From left, Ani Karamyan, Alexandra Missarian Brown, Arev Doursounian, (past scholarship recipients) with AIWA Champion, Harry Parsikian
The Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) – a global network dedicated to empowering Armenian women -- has bestowed almost $70,000 in scholarships to Armenian women students for the academic 2017-2018 year.
Scholars are studying in the United States and around the world thanks to an increasing scholarship program that has promoted over 200 students in the past 25 years.
“Our scholarships are often where we first intersect in the lives of Armenian women,” said Ani Kharajian, president of the AIWA Board of Directors. “Young women learn that we want to support their educational efforts and at the same time, other AIWA members and supporters see quite vividly how we start to empower young women as they begin their journey into adulthood.”
AIWA distributes scholarships through AIWA International – the umbrella organization – and through AIWA-Los Angeles and AIWA-San Francisco, two affiliates.
On Tuesday, June 20, three past scholarship recipients spoke at a networking event co-sponsored by AIWA and the Armenian Business Network (ABN).
“I loved that AIWA took a chance on me. They didn’t know me, but they believed in me. And it changed my life,” said Ani Karamyan, a scholarship recipient from Armenia who now lives and works in the Boston area.
“I thought that I would be quiet and not challenge things,” said Alexandra Missarian Brown, a two-time scholarship recipient. “I changed my mind when I saw a photo of my grandmother in the act of teaching. She was described as strong and formidable; a woman who loved what she did. AIWA helped me achieve my goals of teaching, which I now love. I feel like I’m honoring my grandmother.” Alexandra is studying for her PhD in Latin American Studies.
“I love the community of AIWA,” said Arev Doursounian, a recent scholarship recipient. “Through AIWA, I connected with women in AIWA-San Francisco during my internship last summer. I was able to talk about my future and find wonderful support. I can’t wait to give back as an AIWA member.”
The Armenian Business Network joined AIWA to support their work on behalf of women.
"We are honored and delighted to partner with AIWA on their work for women and developing our next generation Armenian women leaders. ABN promotes intellectual philanthropy and facilitates programs where accomplished individuals volunteer and share their know-how with other Armenians to see them succeed in their profession.
We look forward to our continued collaboration with AIWA and creating more opportunities that will benefit our members and community.” said Jack Antounian, ABN founder and president.
AIWA Scholarships are one of many initiatives to empower women. AIWA supports education, economic development and leadership initiatives, as well as educational programs that highlight the achievements and goals of Armenian women.
To see more photos from the ABN-AIWA Spring Soiree, please click HERE.
AIWA Scholarship Awards – 2017-2018
LUCY KASPARIAN AHARONIAN SCHOLARSHIPS - $1,000 each
*Andreasyan, Lana, of Yerevan, entering her Junior year at the University of California, San Diego, with a major in Mathematics and Computer Science.
*Drewitz, Anna, East Northport, N.Y., entering her Senior year at the University of Buffalo with a major in Architecture.
*Fermanian, Rita Stephan, of Beirut, Lebanon, entering her Junior year at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon, with a major in Engineering.
Temizel, Sila, of Istanbul, continuing her first year in a PhD program in Engineering at Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.
AGNES MISSIRIAN SCHOLARSHIP - $2,000
Meruzhanyan, Varya, of Yerevan, with an undergraduate degree from Brusov State University and an MS in International Organizations from the London School of Economics, entering a Master of Public Administration program at Harvard University.
DR. CAROLANN S. NAJARIAN SCHOLARSHIPS - $1,000 each
Adamyan, Arpi, of Yerevan, graduate of the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts, entering her first year of a Master of Fine Arts degree at Parsons School of Design, the New School, New York City.
*Ghannoun, Reena, of Aleppo, Syria, entering her senior year at Century College, White Bear Lake, Minn., working toward a BS in Pharmacy.
