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Memorandum of Understanding Signed Between SJSU and AUA

YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ On November 1, 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between San Jose State University (SJSU) and the American University of Armenia (AUA) to foster international cooperation in education and research. With the MoU, both universities commit to promoting faculty and student exchange, educational and research material exchange, as well as joint projects and programs related to global education.

Before signing the MoU, AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian and AUA Provost Dr. Randall Rhodes had a discussion with SJSU President Dr. Mary A. Papazian, Dr. Ruth Huard, Dean of the College of International & Extended Studies, and Bob Lim, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO. They exchanged views on the successful implementation of the MoU, ways of encouraging students to engage in study-abroad programs, and courses offered during AUA’s summer program, among others.

Dr. Papazian suggested that AUA students create a motivational video depicting the reasons why SJSU students should consider coming to AUA, “Students are creative. They would know what could capture other students. They are the best ambassadors for our students to learn what is best for them.” She highlighted that this period of social change in Armenia might be particularly appealing to SJSU political science students because of their keen interest in protests and movements, such as the Velvet Revolution that took place in the country past April-May. Dr. Der Kiureghian noted that previous students attending AUA summer courses have offered very positive assessments.

“Our students tend to be very welcoming. Since Armenia is very homogeneous, they like to be learning from students coming from other countries and of different cultures. You can notice that local and foreign students mingle with one another at AUA,” Dr. Der Kiureghian shared his observations.

Towards the end of the meeting, Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian, Director of the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) at AUA, joined the discussion. He reported on a recent donation to EPIC, which will allow a group of EPIC students to make an educational visit to SJSU and Silicon Valley. “The idea for us is to expose our students, as much as we can, to what’s happening in the world and the high-tech industry.”

“I can imagine students having an incredible experience both from an academic-intellectual perspective and from a social-cultural experience,” Dr. Papazian added in her concluding remark.

The delegation from SJSU had paid their first visit to AUA earlier in May and had gotten acquainted with the University’s modern facilities and academic programs.

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.