Research and Scholarship

Catherine Buon, Associate Dean of the Department of English Programs, gave a presentation entitled: Our students, the PDTs: Procrastinators, Doers, and Thinkers at the 30th TESOL France Annual International Conference in Paris, France on November 5, 2011.  The presentation examined the ways in which students’ learning preferences and styles can be utilized by teachers for more effective language instruction.

Armen Tashchian, Visiting Professor in the School of Business and Management, published “Factors that Influence Students to Participate in Team Decision Making” in the November 2011 issue of the American Journal of Business Education. The study examines the effects of personality on participation in decision making. Tashchian also published “An Investigation of the Job Burnout Syndrome in Personal Selling” in the Fall 2011 issue of the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. The study builds on previous research and tests a model of burnout in the professional selling position.

Gayane Yenokyan, Visiting Assistant Professor, and Haroutune Armenian, Professor, from the College of Health Sciences (CHS) recently published “Triggers for Attacks in Familial Mediterranean Fever: Application of the Case-Crossover Design” in the 2011 American Journal of Epidemiology.

Anahit Demirchyan, Senior Research Specialist, Varduhi Petrosyan, Assistant Professor, and Michael Thompson, Adjunct Associate Professor from the CHS recently published the article “Psychometric value of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale for screening of depressive symptoms in Armenian population” in the October 2011 Journal of Affective Disorders.

Diana Petrosyan, AUA Master of Public Health (MPH) Alumna 2009, Haroutune Armenian, Professor, and Kim Hekimian, Visiting Assistant Professor, from the CHS recently published the article “Interaction of Maternal Age and Mode of Delivery in the Development of Postpartum Depression in Yerevan, Armenia” in the December 2011 Journal of Affective Disorders. The article was based on Diana Petrosyan’s MPH Capstone Project.

Lilit Khachatryan, AUA MPH Alumna 2009, Robert Scharpf, Visiting Assistant Professor, and Sarah Kagan, Visiting Professor, from the CHS recently published the article “Influence of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and Prolonged Estrogen Exposure on Risk of Breast Cancer among Women in Armenia” in the November 2011 Health Care for Women International. The article was based on Dr. Lilit Khachatryan’s MPH Capstone Project.

Hasmik Galstyan, Head of Reference of the AGBU Papazian Library, has been nominated as Electronic Information for Libraries-Intellectual Property (eIFL-IP) coordinator in Armenia by the Electronic Library Consortium of Armenia (ELCA). Galstyan has presented at many conferences on topics including the Role of Libraries in Higher Education and Access to Knowledge: Copyright and Libraries.

Armenia’s “Double Burden” is focus of Nutrition Seminar

3 November 2011

On November 3, 2011, the American University of Armenia (AUA) College of Health Sciences (CHS) organized a public seminar “Nutrition Issues in Armenia: How Can We Improve?” in collaboration with World Vision (WV) Armenia and Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR).

According to the World Health Organization, 7.6 million children 0-5 years old die every year worldwide and over one third of these deaths are linked to malnutrition.  Better nutritional policies and programs can significantly reduce disease and death linked with poor nutrition.

Armenia is experiencing a “double burden” of undernutrition – seen in rates of stunting (short for their age) and wasting (thin for their height) – and over nutrition such as obesity.  Both have serious implications for the health of the Armenian population, and the costs to the society.

Dr. Kim Hekimian, CHS/AUA, and Dr. Hambardzum Simonyan, FAR, greeted the seminar participants. Dr. Karine Saribekyan, Ministry of Health, presented the current situation in Armenia in terms of child malnutrition and its consequences for health.  Though many gains have been made in promoting ideal infant nutrition practices such as exclusive breastfeeding, there is still a lot of work to be done.  She presented the latest Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data which shows that children of both rich and poor families alike in Armenia have significant prevalence of under nutrition and over nutrition. Dr. Lena Nanushyan, National Assembly, covered the existing laws and regulations and draft laws about nutrition related issues, including laws that restrict the marketing of infant formula to breastfeeding mothers. Dr. Naira Gharakhanyan, World Vision Armenia, covered the programmatic aspects of nutrition related initiatives and discussed how WV implements nutrition education in the rural communities where they have a presence.

