14 Students Awarded $23,000 from AIWA’s Scholarship Programs

WATERTOWN, Mass.—Scholarship awards totaling $23,000 and benefiting 14 students for the upcoming academic year were announced on May 2 at the Armenian International Women’s Association’s (AIWA) Annual Meeting, held at the Burlington Marriott Hotel.

Heading the list are the two winners of the coveted Lucy Kasparian Aharonian Scholarship of $5,000 each, awarded to students in the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics. These awards are issued in conjunction with the Society of Women Engineers (Boston Chapter).

Aikaterini Kirkorian was one recipient of the Lucy Kasparian Aharonian Scholarship. A native of Greece, Kirkorian received her MS degree in chemical engineering from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki. She has already published an article on her academic research in the field of polymers, and plans to pursue doctoral studies at a university in England in the fall. A talented musician (piano-keyboard, bass guitar), she plays volleyball and enjoys painting.

Maral Tajerian also received the Lucy Kasparian Aharonian award. Tajerian is a native of Lebanon and received her BS degree from the American University of Beirut (AUB). She is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in neurology and neurosurgery at the McGill University Medical School in Montreal. She plays the piano and volunteers her services for underprivileged children in Montreal and (during summers) to health care for seniors in Anjar, Lebanon.

The AIWA endowed Lucy Kasparian Aharonian award of $1,000 was given to Arin Aprahamian, a graduate of Arslanian College in Beirut who is currently enrolled in a five-year program in architecture at AUB.

Arminé Nalbandian, a graduate of Arlington High School in Arlington, Mass. was granted an AIWA scholarship in the amount of $3,000 to pursue an MS degree in developmental studies at the London School of Economics in the fall. Chosen as the commencement speaker for her graduating class at Northeastern University in Boston last year, Nalbandian is currently completing a year of study in Yerevan as a Fulbright Scholar. She previously studied at the London School of Economics as a Hansard Scholar and has been active in numerous organizations, both on campus and off.

The Agnes Missirian Scholarship of $2,000 was awarded to Laura Rose Kavazanjian, a native of Mineola, N.Y., and a graduate of Brown University. Currently employed as program officer for the William J. Clinton Foundation in Mumbai, India, she will enter an MS program in international education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the fall.

Through the generosity of Dr. Carolann S. Najarian, five scholarships of $1,000 each are awarded annually. The winners this year are:

—Maral Mardiros Balayan, a native of Cairo and a graduate of Misr University in Egypt. Balayan is entering her second year at Boston University for an MA in U.S. foreign policy and journalism. She has already amassed extensive experience in journalism in Cairo and the United States.

—Elen Galayjian, a native of Yerevan and a graduate of Gavar State Institute of Economics in Armenia. She is entering her second year of MA studies in health administration at the University of Southern California and will return to Armenia upon receiving her degree

—Arousiag Markarian, a native of Forest Hills, NY, and a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. She is entering her sixth year of a demanding seven-year BS/MD program at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York. She has broad experience in internships, including summers in Armenia.

—Stephanie Erin Stockdale, a native of Fresno, Calif., the recipient of BA and MA degrees from California State University, Fresno. She is entering her second year in an MBA program in international business and has experience and internships with both Armenian and non-Armenian organizations.

—Vartanoush Torossian, a native of Bulgaria and a BS graduate (summa cum laude) in cinema and photography from Ithaca College in New York. She has already amassed an impressive portfolio of film credits, and plans to pursue a degree in film directing.

The Rose “Azad” Hovannesian Scholarship of $500 was awarded to Sarah Varadian of Newton, Mass., who will enter her senior year in American Studies at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. She spent the fall 2008 semester studying at Oxford University in England.

The Zarouhi Y. Getsoyan Scholarship of $500 goes to Arevig Myrenie Setian, a native of Cambridge, Mass., who received her undergraduate degree from Calvin College in Michigan and will enter the masters program at the Boston College School of Nursing in the fall.

Two AIWA Scholarships of $500 each were awarded to Hripsime Mkrtchyan, a graduate of Yerevan State University who is studying for her Master of Public Administration degree from Suffolk University in Boston, and to Natalie Samarjian, a native of Lebanon, who received her BA from the University of California in Los Angeles, her MS in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg,  and will enter law school in the fall.

The announcement of the awards was made by members of the AIWA Scholarship Committee, Barbara Merguerian and Joy Renjilian-Burgy. Other members of the committee, who could not be present, are Christine Aharonian and Herminé Janoyan.

AIWA scholarships are awarded annually to full-time female students of Armenian descent attending accredited colleges or universities. Students entering their junior or senior year in college, as well as graduate students, are eligible to apply for the awards, which are based on financial need and merit. Applications are made available annually after Jan. 1 and are due the first week in April.

For more information about AIWA scholarships, projects, and programs to increase the visibility of Armenian women, call (617) 926-0171, email [email protected], visit www.aiwa-net.org, or write to AIWA at 65 Main St., Watertown, MA 02472.

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