From left, Arevik Petrosyan, Narek Melkumyan, Nancy Kalajian (moderator), Lilit Petrosyan, Viktor Yengibaryan, Asanet Aloyan)

CYSCA Holds Annual Meeting, Panel Discussion with Tavitian Scholars

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The 32nd annual meeting of the Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association (CYSCA) was held on May 23 at Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church in Cambridge. It began with a business meeting during which CYSCA President Alisa Stepanian gave opening remarks. Jack Medzorian gave a report on this year’s activities of the Armenia School Aid Project (ASAP). Since its founding in 1994, CYSCA has given money to more than 200 schools in the regions of Armenia. In March 2018, $3,500 was personally disbursed to six schools in the Berd region including primary, high school and college level for various needs of those schools.

CYSCA participated in the 2018 Cambridge Science Festival for the ninth consecutive year. This year, CYSCA organized a panel discussion on 3D printing, including Dr. Hrayr Azizbekyan, a 3-D printing expert from Yerevan, along with five local experts from FormLabs, Einstein’s Workshop, Microsoft, NVBOTS, and a 3D visionary. Opening remarks were made by Dr. Jack Keverian, who presented an overview of the evolution of 3D printing, and Berge Ayvazian of Wireless 20/20 moderated the panel discussion. Panelists shared examples of their work and talked about the future of 3-D printing. During Dr. Azizbekyan’s stay in Boston, CYSCA organized visits to various companies doing 3D printing at which there were discussions on potential collaborative programs.

In October 2017, CYSCA hosted a group of young media literacy professionals from Armenia, through a program called Open World. Open World is run out of the US Library of Congress and is the only federal legislative exchange program working with all the post-Soviet republics and Russia. These young professionals met with their local counterparts including Media Literacy NOW, Wheelock College, Emerson College, Cambridge public schools, WGBH, Swampscott High School and Lesley University, among others. They participated in a panel discussion at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) at which they shared details of their Boston trip and lessons learned that they plan to implement in Armenia. The 2017 annual meeting minutes and financial report were reviewed and approved. Finally, the 2018-2019 CYSCA Board slate was presented and approved. They include Nathan Allukian, Roxanne Etmekjian, Isabelle Hamel, Nancy Kalajian, Philip Ketchian, Eva Medzorian, Jack Medzorian, Ashot Papoyan, Alisa Stepanian and Scott Yerganian.

After the business meeting, guest speakers from Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the Tavitian scholars, shared details of their various jobs in Armenia. The cost of this six-month program for outstanding young professionals from Armenia has been financed by benefactor Asso Tavitian for the past 19 years at the Fletcher School. The panelists included: Asanet Aloyan, Chief Tax Inspector, State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Armenia (Tax Administration); Arevik Petrosyan, Methodologist and UNAIDS Project Assistant, Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Armenia, National Center for AIDS Prevention; Lilit Petrosyan, public law expert, Ministry of Justice, Center for Legislation Development and Legal Research; Narek Melkumyan, Assistant to Deputy Mayor, Municipality of Yerevan; and Viktor Yengibaryan, President of European Movement of Armenia, External Relations Adviser to the Parliamentary Fraction, National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. Varied topics discussed included rule of law, the Constitution, taxes, corruption, Nagorno-Karabakh and life in the villages. There was a brief discussion of HIV and AIDS in Armenia and its impact on individuals and families. There are support programs to bring awareness of this issue, especially to those living in Armenian villages, and progress is ongoing.

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