Who is the AEGEE member of the year 2016? Which antenna, which project was the best? The Golden Times asked more than 70 locally or Europeanly active members. In this edition: read what Lia Touska, Jorge Sánchez Hernández, Fabrizio Bellicano, Stas Mahula, Pablo Palazon and Tereza Tokmayan said.

Lia Touska

Lia Touska, Human Resources Director of AEGEE-Europe, AEGEE-Sofia

GT: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2016?
Lia Touska: Finishing the minutes of Spring Agora Bergamo 2016 during the CD Knowledge Transfer.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many memorable moments in 2016. Which one do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Lia: The “AEGEE Day” week celebration. From the moment I heard about the idea I found it awesome and I am really happy that it was warmly welcomed by the network. I was in Athens for an event by AEGEE-Athina and I felt the AEGEE spirit getting stronger.
GT: Who were for you the outstanding members in 2016?
Lia: Réka Salamon for her loyalty and passion for AEGEE and Joanna Pankowska for her personal and professional support.
GT: What do you foresee as a highlight or big topic in AEGEE in 2017?
Lia: Our European Citizens’ Initiative “More than education”.
GT: What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2017?
Lia: First of all, to finish my term as CD member. Secondly, I want to work more in the Academy. Soon I am going to be assigned with a mentee that I will help and support for one year. I don’t have any further plans because I am going to apply for the EVS.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Lia: I cannot tell because it will ruin the surprise.

Jorge Sánchez Hernández, AEGEE-Dresden, Liaison Officer towards BEST

Jorge Sanchez small

GT: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2016?
Jorge Sánchez Hernández: I would highlight the moment when I almost became a famous mathematician with my own voting system. AEGEE can really do amazing things.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many memorable moments in 2016. Which one do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Jorge: The “AEGEE Day”. I think it’s a great idea that will improve its performance over the years.
The opening ceremony of Agora Bergamo was also a lot of fun! I won’t forget how much life we brought to that amazing theater.
GT: Who were for you the outstanding members in 2016?
Jorge: Markus Schulze from AEGEE-Enschede; Philipp Blum from AEGEE-Aachen for his work in the SUCT and for questioning established structures and procedures in AEGEE; and Stella Krokou from AEGEE-Thessaloniki for her incredible development over the year and hard work on her antenna.
GT: Which was for you the outstanding antenna in 2016?
Jorge: AEGEE-Bergamo for their work on the Agora and the partnership with Flixbus and AEGEE-Europe.
GT: What was for you the outstanding European project, Working Group or Interest Group in 2016?
Jorge: The “Election Observation Mission” project is my favorite again.
GT: What do you foresee as a highlight or big topic in AEGEE in 2017?
Jorge: The new Intranet hopefully! I also think the European Citizens’ Initiative “More than education” will need a huge push, and hopefully AEGEEans will pop up to make a huge fuzz about this amazing project and we’ll reach one million signatures. If you haven’t done it yet, sign here: www.morethaneducation.eu.
GT: What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2017?
Jorge: To become a better recognized mathematician than Schulze and to establish the “Jorge’s method” for voting in the CIA at Agora Enschede, since my archenemy – and Schulze’s girlfriend – Evelien Kroon won’t be delegate. Honestly: To improve the cooperation between AEGEE and BEST.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Jorge: Somewhere near the Mediterranean in Spain!

 

