2013 BFTF Fellows

Meet the 2013 Fellows

European Fellows

Albania                                  Xhenis


This math whiz from Tirana is sure to add another dimension to the BFTF. Xhenis is a known sum with numerous interests, such as piano aficionado and charitable worker. But these are just a fraction of Xhenis’s multiple talents.

Armenia                                Ruben

Ruben Sahakyan

If you find Ruben smiling, it is not just because he is happy. This aspiring dentist believes that a nice set of teeth should be celebrated. Ruben hopes to bring many beautiful smiles to his home nation of Armenia.

Azerbaijan                            Rashid

Rashid Aliyev

This young entrepreneur knows how to scout out the good ideas. He may seem like a gentle soul, but if Rashid asks you to play a game of table tennis, look out! He is one of Azerbaijan’s best.

Belgium                                Annelies

Annelies De Ryck

This multi-talented thespian from Belgium does not waffle. Annelies fills her time with dancing, acting and debating. Do not be surprised if this Brussels Fellow provides a command performance in this year’s talent show.

Bosnia & Herzegovina        Ahmed

Like his National Team, Ahmed displays a great deal of heart and athletic talent.  This aspiring human rights lawyer has a clear sense of justice, fighting to help youth better their world.

Bulgaria                               Mihaela

Miheala Georgieva

Miheala, a lover of languages, has a keen desire to bring people together. A member of “The Vectors” and other cross-cultural organizations, do not be surprised if Miheala invites you to be a participant in one of her many student clubs.

Croatia                                  Roko

Roko Kostan

When not taming wild parrots, Roko spends his time poolside debating the pressing issues of the day. If the conversation gets too heated, then you can join Roko for a refreshing swim and a discussion of his time in Mexico.

Czech Republic                   Terezie

Terezie Sochorova

A medieval fencer and a ballroom dancer, what a combination! This multi-lingual Czech will happily discussion the political philosophy of George Orwell or the economics of fine art. Be sure to ask Terezie for canoeing advice.

Estonia                                  Pille-Riin

Pille-Riin Eiskop

This Talinn talent is a triple threat: politics, sports and documentary film. Pille-Riin is a leader in student council. When her political opponents get too feisty, Pille-Riin relies on her Michael Jackson dance moves to show them that not everything is black and white.

France                                   Nicole

Nicole Osuji

If you ever get into a scrum, you will want Nicole on your side. This exceptional rugby player plans to tackle such important issues such as human trafficking and human rights abuses.

Georgia                                 Ana

Ana Mikhelidze

This press freedom fighter has aspirations of being Georgia’s finest human right lawyer. As an active member of student government and a committed Red Cross volunteer, we believe Ana is well on her way of achieving her goals.

Germany                              Mehmet

Baris MA-Germany

This gregarious German is an intern extraordinaire. Mehmet has already worked with city hall, student organizations, START foundation and even a dental office. No job is too big for Mehmet! He even rides lions.

Greece                                  Charoula

Chara Papastefanki

True to the Greek culture, Charoula excels at both arts and sciences. A writer, a poet, a musician, a mathematician and an archeologist. She even wins the prize for the most active social networker. Not even Aristotle had that many interests!

Hungary                               Miklos

Miklos Hajnal

This Head Boy at the British International School has a keen love of economics, which should come in handy with Miklos starts his first business. Wake Forest debaters, look-out! Miklos is a world class orator with a nose for a good argument.

Iceland                                  Rebekka

Rebekka Mitra

Like the hot springs of her homeland, Rebekka has a volcanic passion for revitalizing those around her. A committed member of Amnesty International, Rebekka plans to become a human rights advocate, making the world a better place for those who suffer under oppressive conditions.

Italy                                       Bruna

Bruna Rende

Bruna embodies the Italian spirit of curiosity. As her classmates bid ciao to the school day, Bruna continues her studies with university professors to learn even more about science and math. To that, we say brava!

Kosovo                                  Ardi

Ardi Jusufi

Sometimes a picture truly captures an individual. This programmer from Prishtina excels at writing code. The word is that Ardi just might be the next Mark Zuckerberg. If we need help with the website, we know who to call.

Latvia                                   Niklavs

Niklavs Kalbergs

At the WFU BFTF, we embrace the spirit of debate. And you can catch that debate on film, even better. Niklavs, a champion debater and aspiring filmmaker, will fit right in with the BFTF. Maybe he could even blog his experience, so next year’s Latvia Fellow could follow along.

Lithuania                              Deimante

Deimante Blikertaite

Deimante seems like a natural to produce the official BFTF podcast. We hope that the charitable, radio personality and animal rights activist reproduces Tea Time at the BFTF. The local coffeeshop will be open!

Macedonia                           Fjola

Fjolla Zllatku

This positive personality from Skopje seems to speak more languages than there are countries in Europe. We are certain these skills come in handy for Fjola when she competes in Model UN and participates in countless international conferences.

Malta                                     Jacob

Jacob Portelli

Poet John Donne once said that “No man is an island.” But he never met Jacob, who will one day run the island of Malta. When is not being elected to some leadership post, Jacob is busy honing his entrepreneurial teaching skills with Young Enterprise.

Moldova                                Aliona

Aliona Novac

We are quite certain that a few years from now, at least one BFTF alum will become a Prime Minister. That PM better get to know Aliona, a future Ambassador from Moldova.

