AUA Officially Welcomes Dr. Karin Markides as 5th University President
YEREVAN, Armenia – On July 8, 2019, the American University of Armenia (AUA) community gathered to officially welcome Dr. Karin Markides as the 5th University President. Faculty, staff, and others filled AUA’s Akian Art Gallery for a reception to wish her well as she begins her journey as President of the University. Former President Armen Der Kiureghian opened the reception with brief remarks. “I want to again thank you for your support, your camaraderie, your friendship over the years,” he said to the crowd. He then introduced President Markides and extended to her a warm welcome.
President Markides gave a short speech. “Now, I’m here, starting work today. Now, I am part of AUA,” she said enthusiastically. “I’m looking forward to sitting down and talking with everyone. I want to learn very much where you come from, what your ambitions are, and where you feel that this University could go so that we can all work together,” Dr. Markides said, inviting faculty, staff, and others in the AUA community to meet with her.
“We are going to take this university even further,” she said, speaking of her plans to build upon AUA’s track record of success and growth.
She also introduced her husband. “We were born in different countries. But we are actually international. You will get to know us over the years to come. We really want to work together with you and do the best we can.”
As colleagues and guests mingled, President Markides shared a few words with AUA’s Office of Communication, speaking of the mission of the University and her vision and plans to build upon established successes. “We can work together with other actors to build upon the nation’s strengths throughout all regions. There are many possibilities to make an impact and to ensure that more of our students stay in the country and develop it.”
“We will work to create impact. We have the right students and faculty and we have expertise in the areas that are important to develop, from public health to science and technology. … It’s a big challenge, but I really believe we can take steps in that direction,” she stated.
President Markides spoke more about her intention to collaborate with other stakeholders to develop the country. “I’m looking forward to finding ways to really connect with the regions and I think the governors of the regions will have an interest to discuss with us to see how they can connect.”
She spoke further about collaboration and mentioned the work of the panel jointly initiated by AUA and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) to advise the Armenian government on the development of the country’s technology sector. She mentioned meeting with U.S. Embassy and Swedish Embassy representatives to discuss possibilities of cooperation.
“I’m going to work on increasing trust among different groups. Because I think that’s the key to really make this move forward,” Dr. Markides stated, sharing her hope to encourage stakeholders to work together toward shared goals.
Before assuming the presidency of AUA, Dr. Markides has served as president and CEO of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. She briefly mentioned her background and connections in Europe and beyond. “I have a strong network across the world and I will invite people who could inspire future development,” she stated.
“I have big plans. We all do. That’s why I’m here,” concluded President Markides.
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.