YEREVAN—The American University of Armenia hosted a U.S. delegation comprised of California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, both accompanied by their Chiefs of Staff. Also in the party was Charles Ghailian, Chair of the Leadership Council of the University of Southern California’s Institute of Armenian Studies.
AUA Vice President of Operations Ashot Ghazaryan welcomed the guests and accompanied them on a tour of the campus while they learned about the University’s history, mission, vision, and ongoing and future projects. Sargis Zeytunyan (MS IESM ‘99), Director of the Prototyping Laboratory of AUA’s Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center, demonstrated the cutting-edge prototyping instruments housed at EPIC. The members of the U.S. delegation also had the opportunity to learn about the EPIC Incubator Program and successful EPIC startup teams.
Continuing the tour, the guests visited the AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health and the Acopian Center for the Environment. They met SPH Dean Dr. Varduhi Petrosyan, who presented their current research projects. She particularly expanded on tuberculosis-related projects led by the SPH Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development and trainings conducted with health professionals on patient-centered tuberculosis treatment. Director of the AUA Acopian Center Alen Amirkhanian briefed them on the environmental projects they are currently engaged in, calling attention to the forthcoming inaugural “Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia” co-organized by the Armenia Tree Project and AUA.
The campus tour concluded at the office of AUA President Dr. Karin Markides, where the sides shared thoughts on future collaboration. Dr. Markides informed the delegation about the reasons behind her decision to join AUA, her academic and leadership background, and aspirations for the University. Members of the U.S. delegation were eager to learn more about the AUA President’s recent visit to California, her takeaways from meetings with colleagues at the University of California System, and ways in which the California Assemblymember and the L.A. City Councilmember could be of assistance to AUA.
“When I came to AUA on the first of July, I was handed over a study, based on broad stakeholder input and developed over a year by an expert panel from California, AGBU, and AUA to determine the technology future of Armenia. We tackled a number of questions and identified tangible open actions. This was a good opportunity to get an understanding and describe important collaborative efforts,” noted Dr. Markides.
“I was a part of the AGBU Young Professionals who’ve been with this University when it started. Now seeing it in full blossom, seeing the incredible world-class research centers, [and] its extraordinary students is very impressive to me. Also, in the short time that I have been here, I have seen the great opportunity for future collaboration between the University and the City of Los Angeles. I am really pleased to have this opportunity to visit AUA,” concluded Los Angeles City Councilmember Krekorian.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia that is affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.