AUA Begins Plastic Bottle Recycling

In an effort to decrease the university’s carbon footprint and model responsible and sustainable business practices, AUA has started a plastic bottle recycling program.

In collaboration with GreenStart, a company that collects and recycles plastic bottles throughout Yerevan, AUA has begun placing green collection bins throughout its campus. This is a small but important first step in realizing the University’s commitment to sustainable development.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors are encouraged to use the collection bins to recycle their plastic bottles; through this joint effort the AUA community will do its part to protect the environment.

The impact that plastic has on our environment is often overlooked. A single recycled plastic bottle saves enough power to keep a light bulb burning for six hours. Plastic is easy to recycle and is also very useful, since it can be fashioned into all kinds of products, including building materials.

College of Engineering Organizes Two Public Trainings

In the month of September (5-10, 2011), the College of Engineering organized two training sessions that were free and open to public. The first was a six-day introductory seminar on municipal solid waste management led by Dr. Edwin Safari of the Queens University, Canada. More than 30 participants completed the training, including public sector employees, local NGOs, international organizations, and university students.  Dr. Safari discussed several topics related to municipal waste including: solid waste disposal and treatment options, characteristics of solid waste (physical, chemical, biological), resource recovery and recycling, waste-to-energy, landfill design, and municipal solid waste strategic planning.

Later in the month, the College of Engineering, with the collaboration of Armenian Project Management Association, organized a Project Management workshop led by Ojeni Sammis, a project manager with nearly three decades of experience at Xerox Corporation.  The open-to-the-public and free event was held on September 22 and 23 in AUA’s Manoogian Auditorium. More than 100 participants, including students, alumni, and practitioners, took part in the lively and interactive event, where Ms. Sammis offered real case scenarios from industry, including from her first-hand experience. This event was the most recent of twenty open-to-the-public seminars organized during academic year 2011-12 by the College of Engineering.



AUA Makes New Academic Appointment – Law Department

We are pleased to announce that effective September 1, Dr. Armen Mazmanyan has been appointed as an Assistant Professor of Law and Programs Director of the Legal Resources Center. 

Dr. Mazmanyan has taught at the AUA Law Department since 2003. He holds his PhD and his Master’s degree in law from the European University Institute, his LLM from the University of Illinois and his LLB from Yerevan State University. Since 2006, he has also been on various research missions at the Universities of Antwerp, Munich, Tartu and California/Berkeley. His research concentrates on institutional design and law-making in the context of democratization in post-Soviet countries. His most recent article was on constitutional developments in formerly Soviet countries and is forthcoming in Global Constitutionalism (Cambridge).

Prior to his academic career, Dr. Mazmanyan served as Chief Legal Counsel at HSBC Bank Armenia. He regularly advises various international organizations on legal reform for countries in transition. 

This fall, Dr. Mazmanyan will teach EU Law and advise students on Master’s papers. Through the Legal Resources Center he has organized for this fall a public seminar series on the Rule of Law, designed to bring together legal and policy experts for a creative and constructive discourse on legal development issues in Armenia. He is also on the organizing committee for the International Conference on Law and Psychology, to be held at AUA Nov. 2-4, under the auspices of AUA, the Penal Reform Initiative and US State Department.



Acopian Center for the Environment Hosts International Conference on Biodiversity

The International Scientific Conference on “Biological Diversity and Conservation Problems of the Fauna of the Caucasus” was organized and conducted by the American University of Armenia and Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology of National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia. More than 150 participants from 9 countries presented results of their research.

The Caucasus ecoregion is an important nature area, which represents one of six global biodiversity hotspots. Southern Caucasus Mountains and Armenia are especially notable as wildlife in these areas combines characteristics of European and Asian biodiversity. Due to diverse climatic conditions, complex relief and remoteness from the seas, a number of unique habitats came into existence and host about 3,500 species of vascular plants and more than 17,500 species of animals, of which 500 species are vertebrates.

At the same time the economic growth of the regional countries requires development of new environmental management tools to ensure sustainable long-term coexistence of human and nature.

After a long period, this is the first time when biologists from Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Germany, Ukraine, and USA had an opportunity to share results of their investigations aimed at the study and conservation of the Caucasian biodiversity.

The conference was held from 26th to 29th of September 2011 and was a result of joint efforts of the Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology of NAS RA and the American University of Armenia. Hopefully, this was the first in a row of future meetings aimed at creation of an effective network between conservation scientists, which will support protection of the fragile Caucasus biodiversity.



Meghrigian Institute Continues Ophthalmic Trainings in Gegharkunik Region

As part of its mission to educate health providers and establish an ophthalmic care and prevention network, AUA’s Meghrigian Institute of Preventive Ophthalmology of the Center for Health Services Research and Development organized a two-day training course on “Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Ophthalmic Diseases at the Primary Health Care Level” in Gegharkunik marz, on September 24-25, 2011. The purpose of the training course was to expand service delivery to under-served populations in need of affordable, accessible, and high quality eye care services for prevention and treatment of blindness at all levels.  It was designed for the primary health care (PHC) nurses and was carried out at the Lions Regional Ophthalmic Unit (ROU) in Sevan.  The 16 participants were from the five main cities of Gegharkunik marz: Tchambarak, Vardenis, Gavar, Martuni and Sevan.

Dr. Varsik Hakobyan, Ophthalmic Consultant of Meghrigian Institute, covered a number of topics during the training, including anatomy and physiology of eyes, main eye diseases, eye injuries, and diagnostic and treating procedures in ophthalmology.  She also covered prevention of eye diseases.  The training course had a specific focus on eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.  The PHC nurses of Gegharkunik marz expanded their theoretical and practical skills in ophthalmology.  All participants received a brochure about the basics of ophthalmology, designed for primary health care nurses.  At the end of the training course, participants received certificates from the Meghrigian Institute in recognition of successful completion of the course.

All the participants were very pleased with the two-day training and expressed their gratitude to the organizers and especially to the instructor, Dr. Varsik Hakobyan, for her comprehensive and dedicated teaching.



AUA Celebrates Twenty Years of Advancement

The American University of Armenia (AUA) marked its twentieth anniversary with a Celebration of Education, a week-long series of events commemorating two decades of advancement. The celebration began with a talk by Dr. Hagop Panossian entitled “ARPA Institute for a Strong Armenia in the 21st Century,” and was officially launched with a press conference held at the Tesaket Press Club featuring AUA’s Founding President Dr. Mihran Agbabian, Founding Dean Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, and President Dr. Bruce Bohgosian.

The week included an art exhibit and concert featuring the artwork of Karen Alekyan and Hrach Vardanyan, both of Gyumri, and music of renowned singer-composer Lilit Pipoyan and her group; a full day trip to Shirak showcasing the AUA Turpanjian Rural Development Program and the Acopian Center for the Environment; an academic conference entitled Frontiers of Higher Education; a Celebration featuring H.E. Tigran Sargsyan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, and H.E. Armen Ashotyan, Minister of Education and Science; the opening of a Photo Exhibit featuring the university’s twenty-year history; and a jubilee banquet which honored the remarkable contributions of Mrs. Elizabeth Agbabian.