Who’s helping UMD this summer?

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) significantly depends on its fellowship program to carry out its important work to promote Macedonian causes in Washington, D.C. and worldwide.

Since founding its fellowship program in 2008, UMD has hosted over forty students of Macedonian and non-Macedonian heritage, providing them with the necessary skills needed to further their eventual professional career paths. 2015’s summer program is the largest to date.

Under the mentorship and direct supervision of UMD President Metodija A. Koloski, at UMD’s office, in Washington, D.C., these students are fully immersed in current affairs of Macedonia, Southeast Europe, and Trans-Atlantic enlargement issues and learn the dynamics of how a non-profit functions honing their writing, communications, research, social media, networking, and fundraising/event-planning skills.

We are pleased to introduce you to Johandra Delgado, Mario Hristovski, Gordana Mircic, Martin Naunov, Vasil Popjanevski (ended internship May 2015), Gorgi Popstefanov, Kyle Anastas Rosher, and Aimee Shuck.

Johandra Delgado is from Miami, Florida. She is studying at Florida International University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, a minor in French Language and Culture, and a certificate in European Studies. She is an active member of the Honors College and the Vice President of Amnesty International at FIU. After graduating in December 2015, she plans to continue her studies through graduate school, possibly in D.C. This summer, she is attending The Washington Center where she will be taking an academic course, participating in leadership development and civic engagement, and completing her fellowship at UMD. She enjoys traveling, watching films, and sampling new desserts and hopes to explore all of D.C.’s museums. Johandra is excited to be in Washington, D.C., and working at UMD; she looks forward to learning about International Affairs and Macedonia.

Mario Hristovski is a third year student at the Ohio State University pursuing a dual degree in Business Economics and International Studies. Born in Bitola, Macedonia, he came to the United States in 2001 at the age of 7.

At Ohio State, Mario founded the Macedonian-American Student Organization, which has had success in hosting movie nights, social events, and even a diplomatic reception. Mario also serves as an Ohio State Global Ambassador, where he works with students of various backgrounds to program and coordinate Global Engagement Nights that serve to introduce students about other cultures on campus. He is also involved with the Ohio State chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society, a non-partisan group that hosts debates on international security, economics, and politics, where he serves as the Program Coordinator.

Apart from school, Mario is the U.S Chair of Generation M and is an International Policy and Diplomacy Fellow for UMD. Outside of UMD, Mario is also a writer for the Vostokian, an online journal that provides analysis and commentary on Eastern European current events.

Gordana Mircic holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Macedonia, and a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University. In the past year, Gordana facilitated student mobility at the International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP) in Arlington, Virginia, developing a new study abroad program for international sponsored students. She also chaired the first silent auction at ISEP, raising money for the ISEP Student Scholarship Fund. Gordana was a Graduate Research Assistant at Indiana University where she researched nonprofit dynamics focusing on intra-sector and cross-sector collaboration. She led a team of three Research Assistants who performed a Meta-Analysis project between Indiana University and Penn School of Social Policy and Practice.

Previously, Gordana worked with the U.S. Embassy Macedonia as an EducationUSA Adviser promoting U.S. higher education and culture. In her five-years of work with the embassy, Gordana and her team organized more than 2,400 events and two summer inter-ethnic leadership camps for youth. She developed the American Corners Macedonia internship program, and mentored 20 students. Gordana advised over 2,000 Macedonian students on how to apply for U.S. colleges and universities, and obtain financial aid. A Fulbright alumnus of the U.S. Department of State, Gordana is dedicated to youth development and the empowerment of civil society.

Gordana is currently UMD’s Development Office Coordinator and will be assisting UMD with all of its fundraising/event-planning activities. She will also help with Birthright Macedonia and UMD’s Generation M program.

