Meet our new elected representatives and coordinators
After the 70th Board Meeting in Bergen, Norway our members elected 7 new Executive Committee Members and the Presidency, consisting of 2 Vice Presidents and one President. In addition, 3 Coordinators were appointed to deal with issues such as human rights, membership and equality. To know more about them, we prepared a list of short biographies so that anyone interested can have more insight to their education and experience in the student movement. A warm welcome to all of them!
Lea Meister, President
Lea Meister is currently studying Educational Sciences and she has a Master of Arts in Eastern European History and Slavic Languages from the University of Basel, Switzerland. She has a long history of student engagement, including being International Officer of the Swiss Students‘ Union (VSS-UNES-USU) and Higher Education Policy Officer of the Student Union of the University of Basel. Since 2014, Lea has been Vice-Chairperson and Member of the Executive Committee at the European Students’ Union (ESU).
Liva Vikmane, Vice President
Liva Vikmane was a member of the Executive Committee 2015/2016. She was working in the Social Dimension and Public Responsibility fields with the focuses on Social Dimension in Bologna Process, student support services and commodification of Higher Education. Liva has been active in the student movement for four years, previously holding a position as an International Affairs Officer at the Student Union of Latvia (LSA) and a Vice-chair on International students’ integration at Student Council of Riga Stradinš University. She also has been a student representative in national Bologna Process structures in Latvia. At the moment Liva is majoring in International relations and sociology and in her spare time enjoys a good read and hiking.
Blazhe Todorovski, Vice President
Blazhe Todorovski studies Law at the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje. Since 2012, Blazhe has been member of the Executive Committee and from July 2015 he has been serving as Vice-Chairperson of the European Students’ Union. Blazhe has been involved in student representation and education policies at national and European Level, working as part of the ESU Quality Assurance Experts’ Pool expert pool and member of the experts’ pool at the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
Gramoz Shpendi, Executive Committee Member
Gramoz Shpendi is originally from Kosovo and, since 2012, he has been studying Construction Engineering in Finland at Hämeen University of Applied Sciences, He has a major in Environmental Technology. For the past four years, Gramoz has been active in the student movement at local, national and now European level, as ESU’s Executive Committee Member.
Beth Button, Executive Committee Member
Beth Button studied education and sociology at Cardiff University in Wales, where she was a course representative throughout her studies until she graduated in 2012. She then spent a year as the elected education officer at the University students’ union, after which she was elected as deputy president of the National Union of Students in Wales in 2014. After a year as deputy president, Beth was elected president of NUS Wales, where she spent two years responsible for representing over 350’000 students studying in post-16 education in Wales and campaigning on educational issues. Beth will be studying a masters in education policy and international development at the University of Bristol next year.
Adam Gajek, Executive Committee Member
Adam Gajek is a member of the European Students’ Union’s Executive Committee 2016/2017. His main focus lies in the area of quality of higher education, with an emphasis given to quality assurance and prior learning recognition. HE is a member of the ESU Quality Assurance Student Experts’ Pool and a student expert of the Polish Accreditation Committee. He has been engaged in the student movement for many years, formerly served as an International Officer of the Students’ Parliament of the Republic of Poland (PSRP), and a head of the Audit Committee of the Students’ Union of the University of Warsaw. Adam is currently a student of management at the Warsaw School of Economics and has a previous academic background in political science and economics.
Aleksandar Šušnjar, Executive Committee Member
Aleksandar Šušnjar was born in Rijeka, Croatia in 1991. He holds a bachelor degree of philosophy and English language and literature and is currently a master student of philosophy and English language and literature – teaching track. Aleksandar has been an active student representative since 2012 and a president of the University of Rijeka Student Council and Croatian Student Council in two terms (2014-2016). He was a member of various committees and working bodies at the local and national level, most important of which are: National Working Group on Social Dimension, Commission for Student Accommodation, Commission for Drafting the Law on Student Organizing and Commission for Accreditation and Assessment of Study Programs. Aleksandar was also a participant in several quality assurance procedures, including internal and external audits and two HEI reaccreditation procedures.
Milana Jankovic, Executive Committee Member
Milana Jankovic was born in 1993 in Novi Sad, Serbia. She currently studies Psychology at the University of Novi Sad. Beside her activities as a scientific researcher, she is active in student movement since her first day at the University in 2012. Milana was the president of Students’ Union of the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad and a member of the Steering Committee of Students’ Union of Serbia (SUS). She became an International Officer of SUS in 2015. As a member of the Executive Committee of the European Students’ Union, she will be working in the area of the social dimension and internationalization and mobility. Milana enjoys playing the piano, taking photographs and really loves to travel and explore new places.
Chiara Patricolo, Executive Committee Member
Chiara Patricolo is a member of the Executive Committee of ESU for the mandate 2016/2017. She has been a member of the Academic Senate and of the Student Council of the University of Bologna and president of the Regional Council of Students in Emilia-Romagna. She has a bachelor in International Relations and a master in International Relations and Diplomatic Affairs in Forlì, part of the university of Bologna, where she has been the leader of the local students’ union from 2012 to 2014. She has been UdU’s –the Italian Students’ Union- international officer from 2013 to 2015. She loves art, reading, travelling and meeting new people.
Filip Príhoda, Membership Coordinator
Filip Príhoda is the ESU Membership Coordinator, cooperating also with Public Responsibility cluster. Filip is the former vice chairperson of the Student Chamber of the Council of HEIs in the Czech Republic, where he was involved as a head of working group for foreign affairs. He has a bachelor degree in the European studies and currently he is working on achieving Master degree in the same field of study at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. During his studies he was involved as a member of Academic Senate Economic Committee as well as in other student voluntarily activities, especially with exchange students. Filip likes to talk about European Politics and he is always happy to share some travel stories.”
Melanie Fröhlich, Equality Coordinator
Melanie Fröhlich – The third mandate as Equality Coordinator for the European Students’ Union (ESU). Besides working on equality (related) issues the fields of expertise are new approaches to teaching and learning and social dimension in general. She was one of the former Bologna Expert in Germany and student representative within the Executive Committee of the German academic exchange service (DAAD). Working within the students’ movement since a long time on different levels. She is studying Spanish and Chemistry to become a teacher at some point.
Helge Schwitters, Human Rights and Solidarity Coordinator
Helge Schwitters studies Political Science at the University of Oslo. He has been involved in the student movement for many years both on a local, national and international level. Before joining ESU as a coordinator he was the Officer for International Affairs for the National Union of Students in Norway (NSO) holding the position for two consecutive mandates. Among many other responsibilities he was the main political project manager for the “Global Student Voice” seminar and NSO’s advocate for the Students at Risk programme together with SAIH, an organisation he also was a board member of. In 2012/13 he sat as a member of the University board at his home university. ESU experiences prior to the role as coordinator include chairing the working group on post-2015 development goals and being a member of the International Cooperations Working Group.”