2016 BFTF Fellows

Meet the 2016 Fellows

European Fellows

Crystal Mele-AlbaniaAlbania                                  Crystal

This awesome Albanian is a school leader, activist, biology olympiad, and professional swimmer. Crystal would certainly qualify for the well-rounded Olympics!


Armenia                                Suren

Souren-ArmeniaSuren has a keen interest in the media, and no better place to study the role of the media than the US. As you can see from the picture, this tough-as-nails community volunteer is always looking back for the good story.



Austria                                  Josipa

JosipaSuren may study the media, but Josipa IS the media. She is an editor, a reporter, and of course, she is also class president. We’ll see if she starts a BFTF newspaper!



Azerbaijan                            Ayshan

Ayshan-AzerbaijanThe BFTF embraces the spirit of debate and discussion. But you’ve been warned; Ayshan is a championship debater. The picture says it all!



Belarus                                 Natallia

Natalia-BelarusThere will be many memories made at the Ben. Hopefully, Natallia figures out how to use the camera, soon. We are sure she will succeed. If she can organize Ted Talks, she should be able to master the camera.



Belgium                                 Ruben


If you need to get down and dirty, Ruben is obviously your guy. Who knows, if you ask kindly, he may even teach you how to dance or ride a horse (we hope this picture was not the result of either activity).



Bosnia & Herzegovina        Aisa

Aisa CanicThey say the art of cursive writing is dead. Not so for Aisa. We hope that she fills out all her BFTF forms in calligraphy. Her club would be proud!



Bulgaria                                Yana


From this picture, we can only assume Yana is practicing for her role as Hamlet. Perhaps it is part of her “Kids Helping Kids” initiative or another one of her many community service projects.



Croatia                                   Maja


Maja is a true artist. This award-winning artist and radio talk show host has a penchant for performance with a purpose. No mindless entertainment for Maja (with the possible exception of making funny noises into a paper bag).



Cyprus                                  Nadina

NadinaNadina is talking a picture of the picture taker. How meta. Perhaps this is one of her many creative projects that occupy her time, between all her other commitments starting clubs and representing Cyprus. GirlUp!



Czech Republic                    Barbora

BarboraWe know, Barbora. Learning to drive can be frustrating. But we believe in you! As an academic Olympian, you will surely figure it out. But then again, why drive when you are an international walking champion!



Denmark                              Sumeya

SumeyaThis fabulous footballer and business student not only can make clothes, but she can also debate like a champ! We look forward to Sumeya teaching us the rules of handball. It’s just soccer for the hands, right?



Estonia                                  Anna-Liisa

Anna-LiisaAnna-Liisa has an unbridled love of politics and debate. She often gallops her way to victory at Model UN. Hopefully, the BFTF will saddle her with the experience necessary get a full ride to Johns Hopkins University.



Finland                                  Mesbaul

This Student United founder is a multi-talented musician and athlete. When he is not hard at work with his studies, Mesbaul can be found on the soccer pitch or blowing on a harmonica. Hopefully, not at the same time.

France                                  Baptiste

BaptisteViola! That is what Baptiste says when his science experiments are a success. Then again, he’d likely be a lot more poetic, referencing the works of Baudelaire or Whitman to capture a certain je ne sais quoi.



Georgia                                Salome


This GLOW-ing gal from Georgia is quite the leader at school. Salome’s dedication to her community in unparalleled, just ask her Peace Corps friends!



Germany                              Sang-Jin

Sang-JinSome where in this assembly, Sang-jin is cutting a political deal that will benefit his constituency. This skill will come in handy when he inevitably becomes a member of the German Parliament. Look out, Merkel!



Greece                                  Alexandros

Alexandros-GreeceFrom the birthplace of western philosophy, Alexandros lives in the spirit of Artemis as a lover of nature and music. He is also an avid swimmer and chess player. Presumably, not at the same time. Pawns hate to get wet.



Hungary                               Lili


Lili is one of the MOST dedicated members of her community helping the many refugees that live in Hungary. But don’t let her serious look fool you; she knows how to mix it up in the Democracy Games. May the votes always be in her favor!



Iceland                                  Ernir

Ernir-IcelandErnir is a championship debater, and class president. We assume that those two are closely related. We give a thumbs up to Ernir, too!




Italy                                    Francesco

Francesco-ItalyPeace out! This intrepid Italian will love to share his beautiful country with you. As one who is interested in the tourism industry, Francesco will be happy to export a little bit of Italy to Wake Forest. Hopefully, he brings some Nutella. Forza Azzurri!



Kosovo                                 Urata


The BFTF encourages the spirit of community. Urata certainly does that for her native Kosovo. We hope she might teach one of her art classes for us!



Latvia                                    Katrina


A national championship gymnast and debater! It seems so unfair. Katrina can both literally and figuratively school you in argumentative gymnastics.



Lithuania                              Irmantis

IrmantasIrmantis looks so contemplative. Perhaps he is thinking about his next winning argument or perfecting his latest chemistry experiment. We are certain he’ll succeed either way.



Luxembourg                        Claudia

ClaudiaBasking in the luscious Luxembourgish sun, we hope she doesn’t become radioactive. This Imagine Dragons fan is also a killer on the pitch. And she can trash talk in 6 different languages.



Macedonia                           Aziz

Aziz-MacedoniaThis Eco Guerrilla is a social and environmental justice warrior who will inevitably make Macedonia an even better place. The podium may say B, but we give his efforts an A!



