GLENDALE – On January 31, Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Ambassador Armen Baibourtian met with the Rector of Yerevan State University (YSU) Dr. Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, Head of YSU International Cooperation Office Dr. Alexander Markarov, and Director of YSU Center for American Studies Dr. Vahagn Aglyan at the Consulate General. The YSU delegation arrived in Los Angeles from Arizona, where YSU enjoys partnership relationship with Arizona State University.

Rector Hovhannisyan and members of the delegation discussed with Ambassador Baibourtian their intent to establish cooperation with public and private universities and colleges in California. One of the prime objectives of the cooperation agenda was the establishment of close ties with the institutes and centers of Armenian Studies at various American educational institutions in the West Coast. Ambassador Baibourtian expressed his full support to the YSU’s initiative in establishing close ties with the U.S. higher education institutions in California.

Organized by the Consulate General of Armenia, a meeting was held at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with its President Dr. Erika D. Beck, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mary B. Walker, and with the Director of the University’s Armenian Studies Program Dr. Vahram Shemmassian. Consequently, in a friendly and warm atmosphere, the participants of the meeting mutually introduced each other to Yerevan State University and California State University in Northridge, and outlined the areas for prospective cooperation. In fact, several thousand Armenian students study at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), which serves as an additional boosting factor for establishing and developing close mutual cooperation and partnership. President Erika D. Beck gladly accepted Rector Hovhannisyan’s invitation to visit Armenia in the Fall of the current year to get acquainted with YSU on the spot and to launch one or two cooperation projects in the scope of discussed cooperation.

Accompanied by Ambassador Baibourtian, the YSU delegation also visited the construction site of the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California located in the city of Glendale. Executive Chairman of the Museum Berdj Karapetian and architect of the Museum building Aram Alajajian presented to Rector Hovhannisyan the details of the Armenian American Museum’s project, designed to become a world class cultural and educational center. During the meeting, which continued at the Consulate General, an agreement was reached that YSU will support with the realization of the content of the Armenian American Museum. In addition, it was agreed upon that the YSU students can have their internship at the Museum after opening of its doors.

On February 1, upon the initiative of Dr. Baibourtian, the YSU delegation visited Glendale Community College (GCC), where a meeting was held with the President of the Board of Trustees Dr. Armine Hacopian, Board member Sevan Benlian, GCC Superintendent/President Dr. David Viar and Vice President of Instructional Services Dr. Michael Ritterbrown. The GCC leaders presented the College’s structure, governing and academic system, its educational opportunities, and the many services provided to its multiethnic student population. It was highlighted that 4,600 Armenian students study at GCC, which constitutes another incentive for creating bridges of partnership between YSU and GCC. The YSU leaders presented YSU as the mother university of Armenia, with its various educational programs and educational opportunities catered towards foreign students. Among the cooperation priorities, the need was outlined to enable GCC students to study for a semester at YSU in Yerevan this summer in the framework of the Study Abroad program. In order to solidify the partnership objective, the interlocutors agreed to draft and subsequently to sign a memorandum of cooperation, specifying the areas of mutual interest.

Accompanied by Consul General Baibourtian, the YSU delegation visited the Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of North America, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, discussing the matters related to supporting the educational programs of the YSU.

The YSU delegation also had a virtual meeting with Dr. Ann Karagozian, Inaugural Director of the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA, devising plans of mutually beneficial plans of cooperation. A meeting with Prof. Peter Cowe, Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Studies and Director of the Center for World Languages at UCLA also took place, where matters of cooperation were touched upon.

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