Harutyunyan, Gohar, of Abovyan, Armenia, with degrees from Artsakh State University and Columbia University, entering her third year in a PhD program in Management at Rutgers University.
Parnagian, Melissa, of Parlin, N.J., a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, entering her first year in a Master of Public Policy program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
*Saharyan, Meri, of Arteni, Armenia, entering her Senior year in Education at Georgia State University.
HRIPSIME PARSEKIAN SCHOLARSHIP - $1,000
Tonoyan, Lilit, of Yerevan, graduate of Yerevan State University in Economics, entering her first year in an MA program in International Politics at the University of Sheffield, England.
ETHEL JAFARIAN DUFFETT SCHOLARSHIPS -- $2,000
Whitman, Elizabeth, of Brooklyn, N. Y., a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in History, entering a Master of Arts in Science, Environmental, and Medical Journalism at Columbia.
ETHEL JAFARIAN DUFFETT SCHOLARSHIPS -- $1,000 each
*Boloyan, Lucine, of Newton, Mass., entering her junior year at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, working for a BS degree in Psychology.
Dadaian, Anna, of Moscow, graduate of the University of Leeds, entering her first year as a PhD student at University College, London, majoring in German with an interest in the History and Philosophy of Jungian Psychology.
*Grigoryan, Sona, of St. Truiden, Belgium, entering her Senior year in a Bachelor of Interior Design program at Luka School of Arts, Brussels.
*Kupelian, Katya, of Closter, N.J., entering her Senior year at Montclair State University and working toward a BA in TV and Digital Media.
Martirosyan, Syuzeta, of Goght, Armenia, with an MBA from the American University of Armenia, entering an MA program in Specialized Economic Analysis and International Trade at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, Spain.
*Minassian, Rachael, of Cranston, R. I., entering her Junior Year at Providence College, studying Political Science.
Mikaelian, Alik, of Cairo, Egypt, graduate of the German University of Cairo, entering her first year in a Master of Collaborative Design and Research at Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York City
Sahakyan, Taguhi, of Stepanavan, Armenia, a graduate of Lore University in Stepanavan and the American University of Armenia, entering her first year towards a Master’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from Virginia Tech University.
Torosyan, Taguhi, of Yerevan, a graduate of Yerevan State University in Oriental/Iranian Studies, entering her first year in a MA program in Media-Arts- Cultures sponsored by a consortium of universities beginning at Danube University, Krems, Austria.
*Vanian, Roza, of Moscow, entering her Senior year at the University of Cambridge, England, studying Law.
MARY V. TOUMAYAN SCHOLARSHIP - $1,000
*Chamberlain, Kyra Nairi, of Soquel, Calif., entering her Junior year at George Washington University with a major in Psychology (BS)
ROSE “AZAD” HOVANNESIAN SCHOLARSHIP - $500
Mkhitaryan, Armine, of Yerevan, with degrees in International Relations and Political Science from Yerevan State University and the American University of Armenia, entering her first year at Essex University, England, toward an MA degree in Sociology.
ALICE KANLIAN MIRAK SCHOLARSHIPS - $5,000
Two full tuition scholarships (at $2,500 each) awarded by the American University of Armenia.
HASMIK MGRDICHIAN SCHOLARSHIPS - $5,000 each
(Awarded by the AIWA/LA Affiliate to California residents)
Armen, Taleene Marseille, a Junior at Loyola Marymount College, pursuing a major in Psychology with a minor in Student Arts.
Gevorkian, Monique, a Junior at Cal State Northridge University, majoring in Communication Studies.
Keshishian, Vana, graduate student, attending first year at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services, majoring in Pharmacy.
Marzayan, Lala, a Senior at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, majoring in Architecture.
Sargsyan, Suzanna Agvani, a graduate student, in her second year at the University of Southern California, majoring in Public Administration.
Sarkissian, Talin Khachatoor, graduate student in her second year at Marshall B. Ketchum University, majoring in Optometry.