Fabrizio Bellicano, Chief of Technical Operations and The Academy

Fabrizio Bellicano

GT: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2016?
Fabrizio Bellicano: The #drama at Agora Bergamo and the top is certainly every time we vote on having a vote.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many memorable moments in 2016. Which one do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Fabrizio: I think the #drama still wins.
GT: Who was for you the outstanding member in 2016?
Fabrizio: I believe that the outstanding members are the ones whose names are quite anonymous and keep their minds focused on one task at one time. But because I only focus on my specific field, I didn’t manage to have anyone crossing my path.
GT: Which were for you the outstanding antennae in 2016?
Fabrizio: Just like my answer above, I don’t want to mention Bergamo nor Chisinau, because more antennae are there which did brilliant jobs in a way or another. Special love goes to AEGEE-Riga who managed to rock the SU on their part – the whole SU was organised along with AEGEE-Tallinn and AEGEE-Helsinki – despite their very few members! Now that is fecking outstanding if you ask me!
GT: What was for you the outstanding European project, Working Group or Interest Group in 2016?
Fabrizio: Bah.
GT: What do you foresee as a highlight or big topic in AEGEE in 2017?
Fabrizio: Probably the highlight will be that we will still be wasting energies on things that don’t help the self-sustainability of AEGEE. We should pause our external commitments and get our pieces together.
GT: What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2017?
Fabrizio: Finish what I started: the ultimate endeavour that will save AEGEE from the implosion: a rewrite of the IT system.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Fabrizio: Capital Cities #3 with Moskva and Kyiv, baby!

 

Stas Mahula, AEGEE-Kyiv, Network Commission

Stas Mahula new

GT: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2016?
Stas Mahula: Hello everyone! Definitely it was the event that changed my AEGEE life completely – Agora Chișinău! It was a new city for me as well as a new culture, and I enjoyed it so much! Oh, those delicious meals and wine! To sum up: a wonderful event with a lot of meetings and good memories.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many memorable moments in 2016. Which one do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Stas: I guess it was my first AEGEE event this year: EPM Leiden. Everything was perfect, I got tons of inspiration from there.
GT: Who was for you the outstanding member in 2016?
Stas: I think it is really hard to choose one, but I know a really hard-working person, who was involved in so many AEGEE activities this year, that I seriously become jealous! It is Elena Efremova from AEGEE-Rostov-na-Ronu. I think you all know her by her likes on Facebook! She is active in ACT, the Youth Mobility WG, is NetCom assistant, attended four Network Meetings, two SUs and so many other events! I don’t know where she gets the energy and motivation, but what she does for AEGEE inspires me so much! She is a member you can always ask for advice or just a funny story. Thanks for helping me this year and see you in 2017!
GT: Which were for you the outstanding antennae in 2016?
Stas: I think as on Eurovision I cannot vote for my own antenna, so I would say AEGEE-Chișinău. I was so impressed how they organized such a big event with not so many people, and even more, did it well!
GT: What was for you the outstanding European project, Working Group or Interest Group in 2016?
Stas: The Summer University! My first one was a masterpiece. Thank you Hanna Polischuk, and greeting from the Golden Times pages!
GT: What do you foresee as a highlight or big topic in AEGEE in 2017?
Stas: The “La La Land” premiere! But seriously, I think “Equal rights”. It is good that we AEGEEans will speak up about topics other people usually don’t. Aaaand I’m looking forward to see Luca Bisighini getting more titles!
GT: What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2017?
Stas: To keep working as a member of the Network Commission, to improve myself as a member and as a person. Definitely to have a #SummerOfMyLife and visit as many events as possible. You know, once you did it, it turns into an obsession. So see all of you in EPM Zagreb!
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Stas: With 100 crazy AEGEEans in Krakow!

 

