Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

Armenian Studies Program

YSU Business Program

Yerevan State University President Dr. Radick Martirossian and Delegation Visit Fresno State

A delegation of faculty  and administrators  from Yerevan State University, Armenia, headed by Rector (President) Dr. Radick Martirossian, arrived in Fresno on Sunday, February 27 for a three-week working visit. Accompanying the Rector were Dr. Grisha Gharibian, Dean of the Faculty of Business; Harutyun Marzpanyan, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business; Amalia Saribekian, Professor of Business; Ashot Kakosyan, Professor of Business; and Hasmik Hovhanesyan, Lecturer in Business.

The delegation is in Fresno as part of a $104,440 grant awarded to Fresno State for the purpose of conducting a Faculty Development Program in Business and Economics with Yerevan State University (YSU) under the Newly Independent States (NIS) College and University Partnership Program. Yerevan State University is the premiere university in Armenia and has achieved international recognition in many disciplines. The University was founded in 1919 and has a student population of about 10,000.

Project director Barlow Der Mugrdechian of the Fresno State Armenian Studies Program, welcomed the delegation at the airport, along with Fresno State Finance Professor Elizabeth Shields and interpreter Ashot Hagopian.

The group spent the first week acquainting themselves with the Fresno state campus and meeting with faculty from the Sid Craig School of Business and various other departments on campus.

Fresno State President Dr. John Welty hosted the delegation at the University House on Tuesday evening, February 29. Joining Dr. Welty in greeting the guests were Provost Dr. Michael Ortiz, members of the Advisory Board of the Center for Armenian Studies, and faculty from the University. Dr. Dickran Kouymjian, Haig and Isabel Berberian Professor of Armenian Studies and Director of the Armenian Studies Program, welcomed Rector Martirossian and his faculty to Fresno on behalf of the Armenian Studies Program and the community.

Earlier in the day the YSU group had met with Fresno State Provost Michael Ortiz, who discussed the academic structure of the university. YSU President Dr. Radick Martirossian in turn discussed the changes that had taken place at his University over the past ten years.

Former Fresno State President, Dr. Harold Haak, who is currently the director of the newly established Kenneth Maddy Institute, gave the visitors from Armenia a tour of the campus. Dr. Haak will be visiting Armenia in late March as part of the project.

Dr. Martirossian met with Steven Samuelian, District Director for 19th District Congressman George Radanovich, and discussed the current project and other opportunities for cooperation between Armenian and the United States. Dean Fred Evans of the Craig School of Business met with the group early in their visit and discussed a range of possible interactions between the two universities. Dean Grisha Gharibian of the YSU School of Business expressed interest in exchanging graduate students and faculty between the two universities.

The first week was a busy one, full of excitement, as group members explored the workings of the Craig School of Business Graduate MBA Program. YSU faculty are in the process of modifying their curriculum and have recently moved from a five-year baccalaureate program to a Western-style four-year baccalaureate, with a two-year Masters program, followed by a three year doctoral program.

Professor Mark Keppler, who heads the MBA program for the Craig School of Business, explained how the MBA program works at Fresno State. Since international programs are a vital part of the University, Dr. Peter Klassen, Director of International Programs discussed Fresno State’s wide range of ties with foreign universities. Yerevan State University is a leader in Armenia in exchange programs with foreign institutions.

The Library, with its wide range of facilities and computer links is one of the leading libraries in the California State University system and was a focus of interest for the group.  Librarian Ross LaBaugh escorted the delegation through the various library departments. Four Fresno State faculty will be traveling to Armenia in early June to conduct a series of workshops and seminars with students and faculty from YSU.

The goal of the NIS College/University Partnership Program between Fresno State and YSU is to contribute to economic and political stability in Armenia by fostering educational reform in the area of business/economics at YSU.

The project was assisted financially by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended.

During their three-week visit, the YSU delegation had workshops/colloquia with the following individuals and departments: Dr. Steven White, Physics; Dr. John Shields, Agricultural Economics; Dr. Ben Quillian, Vice President for Administration; Dr. Karen Bowerman, Associate Dean of the Craig School of Business; Dr. Peter Smits, Vice President for University Advancement; faculty of the Craig School of Business; Dr. Audrey Anderson, Division of Extended Education; Rob Saroyan, Events Center; Dr. Dan Griffin, Grants; Dr. Brandt Kehoe, Interim Associate Provost; Dan Westbrook, Craig School of Business; Dr. Don Leet, Economics; Dr. William Rice, Marketing; Dr. Scott Houser, Economics; Dr. John Moghaddam, Management; Dr. Ali Peyvandi, Accountancy; the Fresno City College Training Institute; Dr. Tim Stearns, Management; Susan Vasquez, Distance Learning, and the faculty of the Department of Economics. They also visited many classes and got acquainted with a wide range of faculty at Fresno State.

Special thanks to Dr. Harold Haak, Dr. Dickran Kouymjian, Greg Kohayan of Koko’s Restaurant, Agnes Saghatelian of Valley Lahvosh Baking Co., Dr. and Mrs. Varoujan Altebarmakian, Mr. and Mrs. Sarkis Kalfayan, Wahaken and Mary Vanoyan, Dr. Peter Klassen, George Koroyan of George’s Restaurant, Middle-East Restaurant, Mr. and Mrs. Ernie Bedrosian (National Raisin Co.), Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Bedrosian, Victor Packing (Sahatdjian Family), the Bread-Basket Bakery, Burger Time Restaurant, the Armenian Community School of Fresno (Principal Seth Atamian, Nazik Arisian, and staff), Dr. and Mrs. John and Elizabeth Shields, Mr. and Mrs. Hovig Semerdjian, Mr. Rob Saroyan, Mr. Larry Balakian, Dr. Dan Griffin, Mr. Ashot Hagopian, Mr. Chad Kirkorian, and Frances Ziegler for their hospitality and assistance in the successful completion of the three-week visit.