Astgh (Stella) Vardanyan

Hometown: Shatin, Vayots Dzor Province, Armenia

Focus: Public Finance and Budgeting, Public Policy and Analysis, Government Operations

Pronounce: She/her/hers

Bio: Hi, I am Astgh (preferred name Stella)! My name means “star” in English and I know it is hard to pronounce it. I use a preferred name – Stella – which means “star” in Italian. I was born and lived in Armenia before moving to the USA to study. Armenians are known for their hospitality and tasty food, inspired by that I decided to study Tourism Management during my undergraduate years. I believed that tourism development will foster Armenian communities.

I did an internship in the local Municilapity, in my hometown, to explore the Municipality’s role in tourism and community development. I ended up with a job in the same Municipality and worked there for three and a half years. During my work, I also went to a graduate school for getting a Master’s degree in Finance.

After my work in the local Municipality, I work a year in a German Cooperation and in the United Nations Development Program before moving to the USA. My experience in the local government and non-profit sector helped me realize that tourism, community development, and cross-sectoral cooperation between public, private and non-profit sectors can not be achieved without good public policy and well functioned public administration. I decided to pursue my path in the public sector but before that, I needed profound academic knowledge in the field. I applied to a graduate school and started the MPA program in September 2019.

I like walking in parks, hiking and watching documentaries if I do not study. I learn to cook delicious food and learned to make some soups, avocado salads, and latte.

Internship: N/A currently

Why did you choose Evans: During my research on Public Administration/Public Policy programs I have found Evans School as highly ranked and one of the best schools in the field. I researched the program design and courses and decided to apply. The admission team was so welcomed and helpful that I thought the Evans School is definitely as welcomed as its staff and I was correct. After talking with Barry and the admission team I was sure I want to be a graduate student at Evans.

Ask me about: Being an international student at Evans, moving to the USA, parks, and neighborhoods in Seattle, MPA core courses and assignments, local government, Armenian food.