US Ambassador John Heffern at AUA

On March 6, 2012, the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia Mr. John Heffern presented a talk for the students of the School of Political Science and International Relations at the American University of Armenia. The lecture was entitled “Addressing Armenia’s Security Challenges: Regional and Trans-Regional Dimensions”. The Ambassador shared his perspectives on regional, political and economic dimensions of Armenia’s security policy. He also covered US-Armenian relations emphasizing strong cooperation between two countries and the remaining importance of increasing the trade volumes and investments. He stressed that US Government wants Armenia to succeed, to give Armenia options and keep Armenia focused on the West. He emphasized that Armenia has been supportive on the Nagorno-Karabagh resolution process and US government acknowledges that fact. The lecture was followed by a question and answer session where he answered many questions.

Ambassador Heffern with V. Ter-Matevosian, D. Shumavon and A. Balian Ambassador Heffern with students and faculty

AUA Launches Library Expansion and Cafeteria Renovation Project

In March, AUA launched a library-cafeteria renovation project, which will double the size of the university’s Papazian Library and improve cafeteria efficiency.  The renovation project was made possible with a grant from the American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program of USAID.

“Expanding the Papazian Library helps AUA improve its capacity to provide students with the information and knowledge-acquisition skills necessary to become leaders in the development of Armenia and the region, by providing them with state-of-the-art technology and space for collaborative learning,” stated AUA President Bruce Boghosian. “AUA is grateful to ASHA for its long-standing support of projects related to construction, upgrade of technology, furnishing classrooms and offices, and improvement of study and work conditions.”

The Papazian Library is the only university library in Armenia that is open to the public, has open stacks, has a rich collection of books and periodicals in English with a foundation of American academic literature, and provides electronic collections of academic journals with both on-campus and remote access. 

The Library has been in need of both renovation and expansion to provide a growing student population with ample study and research space, modernize public and work spaces, and provide new facilities for access to AUA’s electronic collections.  

The newly renovated library is expected to be operational in September.  Along with added discussion rooms and individual study carrels, the library will be furnished with new computers and other technology.

The expansion plan addresses the need for enlargement and modernization of the Papazian Library by renovating and expanding the existing kitchen and storage space.  While the university’s cafeteria, which is open to the public, is located on the second floor, the kitchen and storage space is located on the first floor adjacent to the Library. By moving the kitchen to the second floor the cafeteria’s operation becomes more efficient and the Library expansion becomes possible. 

The library-cafeteria renovation project is the next phase of AUA’s strategy for the modernization and upgrade of the university’s Main Building, and for expanding capacity commensurate with planned growth of the university’s student body and faculty.

The design for the library-cafeteria renovation project was done by the architectural-design studio “Storaket”, which was selected through a rigorous competitive bidding process.

Architectural renditions of the new Papazian Library 


New Multidisciplinary Offering: Dual MPH/MBA

The College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the School of Business and Management (SBM) announced an exciting new educational opportunity this month: A Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) Dual Degree Program starting this year. Students interested in this option will be able to complete both programs and earn two degrees in three years instead of the usual four.

AUA MBA or MPH graduates of the last five years can also benefit from this opportunity and earn a second degree in a reduced period of time if they meet the admission requirements of the other degree program.

According to Dr. Robert Bagramian, Dean of CHS, the dual degree program will provide students with a larger theoretical and practical basis for effective management and administration in the health sector in Armenia and in the region.  The dual degree will be a complement to the MPH’s research orientation that allows its graduates to pursue PhDs in the US, Canada, and Western Europe.

According to Mr. Eric Guevorkian, Interim Dean of SBM, the dual degree will attract qualified students who want to become leading administrators, entrepreneurs, innovators, and reformers in the health care sector in Armenia and abroad. The program will open up a wide range of employment opportunities for graduates, including management positions in the healthcare delivery system.

The AUA’s CHS represents an integrated effort to develop expertise in managing health programs, assessing the health needs of the people, and translating that knowledge into improved health by designing, implementing, and evaluating programs to meet those needs. The CHS is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is a member of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). Currently, CHS offers a two-year graduate program leading to the MPH degree.

The AUA’s SBM is a leading business school in the region, committed to innovative pedagogy and continuous improvement.  It prepares students to provide effective and ethical business leadership in an increasingly complex, technologically sophisticated and interdependent world. SBM offers a two-year graduate program leading to the MBA degree, and a number of executive and professional certificates.

