Meet the Our AAMS Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to This Year's Recipients of the AAMS Scholarship!

The Armenian American Medical Society (AAMS) is dedicated to shaping a healthier future by empowering a new generation of dedicated healthcare professionals. Through the AAMS Scholarship Program, we support the educational journey of exceptional Armenian students pursuing careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and allied health. These scholarships fuel the promise of stronger healthcare for our community and beyond.

Congratulations to the eight outstanding students who have been awarded this year's AAMS Scholarship! Their dedication to academic excellence and their commitment to improving the health and well-being of our community are truly inspiring.


Emily Alayan

Emily is a first-year speech-language pathology master's student at San Francisco State University. She focuses on integrating AI into speech-language pathology to transform care for individuals with speech and language disorders. As a Stanford student, Emily contributed to AI research, inspiring her ambition to revolutionize care for patients. She volunteered to deliver medical equipment to Armenian hospitals and recognizes the lack of speech and language services in underserved Armenian communities. Emily is committed to ensuring equitable access to high-quality care.

Stella Gukasyan

Stella is a second-year doctoral student pursuing a Doctor of Public Health at Tulane University. She has 20 years of experience in education and public health and has collaborated with health centers in Los Angeles to enhance primary care quality. Stella holds a master’s from Harvard and a bachelor's from UC San Diego. She has traveled across Armenia, speaking on the emergent risk of HIV/AIDS given high migration and post-conflict situations. Her doctoral research will focus on how post-conflict biological stress and trauma impact the health outcomes of Armenians of Artsakh.

Ara Hartounian

Ara is a third-year dental student at USC's Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. Born in Syria, he emigrated to the U.S. at age 15. He volunteers at Camp Zavarian, providing Armenian cultural education to children. Ara spends weekends offering dental care through USC’s Mobile Clinic and the Union Rescue Mission. He is the 2025 class senator and president of the Armenian Dental Student Association. Last year, he received the USC Friends of Dentistry Scholarship. This summer, Ara aims to help establish a supportive Armenian student community.

Katia Khanlian

Katia is a first-year pharmacy student at USC's Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She received her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from UCLA. As an undergraduate, she worked as a pharmacy tech serving an Armenian-speaking community, participating in initiatives to translate medication directions. Inspired by her USC Mann studies, she seeks to provide health screenings to underserved individuals to prevent chronic diseases. Katia looks forward to serving the Armenian community as a pharmacist.

Alec Ohanian

Alec, a 4th-year UCSF medical student with an MPH from Johns Hopkins, is dedicated to improving health in Armenia. His work includes leading a study with KATIL Charitable Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, and Yerevan State University on the needs of children with diabetes and advocating for improved government glucose monitoring; overseeing aid distribution in Syunik with All for Armenia; and building healthcare capacity on the Armenian Healthcare Association board. Alec has committed to devoting his career to advancing Armenian health and inspiring others to do the same.

David Pogosyan

David is a first-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He earned his neuroscience degree from UCLA. Passionate about integrative medicine, David aims to explore this further in medical school. Prior to medical school, he volunteered in Armenia, gaining clinical experience in Yerevan hospitals and deepening his cross-cultural healthcare understanding. This meaningful experience allowed David to reconnect with his Armenian heritage, which is central to his identity and goals. David envisions leveraging his medical skills to address the health needs of Armenians globally.

Serly Thomasian

Serly, a first-year student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, was born in Kuwait and moved to the U.S. at 17, facing challenges adapting to a new culture and education system. Through the COPE Health Scholars Program, she worked with Armenian immigrant patients facing similar struggles in healthcare, gaining insight into nuanced medical care and communication. These experiences fueled her desire to focus on improving healthcare quality for and understanding of her community and providing opportunities to Armenian communities in the Middle East.