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Name pronunciation

Dr. Alene Terzian-Zeitounian [ah-Leen ter-Zee-yin-Zay-toon-yan] (she/her/hers) is a globally-minded leader and educator who is interested in social justice advocacy, developing culturally responsive curricula, and fostering honest cross-cultural dialogue. 

For over twenty years, Alene has been a professor of English at College of the Canyons* in Santa Clarita, California. Her classes have a social justice focus and represent authors, speakers, and artists of color.

She is also the faculty adviser for cul-de-sac*, the campus’ award-winning literary and arts magazine, which features the artistic works of the diverse student body at College of the Canyons. From 2017-2022, Alene served as the English Department Chair, overseeing several faculty inquiry groups and participating in campus-wide equity-minded practitioner committees. She stepped away from that leadership position to focus on her work with CITC and other DEIB-related initiatives. 

Alene was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but was forced to seek political asylum in Canada when the Lebanese Civil War broke out. She later immigrated to America, where she has lived ever since. During graduate school, Alene lived in Chiapas, Mexico and worked for Derechos Humanos, delivering medication and aid to Chiapan villagers. She also completed an internship at PEN West USA, organizing political reform protests and writing letters to foreign governments to bring attention to the mistreatment of political prisoners.

She currently lives in Torrance, California, with her husband and daughter. She enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling. She also participates in monthly poetry workshops and has had her work published in several anthologies.

Alene is an author, advocate, and researcher whose doctoral work focused on educational policy and improving equitable learning practices. She oversees both short-and long-term projects for CITC, working closely with Renee to assess the training and consulting needs of organizations and individuals.

*Alene Terzian-Zeitounian's services provided through Culturally Intelligent Training & Consulting, LLC are not connected to her professional, educational, or private affiliations.

  • Doctor of Education: Leadership & Innovation

    • Arizona State University

  • Master of Fine Arts: English/Creative Writing (poetry emphasis)

    • California State University, Chico

  • Master of English: Creative Writing (poetry emphasis)

    • California State University, Northridge

  • Bachelor of English: English/Teaching

    • California State University, Northridge

  • Certified Enneagram Practitioner 
    • iEQ9 

  • Design Convo X Certified Facilitator 
    • Design Convo, LLC

  • The Storytelling Leader

  • 2023 Commitment to Diversity Award

  • 2021 Bellwether Award Recipient

  • 2016-2019 Recipient Equity Grant

  • 2017 15-Year Service Award, College of the Canyons (COC)

  • 2014-2015 COC Foundation Grant

  • 2012 EOPS Excellence in Teaching Award 

  • 2010-2012 Poet Laureate, Altadena 

  • 1999 National Medal of Academic Excellence 

  • 1996 Winner, Amnesty International Essay Contest

Selected Publications


Principal Advisor & Senior Facilitator


Enneagram iEQ9 Certified Practitioner

Design Convo X Certified Practitioner

  • Terzian, A. (2005). Deep as City’s Ache. Arax Press.

  • Terzian, A., co-ed (2004). Developing College Reading and Writing Skills. Pearson Publishing.

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