Drs. Kenn M. Kakosian and Irina V. Kakosyan

American University of Armenia Announces Kenn Kakosian Family Scholarship Fund

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YEREVAN — The American University of Armenia (AUA) is pleased to announce a new scholarship sponsored by renowned husband and wife dentists Drs. Kenn M. Kakosian and Irina V. Kakosyan of New York City. With this generous annual gift of $100,000 to establish the Kenn Kakosian Family Scholarship Fund, Dr. Kakosian aims to provide academic opportunities to ambitious students from the provinces of Armenia and Artsakh, extending his reach outside the central hub of Yerevan.

“The natural resources and traditions in provinces give unique opportunities for public-private partnerships. When universities are active participants with new knowledge, perspectives and students that will become the future leaders, these clusters can give impact and attraction to prosperity. The students awarded this scholarship will be guided by dedicated mentors to integrate their university studies with possibilities in education, research, collaboration and outreach connected to development in a cluster of choice. We are deeply grateful to our donors for this insightful new scholarship program,” reflected President of AUA, Dr. Karin Markides.

Full tuition scholarships will be awarded to students who have been admitted to one of the three collaborating universities — AUA, Yerevan State University, and Armenian National Agrarian University — with AUA taking the lead in administering the program. With this cross-university cooperation, the scholarship stands out as unique in its national scope. The Fund will provide renewable annual scholarships to cover up to 100% of each selected student’s tuition for four years of study. Recipients will hail from the less served and developed provinces of Shirak, Lori, Tavush, Syunik, Vayots Dzor, and Artsakh.

“Those of us who have visited over the years can see the enormous gaps in development, opportunity, and even security among different regions. By starting a program modeled after successful international aid programs to educate and empower students to put their new skills to work in needier places, we hope to contribute to a solution,” noted Drs. Kenn and Irene Kakosian, “And we want to thank AUA president Dr. Markides as well as Yerevan State and the Armenian National Agrarian University for coming together on this program with the hope that it grows over the years.”

As part of the scholarship requirement, applicants will describe how their studies and planned work will benefit these selected provinces to develop prosperity and desirable resilience. Recipients, who will be publicly identified as “Kakosian Scholars,” will select and commit themselves to a capacity-building project in a developmental area of choice during the course of their studies. The goal is to encourage Kakosian Scholars to eventually choose to return to attractive jobs in an Armenian province after completing their studies and continue developing these critical regions.

“This scholarship is a wonderful opportunity to not only financially support our students in receiving a quality education, but also encourage and help them realize their dreams and contribute to the development of their communities and our country,” said Rector of Yerevan State University Dr. Hovhannes Hovhannisyan. “I would like to thank the Kakosian family for this patriotic and important initiative, emphasizing the importance of the cooperation established between the three universities within the framework of this program and ensuring that it will best serve our students and facilitate our further collaboration.”

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“The contribution of the Kenn Kakosian Family Scholarship Fund is highly valuable given the current difficulties facing Armenia and Artsakh. The Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) is happy to be one of the three collaborating Armenian universities, and I strongly welcome and appreciate this unique opportunity for our students to be part of this exciting development,” commented Dr. Vardan Urutyan, rector of ANAU. “Moreover, we at ANAU are pleased that a priority area like agriculture and rural development has been valued by the Fund. This means that the best students from the targeted regions will have the opportunity to receive a scholarship which will realize their vision related to their respective communities and their own professional career while contributing to the balanced development of these regions and communities.”

A mentor assigned by the Armenian Technology Future Initiative (ATF Initiative) will guide them through the volunteer work, research, internships, and other activities involved in each scholar’s capacity-building project. The ATF Initiative is the ideal partner organization for the Kakosian scholarship, as it aims to implement and scale educational and outreach projects to promote technological development in Armenia and foster dialogue among educational institutions, technology industries, and the government.

“The government welcomes and supports these types of initiatives, which play an important role in the development of our country and its educational system. The Kenn Kakosian Family Scholarship Fund will help bright students who achieve high academic performance and are active in their provinces contribute to the prosperity of their communities and become future leaders,” said Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia Karen Trchounian.

Scholar selection will be a collaborative process, conducted by a panel — headed by AUA and consisting of representatives from the three universities who will award the scholarships to students with the most competitive application and motivation letter and with proven engagement through the years of study. The Kakosian Scholars will be assigned a mentor who will support the development of an engagement schedule in selected areas of development. Kakosian Scholars will meet periodically as a group, as well as with the Benefactor to review their studies and work on an annual basis.

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