THE 2011 ATHENS FELLOWS STUDENT TEAM
Chris Blake — Texas Christian University
Chris Blake graduated from Texas Christian University in May 2011 with a degree in broadcast journalism. As a reporter for the student newspaper, the Daily Skiff, Chris won multiple SPJ awards for both news and sports coverage, and received national recognition with the Peter Agris Journalism Scholarship in 2010. While at TCU Chris served as sports director for the student newscast, “TCU News Now” in the Fall of 2010, and covered TCU’s Horned Frog football team from Week One all the way to the Rose Bowl. In the Spring of 2011 Chris was named executive producer of “TCU News Now,” winning awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Chris worked as an intern at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and in the Cape Cod Baseball League. One of two 2011 Athens Fellows from Texas, Chris started working in May with the San Angelo Colts minor league baseball team as a radio broadcaster and director of media relations.
Alexis Georgiadis — University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Alexis Georgiadis is pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism as a rising junior at the University of Illinois. Alexis is a 2011 recipient of the Peter Agris Journalism Scholarship. The native of Champaign, IL spent a transition year after high school interning at The Cyprus Mail in Nicosia, Cyprus and volunteering at the Cyprus Institute for Neurology and Genetics. Last summer, while attending the TFAS Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University, Georgiadis also served as a news radio intern with WTOP-FM in Washington, DC. In addition to being a 2011 Athens Fellow, Alexis Georgiadis is interning this summer at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, Illinois, as well as anchoring “Weekend Edition” for the local National Public Radio affiliate WILL-AM-FM-TV in Urbana. In the future, she hopes to work in radio and/or public broadcasting.
Vasiliki Mitrakos — Northwestern University Vasiliki Mitrakos is a rising junior at Northwestern University studying Political Science, Legal Studies, and International Studies. She has written and edited content for multiple media outlets including Greek America magazine, Greek Circle magazine, Mosaic: Loyola University’s Social Justice Magazine, and the Daily Northwestern. Before joining the Reinventing Greece Athens Launch Team as a 2011 Athens Fellow, Vasiki Mitrakos received the Peter Agris Journalism Scholarship and the PanHellenic Merit Scholarship in 2010. In 2007, Vasiliki was a member of the Greek Parliament Youth Program, and participated in mock legislative debates on social issues at the Hellenic Parliament. Vasiliki is also involved with the Greek-American community in Chicago, where she volunteers for the Greek America Foundation and serves as the co-president for the Hellenic-American Student Union at Northwestern. Vasiliki has volunteered for multiple political campaigns and hopes to promote higher voter turnout among college students at NU. Vasiliki plans to pursue a career in international relations with an emphasis on diplomacy in the Mediterranean region.
Nayia Moysidis — Columbia University Nayia Moysidis graduated from Columbia University in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. She has a passion for athletics, writing, film, and the field of law. During her four years at Columbia, she explored internationally through experiences as an intern at Film London in the United Kingdom in 2009, an intern for VISA, SportsMark at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and as a study abroad student at the University of Melbourne in the spring of 2010. She also held positions as a paralegal at Levine and Gilbert Law Firm in New York City and as an editing intern of Atria at Simon & Schuster. During her junior semester abroad, she completed a novel, which she is currently editing. 2011 Athens Fellow Nayia Moysidis is the author of published short stories in Flaneur Foundry and NOW!HERE. Moysidis grew up in Miami, where she was a competitive soccer player for 14 years, before she became a member of Columbia College Women’s Division I Soccer Team. Nayia speaks English, Greek, and Spanish. She has one older brother, Stavros, a medical school student at the University of Miami.
Michael Nevredakis — The University of Texas at Austin 2011 Senior Athens Fellow Michael Nevradakis is a third-year Ph.D. student in Media Studies at the University of Texas’ Department of Radio-Television-Film. Michael’s research interests include telecommunications regulation and policy, global and comparative media landscapes (with a strong emphasis on the media landscape of Greece), alternative media (particularly the role that blogs have played in formulating new public spheres), media of the Greek diaspora, and ethnic stereotyping in the media. His research has been presented at a number of prestigious academic conferences, and his recent book chapter, “Government-Sanctioned Anarchy: Greece’s Chaotic Airwaves,” will be published in a forthcoming academic volume on international radio. Prior to commencing his doctoral studies, Michael attained a BA (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Political Science from Stony Brook University (2005) and a Masters degree in Public Policy from Stony Brook University in 2007. In addition to being honored with a Peter Agris Journalism Scholarship in 2010, Michael Nevradakis is also the host of Austin Hellenic Radio, a weekly radio show which features Greek music and culture as well as interviews with key figures in the Greek-American community, and is the webmaster and editor of www.media.net.gr — an online resource about Greek broadcast media.
Julia Panayotou — Columbia University
Born in Athens, Julia Panayotou has a BA in History from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York. After her graduation, she returned to Greece to work for the International Herald Tribune /Kathimerini publication Athens Plus, where she headed the Community and DVD & Home Entertainment sections, and was a contributor to the Cinema pages. In addition, Julia has freelanced for Athens Insider and Odyssey, A 2011 Senior Athens Fellow, Julia Panayotou will begin a MSc at the London School of Economics in the fall of 2011.