The key note speaker of the evening was Professor Richard Deckelbaum, Director of the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia Medical School in New York, whose visit to Armenia is sponsored by FAR.  His presentation was entitled, “The Cost of the Double Burden: Over and Under-Nutrition”  during which he discussed the health and economic consequences of inappropriate nutrition among children and adults. He applauded the progress Armenia has made thus far, and made suggestions for future actions. Presentations were followed by a lengthy question/answer session.

In conclusion of the event Dr. Hekimian stated “It is impressive to learn that Armenia is considering flour fortification with iron and folic acid to address the issues of significant anemia as well as congenital birth defects – this is a step in the right direction when considering appropriate nutritional policies in Armenia.”

Health providers, representatives of local and international nongovernmental and governmental organizations and AUA students, researchers, and faculty attended the public seminar.

Dr. Naira Gharakhanyan, WV Armenia; Dr. Karine Saribekyan, Ministry of Health; Dr. Lena Nanushyan, National Assembly; Dr. Richard Deckelbaum, Columbia University.

Dr. Richard Deckelbaum, Columbia University and Dr. Kim Hekimian, AUA College of Health Sciences, Columbia University



International Conference “Crossroads of Psychology and Law”

On November 4-5, 2011, the Law Department hosted “Crossroads of Law and Psychology,” an international conference co-sponsored by the US State Department and Penal Reform International. The conference brought participants from more than ten countries, including a number of internationally acclaimed scholars in the fields of criminology, socio-legal studies and psychology. The two-day program featured several discussions on current issues across these disciplines, as well as poster presentations and academic writing workshops. The conference contributions will be published in a thematic volume.

Link to conference>>

Digital Library Team Meets with Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak met with representatives of the AUA’s Digital Library of Classical Armenian Literature during his visit to Armenia last month. Wozniak expressed interest in the innovative manner in which Apple technologies were used in the development of the Digital Library.

Study Abroad in Armenia: Partnership with Birthright Armenia

29 November, 2011

A partnership agreement was signed between the American University of Armenia and Birthright Armenia according to which Birthright Armenia and the AUA’s School of Business and Management will join forces to offer a unique educational package to Diaspora Armenians desiring to pursue an MBA degree in Armenia.  The agreement will promote the MBA program among the Diaspora communities and further expand and enrich the range of long-term immersion and study opportunities in Armenia. The memorandum was signed by Dr. Bruce Boghosian, President of the AUA, and Mr. Sevan Kabakian, Country Director of Birthright Armenia.

Thanks to this partnership, students will benefit from the full range of services in which each partner entity excels.  Interested students would enroll in the AUA MBA program that meets international standards and is accredited by the US based Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  During the two years of their study, students will also benefit from many exciting opportunities that Birthright Armenia offers, including full country and language immersion, part-time community service work, one round-trip airline ticket, and accommodation within its network of local host families.

According to Mr. Kabakian, “With this collaboration, we are complementing each other’s areas of expertise and creating an exciting product which is a winner for the University, for Birthright Armenia and for all the students.  It’s a well-rounded study abroad experience that we will be promoting.”  Mr. Eric Guevorkian, Interim Dean of the School of Business, stated that the agreement provides a viable option to the needs of many Diaspora students.  It affords them the opportunity of studying for an English language, accredited MBA degree while experiencing and immersing in Armenia.  Furthermore, Birthright Armenia’s community service experience would count for the internship requirement of the MBA program.  Mr. Kabakian added “We are embarking on a collaboration that will hopefully be expanded to other degrees in the future.  Study abroad no longer needs to be limited to a few European capitals.”  Interested parties should contact Birthright Armenia at [email protected] or the AUA at [email protected] and [email protected]   

