YEREVAN, Armenia – On October 5, 2017, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a delegation from the California State Legislature. The delegation was made up of Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian, Dante Acosta, Laura Friedman, and Marc Levine, California State Senator Scott Wilk, as well as Shant Apekian from the California Apartment Association, Karen Sarkissian from the California Chamber of Commerce, Daniel Francis Savage Jr., Chief of Staff for Adrin Nazarian, and businessman Sam Karapetyan. Most of the delegation members represent the Armenian population in California. Their visit aimed to increase their knowledge of Armenian culture.
AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian acquainted the guests with the University’s history and facilities, followed by a tour of the campus where they were able to see the AGBU Papazian Library, Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC), and construction on a new faculty and student center, among other things. The guests then gathered in Akian Art Gallery, where President Der Kiureghian offered a brief overview of AUA, its history, programs, students, and alumni. He remarked that the University intends to increase the number of its international students and urged the delegation members to encourage students in California to come and study at AUA.
The guests were particularly interested in AUA’s solar panel technology. Alumnus and solar energy expert Armen Gharibyan presented, in detail, about ongoing projects being implemented in Armenia and assured the guests that Armenia has great potential for developing solar energy and integrating into the world’s solar industry.
Assemblymember Marc Levine expressed confidence that Armenia and California can learn from one another in many common sectors, including technology, water and agriculture.
For Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, the trip to Armenia served three main purposes. First, it was an opportunity for building new relationships. Second, the California legislators gained a sense of awareness that will allow them to see what opportunities there are to work on mutually beneficial areas of interest. Finally, the delegation would be able to witness Armenian culture and society first-hand, and thus will be more sympathetic to Armenian causes in the future.
Looking to the future, Assemblymember Dante Acosta remarked that he believes students can contribute to the cooperation between the two countries, and that mutual visits should be regularly organized.
The assemblymembers were very impressed by AUA and the opportunities it creates for students. Following their visit, Assemblymember Laura Friedman remarked, “This is a wonderful facility, and it certainly rivals everything I’ve seen in the U.S. I know that students who receive their education here are going to be incredibly well-prepared to compete in the global marketplace.”
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.