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AIWA congratulates our 2018-2019 Scholarship Award Recipients!

AIWA annually awards the Lucy Kasparian Aharonian, Ethel Jafarian Duffett, Rose “Azad” Hovannesian, Hasmik Mgrdichian, Agnes K. Missirian,  Dr. Carolann Najarian,  Hripsime Parsekian, Olga Proudian, and Mary Toumanian scholarships.


Los Angeles Affiliate:


*Abovian, Ani, a junior at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Human Biology. In July 2017 she interned at the Izmirlian Medical Center in Yerevan, gaining experience in the Surgical and Neurology Departments.

Khodabakhshian, Araz, entering her 5th and final year of her PhD program at the Anderson School of Management, working towards a degree in Decisions, Operations, and Technology, at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Chilingerian, Jenna Maria, with a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, entering her 1st year of a Master’s program in Community and Regional Planning, at the University of Oregon.

Injejikian, Lori Noushig, a graduate of California State University, Northridge, entering her 2nd year at McGill University seeking a Master’s Degree in History, with a focus on Gender and Sexuality.

Habeshian, Sareen Talar, with a BA in Public Health from Colmbia University, entering her 2nd year of a Master’s program in Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia.

Kyarunts, Mariam, a graduate of Stanford University in Anthropology, entering her 1st year at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.


New England Affiliate:


Krikorian, Lena, of Harrison, N.Y., with a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University, entering her first year of a Masters in International Studies program at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy.


Board of Directors’ Awards:


Palandjian, Garine, of Mesa, Ariz., with a BA degree from Rhode Island College and an MA from Lehigh University, entering her 2nd year of graduate studies towards a PhD in Education at Arizona State University.



Khazaryan, Michelle, of Washington, D.C., with an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California, entering her 2nd year of an MA program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, with a dual concentration in European and Eurasian Studies and International Economics.



Avagyan,  Marian, Hartford, Conn., a graduate of Trinity College with a BS degree in Engineering and Mathematics, entering an MS program at Columbia University, planning to then continue to earn a PhD in Electrical Engineering.

Hakobyan, Karine, of Cambridge, England, with BS and MS degrees in Bioorganic Chemistry from Yerevan State University, entering her 3rd year of a PhD program in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, England.

Hakobyan, Mariam, of Gyumri, Armenia, who is completing her BS degree in Computer Science from the American University of Armenia (including an exchange semester at the Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisbon, Portugal), entering the first year of an MS program in Data Science at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale of the University of Lausanne, France.

Muradyan, Ani, of Yerevan, Armenia, with BS and MS degrees from the Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction, is entering her first year for a Master  of Architecture degree from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.



*Bakarian, Meghri, a native of Aleppo, Syria, who has studied at Haigazian University and the University of Aleppo, entering her senior year at Concordia University pursuing a BA degree in Child Studies.

Garabedian, Robin, of Northhampton, Mass., with BA and MA degrees, is entering her 5th year in a PhD program in English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Israelian, Lori, of Oakville, Toronto, Canada, with a BS degree from the University of Guelph and a MS degree from the University of Toronto, is entering her 1st year of the MD program at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland.

Khachatryan, Hasmik of Yerevan, Armenia, with law degrees from the French University of Armenia and the American University of Armenia, entering the LL.M program at the University of Chicago Law School.

*Love, Kayla, of Rye, New York, entering her senior year with a major in Psychology and Business Administration at Fordham University.



Baghdassarian, Anoush, of Great Neck, N.Y., a graduate of Claremont McKenna College in Psychology and Spanish,, entering a one-year MA program in Human Rights at Columbia University.



Lawrence, Meredith, of Reading, Mass., who received a BA from Boston University in Film and Television, entering her 2nd year in a MA program in Journalism at New York University



Roma-Agvarian, Nina, of Boston, with a BA from Wesleyan University and MA from the American University of Armenia, entering her 1st year of a dual master’s program in Social Work and Science in Disaster Relief Leadership at Tulane University.



Avetisyan, Armine, of Watertown, Mass., with degrees from Gyumri Pedagogic Institute and Istanbul Bilgi University, entering her 2nd year in an MA program in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Grigoryan, Sona, of Yerevan, with a degree from the Agribusiness Teaching Center in Yerevan, entering her 2nd year of a Master’s degree in Agricultural Science with an emphasis on Agribusiness at Texas A & M University-Commerce.

Henderson, Carine Ulikhanian, of Sandy, Utah, with an undergraduate degree in Linguistics, entering her 2nd year of an MBA program at Brigham Young University.