Maria Romas — University of Maryland Maria Romas attends the University of Maryland, and is in the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism. She is also a member of the College Park Scholars’ Media, Self and Society program, and attends weekly seminars discussing the future of media and its place in the world. She writes for the Diamondback, University of Maryland’s award-winning paper, and has covered Graduate Student Government, health, crime, and student housing. As a 2011 Athens Fellow, Maria Romas looks forward to covering political advocacy in the fall. Along with her experience in editing — Maria loves to correct people’s grammar and sentence structure — she loves to write. Writing is what lured her to the field of journalism — and any opportunity to write is exciting to her. Maria is active in the Greek American community, as a member of the University of Maryland’s Greek Heritage Society, and starting up a young-adult Greek dance troupe. She grew up among a flurry of Greek activity, and refuses to give up on it.
Joseph Skarzenski — University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Joseph Skarzenski is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). His primary studies are in political science, with an emphasis on game theory and formal analysis. Joseph’s other academic endeavors include economics, classics, and public policy. Currently, he is in pursuit of College and Departmental honors, with an interest in producing an honors thesis focusing on a game theoretical evaluation of whether or not Greece should leave the Eurozone. Before being selected as a 2011 Athens Fellow, Joseph Skarzenski worked as an intern in Athens for three consecutive summers beginning in 2009. Joseph is heavily involved in the Greek American community. He currently serves on the Supreme Lodge of the Sons of Pericles (Junior Order of AHEPA) with the position of Supreme Governor. He also holds the responsibilities of Public Relations chairman for the Lodge. Joseph attends St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA where he is part of a Greek dance group that competes in the Folk Dance Festival annually.
ATHENS LAUNCH LEAD MENTORS
Prof. Dody Tsiantar — Columbia University Dody Tsiantar is a freelance journalist and editor. Until June 2006, Tsiantar served as the senior business reporter for Time magazine, where she supervised a team of six reporters. Tsiantar still contributes to the magazine regularly. She began her career in 1983 as a special correspondent for the Washington Post and later worked as a business reporter and associate editor for Newsweek. In between her newsweekly stints, Tsiantar served as the editorial manager of In Style magazine’s special issues division and as the deputy chief of reporters at Money, where she managed a nationwide network of stringers. She holds a Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
Maria Papathanassiou — The European Institute Maria Papathanassiou brings expertise in three fields to the launch of the Reinventing Greece Media Project: European policy, print and online publishing, and non-profit management. From 1999 to 2011 Maria Papathanassiou was Senior Vice President of The European Institute, a leading Washington non-profit organization devoted to fostering transatlantic dialogue on the central economic, strategic, environmental and public policy issues of our time. With the Institute since its inception, Maria was instrumental in its organizational development and growth. Her responsibilities included fundraising and development, grant management, public relations, and communications with boards and members. After a decade as Managing Editor of the policy review European Affairs, Maria pioneered a new field as Associate Publisher of the online version. Maria received her BA summa cum laude in Political Science and French from Trinity College, Washington, DC. She speaks English, French, Greek and Italian.
Gregory Maniatis — The Migration Policy Institute Gregory Maniatis oversees the European programs for the Migration Policy Institute in Washington and serves as the Executive Director of the Transatlantic Council on Migration. He is also advisor to Peter Sutherland, the UN Special Representative for Migration. Mr. Maniatis consults to the European Commission, Member State governments, the European Parliament, and international organizations on all aspects of immigration and integration policy. In 2007, he led MPI’s advisory work for the EU Presidencies of Germany and Portugal; in previous years, he oversaw MPI’s work with the European Union Presidencies of Greece and the Netherlands. Prior to his positions at MPI and the UN, Mr. Maniatis was founder and publisher of Odyssey magazine, an English-language bimonthly that is the leading international magazine about Greece and Greeks around the world, with over 60,000 readers in 35 countries. He is also a writer and producer whose reportage and commentary have been featured in the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, The Washington Monthly, PBS Television, and many other media outlets. Mr. Maniatis is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a recipient of a certificat from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
ATHENS LAUNCH DIRECTOR
Aphrodite Bouikidis — The Next Generation Initiative Aphrodite Bouikidis develops and manages programs for the Next Generation Initiative. Prior to joining the Initiative in 2011, Aphrodite worked for three years on the Eurasia and Middle East and North Africa teams at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a non-profit organization in the field of democracy assistance. At NDI, she helped develop, manage and support civic participation programs, including programs focusing on women, youth and civil society organizations. As a volunteer with Ashoka International, Aphrodite developed an interest in social entrepreneurship and began raising awareness of social innovation and connecting successful and emerging social entrepreneurs in the Middle East. After being named a StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellow in 2010, she coordinated with other StartingBloc fellows to found and implement the DC Social Innovation Salon, a discussion series on private and public sector innovation. Before earning an MA in International Relations at the University of Chicago, Aphrodite interned at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, where she worked on minority population and trafficking in persons issues. She also studied and spent several summers in Greece and is interested in the emerging Greek civil society sector.