Malta                                     Andrea

AndreaThis Gozo girl is no shrinking violet. Andrea is a star athlete, coach, dancer, fair trader, and relentless warrior of social justice. Sounds like BFTF to us!



Moldova                               Maria


The Mighty Moldovan Maria is an active Wave Week-er. We look forward to hearing about her exploits on the red carpet. Of course, we will ask her about the mouse ears.



Montenegro                         Zana

ZanaThis Black Mountain nation native is a natural in front of a group. She is exploring the idea of becoming a teacher or tour guide, but who knows what Zana will do after the Ben. What ever she does, we know she will spell it correctly.



Netherlands                      Milton

MiltonPerhaps this Dutch team could have qualified for Euro 2016 (too soon?). In addition to captaining his football team, Milton is a mathematic whiz.



Norway                                Fawzi


Stop the presses! Fawzi is a huge fan of American politics. He ranks Barack Obama and Ann Richards as his political idols. As political junkies, we remain impressed that a European fellow would even know of the latter!



Poland                                  Marta

MartaMarta breaks the multi-year streak of fellows from Poland named Karolina. Do you think you “Know America”? Well, Marta sure does. And she has the national championship to prove it.



Portugal                                 Nuno

NunoNuno is the Ronaldo of matching student internships to the proper business. He knows how to “Grow Them Up” to be successful in whatever career they choose.



Romania                               Enola

EnolaThis organizer of the “Light Festival” is a natural at poetry slams. And as a winner of Language National Competitions, we are sure Enola has a gift with words. Enola is certain to enjoy working with Authoring Action!



Russia                                     Alisa

AlisaThe Star of the School lives by the creed “Eternal Learning.” With interests as diverse as ballet, chemistry, and environmentalism, Alisa will always need to be learning.



Serbia                                   Andrija


As the president of School Parliament, Andrija is likely to find himself behind a podium. Or perhaps this is a picture of a Rhetoric Club performance. Certainly, it is not from one of his many choir competitions.



Slovak Republic                   Branislav


A basketball playing pianist who enjoys talking politics, sounds like Ben material to us. We imagine he would love to talk to many political science professor at Wake Forest. Perhaps they can give him advice on his future career.



Slovenia                                 Jan

JanJan’s future is so bright, he has to wear shades. He wins medals in literature, math, and logic competitions. He is the post child of a liberal arts educated man.



Spain                                     Enrique

Enrique-SpainSustainability is a big theme at this year’s BFTF. Enrique will fit right in. We’re sure he will have plenty of opportunities to discuss renewable energy engineering.



Switzerland                         Anna


This Swiss student of Solidarity can not only sing, she can school you in the Classics. You can ask her to translate all the Latin you will see when we visit DC. E Pluribus Unum!



Turkey                                   Zeynep

ZeynepListed interests: Photography, cooking, foreign languages and literature, Pilates, yoga, fitness, and swimming. Oh, and Zeynep plays a mean guitar. Perhaps a future talent show participant?



Ukraine                                 Tetyana

UkraineTetyana is an active volunteer and a dancer. We also hear she is part of the humor team, so we expect some pretty good jokes. We look forward to hearing a Ukrainian “knock, knock” joke.



United Kingdom                   Stephen

Stephen DawesAlas, Stephen DOES have a Facebook profile. Perhaps his ability to build his own computer paid dividends. He is truly a deserving of Duke of Edinburgh winner!



U.S. Fellows

Alaska                                 Sasha

Sasha-AlaskaOur first fellow ever from the great state of Alaska! Sasha is a Gold Medal essay contest winner and is fluent in many languages. She will likely have traveled greater distances to come to Wake than some Europeans.



Arizona                                 Seren

SerenAs an all-star athlete and musician, we are sure Seren is lighting up the desert southwest. We look forward to discussing with Seren the virtues of Filiberto’s carne asada burritos. Apparently, Seren also has a doppleganger.



California                              Gleb


This must be a picture of Gleb, founder of Fin, teaching financial literacy. Or perhaps it is of an editorial meeting at the Global Nighthawk. Either way, we are sure Gleb is commanding the stage with his leadership and insight.



Florida                                   Olivia

OliviaThis Fem-STEM-ing Floridian knows how to shake it up. We will follow Olivia’s lead as she leads the charge in promoting women in the sciences.



Kentucky                              Abey

Abey-KentuckyAbey must be posing for his future campaign. An American flag in one hand and a European History book in the other, Abey is performing the spirit of the BFTF. Or maybe he is just celebrating one of his many debate wins.



Maryland                              Nathaniel


Nathaniel is a man of service. When he is not calling bingo at the local assisted living center, he is working with at the zoo. Somehow, he finds time to golf, sing, and study.



Oklahoma                           Matthew


Who doesn’t want to take a selfie with a pharaoh? Perhaps Matthew developed his love of history through all his time volunteering at the local library.



Oregon                                 Nikita

Nikita-OregonWhat do you get when you cross an active member of student council, a hula dance instructor, and a UFC Boxing Gym member? You guess it, Nikita. She deserves a nice cold drink in the shade after all those activities.



Utah                                      Anna

Anna-UtahModel UN, Mock Trial, Ballroom Dancing, there is no club Anna won’t try. Audacious Anna enjoys singing, dancing, acting, and of course, excelling at academics.



Virginia                                 Michelle

Michelle-VirginiaEven as a lover of languages, tennis, and volunteerism, Michelle still knows the value of stopping to smell the flowers. That is of course, until they need her back at the Red Cross to help out.