Hintlian, Julia, of Cape Elizabeth, ME, with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, entering her 3rd year of study for a PhD in the History of Christianity at Harvard University.

Ishkhanyan, Anzhelika, of Yerevan, a  graduate of the French University of Armenia in Law with a Master 1 in Corporate Law from Paris 11 Pantheon-Assis, entering the LLM program in International Development at Harvard University.

*Jamkojian Houry, of Beirut, Lebanon, entering her 4th year of a 5-year program in Architecture at the Lebanese American University.

Lalafaryan, Narine, of Yerevan, who has earned law degrees from Yerevan State University, the American University of Armenia, and the University of Cambridge, is entering the PhD program in Law at the University of Cambridge, England.

*Magaryan, Anna, of Watertown, Mass., entering her senior year in a BS program in Criminal Justice at Suffolk University, Boston.

*Melkonyan, Syuzanna, of Newton, Mass., who began her studies at the American University of Armenia, is entering her 4th year of a BS program in Business Management at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

*Minassian, Rachael, of Cranston, R.I., entering her senior year at Providence College, majoring in Political Science.

Mirzoyan, Inna, of Lansing, Mich., with an undergraduate degree in Social Relations and Policy, entering her 2nd year of a PhD program majoring in Sociology, with a specialization in Women and Gender Studies, at Michigan State University.

*Nahigian, Alexandria, of Lexington, Mass., who is in her 3rd year of study for a BA in Early Childhood Education at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt.

*Simonyan, Anna, of Astoria, N.Y., entering her senior year at CUNY Hunter College, majoring in Dance and Psychology.

*Tavsan, Nadin, of Istanbul, entering her senior year at Istanbul University to earn a BA in French Language and Literature.

Trant, Amelia, of New Haven, Conn., with a degree in Biology, will enter her 1st year at Yale University Medical School.

Zahigian, Renee, of Winchester, Mass., is in the 4th year of a 5-year Master’s program in Elementary Education, with a concentration in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) at Assumption College.



*Doydoyan, Anna, of Yerevan, is entering her junior year of study at Yerevan State Medical University.

Doydoyan, Lilit, of  Yerevan, has her BA and MA (in Pharmacology) from Yerevan State Medical University, and is continuing her studies there with a major in Internal Medicine.




About our Scholarships

The Agnes K. Missirian Scholarship
, totalling $2,000, was established in memory of Bentley College (Waltham, Massachusetts) Professor of Management Agnes Missirian, a strong advocate for women’s rights. An early and enthusiastic supporter of AIWA and its programs to advance the status of Armenian women, Dr. Missirian was a member of the AIWA Board of Directors and chaired the organization’s first international conference, in London in 1994.

The AIWA Duffett Scholarships in varying amounts were made possible through a bequest from Ethel Jafarian Duffett, a survivor of the Genocide and a pioneering career woman. A native of Kharpert, she came to the United States in the 1920s and graduated from Jackson College, Tufts University, in 1937. She spent 30 years teaching and doing biochemical research in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and retired to Orlando, Florida, where she took an active interest in promoting awareness of Armenian issues.

The Dr. Carolann S. Najarian Scholarships, 5 awards of $1000 each, are made possible through the generosity of Dr. Carolann S. Najarian.

The Lucy Kasparian Aharonian scholarship of $1,000 is earmarked for students in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering, technology, computer science, and architecture. Lucy Kasparian Aharonian a native of Lynn, MA, enjoyed a long and varied career as an educator, software engineer, and basket artist with her own studio in Maynard, MA. An active member of the Soceity of Women Engineers, she taught at the elementary, secondary, junior college, college and continuing education levels. She was associated with Raytheon, MITRE Corporation, and GTE.

Scholarships for California Residents

The Hasmik Mgrdichian Scholarships are in the amount of $5,000 and awarded to five deserving California residents by our Los Angeles Affiliate. For more information about these scholarships, click here.

Due to the large number of applications, the scholarships have sometimes been divided among multiple recipients.


  • The scholarships are awarded 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.  (The Hasmik Mgrdichian scholarships for California residents are also available to sophomores.)
  • Awards are based on financial need and merit.

ABN-AIWA Spring Soiree
Recognizes $70,000 in Scholarships
to Armenian Women Students in 2017-2018

scholarship recipients and Harry Parsikian
From left, Ani Karamyan, Alexandra Missarian Brown, Arev Doursounian, (past scholarship recipients) with AIWA Champion, Harry Parsikian

July, 2017

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.