CSE Associate Professor Khalid Aboura Reflects on his Experience at AUA
Dr. Khalid Aboura, associate professor at the Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE) of the American University of Armenia (AUA), joined the University earlier in 2019. In the interview below, Dr. Aboura shared his first impressions of AUA, its faculty and students, his reasons for deciding to join AUA and more.
What initially influenced your choice of profession? Tell us about your academic background.
I grew up in Algeria when the country had just gained independence from colonial rule. Everything was to be built anew and there was strong emphasis placed on science and technology. While I was good in literature and natural sciences, I was selected to study mathematics because I was doing particularly well in that field. After four years of undergraduate courses in mathematics at the University of Science and Technology of Algiers, I received a scholarship to study Operations Research in the United States. I completed my master’s and doctoral degrees at George Washington University in Washington DC.
We know that you are new at AUA. What brought you here to AUA?
I was in Australia when I saw an advertisement by the Witt/Kieffer International global recruiting company about a position at the Akian College of Science and Engineering of the American University of Armenia. What attracted me was AUA’s renown in the region and its affiliation with the University of California at Berkeley, a research university of great standing and academic achievement. After a series of interviews by the recruiters and AUA that lasted several months, I was offered the position of associate professor. It is an honor and a privilege to be a faculty member of the American University of Armenia.
Tell us about your experience as a member of the AUA faculty. How do you like it?
The experience has been excellent and positive so far. I am still discovering various aspects of the University: the faculty is friendly, interesting and professional, the students are very well behaved, smart and inquisitive, and the leadership of the university, with its departing president Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian and new president Dr. Karin Markides, is of a very distinguished stature. The academic units of the University are very well administered by Dr. Randall Rhodes, a very skilled Provost, and the deans and program chairs who run various programs with precision and efficiency. I am truly impressed by this institution and its accomplishments. I think it has deservedly earned its reputation. I am surrounded by very knowledgeable teachers and researchers, starting with the dean of the College who is a Harvard graduate with many years of experience.
What do you think of today’s Armenian youth, judging from what you see at AUA? What is your perspective regarding the future of Armenian academia?
All younger generations are ahead of the previous generations in terms of technology and modern knowledge. It is no different in Armenia, although I feel that here the growth is even faster. The technology is available and the conditions are favorable. Also, the Armenian traditions of family values and education which go back in time, create a very positive environment, conducive to teaching and learning. My whole experience at AUA has been very delightful so far.