AAMS 2022 Scholarship Recipients
The Armenian American Medical Society strongly believes in investing in our future healthcare professionals who will play an important role in improving the health and wellbeing of our community. Initiated under the direction of Dr. Varoosh Alaverdian and Dr. Raffi Tachdjian, AAMS awards scholarships to qualified Armenian students enrolled in various healthcare education programs in the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and allied health.
Claire Bogosian | First-Year Medical Student at USC Keck School of Medicine
Claire is currently a Master of Translational Medicine student at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. She recently graduated from UC Berkeley, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and minor in Armenian Studies. She spent this past summer volunteering in Gyumri through Birthright Armenia and worked on an ambulance service while honing her Armenian speaking skills. She recently was accepted into three medical schools and will be attending one of them in the fall. Claire looks forward to serving the Armenian community throughout her future career as a physician.
Nora Galoustian | First-Year Medical Student at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
Nora is currently a Master of Translational Medicine student at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. She recently graduated from UC Berkeley, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and a minor in Armenian Studies. She spent this past summer volunteering in Gyumri through Birthright Armenia and worked on an ambulance service while honing her Armenian speaking skills. She was recently accepted into three medical schools and will be attending one of them in the fall. Claire looks forward to serving the Armenian community throughout her future career as a physician.
Ara Hartounian | Second-Year Dental Student at Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC
Ara was born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, and emigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 15 to fulfill his American dream. In the summers, Ara volunteers at Camp Zavarian as an Armenian instructor, teaching children Armenian songs and folk tales. In addition, as a dental student, he spends weekends providing dental care and education to underserved communities around Los Angeles through USC’s Mobile Clinic. He is currently serving as the senator of his class of 2025 and the vice president of the Armenian Dental Student Association at USC. His hope for the summer is to assist at the dental facility of Yerevan State Medical University.
Alec Ohanian | Pursuing a Master of Public Health Degree at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Pursuing a Master of Public Health Degree at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Alec Ohanian took a gap year from his studies at the UCSF School of Medicine after completing his third year to further his knowledge in public health. He is now pursuing an MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Alec is committed to improving access to care for those who are most in need on a global level. Throughout all his work, his devotion to Armenia serves as a North Star, guiding his projects and future steps. Alec is working on population-level studies on Armenian health and was recently awarded a grant to study type 1 diabetes in Armenia for his master's thesis. Once he completes his residency and fellowship training in hematology/oncology, Alec hopes to repatriate to Armenia to develop the health system.
Haig Pakhchanian | Third-Year Medical Student at George Washington University
Haig is committed to medical innovation and public health. His journey toward medicine began while volunteering with Washington, D.C.'s underserved community at a pro-bono diabetes clinic. His relationships with patients suffering from chronic diseases inspired him to advance medical treatment for diabetic complications at the National Institutes of Health. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haig used the skills he developed at the NIH to lead a multi-national research network of students and physicians toward identifying COVID-19-related medical trends. Over 150 projects were published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at national conferences. Some were used to advise public health officials in crafting COVID-19 safety guidelines. Haig hopes to pursue his passions by building off these experiences to lead a life advancing biotechnology and serving underserved communities both locally and in Armenia.
Nicholas Tavoukjian, MS, ATC, CSCS, TSAC-F | Graduate Student – Azuza Pacific University’s Rehabilitation & Movement Science
Nicholas is a certified athletic trainer and human performance specialist with over ten years of clinical experience in various settings, including professional combat sports, the military, and pediatrics. He received an MS in Athletic Training from Azusa Pacific University (APU). Nick is currently a PhD student in APU’s Rehabilitation and Movement Science program. His research focuses on the physical literacy of children and adolescents in Armenia and Artsakh. Nick founded and served as CEO of the Armenian American Sports Medicine Coalition, advancing sports medicine, exercise science, and rehabilitation in Armenia, Artsakh, and throughout the diaspora. Most recently, Nick co-founded the Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Fellowship at the National Institute of Health of Armenia to sustainably develop post-conflict and adult rehabilitation within Armenia and Artsakh’s health systems.
Rodolfo Valentini Third-Year Medical Student at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Rodolfo received his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Connecticut. He worked at AbbVie as a scientist in translational immunology, working on a functional cure for HIV that is currently in clinical trials. At the same time, Rodolfo has been working on a project with the Knights of Vartan to collect and send unused medical supplies to Armenia that would otherwise be wasted. He hopes to involve more hospitals in the effort. Rodolfo looks forward to advancing his medical career.
Norair Wartan | First-Year Medical Student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Norair graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and an MBA from Tulane University. As a proud Armenian, Norair has spent many years volunteering for Armenian communities in Baghdad, Yerevan, and the United States. Norair’s biggest dream as a rising medical professional is to become an advocate for the health and well-being of Armenians in this country and globally. Norair hopes to leverage his business background and his training in medicine to establish programs that would provide health care for our fellow Armenians in need.