USAID Armenia Mission Representatives Visit AUA3 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — On March 11, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Armenia Acting Mission Director David Hoffman, accompanied by USAID Armenia Supervisory Program Officer Brioni James, USAID Armenia Democracy and Governance Office Director Adam Stefan, USAID Armenia Economic Growth Office Deputy Director Andrew Golda, and USAID Armenia Project Management Specialist Astghik Grigoyan.
AUA Assistant Vice President Anahit Ordyan and Director of Facilities and Services Shahan Jebejian greeted the guests on their arrival and escorted them to the conference room where they were joined by the AUA leadership. The goal of the visit was to get acquainted with the University programs and specifically learn about the most recent initiatives implemented in the framework of the AUA-USAID partnership.
Following welcoming remarks by AUA President Dr. Karin Markides, AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) Dean Dr. Varduhi Petrosyan gave a brief report on the USAID-funded “Institutionalization of Patient-Centered Tuberculosis Treatment in Armenia” project, which concluded in September 2019. She underscored the sustainability of the innovative treatment approach that integrated educational, technological, and social evidence-based components to empower patients and their families along the TB care pathway leading to improved health outcomes. What followed was a brief discussion of the activities under the “Support to Control COVID-19 and Other Infectious Disease Outbreaks” project.
Next, AUA Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Dean Dr. Aram Hajian gave an overview of the continuing STEMGen program. This three-year project aims at mainstreaming best teaching practices and innovative pedagogies for STEM education in middle and high schools and has already reached over 700 students throughout Armenia.
These, as well as past projects, depict the high impact of USAID-partnered initiatives. As Ordyan emphasized in her remarks, the long-term partnership with USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) has made a striking difference and produced many success stories, such as the efficacious response of the AUA community to the challenges of COVID-19 and the Artsakh War, as was featured in the video shown at the 2021 ASHA Partners Meeting. She also spoke about the recent completion of the USAID/ASHA-funded AUA Student Residence, which will house 56 students from the regions of Armenia and from abroad.
At the conclusion of the reports, USAID Armenia Mission Director David Hoffman congratulated AUA on its upcoming 30th anniversary and commended the University for consistently integrating sustainability into every project. Closing remarks by Dr. Markides wrapped up the meeting with words of thanks, placing emphasis on the importance of AUA’s increased collaboration with other universities regionally and globally.
The guests then took a campus tour led by Ordyan and Jebejian with stops at the AUA Manoogian Simone College of Business and Economics (CBE), the AGBU Papazian Library, the Student Union, the Collaborative Study Space, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC), and the multi-purpose labs on the sub-basement floor of the Main Building. Throughout the tour, Jebejian put the renovations into perspective by displaying before and after photos, illustrating the enormous impact USAID/ASHA grants have realized on the quality and reach of education at AUA. Over the past two decades, AUA has received over $14.6 million in grants from USAID/ASHA for the reconstruction or renovation of classrooms and offices in the Main Building (MB), furnishings and equipment in the Paramaz Avedisian Building (PAB), renovation of the AGBU Papazian Library and cafeteria, replacing the MB elevators, and construction of the Student Union, Faculty Center, the Student Residence, and the Center for Social Entrepreneurship (in progress), and the implementation of a number of other key projects.
The guests were impressed by their visit to AUA, expressing the wish for a return visit when the campus returns to normal student life.
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.