In an effort to share Cuesta College faculty expertise with fellow faculty, staff and the community, the college will hold a Faculty Lecture Series on February 6 titled “Genocide & The Healing Power of Recognition” from 4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. on the San Luis Obispo Campus in the Humanity Forum (room 6304).

The Armenian Genocide (1915-1917) claimed the lives of 1.5 million Armenians residing in the Ottoman Empire. Presenting the lecture is Cuesta College history instructor Elena Touryan Reynolds. A native of San Luis Obispo, Reynolds is the grandchild of Armenian Genocide survivors.

“This brutal annihilation and subsequent denial by its perpetrators has plagued survivors and their decedents for over 100 years,” said Reynolds, who holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree in history from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. “We will examine the origins of and possible motivations for the genocide, as well as how its cover-up not only paved the way for future ethnic cleansing, but has also impeded healing for countless families impacted by this tragedy.”

In 2015, on the 100th year anniversary of the genocide, Reynolds made a pilgrimage to Tsitsernakaberd, the official genocide memorial located in Yerevan, Armenia, and placed a single rose around the memorial’s eternal flame for each family member who was killed.

Space is limited. Those interested in attending the Faculty Lecture Series are encouraged to call ahead at (805) 546-3100, ext. 2659, or email

The Faculty Lecture Series is intended for faculty to present information in an area of their expertise while providing a sense of community, allowing faculty from various fields to gather and learn about other disciplines alongside staff and members of the community. The Faculty Lecture Series is cosponsored by the college’s Academic Senate and office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.