Pablo Palazon, Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Manchester

Pablo Palazon small

GT: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2016?
Pablo Palazon: My personal AEGEE highlight is to become a Netcomie. It has been a difficult task so far due to the situation of the locals that I am in charge of, but I am doing my best!
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many memorable moments in 2016. Which one do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Pablo: Well, maybe the statement of the Network Commission and the following Skype connection during Agora Bergamo. I had many mixed feelings there, but I will remember former president Ola asking for a little bit of common sense and respect. Maybe it is not the best example of what AEGEE is or what AEGEE is good for, but still it is something that it is worth remembering for good or for bad.
GT: Who was for you the outstanding member in 2016?
Pablo: When I read the question one name came to my mind without any hesitation: Maria Ballesteros. She is basically involved in everything and she is a key actor of what happened in AEGEE during 2016: “Europe on Track”, the European Citizens’ Initiative, Equal Rights as Focus Area… and for sure I am missing lots of things. I want to say thanks to her because people like her make AEGEE so great!
GT: Which were for you the outstanding antennae in 2016?
Pablo: I cannot be impartial on this one. AEGEE-Manchester has shone! We are now more or less used to have more antennae in the United Kingdom, but almost all of them except for AEGEE-London started in 2015! It was a really difficult year for them with the Brexit vote and all of them are actually struggling to recruit members in an area of the network where AEGEE is not that famous. However, AEGEE-Manchester managed to promote a joint effort among UK locals to put a Position Paper forward in Agora Bergamo, they hosted several AEGEE events like an Election Observation Mission and “Europe on Track” and they brought a Network Meeting to the UK after four years! They really deserve an applause – especially Bryn, John and Silvia! They really deserve a massive applause!
GT: What was for you the outstanding European project, Working Group or Interest Group in 2016?
Pablo: Maybe the group force in charge of the European Citizens’ Initiative. They have a massive project in front of them and they are doing their best to overcome the problems. I hope they will manage to get people more involved!
GT: What do you foresee as a highlight or big topic in AEGEE in 2017?
Pablo: Maybe how we structure the whole network. The idea of removing the concept of Contact Antennae has been mentioned a couple of times last year. Will somebody finally be keen on proposing it during an Agora?
GT: What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2017?
Pablo: To be honest, I think it is time for me to step back from AEGEE and let the new generations make the most of it. Les Anciens sounds like the most likely option for me. After many years and also after seeing my free time reduced more than I would love to, it is time for me to leave AEGEE!
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Pablo: At home! I live abroad and this year I have been home only three times. I can’t wait to spend some family time!

 

Tereza Tokmayan, former Network Commissioner

Tereza Tokmayjan

GT: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2016?
Tereza Tokmayan: Well, everything connected to NetCom life, as in summer 2016 my term in this super, amazing, cool and in the end girlish NetCom team was coming to an end. But during this entire amazing journey I just need to highlight NWM Voronezh, where everything was organized just super and AEGEE spirit was on top.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many memorable moments in 2016. Which one do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Tereza: I can’t take out of my mind a moment sitting at home, watching Agora Bergamo online, where my NetCom team was making a statement on the stage and all the drama that came after it. And of course the Schulze Method discussions during Agora Chisinau and all the comments after it were just killing!
GT: Who was for you the outstanding member in 2016?
Tereza: There were a lot of people doing great things during this year and dedicating their life to AEGEE more and more, but this person did an unbelievable thing and gave a second chance to the Human Recourses Committee. It’s Andrea Schmelz. She was a great Netcom in the past and now I can see clearly her vision on this very important committee’s development with a great team and their work.
GT: Which were for you the outstanding antennae in 2016?
Tereza: Can I say that it was my local? Oh my god, AEGEE-Yerevan did so many things in 2016 and I am so sad that it wasn’t so much shown to the network. Organizing thematic events and conferences such as Armenia Model European Union, EuroClabs and roundtable discussions on the trending topics in Europe. That’s why during every recruitment period more than 50 interested youth representatives wanted to join AEGEE – not just for fun but for the experience and knowledge. I would love to add AEGEE-Voronezh again as the second outstanding antennae. Have you seen how fast this local is growing even though their team is so small? They are trying everything that is possible to organize, to attend, to make and to create and I am super happy and proud that I was their NetCom in past.
GT: What was for you the outstanding European project, Working Group or Interest Group in 2016?
Tereza: I would like to nominate two: The Youth Mobility Working Group – I see how active they are especially in the past three months. And the Summer University, mostly because of the amazing job that the SUCT did.
GT: What do you foresee as a highlight or big topic in AEGEE in 2017?
Tereza: I hope the Eastern Partnership Project will come out with great initiatives and projects.
GT: What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2017?
Tereza: I was taking a small break from AEGEE, because of my work, but I hope to be back in 2017 and dedicate more time to the network and its development.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Tereza: At home with my family. Traditions, you know. But I hope to escape with friends to Tbilisi for David August’s concert on 1st of January, to meet some AEGEEans and of course to wait for a miracle.

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