YEREVAN—The American University of Armenia (AUA) on March 20 received a grant of $999,000 from the American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to construct, furnish, and equip a student residence facility.
The project aims to reconstruct and renovate one of the two buildings donated to AUA last year by longtime philanthropists K. George and Dr. Carolann Najarian. Upon renovation, the building will serve as a student residence facility. With an added floor, it will become a four-story building, accommodating up to 61 persons. The residence will have double, triple, and quadruple rooms furnished with a common kitchen, study area, wireless internet access, and designated spaces for social gatherings and professional activities.
The facility will be designed to promote student engagement, collaborative decision-making, leadership opportunities, and ideals of independence. Moreover, the learning-living programming will be specifically tailored to enhance learning and development outcomes. Through communal living and engagement the facility will serve as a platform that fosters an informal sharing of knowledge and appreciation of cultural differences among resident international and local students. AUA President Armen Der Kiureghian notes that, “It is one of the University’s strategic goals to enhance and diversify our student body with a target of 20% international students, as well as to have more students from Armenia’s provinces. We are confident that this new residence facility will help achieve this goal.”
Programming will also promote gender equality through the development of the sense of self-reliance, self-confidence, and leadership in female students and an appreciation of their rights, responsibilities, and capabilities. Furthermore, the residence will be fully accessible to physically disabled persons toward the end of achieving maximal inclusiveness.
Expressing satisfaction that AUA has received this grant from USAID/ASHA, Ambassador Mills said, “The United States has been a friend and partner to the Armenian people for 25 years, and we have been a proud supporter of AUA since the first days of Armenia’s independence. This most recent grant of $999,000, which brings our total financial support to AUA over the years to well over $15 million dollars, will help AUA attract an even more diverse student population and ultimately help its entire student body become more interculturally aware and thus better prepared to navigate and thrive in a global economy.”
AUA Assistant Vice President Anahit Ordyan noted that “AUA is grateful for ASHA’s continuous support to improve the campus facilities, with past projects including the renovation and expansion of the AUA Papazian library, replacement of old elevators and furnishing of integrated technology classrooms, construction of Student Services/Student Excellence Center and the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC).”
ASHA provides assistance to schools, libraries, and medical centers outside the United States that serve as study and demonstration centers for American ideas and practices. ASHA’s grants help these institutions train future leaders in a wide variety of disciplines, support local and regional infrastructure to foster development and cultivate positive relationships and mutual understanding among citizens of the United States and other nations.
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.