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AUA Alumni Scholarship Established in California

4 min read

By Taleen Babayan
Development Communications

LOS ANGELES, CA – For students of the American University of Armenia (AUA), graduation is only the beginning of their fruitful relationship with their alma mater.

Carrying their positive experiences as undergraduate and graduate students at AUA, alumni in Southern California – upon finding professional stability and success – have chosen to give back through the “AUA California Alumni Scholarship.” The 25 participants, who studied in various AUA programs, raised over $3,500 to support students.

“The alumni scholarship provides an opportunity to reward AUA students for being committed to their futures with the hope that they go on to make great contributions to their communities,” said Anahit Baghdasaryan (LL.M. ‘16).

While the Los Angeles and Orange County areas of California are currently home for these alumni, Armenia remains close to their hearts and contributing to the country remains a priority. By creating the scholarship, they give two students at AUA a chance to receive quality education and become part of Armenia’s development and advancement.

“AUA equipped me for success in my professional career in the U.S., which helped me start a software development company in Armenia that currently employs 50 IT professionals,” said Ana Acton (MBA ‘96) who currently runs and operates Altacode, based in Yerevan.

Throughout her career she has worked with many Ivy League graduates and says with confidence that “the education we received at AUA shines in that company.”

As a scholarship recipient, she feels “the time has come for me to do the same for the next generation” and stresses that all of AUA’s student body should “use their knowledge and skills to benefit Armenia without compromising the historical, moral, and cultural values our country stands for.”

As alumni born in the homeland, they see a significant need to support the education and students in order to “create a rotation that makes everyone victorious,” said Ruzanna Mkhitaryan (MPH ‘97).

Arsen Aydinian (ME IESM ‘99) noted that the scholarship is a “concrete way to give back to the community.”

Like many others, he states AUA helped him excel in his career, particularly while working abroad, where his colleagues were impressed with his academic background and credentials.

“I proudly mention that AUA prepared me well for the future by giving me holistic knowledge in many areas including language, business and engineering,” said Aydinian, who fully supports giving the new generation opportunities to pursue their education without financial burdens. “We want the AUA alumni family to grow and contribute to Armenia’s well-being.”

For Dr. Karen Baghdasaryan (MBA ‘98), life had become a predictable routine until he opened the doors to AUA, which “uplifted my spirit and opened up so many possibilities.”

In addition to increased financial security he received thanks to his degree, Dr. Baghdasaryan found deeper meaning and fulfillment in himself and the world around him.

“I graduated AUA as a new person, better qualified for steering through and tackling the challenges of life,” said Dr. Baghdasaryan (MBA ‘98). “Suddenly everything assumed different shapes and I started to succeed in everything I applied myself to.”

His time at AUA allowed him to grow “onward and upwards” as he became engulfed in his new environment, engaging with his professors and fellow students while embracing everything the campus had to offer – from the library, to the classrooms, to the programming, and most importantly, the knowledge he was exposed to.

“I am eternally grateful to AUA for giving me the opportunity to be the best I can be and providing the platform with immense opportunities to succeed in life,” said Dr. Baghdasaryan.

AUA has been a transformative university for countless alumni, whose mission now is to pay it forward.

“AUA changed all aspects of my life in the most wonderful way,” said Irina Sarkisyan Vardanyan (LL.M. ‘99). “I know many deserving young people in Armenia who cannot afford to study there, and I would love for us to provide the chance for others to pursue their dreams and become professionals in order to serve our country.”

“Our AUA alumni is changing our homeland for the better.”

Participating alumni in the AUA California Alumni Scholarship include: Ana Acton (MBA ‘96), Arsen Aidinyan (ME IESM ‘99), Lusine Artenyan (ME IESM ‘99), Anna Badalyan (MBA ‘95), Anahit Baghdasaryan (LL.M. ‘16), Karen Baghdasaryan (MBA ‘98), Lilit Baghumyan (ME IESM ‘03), Tigran Baiburtski (MS EE ‘94), Samvel Darbinyan (MS CIS ‘11), Sargis Galstyan (MBA ‘03), Anush Gevorgyan (MPH ‘03), Arman Gevorgyan (MBA ‘94), Yulia Ghazaryan (M PSIA ‘99), Tatevik Hakobyan (ME IESM ‘08), Vahan Karapetyan (MBA ‘16), Vladimir Kolosarian (MBA ‘94), Areg Margarian (MS EE ‘95), Shushanik Margarian (LL.M. ‘16), Edwin Mehdikhan (ME IESM ‘05), Ruzanna Mkhitaryan (MPH ‘97), Arayik Sargsyan (MPH ‘03), Irina Sarkisyan (LL.M. ‘99), Koryun Simonyan (MBA ‘16), Aren Voskanyan (MBA ‘02), Lusine Yepremyan (ME IESM ‘99).

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. For more information about the American University of Armenia and its donor opportunities, please visit

Upper row from left to right: Yulia Ghazaryan, Irina Sarkisyan, Vladimir Kolossaryan, Arman Gevorgyan, Shushanik Margarian, Ana Acton, Lilit Baghumyan. Bottom row from left to right: Areg Margaryan, Arayik Sargsyan, Karen Baghdasaryan, Samvel Darbinyan