The producer of the film, Dr. Susie Kalinian, was born in Fresno, California, on January 8, 1968. She received her B.S. degree in Biophysiology, Minors in Armenian Studies and Chemistry, and graduated with honors from California State University at Fresno, in 1994, pursuing graduate work in Epidemiology and Public Health. Kalinian received her D.M.D. degree from Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine in Boston, MA in 2002. Dr. Kalinian is currently specializing in Pediatric Dentistry at Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Miami Children's Hospital. She would eventually like to combine teaching with private practice in California.
During her years at Tufts, Dr. Kalinian was a lead CPR instructor to faculty, staff and students, having previously taught for the American Heart Association; and was elected by her class as their representative to the American Dental Education Association for a 3 year term. She also worked for the Health Science Library and was an Interviewer for Tufts Dental Admissions. Having previously conducted biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, Kalinian continued research in Oral Medicine: "Evaluation of Streptococcus Mutans and Lactobacillus in diagnosed Sjogren's Patients," and Sjogren's Syndrome Nonmotile Gram+ Bacteria, Diet and Xerostomia: A Prescription for the Carious Lesion".
Dr. Kalinian received several honors for her research: 1st place in the Scientific Program at the Greater New York Dental Meeting in 2000 and 2001, 3rd places at Bates-Andrews Research Day, induction into Bates-Andrews National Honor Society for the Promotion of Dental Research, National Caulk/Dentsply Finalist for AADR Student Research Group, and winner of the National ADEA/Listerine Preventive Dentistry Scholarship. Kalinian has represented Tufts on numerous occasions at various symposia and annual meetings across the nation including: IADR, AADR, ADEA, AAWD and Yankee Dental Congress.
Dr. Kalinian's community activities have included being on faculty at St. Paul's Armenian Church from 1986-1997, teaching the fundamentals of Christianity and the Bible to K-6th grade, as well as directing the children's musical programs. Kalinian was Girl's Dean and Camp Counselor for the Armenian Church Western Diocese Summer Camp from 1989-1994. She also served as a Hospital Volunteer and Instructor for Kaplan Test Preparation Centers, teaching the written, verbal and reading comprehension components of the Medical College Admission Test and the Dental Admission Test.
In college, at CSUF, Kalinian combined modeling with acting while pursuing her Premed/Dental studies. In 1987, she appeared in the book, Armenian Costumes Through The Centuries. Throughout college, Kalinian worked in the Health Center Pharmacy and also taught Ballroom Dance to the University faculty, staff, and students. She represented the University on their award-wining Foil Fencing and Horseshow teams, as well as taking classes in film.
Kalinian's interest in theatre and the arts began at the early age of 11. In 1979, she was accepted as an actor, singer, and dancer at Fresno's Roger Rocka's Good Company Players Music Hall. She performed for the next two years in the Theatre's Junior Company, 7 shows per week, as well as in their production of Fiddler On The Roof. She continued her academic and artistic education at Holland Project Talent Junior High School, and Roosevelt Performing Arts High School, where she graduated in 1987, with honors.
In regards to her artistic talents, Kalinian welcomed the opportunity to produce a documentary film with her father, Writer/Director, Paul Kalinian. The award-winning film, on the life and works of internationally renowned Armenian-American writer, playwright and humanitarian, was entitled, William Saroyan: The Man The Writer. In addition to being the film's Producer, Kalinian's responsibilities included script research, costume design, make-up, casting, and public relations for the non-profit documentary film. Since 1991, she has toured extensively with her parents, lecturing with the film, on her breaks from dental education, totaling 58 cities in 22 countries.
Kalinian remembers vividly her first encounter with Saroyan. It was 1976, she was just 8 years old. His large presence entered her father's studio, his dark eyes locked onto hers, as he twirled a thick strand from her curly black hair. As they stood there staring, Saroyan's eyes softened, his mustache smiled, and he began asking her all kinds of questions with his booming voice. She knew this was an important man, but could not have guessed that just 15 years later, she would be the one asking all the questions as she honored his life on film. Dr. Kalinian continues to tour and promote the documentary film while pursuing her academic interests in Pediatric Dentistry.