AUA Announces Dean and Associate Dean Appointments

May 11, 2012

Interim Provost Armen Der Kiureghian announced three senior academic appointments to coincide with the university’s new academic restructuring into three Colleges:  Dr. Aram Hajian, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, Dr. Thomas J. Samuelian, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Dr. Catherine Buon, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for General Education.


Dr. Hajian received his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University in 1997 and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1991. He joined AUA in the summer of 2007 as the Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering, becoming Interim Dean in 2008 and Dean of the same college in 2010. He has served as Chair of the Faculty Senate and of the Undergraduate Task Force and as member of several other academic governance bodies, including the Curriculum Committee and the WASC Steering Committee.  The author of a number of publications on mechanical models of human grasp, Dr. Hajian has taught several courses to students in both Industrial Engineering and Systems Management and Computer and Information Science programs of the College of Engineering.  He has also served as a technical reviewer and member of several Armenian Government-appointed committees related to large-scale national engineering development projects, including the Prime Minister’s Committee for the North-South Road Corridor Investment Program. Dr. Hajian is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Chess Academy of Armenia and has organized several international chess tournaments, including the Grand Prix Events in Jermuk (2008, 2009), the Karabakh International tournaments (2004, 2005), and in 2004 the first elite-level internet-based team tournament. He is a member of the Armenian Chess Federation, heading its Computer/IT committee. 


Dr. Samuelian has been in academe for over three decades, beginning his teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1981.  He has also taught at Columbia University and St. Nersess Seminary.   In 1991 he earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.  After serving as a clerk in US federal court, he practiced international law in Washington, DC, Almaty, and Moscow. He is founder and managing partner of Arlex International CJSC, which has handled many of Armenia’s largest complex investment transactions and contributed to legal reform and the development of the legal profession.  He is a licensed member of the Armenian bar.   He joined the AUA Law faculty in 1998 and has served as the Dean of the AUA Law Department since 2006. In 2011, he was appointed Accreditation Liaison Officer, guiding AUA’s strategic planning, reaccreditation and new program accreditation process. Dr. Samuelian is the author of a number of books, articles, reviews, and translations in the field of Armenian language, literature and history, including an English translation of St. Gregory of Narek’s Book of Prayers: Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart (, a two-volume Course in Modern Western Armenian, Dictionary of Armenian in Transliteration, and Cultural Ecology and Gorbachev’s Restructured Union, 32 Harv. Intl.L.J. 159 (1991). At the Arak-29 Foundation, a Yerevan-based foundation dedicated to Armenian cultural and economic renewal, Dr. Samuelian is team leader for the award-winning portal.  Arak-29 features free Armenian language learning and linguistic tools, Armenian language-learning software programs, spell-checkers, Armenian cultural literacy educational software, Genocide reparations databases, translations, and articles on economic, literary, cultural policy, and environmental issues.  He has served as President of the US-based Armenian Bar Association, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia, and as one of two international experts for Armenia’s Anti-corruption Strategy.   He also headed the RA Ministry of Education Committee for the 2011 English Language Olympiad.  


Dr. Buon was born and raised in Northern France.  She earned a BA in English Language and Literature at the Université d’Angers, France, where she also obtained a BA in Teaching French as a Foreign Language.  After moving to the USA, she earned an MA in French and Francophone Literatures, and a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Louisiana State University, USA. Dr.  Buon is an applied linguist, language specialist, teacher trainer, and administrator with a passion for languages, world cultures, and pedagogy.  Her research interests lie primarily in the areas of foreign language reading and writing, curriculum design, and teaching methods.
After teaching French as a Foreign Language and English as a Second Language at the undergraduate and graduate levels for many years in U.S. universities, Dr. Buon’s professional career took her around the world teaching English as a Foreign Language in the Middle East and Cyprus; training EFL teachers in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia; and now in Armenia. Dr. Buon’s administrative experience spans a period of over 15 years.  She has held positions as Language Program Coordinator, Exam Coordinator, Foreign Languages Department Head, Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Interim Dean at various institutions of higher learning around the world.  She joined the AUA faculty in 2010 as Assistant Dean in the Department of English Programs and has served as Interim Dean since January 2012.


The promotions of Drs. Hajian, Samuelian, and Buon will become effective with the university’s new academic structure on July 1, 2012.

Drs. Thomas J. Samuelian, Catherine Buon, and Aram Hajian