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Dr. Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan Appointed C. Judson King Endowed Professor 

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YEREVAN, Armenia The American University of Armenia (AUA) proudly announces the appointment of Dr. Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan to the position of the C. Judson King Endowed Visiting Professorship, carrying forth her late husband Dr. Scott Campbell’s teaching legacy at the University. 

The Professorship, along with the William Frazer Endowed Professorship, was established through a generous contribution by the late Edward Avedisian honoring the longtime fellow trustees with whom he served on the AUA Board of Trustees. Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan will be joining the faculty of the AUA Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE), teaching a course in Creativity and Technological Innovation. In addition, she will collaborate with Chair of the Engineering Science (ES) program Satenik Mnatsakanyan in the first semester segment of the year-long ES capstone course. Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan will also work with CSE Dean Dr. Aram Hajian and ES program chairs to leverage her experience in teaching, research, and university service to spur the continued growth of the college, as well as to help boost partnerships with industry to realize cross-disciplinary research collaborations.

Looking forward to her position, Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan shares, “I am very honored to be selected as the inaugural recipient of the C. Judson King Endowed Visiting Professorship at AUA this academic year. My role in this position is to enhance several aspects of students’ skills through teaching and mentoring, as well as to assist with the establishment of new initiatives and pursuit of potential. I hope to connect with many students, learn more about their ideas and goals, and guide them on the right path so they can think creatively and benefit from the process of technological innovation.” 

Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan is no stranger to AUA, having herself graduated from the University in 1996 with a master’s in engineering. Throughout her extensive two-decade career in the sphere of higher education, she has been involved in research, teaching, and service endeavors related to university-industry-government, cross-department, and cross-institutional partnerships. Her 15-year experience spans leadership and strategic planning, development of university-wide programs to improve research and enhance teaching by building connections with industry and universities across regional, national, and international domains. She served as the founding director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UWM) Biomedical Imaging and Testing Laboratory as well as the chair of the University’s Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and director of the Consortium for Advanced Research in Gas Industry. At UWM, Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan also raised funds for the endowment of the first-ever engineering department-level student scholarships in logistics and operations research, sponsored by FedEx Smart Post, and established a partnership for a Connected Enterprise program at the University with Rockwell Automation, CISCO, SAS, and Siemens. During her time at AUA, she also worked at the Engineering Research Center and had the fortune of meeting her late husband, Dr. Scott Campbell, who was teaching at the University. 

Dr. Scott Campbell earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D in structural engineering from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, later becoming one of the leading experts in the field. He had just graduated from UC Berkeley when he was offered a faculty position in AUA’s seismic engineering program by Co-founder and Interim President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian. Accepting the opportunity, he moved to Armenia and taught at AUA from 1995 to 1997. 

Dr. Scott Campbell and Dr. Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan

Dr. Scott Campbell and Dr. Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan, 2021

Dr. Campbell’s love for education, research, and innovation followed him throughout his career and was apparent to all who knew him. He was known by those around him as an inspirational and kind person and by his students and colleagues as a dedicated and passionate mentor. “Scott fascinated many of us at AUA with his erudition, knowledge, and kindness. He was a fun person to talk to and work with; we shared many interests and values that brought us closer and closer with time,” recalls Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan. 

As their friendship evolved during his two-year tenure at AUA, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Campbell-Kyuregyan got married in 1997, started a family, and were blessed with their daughter Anahit and son John. They were not just a married couple, but close colleagues for many years. “I had the great fortune to work with Scott on many research projects, and while our collaboration started at AUA, it lasted for 25 more years, until his death. Together we raised many graduate students (our ‘adopted children’) who became successful researchers, educators, and professionals,” Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan fondly remembers.

Soon after they were married, Dr. Campbell accepted a faculty position in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Ohio State University, which prompted their move to the United States. “Shortly after we moved, I started exploring opportunities in the academic arena and met many fascinating scientists and professors who motivated me to look into bioengineering. So, after becoming involved as a research scientist at the OSU Bioengineering Center for a couple of years, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in biomechanics, which became my passion for life,” Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan remarks. 

Now, many years later, she finds herself back at AUA and looks forward to playing her part in preparing students for the future of Armenia. She elaborates on how the trajectory of the country in the next few years depends on many external and internal factors, one being how well and quickly the nation adapts to the current technological revolution that will consequently evolve aspects of individual lives. “Today, students must possess 21st-century skills that include the ability to adapt to technological changes, critical thinking, creativity, innovative problem solving, and entrepreneurship. My understanding is that the mission and vision of AUA is to be a flagship institution in Armenia in terms of research, education, innovation, and entrepreneurship. That means that the institution will continue producing future leaders, innovators, and professionals that are prepared for 21st-century challenges,” she adds.

In January 2023, Dr. Scott Campbell lost his battle to pancreatic cancer. In his memory, the family established the Dr. Scott Campbell Endowed Scholarship Fund to support students of AUA in computer science and engineering. Dr. Campbell-Kyureghyan explains, “Scott always followed the mission and efforts of AUA and was happy to see how the institution grew and evolved over the years. As a passionate engineer and researcher, Scott often gave talks encouraging young people to choose STEM fields and mentored many of them over the years. It was a privilege for our family to continue supporting Scott’s legacy as an outstanding engineer, mentor, and educator through the establishment of a scholarship endowment at AUA in his name that will help to financially support many of those passionate students over the years.”

AUA is grateful to the legacy of Dr. Scott Campbell and looks forward to a productive future of academic excellence with Dr. Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan. To contribute to the Dr. Scott Campbell Endowed Scholarship Fund, donors can make a gift in his memory here

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 and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values. AUA’s Office of Development stewards the University’s philanthropic efforts exclusively for educational purposes.