Martin Naunov is a rising junior at Middlebury College majoring in Political Science and Economics. He was born and raised in Kochani, Macedonia but pursued his high school education at Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, Martin was involved with Students Against Slavery and helped organize the first Interschool Anti­Human Trafficking Camp as well as the First Student Refugee Forum. He also traveled to Cambodia where he worked with child victims of sexual exploitation. In Macedonia, Martin has worked with the Young European Federalists of Macedonia (JEF­Macedonia), where he helped organize various events related to Macedonia’s EU Integration. In March 2015, Martin was elected to the Supervisory Board of JEF­Macedonia. Additionally, Martin has interned at the National Chapter of Transparency International in Macedonia, where he was a research assistant to the President for the project ‘Are regulatory agencies in Serbia and Macedonia transparent and accountable?’ Martin is a Fellow at the Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship and is one of the students that represented Middlebury at the 2014 and 2015 Clinton Global Initiative University Conferences as well as the 2014 World Bank Youth Summit in Washington D.C. Martin is a recipient of the 2015 Davis UWC Scholars Fellowship in International Development and Social Change.

Vasil Popjanevski was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. His parents are from Bitola and the Prespa region in Macedonia. Recently, he graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia with a double major in International Studies and Political Science, as well as a minor in Spanish. His Macedonian ethnicity is what sparked his interest in learning about European affairs as well as learning about other regions of the world particularly, Latin America. During his undergraduate studies, Vasil served as an International Student Ambassador, helping international students become more comfortable and familiar with the campus. He was also a member of Model European Union and International Club. He has participated at conferences including the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies (MACLAS), where he presented his research paper entitled Modern Brazil: A Preliminary Assessment of Government Initiatives to Combat Corruption, Inequality, and Crime. During the summer of 2014, he studied abroad in Brazil at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro. Vasil also speaks Macedonian, Portuguese, and Spanish. During spring 2015, he interned at UMD as well as Brazil Industries Coalition. He enjoys attending Macedonian events and being an active member in his community.

Gorgi L. Popstefanov, Esq. is the volunteer Director of International Policy at the United Macedonian Diaspora joining in February 2015. Born in Macedonia, he was raised in Garfield, New Jersey. While at the George Washington University, he interned for the U.S. Senate and became the first International Policy & Diplomacy Fellow for UMD in 2008. After finishing his B.A. in International Affairs, Gorgi worked for the President of Macedonia, focusing on foreign affairs and policy. He graduated with a J.D. from Seton Hall Law in 2013, and became a licensed attorney later that year. His expertise in international law and foreign affairs are put to use through advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. on U.S. and Macedonia relations, and Macedonia’s eventual NATO membership. Finally, Gorgi has represented Macedonia in cycling on three separate occasions, including the World Championships in 2014.

Kyle Anastas Rosher is American of Macedonian heritage, born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His family emigrated first to Canada, and then later America, from the town of Lerin in Aegean Macedonia (now known as Florina in present-day Greece). In 2015, he graduated with a dual degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics and Religious studies with a specialization in Muslim Studies from James Madison College, at Michigan State University. He has previously spent time studying at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey, the Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku, Azerbaijan.

As an International Policy and Diplomacy Fellow working with UMD, he looks forward to furthering his goal to enter the ever-evolving field of international affairs. Kyle hopes to continue his work to serve, assist, improve, and better connect both the greater Macedonian community and the international community as a whole.

Aimee Shuck is from Louisville, Kentucky. She will be a senior at University of Washington in Seattle, Washington where she is completing a degree in International Studies with a Foreign policy track and minors in European Studies and Spanish. Aimee completed a study abroad program in Greece, which involved ethnographic research on the subject of illegal immigration last summer. She recently returned from five months at University of Cádiz, in Spain, where she completed an immersive Spanish language semester program.

Aimee loves traveling, studying new languages and learning about new cultures. She also is active in volunteer work through her sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, where she served as Scholarship and Public Relations Chair. She hopes to pursue her interest in foreign policy when she graduates next year.

Aimee is excited to be at UMD. This will be a valuable experience to enhance her European studies and foreign policy focus.

The UMD Fellowship Program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in current affairs regarding Macedonia and Southeast Europe. This Fellowship Program serves as an effective means to introduce and advance a future career in foreign policy, journalism, public relations, human rights, advocacy, government, or the nonprofit sector. If interested, or know of anyone interested in applying for the program, please click HERE.

Click HERE to DONATE TODAY to support UMD’s Fellowship Program to give our future leaders the skills they need to help Macedonia and the Macedonian community.