Fresno State, Armenian university forge partnership

Fresno State officials  announced a new partnership with the American University School in Armenia (AUA) yesterday as part of an effort to boost opportunities for Armenian studies, The Business Journal reports.

The new deal, signed into being by Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro, will allow for the exchange of students and faculty between the two schools and promote joint research.

“Through this agreement, we will boldly rise together,” said President Joseph I. Castro. “It’s both important and timely.”

Located in Yerevan, Armenia, AUA is in its 25th year and has a student body of 1,600. Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, university president and one of three cofounders of AUA, said the campus has a lot to offer Fresno State students including studies in engineering, computer science, economics, public health and law.

“Our university is dynamic and it’s growing,” he said. “There are so many things to see and there is so much to enjoy.”

Studying abroad at AUA would also allow the Central Valley’s Armenian students a chance to connect with their ancestral roots, and Der Kiureghian said the university hopes to eventually be a hub for American universities.

For now, Fresno State is the first U.S. university to establish such a relationship with the school.

The new deal bolsters Fresno State’s current Armenian studies program and is the latest step Castro has taken in strengthening ties between the university and the Armenian community. In April, 2015, university officials unveiled a monument dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide.

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