It was a clear victory: Luis Alvarado Martinez is AEGEE’s Member of the Year 2012. In December, the AEGEE Golden Times asked 44 very active people for their candidates. They nominated altogether 65 individuals, boards or project teams. One name was mentioned most often: the one of Luis, the current President of AEGEE-Europe. On place two: the newly elected Chairperson Alla Resheten, followed by this year’s interim president Marko Grdošić. The Golden Times presents the winners.

6th place: CD 2012/13


Two people and two teams share the 6th place. The current CD is among them. “They are doing very well in having results already from the very early stages of their term, they are preserving peace in the Network and they are managing in many cases to avoid huge delays that our internal processes usually demand!”, says former AEGEE-Europe President Manos Valasis. Mateusz Dokurno (AEGEE-Katowice) agrees: “They stick more together, are more professional and work harder than the previous ones.” Also Franscesca Russo, AEGEE data analyst and Network Subcommissioner, is enthusiastic: “They are leading AEGEE towards a new era. In this period is important to make all the network understand better what is AEGEE so they are working really hard to refresh the image of the association inside and outside – for example videos with all our institutional partners, the new website, new opportunities for members, important projects and more.”

Olga Iatsyna

6th place: Olga Iatsyna

If life was fair, Olga Iatsyna would be member of the current Comité Directeur now. The former speaker of the Network Commission has been one of the most active members of the past years. Unfortunately she fell victim to the chaotic CD elections after the vote of confidence at Agora Enschede. The delegates did not take into account her excellent merits. However, many AEGEE members did not forget her. They nominated her as their member of the year in the Golden Times poll. For example Koen Berghuis, former NetCom member in Olga’s team. He acknowledges her great work in the Network Commission: “Really awesome job!”, he stresses. Anna Pritvorova, members of the “Europe in Exchange” project and Secretary of AEGEE-Moskva, benefitted personally from Olga’s work: “She supported me after I just became secretary and never ignored my questions.”


6th place: Agora Enschede organisers


The spring Agora in Enschede was already the 55th Agora. You might think that it’s hard to be innovative with this big statutory event. Nevertheless, the organisers of the Agora in Enschede wanted to make it a place for thematic discussions and invited high-ranking guests as speakers. Several members liked this effort so much that they nominated the team for the title “member of the year”. One of them: Mathieu Soete, AEGEE Policy Officer, Former EnWG Speaker. “It was the best Agora I have had the pleasure to attend.” Sygrit Andringa, former Secretary of the Agora and EBM, currently in the Health4Youth Project, who praised the organisers of the EBM Izmir and the two Agoras in Enschede and Budapest alike: “It was great to work with the different teams and the main coordinators and they all did an amazing job!” And Marije Arentze, Network Commissioner, says: “The organisers of Agora Enschede took the concept to a whole different level, with speakers like Sophie in ‘t Veld and Franck Biancheri, whose speech was only more special in retrospective. They set the bar very high for future Agora organisers, especially when it comes to thematic input. The way they organised the Death Memorial on the 4th of May was very, very special. I will never forget that moment when the trumpet started to play and the whole plenary fell silent for two minutes. The organisers deserve a very big thank you for letting us experience this moment in such a special way and let us feel united for two minutes while so much turbulence and controversy was happening around us.”

6th place: Miroslaw Krzanik

Miroslaw Krzanik

A few weeks ago the European Youth Forum elected a new board. In the new team there is also Miroslaw “Mirek” Krzanik, former member of the Comité Directeur. AEGEE has an own representative in this influential platform for the very first time. “It’s very important for AEGEE, as Mirek will be one of 11 people representing all European youth. I’m sure he will do it in the best possible way and the position of AEGEE in European Youth Forum will become even stronger”, says Alla Resheten. No wonder that many consider Miroslaw as Member of the Year. “He proved that students’ interest in youth issue could be even stronger and that we could aim high all the time”, stresses Adrian Browarczyk, Eastern Partnership Project and SubCommissioner. Former CD member Gizem Karslı: “Mirek makes us truly proud!”

