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ISSUE 17, December 2012

AUA Board of Trustees Announces New Chair, Members

At its recent meeting, the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia welcomed Dr. Lawrence Pitts as its new Chairman. Dr. Pitts, the outgoing provost of the University of California system, succeeds current AUA Board Chair, Dr. C. Judson King. During the same meeting, the Board also welcomed three additional new members: Dr. Aimee Dorr, the current Provost of the University of California system; Dr. Ann Karagozian, Engineering Professor and former chair of the Academic Senate at UCLA; and Mr. Zaven Akian, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Integra Technologies and community benefactor.

International Conference Highlights Armenia’s Choices on Mining and Socio-Economic Development

International and local experts were at AUA on Friday, November 30, for a one-day conference examining the choices available to Armenia as it tries to balance economic gains with that of social equity as well as public and environmental health. The conference featured a keynote presentation on mining’s role in economic growth and social development by Dr. Saleem Ali, Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the University of Queensland, Australia.

AUA Alum Elected to Executive Committee of the World Federation of United Nations Associations

AUA alum Armine Podosyan (MPH, 2011) was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations and their thousands of constituents. Podosyan, who has been the president of the Armenian United Nations Association (AUNA) since 2008, was elected at the 40th WFUNA Plenary Assembly held in November in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Women Entrepreneurs Gather at AUA

Women entrepreneurs from across Yerevan and Armenia’s regions gathered at AUA on November 24-25 for a two-day conference focused on uncovering new opportunities for women entrepreneurs. The conference, sponsored by the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA), attracted over 90 graduates of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (WEP)--an AUA Extension program pioneered almost a decade ago in partnership with AIWA.


Latin American Physicist Discusses Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems

Famous Latin American physicist, Dr. Constantino Tsallis of the Brazilian Physics Research Center, lectured at AUA on November 23, about the “Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems.” In his presentation, Dr. Tsallis shared a brief and general introduction to the main concepts behind his research and spoke extensively on the idea that complexity in systems appears to be conveniently characterized by the nature and strength of the correlations between a system’s elements.

Faculty Scholarship and Research

Syuzanna Vasilyan, Assistant Professor in Political Science and International Affairs, has been awarded a Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies, a grant sponsored by the European Union. Dr. Vasilyan carries out research and teaches courses on the Europe Union, International Relations and Contemporary Foreign Affairs. As the chair she will work to establish AUA as a center for European Studies. Numerous conferences, guest lectures and activities will be presented over the next three years.

Yevgenya Paturyan, Assistant Director of the Turpanjian Center for Policy Analysis and Senior Lecturer in Political Science and International Affairs, has been awarded a grant from the Academic Swiss Caucasus Net to fund research entitled “Armenian civil society after 20 years of transition: Still Post-communist?” The research will engage staff from the Turpanjian Center for Policy Analysis and will be carried out over the next two years.

Aleksandr Grigoyan, Assistant Professor in Political Science and International Affairs and in the College of Business and Economics, was awarded a Sergey Mergelyan award for papers of general interest at the Armenian Economic Association Conference (October 2012). “The Impact of Growth and Structural Change on Inequality and Poverty in transition: Evidence from Armenia,” co-authored with Edgar Begrakyan of the Central Bank of Armenia, is the first attempt to assess the impact of growth/industry structure to inequality/poverty, using Household Survey data 2004-2010.

Varduhi Petrosyan, Associate Professor, Associate Dean, and Director of the Center for Health Services Research and Development, presented at the 15th European Health Forum – Gastein, October 3-6, 2012, in Austria. Dr. Petrosyan spoke as an international expert in health systems research in the workshop “The Effects of the Financial Crisis on Health Systems in Russia and Other CIS Countries.” She presented the overview of the Armenian health care system, recent developments, contemporary successes, and current challenges.

Irshat Madyarov, Assistant Professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, published “Contradictions in a Distance Course for a Marginalized Population at a Middle Eastern University” in the April 2012 issue of the peer-reviewed journal The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. The paper, co-authored by Aida Taef of Baha’i Institute for Higher Education, explores cases of non-native English speaking students engaged in a distance English-medium course on critical thinking.


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