AUA hosts Northeastern University Study Abroad students

This summer AUA hosted a group of students from Northeastern University in Boston for their study abroad program. The students were taught two courses about human rights and current political, economic, and public health issues in Armenia. The classes were held at the newly built state-of-the-art Paramaz Avedisian Building, located at AUA’s Yerevan campus. This is the 3rd year AUA is hosting students from the Northeastern University in Boston. The program is led by one of the AUA’s own graduates, Dr. Lusine Poghosyan, who is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Columbia University. Mr. Gregory Aftandilian, an independent consultant, writer, and lecturer, was the Northeastern University faculty co-leader this year.  Each year, 10 to 14 students have the opportunity to spend 4-5 weeks in Armenia.

In addition to their academic work, the students had the opportunity to visit many historic landmarks and beautiful natural sites during their stay in Armenia, which made their study abroad experience all the more memorable. “The American University of Armenia provides endless learning opportunities,” said Victoria Hines, one of the visiting students. “The academic quality of the program was outstanding. The students and faculty were very welcoming, and did everything to ensure we got the most out of our study abroad experience in Armenia.”

Since its inception, AUA has embraced many challenges and responsibilities, among them the need to serve as a bridge between Armenia and its Diaspora throughout the world.  The Study Abroad Program represents one strategy by which that obligation has been realized.  AUA also believes that diversity is an important principle of college life. The variety of student cultures on campus provides a richness of contrasts and contexts for the intellectual growth of all students, which is very valuable. It is these differences that provide a realistic view of the world, and AUA is committed to fostering such diversity in its academic environment.


Northeastern University students doing study abroad at AUA

In addition to its short-term summer abroad programs, AUA also offers opportunities for students from outside of Armenia to pursue masters degree studies in the fields of Business and Management, Industrial Engineering and Systems Management, Political Science and International Affairs, Health Sciences, Computer and Information Sciences, Law, and Advanced English Studies.  AUA is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional accreditation agencies recognized by the US Department of Education.  Consequently, AUA’s credits can be transferred to US institutions of higher education, and its degrees are recognized in the US. In addition to its primary mission of training students from Armenia, AUA therefore offers students from the Diaspora an opportunity to earn an American-accredited masters degree at a small fraction of American tuition prices, while living and studying in the Armenian homeland.  AUA is committed to increasing its visibility and popularity among students of the Armenian Diaspora in the coming years.

AUA Makes New Academic Appointments

The AUA Provost’s office announces two new appointments in the School of Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA).
Effective September 1, Professor Douglas H. Shumavon joins AUA as the Interim Dean of PSIA and the Interim Director of the Turpanjian Center for Policy Analysis. Dr. Shumavon, who recently retired from the Department of Political Science of University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio, previously served as the AUA Dean of PSIA from 2000 to 2004. Dr. Shimavon received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1979. He has an extensive record of teaching, research publications, and university and public service.
Effective September 1, Dr. Syuzanna Vasilyan joins AUA as Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs. Dr. Vasilyan, who is originally from Armenia, received her Ph.D. in political science from Ghent University in Belgium in May 2010. She was a Visiting Ph.D. Researcher at the European University Institute (EUI) in Italy and holds MA degrees in political science from Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Central European University in Hungary. During her undergraduate studies at Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Bryousov, she spent one academic year at Otterbein College in Ohio, USA. Dr. Vasilyan has taught graduate-level courses at the Central European University and Ghent University on topics related to the Caucasus in the Global Politics and the European Union.







AUA Acopian Center for the Environment participates in conservation of Lake Arpi National Park

Together with local and international organizations, the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (ACE) is actively involved in studying and preserving nature in Lake Arpi National Park, which is located in the extreme Northwest of Armenia. The AUA team’s first objective is to develop an inventory of the fauna of birds, dragonflies and butterflies of the area, and to monitor the health indicators of the ecosystem, including the White Stork. As a second objective, the AUA team is working to enhance the general level of environmental public awareness in all communities of the National Park. The basic infrastructure for developing ecotourism in the area has been created. These include publication of tourist guides to the local wildlife and installation of information desks and maps of biodiversity concentration areas. The AUA team is convinced that stimulating nature protection at the grassroots level is the most effective and beneficial approach. This project is funded by the Whitley Fund for Nature (UK) with additional support from the World Wide Fund for Nature Armenia, KfW (Germany), and the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia.

AUA College of Engineering leads cutting-edge cryptography research funded by Volkswagen Foundation

The AUA Engineering Research Center (ERC), in collaboration with the University of Essen in Germany, has secured a two-year contract from the Volkswagen Foundation in the field of error control coding and cryptography. The project will engage talented students and provide them with the opportunity to connect with leading scientists in the field. The research project, led by AUA’s Prof. Gurgen Khachatryan, will focus on biometric verification, a leading technology under development to enhance digital security and authentication.  This technology is in great demand in the face of increasing threats of hackers, identity-theft, and other digital crime. This research project is the most recent example of ERC activities that has both academic as well as industrial value.

Professor Gurgen Khachatryan with CIS research students


AUA holds two-day Strategy Mapping Session

In preparation for its third decade of existence and as a part of its re-accreditation activities, AUA is conducting strategic planning involving all segments of the University. As a part of this process, a representative group of AUA faculty, students, alumni, staff and other stakeholders held a two-day strategy mapping session on July 22 and 23. The strategy mapping session was the second of three sub-phases of the deliberative phase of the AUA 2017 Strategic Plan. The deliberative phase launched with a community meeting on July 7, to which all members of the University community and external stakeholders were invited. The strategy mapping session on July 22-23 was an issue clarification and consensus building exercise. The entire community was invited to make suggestions for the mapping session and all important sectors within (students, faculty, staff) and outside the university (government, business, employers, alumni, NGOs, international organizations) were represented. Twenty five stakeholders took part in the event. The sessions were held with the assistance of Mr. Arthur G. Martirosyan, a Senior Consultant with CMPartners LLC and an expert in nonprofit organizational management, who introduced various strategy planning concepts and tools at the beginning of each day. The end result of the two-day session was a draft Strategy Map, around which the participants reached consensus.  The facilitated discussion was a good opportunity to air concerns, identify issues, build consultative decision-making capacity, team-building skills, and learn new deliberation tools. Additional information about the AUA strategic planning process can be found at

 Mr. Arthur G. Martirosyan giving instructions at the Strategy Planning Session on July 22, 2011


Prime Minister T. Sargsyan cites AUA as one of two Armenian universities having international accreditation

In a speech emphasizing Armenia’s dependence on a knowledge-based economy, PM Sargsyan said “Armenian universities must meet highest international standards.”  He cited AUA and the French University as two of five major Armenian universities that currently have international accreditation. See details at