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AUA Receives $813,135 USAID/ASHA Grant for its Media Lab Project

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YEREVAN, Armenia — The American University of Armenia (AUA) is happy to receive the approval notification of a competitive grant award of $813,135 from the American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The grant is for the establishment of the AUA Media Lab, which aims to strengthen democratic culture, promote the development of a civic press, foster citizen engagement in social media, and advocate for the proper discernment of information. 

Through cutting-edge equipment and tools, the AUA Media Lab will serve as a medium for pinpointing target areas of media intervention most crucial for the industry. The initiative will promote the co-creation of well-grounded and reliable approaches to curtail pervasive misinformation and disinformation that corrupt the media landscape and falsely amplify narratives that undermine the legitimacy of democracy. With a focus on strengthening American values and practices and catalyzing collaboration with civil society, the Media Lab will serve as a platform for fostering public trust, tolerance, and empathy between and among various communities. This is expected to improve the media landscape and the level of civic engagement, as well as nurture civic skills that advance an effective and results-driven reform agenda. 

As a 21st century American educational institution, part of AUA’s role is to inform, educate and enlighten large numbers of learners within the AUA community, as well as in the extended urban and rural populations. By serving as a community media hub, the AUA Media Lab is expected to generate a competitive advantage for AUA in identifying the most optimal strategic directions for civil society capacity building. This will expand learning opportunities and advance leadership competencies among students, particularly those majoring in humanities and social sciences or business by fostering dialogue and seminal discourse and communication initiatives. 

The AUA Media Lab will not only promote civic engagement among all members of the AUA community, other users, guests, invited speakers, and participants of public events, but also expand institutional linkages and collaborations with other local and international universities and research centers. The larger community will have the opportunity to take part in targeted professional and specialized training in high-impact media concepts and related topics. Moreover, AUA will be able to build expert capacity and attract new collaborative initiatives and research through the Media Lab.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values. 

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[Asbarez] AUA Receives $813,135 USAID/ASHA Grant for its Media Lab Project

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