rep. Schiff represents California’s 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.