American University of Armenia Develops Partnerships with Two UC Campuses

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LOS ANGELES – At a ceremony held on January 15, 2015 on the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) campus, AUA and UCLA jointly announced the launch of a new AUA-UCLA Summer Intensive Program in Armenian Studies. At the same event, AUA signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of California at Irvine (UC Irvine) with the aim of promoting future educational and scientific cooperation between the two universities.

Present at the meeting were AUA President Armen Der Kiureghian, AUA President Emeriti Mihran Agbabian and Haroutune Armenian, AUA Trustee and UCLA Professor Ann Karagozian and Alen Amirkhanian, the Director of AUA’s Acopian Center for the Environment.

Representing UCLA were Dr. Peter Cowe, Narekatsi Professor of Armenian Studies, Professor Gregory Areshian and Dr. Anahid Keshishian Aramouni. Also present was UCLA Professor Emeritus Richard Hovhannisian and several other UCLA faculty, staff, and students, who were there to help celebrate this momentous occasion.

Representing UC Irvine were Dean Georges Van Den Abbeele of the School of Humanities, Marijana Lekousis, Interim Director of Development, and several students and supporters of UC Irvine’s burgeoning program in Armenian studies.

The AUA-UCLA summer study abroad program has been developed within the context of a wider range of collaborative projects discussed by Professor Cowe and President Der Kiureghian. Being located in Armenia, AUA offers an ideal hub for scholars and students of Armenian studies. The summer program is the beginning of a joint effort that hopefully will lead to a broader program of student and faculty interactions with UCLA and study-abroad opportunities for students from all universities in the Diaspora. It is noteworthy that both AUA and UCLA are accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in Alameda, CA. This facilitates transfer of credit for courses taken in the summer program.

The 2015 AUA-UCLA summer program at AUA will comprise language courses in Eastern Armenian at the introductory and intermediate levels, a survey course on Armenia in the context of history of civilizations, and an undergraduate research seminar-workshop. Professor Areshian and Dr. Keshishian will deliver three of the courses. The program will commence on June 15 and continue for five consecutive weeks. Visits to historical sites, participation in cultural events, and interaction with prominent artists and scholars in and around Yerevan as well as guided weekend excursions to other regions of the republic will add a further dimension to the students’ experience.

AUA President Dr. Der Kiureghian said, “We hope students from UCLA as well as other universities across the world will take advantage of this unique opportunity. We are committed to making sure that students will have a wonderful learning experience, not only in the classroom, but also through a rich program of excursions and cultural events.”

AUA is also developing relations with other UC campuses. The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by Dean Van Den Abbeele on behalf of the entire UC Irvine campus and by AUA’s President Der Kiureghian, is a result of the desire of the two universities to promote interactions and exchanges between their students and faculty. UC Irvine has a large number of Armenian students and is in the process of establishing an endowment to support Armenian studies.

Dr. Der Kiureghian said, “We are very pleased to have this agreement with UC Irvine, which aims at facilitating study abroad and faculty interactions between our two universities. AUA provides an ideal choice for study abroad for UC Irvine students who are interested in Armenian studies or wish to study in their ancestral homeland for a summer, a semester or a year. We would also be very pleased to host UC Irvine faculty who are interested in studying the history and culture of Armenia or would like to spend a sabbatical leave at AUA. We hope our students and faculty will be able to make reciprocal visits and benefit from the many rich programs available at UC Irvine.”

Dean Van Den Abbeele remarked, “We are most pleased and proud to enter into this exciting new partnership with the American University of Armenia not only for the tremendous opportunities it provides for our own burgeoning program in Armenian studies here at UC Irvine, but also for the wider exchange of scholars and students it will generate between all our fields of inquiry, both at Irvine and in Yerevan.”

For further information about AUA summer programs, visit or on Facebook, or email [email protected].

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.



AUA President Armen Der Kiureghian signs an MoU alongside Dean Georges Van Den Abbeele of UC Irvine


(From left) Dean Georges Van Den Abbeele of UC Irvine, Professor Ann Kiragozian of UCLA, Professor Peter Cowe of UCLA, AUA President Emeritus Mihran Agbabian, AUA President Armen Der Kiureghian, AUA President Emeritus Haroutune Armenian, Professor Gregory Areshian of UCLA, Dr. Anahid Keshishian, and Hagop Kouloujian of UCLA


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