Netherlands                        Maria

Maria Gayed

When Maria is not showing off her numerous debate trophies, this delightful Dutch is administering “kids only” Facebook groups and contemplating a career in medicine, political science or public administration.

Norway                                 Filippa

Filippa Sofia Braarud

This future Norwegian Foreign Service member possesses all the skills to excel in such a role. As a participant in numerous exchange programs, Filippa is well-versed in deals with people from numerous cultures.

Poland                                  Monika

Monika de Silva

From her experiences as an adventurous journalist to an award winning dancer, Monika knows how to “Make it Funky.” Although she has never been to the States, Monika will definitely “Know America.”

Portugal                                 Joana

Joana Larsen

Although this fiction lover is fascinated by the fine arts, Joana has a nose for news. She aspires to be an investigative journalist who may find herself covering the news of Japan and South Korea. Of course, this will be after she completes her first book.

Romania                              Alina

Alina Dima

If the BFTF ever had a film festival, Alina would be its coordinator. This future filmmaker champions the call to “Let’s Go Digital.” Look out Cristi Puiu, the future of Romanian film is a BFTF Fellow!

Russia                                     Artyom

This future Moscow State University (Go State!) has a sharp legal mind, evident by his numerous Academic Olympiad awards. Artem plans to use his legal skills to help the disabled and underprivileged.

Serbia                                   Ivan

Ivan Avdic

Ivan is the embodiment of a go-getter. His punctuality is surpassed only by his fascination with architecture. As we travel around Washington D.C., be sure to ask Ivan about James Hoban’s designs and all the other fascinating buildings in the nation’s capital.

Slovenia                                Oto

Oto Jug

The BFTF prides itself by putting the safety and security of the Fellows as the top priority. But, if anyone ever gets into trouble, be sure to have Oto at your side. This aikido master knows how to take care of business.

Switzerland                          Olivia

Olivia Winiger

It seems as if the International Dinner was made for Olivia. She is an exceptional cook who loves to try new recipes from across the globe. We are excited to see what she plans on cooking. And when she’s done, maybe she will entertain the other Fellows with her award-winning piano playing.

Turkey                                  Senahan

SenaSena is a voracious reader with a passion for international politics. These interests will be very useful as Sena develops her own talk show to discusses the pressing issues facing Turkey. Do not be surprised if Sena asks you lots of questions about your cultural background. She is practicing for the in-depth interviews.

Ukraine                                 Olena

Elena Dmitrenko

This bubbly Ukrainian knows that there are many problems facing society, from HIV to poverty, and Olena will not stop until her community improves. It comes as no surprise that Olena was awarded “Student of the Year” at her school.

United Kingdom                   James

James Heale

While he may not wish to spar on the floor of Parliament, James is an exceptional debater with an interest in party politics. If you need to know about the history of the Three Lions, James is your mate. He has spent many hours in the National Archives and the Tower of London.

American Fellows

Virginia                                 Melanie

Melanie Aguilar

This tenacious journalist from the Old Dominion has acquired a taste for many exotic foods. When she is not attending one of her many honor society meetings, Melanie prepares for her first year at the College of William & Mary.

Colorado                               Ariege

Ariege Besson

Despite living in the landlocked shadow of the Rocky Mountains, Ariege is an active member US Naval Sea Cadet Corps. More to the spirit of Colorado living, Ariege is a runner, a dancer and an ultimate frisbee player.

North Carolina                     Shadia

Shadia Garrison

This Jamaican-born, Winston-Salem resident has a list of volunteer activities longer than this webpage. Shadia has a passion for helping those in need, and the residents of Winston-Salem have been forever grateful.

Kentucky                               Tess

Tess has enjoyed living in many places in the United States. Tess now hails from the beautiful blue-grass state of Kentucky. When she is not hitting homeruns for her softball team, Tess is educating young Iraqi leaders as part of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program.

California                               Colleen

This California debater will be representing the US in Eurasian World Schools Debate Tournament in Czech Republic this summer. Perhaps on her way back, Colleen could make a stop in Austria to perform another piano solo with the Vienna International Orchestra.

Washington                          Ella

Ella Kuzmenko

The BFTF is awash with debating talent, which will make for some exciting conversations. For Ella, she translates her exceptional debating skills into serving troubled youth in juvenile court. In the Fall, Ella will be attending New York University.

North Carolina                     Sami

Sami Lachgar

Sami is a true son of Wake Forest. This budding soccer talent has the ability to argue with referees in English, French and Spanish. When he is not on the pitch, Sami captains his Academic Team and edits his school newspaper.

Arizona                                 Joseph

Joseph Leung

Joseph hails from the beautiful Grand Canyon State, Arizona. He is a world class musician with a love for scouting. Even though he comes from a rival high school of one of the staff members, we will not hold that against him.

California                              Tim

Tim Shieh

Another Fellow, another award winning debater. But more than a debater, Tim is a colorful fellow with a penchant for music and politics. He boasts years on experience in Junior Statesmen of America and Model UN.

New Hampshire                   Alanna

Alanna TEnney

If you think you had a hard time a school, ask Alanna about her experiences at Woolman. This New Hampshire Fellow is as tough as granite. Alanna will be studying in Germany next year, so the BFTF reunions may begin early this year.