5th place: Alfredo Sellitti

Alfredo SellittiAgoras can be cruel. Alfredo experienced this in Enschede. Before the Agora rumours were spreading that the team had fallen apart and that there might be a vote of confidence against the Network Director. Suddenly some delegates intervened and supported the Network Director. The CD decided on the spot to turn against their president – to the total surprise of everyone, Alfredo included. Nevertheless, despite this incident Alfredo kept his spirit and is still doing great things for AEGEE: after the Agora he became Speaker of the Corporate Relations Committee, Fund-Raising Manager of the EuroArab Project and writer for the AEGEEan magazine. Alla Resheten: “I think that only a person who really believes in AEGEE and lives with ideas of AEGEE in his heart can stay still active in the organisation after what has happened at the Agora Enschede. This person gave to AEGEE seven years and is still ready to work in different bodies of AEGEE.” Alma Mozgovaja, Former Secretary-General of AEGEE-Europe, agrees: “Even after all twists and turns he is still around and active, this is a true strength and devotion to AEGEE.”

3rd place: All active members


The third place is also shared. Several people did not want to point out a single person, they praise the unsung heroes. Jana Pokorná, Eastern Partnership Project, former Visa Freedom WG speaker and EBM Izmir content manager: “I think that all of us – active members – are outstanding members.” And Tika Kukhianidze, Network Commissioner from AEGEE-Tbilisi, says: “I think the most outstanding members are just somewhere in the local boards, or just being active in their locals, dedicating huge amount of their time and energy to AEGEE, creating an environment in which those people that are active on European level currently emerge. My subcommies are one of the bright examples for me.”

3rd place: Marko Grdošić

Marko Grdosic

He took over a divided CD team at Agora Enschede and unified it in short time. And he achieved great results in the short time between May and August. He achieved the third rank in the “Member of the Year” poll. “Marko did a great job in support and leading his team to finish up the CD year in a good way – and set the path for the current CD to continue their very successful job”, explains Fabian Brüggemann, president of the Mediation Commission. Alma Mozgovaja summarises it like this: “In a very short time he took over the presidency and managed everything so well.” And Atanas Nachkov, President of Juridical Commission, says: “For some decisions you need to have the guts and Marko proved to be a person who has them, unlike most people.” He also has other qualities, as Franscesca Russo observed: “It was outstanding to see the new and old CD dancing all together Severina’s hit ‘Italiana’ with a lot of passion. Hi five for their performance – especially to Marko!”

2nd place: Alla Resheten

Alla ReshetenIt’s all about time management. That’s what you hear when you ask Alla Resheten how she manages a full-time job, being mother and also being newly-elected Chairperson of the Agora and EBM. The former CD member impressed a lot of people with this energy. For eight of 44 asked people Alla is the Member of the Year 2012.  Mayri Tiido, Health4Youth Project Manager: “Alla is a perfect example that while starting a family you don’t have to quit AEGEE and start doing what society expects you to do!” Percin Imrek agrees: “Alla Resheten has been quite active in AEGEE in 2012, coordinating the Eastern Partnership project, getting elected as the Chairperson of AEGEE and still being involved in discussions and conversations in AEGEE. She does all these even though she is a mother, so I really appreciate her work.” Alfredo Sellitti stresses her personal skills: “She is the closest sister I had and the person that helped me a lot after Agora Enschede and kept me inspired.” And for Elena Toader, Eastern Partnership Project Team, Alla is simply a superhero: “This year I met many new members who stand out through their skills and willingness to change things. But if I have to mention the most outstanding member, this is Alla Resheten. I guess there is no surprise, everybody knows she is a superwoman. It seems her days have more than 24 hours. I am happy to be part of the same team and hope to discover the secret of Alla’s engagement in so many projects at the same time until the end of 2013.”

1st place: Luis Alvarado Martinez

Luis Alvarado MartinezBeing President of AEGEE-Europe of course gives a head-start in any election of the Member of the Year. However, when you ask people about Luis, they get excited. He is idealistic and pragmatic at the same time, he increases the external impact of AEGEE and inspires many people. No wonder that 11 people named him as Member of the Year 2012. This is what they said: “I just have a feeling that he is making a change in AEGEE. He knows how to motivate, encourage, inspire, dare, achieve, not to give up”, says Diana Ondza, Key to Europe Team Member. Alin-Florin Calin, Juridical Commission, compares him with another president: “Luis Alvarado-Martinez is bringing fresh air in AEGEE and pushing reforms, a bit of Obama.” For Oleksandra “Sandra” Lukavetska, AEGEE-Lviv, Luis is a a very responsible and conscientious person: “He is really involved into AEGEE life, trying to improve and increase the level of the organisation in Europe. Luis is a great example to follow for people who want to achieve more results.” Mayri Tiido, Health4Youth Project Manager, couldn’t agree more: “He’s just impossibly passionate about what he does and he does that professionally. What is more, he’s so inspiring that if you tell him ‘I want to move mountains!’, he will tell you ‘Lets do it!’.”