Birthright Armenia’s mission is to strengthen ties between the homeland and diasporan youth by affording them an opportunity to be a part of Armenia’s daily life and to contribute to Armenia’s development through work, study and volunteer experiences, while developing a renewed sense of Armenian identity. For more information, or to make an online donation, please visit our website at

The American University of Armenia is a nonprofit institution of higher education. It is fully accredited member of the U.S.-based Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides teaching and research programs that prepare students to address the needs of Armenia and its surrounding region for sustainable development. Its School of Business and Management (SBM) is the leading business school in the region and has catered to Armenian and international students, business corporations, and communities for the past 20 years.  SBM values entrepreneurship and innovation, rigor and excellence in academic work, and adheres to strict ethical standards. For more information, please visit our website at    


Justice Minister Discusses Perspectives on Judicial Reform at AUA

On November 15, the Legal Resource Center (LRC) hosted Justice Minister Hrayr Tovmasyan as a guest speaker at its fall Seminar Series on “Rethinking Values, Norms, and Institutions in Armenia.” Mr. Tovmasyan’s talk entitled Perspectives on Judicial Reform provided an overview of and forum on legal reforms on the Ministry’s agenda.
The LRC Seminar Series culminated with a discussion with Armenia’s first Foreign Minister, Raffi Hovannisian, on Rethinking the G-Word.

Administration Appointments

December 2, 2011

This week President Bruce Boghosian announced the appointment of two new members of AUA’s Senior Administration team: Gevorg Goyunyan to the position of Vice President of Finance/CFO and Ashot Ghazarian to the position of Vice President of Operations/COO. Goyunyan has been with the University for more than 10 years, most recently as Controller and Director of Business Development, and Ghazarian comes to AUA after leading the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in Armenia for nearly two decades.

Goyunyan started with AUA in its Oakland office as Financial Analyst and later held positions of Controller and Director of Business Development.  Prior to joining AUA, he worked in the consulting and banking sectors in Armenia.  Goyunyan holds multiple advanced degrees in Economics from Yerevan State University, an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the State University of New York in Binghamton and a BBA from Haigazian University in Beirut, Lebanon.

Ghazarian spent the last twenty years as Director of the AGBU Armenia.  During that time he also served as a member of the RA Committee on Humanitarian Projects, the Academic Council of the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts; the Board of Trustees of the World Bank-funded Social Investment Fund of Armenia; and Friends of the Armenian State Philharmonic Orchestra.  Prior to leading the AGBU, Ghazarian headed the Medical Cybernetics Laboratory of the Yerevan Surgical Institute, headed a Department in the Experimental Factory of the Yerevan Physics Institute, and worked as Head of the Supply Department of the Bridge Construction Company of the Armenian Highway Construction Ministry.   Ghazarian holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the State Engineering University of Armenia.

The appointments come as AUA undergoes an expansion of its administration capacity in preparation for the proposed launch of its undergraduate program in 2013, pending WASC approval.  The university’s Strategic Plan calls for a fourfold increase in the size of the student body by 2017.  Additionally, the AGBU Papazian Library is about to begin a major renovation that will double its size. The library expansion project is funded by a grant from the American Schools and Hospitals Abroad.

President Boghosian, in welcoming Goyunyan and Ghazarian to the university’s senior administration, indicated his satisfaction that two such experienced and accomplished administrators were joining the Senior Administration team of the university.

Gevorg Goyunyan Ashot Ghazarian



AUA Provost Inducted to National Academy of Engineering

AUA’s Interim Provost Armen Der Kiureghian was recently inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) during a ceremony which took place last month in Washington, D.C. Der Kiureghian, who is also one of AUA’s founders, was recognized for his “contributions to risk and reliability and earthquake engineering to advance the practice of civil and structural engineering.” Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions granted to an engineer.