College of Health Sciences at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Heath

20-24 March, 2012

Drs. Narine Movsisyan and Arusyak Harutyunyan of the AUA College of Health Sciences (CHS) received competitive full scholarships to present the CHS tobacco control work at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health: Towards a Tobacco-free World – Planning Globally, Acting Locally, in Singapore (March 20-24, 2012). The World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) is the premier international conference on tobacco control that attracts thousands of academics, health professionals, non-governmental organizations and government officials from more than 100 countries.

The conference days were saturated with meetings and presentations. In addition to oral presentations on “Monitoring compliance with smoke-free legislation to advance the FCTC implementation in Armenia” and “A clinical trial to reduce secondhand smoke exposure in households with children in Yerevan, Armenia”, Drs. Movsisyan and Harutyunyan set up a regional networking meeting with colleagues from the Eastern European countries, met with colleagues from the Johns Hopkins University to discuss manuscripts related to collaborative work, and attended the alumni meeting of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Tobacco Control.

Francis Stillman, Arusyak Harutyunyan, and Narine Movsisyan Colleagues from Eastern Europe
Arusyak Harutyunyan and Narine Movsisyan

Arusyak Harutyunyan during the presentation


College of Engineering Presents “How to Start a Successful Company”

19 March, 2012

On Monday, March 19, more than 200 participants attended a seminar on entrepreneurship at AUA. The seminar, co-sponsored by AUA’s College of Engineering and the Armenian Project Management Association (APMA), was led by Dr. Andrei Guschin, a lecturer on Innovation and Management. The seminar was entitled “How to Start a Successful Company” and offered an interactive forum where the audience discussed a variety of topics like writing a business plan, understanding markets and customers, securing financing, and pitching a business to investors. Dr. Guschin is the Chair of MIT Venture Lab in Seattle, a division of the MIT Enterprise Forum. “This event is the latest of a series of public events that APMA has co-organized with the AUA College of Engineering and we look forward to our continued cooperation” says Mr. Albert Poghosyan, the APMA President. 

Andrei Guschin, the speaker Andrei Guschin answering questions
Alen Amirkhanian introducing the speaker The audience during the seminar “How to Start a Successful Company”

Papazian Library Promotes Access to Research through Armenia Virtual Science Library

29 March, 2012

On March 29, 2012, the Papazian Library held a seminar at AUA’s Manoogian Hall on increasing access to research through the Armenian Virtual Science Library (AVSL).
The first presenter, Dr. Charles Dunlap, Global Associate Program Director of the U.S. Civil Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), introduced the AVSL website, including the access to journal databases.   Launched in November 2011, the system gives Armenian scientists access to resources via the internet, and provides them with the opportunity to present their works to the international community.
The AVSL includes more than three million scientific articles and more than 8,500 electronic journals. In 2012, the AVSL was expanded to provide access to 35 universities and research Institutions throughout Armenia. This project is implemented by the CRDF, the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science, the State Committee of Science of Armenia, the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. State Department.  Dr. Dunlap also presented the current trends and best practices in open-access publishing, the creation of digital research repositories, and described the difference between academic journal databases and search systems. 
The second presenter Dr. Ahmed  Bourghida, Country Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa  at Thomson Reuters, introduced Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science, a premier research platform, designed to help researchers quickly find, analyze, and share information in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.
The Manoogian Hall was filled by faculty members and guests, as well as students from AUA and from other universities.
The presentations were followed by questions.

Charles Dunlap introducing Armenia Virtual Science Library Ahmed Bourghida presenting Thomson Reuters Web of Science

Student Council Hosts Second Annual Chess Tournament

Six students represented AUA in chess at the 20th anniversary celebration games hosted by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs on March 28-29. The student team comprised of Ruben Tosunyan, Edgar Harutyunyan, Artur Khosrovyan, Samvel Tadevosyan, Hakob Mkoyan and Artur Sargsyan qualified from the Second Annual Chess Tournament hosted by the Student Council in early March. Assistant Professor Suren Khachatryan of the College of Engineering coached AUA’s team. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni participated in the chess tournament organized for the purposes of forming a student team to represent AUA at the Ministry event.

Faculty Research and Scholarship

Department of English Programs (DEP) Interim Dean Catherine Buon was invited to join the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS), a double-blind peer-review scholarly journal on current trends and topics in Applied Linguistics.

DEP Lecturer Melissa Brown recently co-translated Hratchik Simonyan’s “The Destruction of Armenians in Cilicia, April 1909,” a detailed account of the 1909 massacres based on primary and secondary sources.

The 2003 study, “It’s the Prices, Stupid: Why The United States Is So Different From Other Countries,” co-authored by College of Health Sciences Associate Dean Varduhi Petrosyan was recently mentioned in an article in the Washington Post about the rising cost of health care in the United States.