CoE Highlights High Tech Start-Ups Doing the ImPossible in Armenia

The College of Engineering hosted “High-Tech Startups in Armenia: Mission ImPossible,” a discussion with Dr. Vahagn Poghosyan, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Instigate, one of the first IT companies to start a subsidiary in Gyumri. Pogoshyan shared aspects of conducting business in Armenia, including the phases of the company life-cycle, and discussed various types of companies: product companies vs. service companies, privately funded vs. venture funded, multi-site vs. small scale, garage-type vs. company with established production and quality systems, subsidiaries of foreign companies and standalone companies, etc. The discussion was attended by students, faculty, staff and the public.

AUA to Host General Assembly of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL)

AUA will host this year’s General Assembly of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) as part of the Yerevan World Book Capital program. “From Gutenberg to the Internet – A New Renaissance for Libraries” is the theme for this year’s General Assembly, which will take place July 3-5.

Public Health Experts Discuss Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Armenia

On February 28, 2012, the College of Health Sciences organized a round table discussion on the occasion of the anniversary of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) coming into force in Armenia.
Narine Movsisyan, Senior Project Manager at the CHSR/AUA, presented the report “Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: Implementation Challenges in Armenia,” an independent assessment of the FCTC implementation in Armenia in 2005-2010.

This report focuses specifically on those three Articles of the FCTC for which implementation deadlines were set.  Research showed that despite notable legislative improvements as a result of the FCTC ratification, important gaps still exist in Armenian tobacco control legislation. For instance, Article 8 of the FCTC states, that a universal and complete protection of employees and citizens from exposure to secondhand smoke at all indoor workplaces and public places shall be guaranteed by the law. However, under the national legislation, no such protection is afforded for employees working at dining and leisure facilities. Additionally, under Article 13 of the FCTC, the country shall undertake a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship within 5 years of coming into force; however, the Government’s legislative proposal aimed at addressing at least part of the existing gaps was called back from the National Assembly. Moreover, though the packaging and labeling of the tobacco products currently meets the least requirements identified by the FCTC Article 11, they are far from worldwide best practices. 

Participants of the discussion included Alexander Bazarchyan, Head of the Public Health Department of the RA Ministry of Health (MOH) and Coordinator of the MOH Tobacco Control Program; Karen Hakobyan, Head of the Legislative Analysis and Improvement Department of the RA Ministry of Justice; Lusine Kocharyan, Senior Specialist at the State Hygiene and Anti-epidemic Inspectorate of the RA MOH; Sergey Harutyunyan, Leading Specialist from the RA Human Rights Defender’s office; Henrik Khachatryan, National Professional Officer from the Division of Non-Communicable Diseases and Health Promotion of the World Health Organization  Country Office for Armenia  and civil society representatives.   
The participants of the round table discussion expressed their concern about the slow pace of implementation of the FCTC in Armenia (inadequate for addressing the current smoking rates and its disastrous consequences to the society) and suggested mechanisms of pushing the implementation process forward.


Director of Admissions, Recruitment and International Student Affairs Appointed

Interim Provost Armen Der Kiureghian announced the appointment of Dr. Perouz Taslakian as Director of Admissions, Recruitment and International Student Affairs. Dr. Taslakian, who will spend part of her time as Assistant Research Scientist in the College of Engineering, is an expert on computational geometry, with an emphasis on algorithms for folding. She comes to AUA from a postdoctoral position at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Brussels, Belgium. She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from McGill University, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Concordia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Haigazian University.

Crossroads of Psychology and Law Published

The proceedings of the November 2011 conference Crossroads of Psychology and Law, which was hosted by the Law Department and co-sponsored by the United States Department of State and Penal Reform International, were recently published with a grant from the United States Department of State. The publication includes over 30 papers presented by participants from more than ten countries in the fields of criminology, socio-legal studies and psychology.

“Itineraries in Life” Exhibit to Support Internships for UCLA Students to Conduct Research at AUA

AUA’s President Emeritus Dr. Haroutune Armenian, Associate Dean of Academic Programs and a Professor in Residence in the Department of Epidemiology at the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, will exhibit his “Itineraries in Life” watercolor paintings at UCLA’s Kerckhoff Art Gallery. Proceeds from the sale of the works, which depict different times and places in Dr. Armenian’s life, will go to the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and will be used to support internships for UCLA students, enabling them to visit and conduct research at AUA.

DEP Alumni Publish in Leading Journals

The DEP is proud to announce that DEP MA TEFL graduate Gayane Manukyan was invited to publish her thesis The impact of portfolio assessment on learners’ achievement, with LAP Lambert Publishing in Germany. Her study set out to investigate the extent to which portfolio assessment impacted learners’ achievement, learning process, and attitudes towards learning English. Five other DEP MA TEFL alumnae were also invited to publish their MA Theses with LAP Lambert Publishing and VDM Verlag, in Germany: Arevik Aboyan, Angela Balasanyan, Anna Ghazaryan, Lena Simonyan, and Naira Stepanyan.


Lena Simonyan (AUA TEFL 2009 graduate)

Angela Balasanyan (AUA TEFL 2010 graduate)

Anna Ghazaryan (AUA TEFL 2010 graduate)

Naira Stepanyan (AUA TEFL 2009 graduate)

Arevik Aboyan (AUA TEFL 2009 graduate)

AUA Announces Senior Administration Appointments

President Bruce Boghosian announced this week the addition of two new members of AUA’s Senior Administration team: Dr. Dennis Leavens as Provost and Ms. Maral Chalian as Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

Leavens comes to AUA from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain where he served as Professor of English from 2005, Associate Dean from 2006, and more recently as Interim Dean from March 2011. From 1988 until 2005, Leavens was on the faculty of English at Truman State University in Missouri, and from 1983-1988 he was Assistant Professor of English at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Leavens will begin work on July 1.

Chalian comes to AUA from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she was Associate Director for Major Gifts and Planned Giving. Prior to that, she was the Principal Consultant for External Relations and Fundraising for MC Non-Profit Consultants in Los Angeles, where her clients included Occidental College. Chalian is familiar with Armenia, having worked for the United Armenian Fund as Director of Special Projects and External Relations from 1996 to 2005. She has earned a Certificat de Langue Française at the Sorbonne, a BA degree in English Literature from California State University, Northridge, and a Certificate of Completion in Developing Major Gifts from the Fundraising School of Indiana University. She is currently pursuing an Executive Master of Leadership degree at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Chalian will begin work in April, and will spend much time at AUA’s Oakland office and Yerevan campus.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Leavens and Ms. Chalian join AUA’s Senior Administration team at this important juncture in AUA’s growth,” stated President Boghosian. “As AUA prepares for the proposed launch of its undergraduate program in 2013, pending WASC approval, Dr. Leavens and Ms. Chalian bring a great deal of experience and expertise to AUA’s existing administrative capacity.”