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In Memoriam: Dr. George J. Jakab, a Friend of AUA

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Dr. George J. Jakab, California, May 2015

Baltimore, Maryland, USA – On August 27, 2015, a loved and respected member of the American University of Armenia (AUA) community, Dr. George J. Jakab, left us. Dr. Jakab had been a faculty member of the AUA School of Public Health since 1998, contributed to the work of the Acopian Center for the Environment, and served as Dean of Faculty from 2002 to 2005. His dedicated leadership and commitment to excellence was instrumental in establishing self-study processes for academic programs and attaining AUA’s candidacy status toward its initial WASC Senior College and University Commission accreditation in 2003. He was a passionate teacher committed to the health of the environment and preaching conscious use of natural resources. He empowered Master of Public Health students and graduates to stand for their community. AUA President Emeritus Dr. Haroutune Armenian remembers:

“George was a great friend of AUA and loved Armenia. Gentle, meticulous, with a ton of goodness and very high moral standards, he inspired us by his force of character. A couple of years ago, he ended his letter to me by ‘Currently I am starting on a new series of projects.’ And projects big and small were what he achieved all through his life.”

Dr. Jakab was a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health from 1977 until his retirement in 2010. While at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Jakab was the Associate Chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences from 1990 to 1993 and worked as the Associate Director for Science of the Center for a Livable Future from 2000 to 2002. In addition to his sustained efforts in Armenia, he worked in Kazakhstan, Poland, Germany, and Pakistan.

In an e-mail to friends, his wife Susan Abrams Jakab said, “George being George, he does not want a religious ceremony or even a memorial service. He wants — a party! He even left money in his will for a party with good wine and good food. He was captivated with the idea of getting all our friends, family, and colleagues together to meet one another in a gathering in which many conversations begin with, “So how do you know George?”” 

The AUA School of Public Health will have a Party to honor Dr. Jakab.

See his obituary at