Velia Hahnemann

  1. How old are you?
    i am 20
  2. Where are you from?
    i am from the middle of germany
  3. What is your favorite book?
    Novel: Christa Wolf-“Medea. voices”; specialist literature: Dieter Duhm-“Towards a new Culture”
  4. What is your favorite film?
    The Piano
  5. Who is your favorite artist at the moment?
    London Grammar
  6. What are your three greatest passions?
    Many kinds of art like dancing, acting, sculpture or painting; meeting different people and learn from them; making sports like running or frisbee
  7. What is your ambition in life?
    i want to be a therapist to help people in difficult situations or to be a educationalist to make education in a creative way
  8. What are you working on right now?
    i am looking for a university place to start my studies in this autumn i think i will study social work and/or pedagogy. therefore i have to find a city and a place where i want to stay.

I met Velia in Istanbul, one of many incredible new friends from my Eurotrip. She had just gotten back from a trip to Nepal teaching kids. I love that her dream is to start a school to introduce kids to educational experiences in theater all around the world. She herself is a full of life and energy, dragging us out for a few nights in Taksim for live music and dancing. But I think she really made my time in Istanbul special by being my sketching buddy. We did sketches together at The Blue Mosque, by Taksim, of the Hagia Sophia, and of each other. On our last day together, she even cut my hair! There’s no end to her talents, but it’s her warm personality that lets me know she’ll be an inspiration to countless people (and cats) in her life. Hope to see you in Germany sometime!

Velia in Nepal

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Christie Lin

  1. How old are you?
    Twenty-two
  2. Where are you from?
    College Park, Maryland
  3. What is your favorite book?
    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  4. What is your favorite film TV show?
    Adventure Time!
  5. Who is your favorite artist at the moment?
    Nature (go outside!)
  6. What are your three greatest passions?
    Exploring, dancing to great music, infusing ideas
  7. What is your ambition in life?
    To never stop learning, to never stop teaching
  8. What are you working on right now?
    My thesis: improving proton radiation therapy methods for brain cancer treatment

If I had to pick a profession for my friend Christie, it would be “explorer”. She leads the life everyone secretly wants to lead, but abandoned at some point or another because it was deemed “impossible” or “unfeasible”. Christie makes “working hard and playing hard” seem irresistibly perfect. I met her through FACES, and in just a short week in April we instantly clicked on so many levels–music, art, fashion, culture, engineering, the list goes on. We made plans early in the year to travel in Taiwan for a week, and we did exactly that over Thanksgiving break, with some of our good friends. (By the way, you are separated by at most three degrees from Christie. She quite literally knows everybody in the world.) But quite simply, she is the nicest and most down-to-earth person you will ever meet. She is a young, fun spirit trapped in an MIT nuclear engineering graduate student’s body. There is always a “best” or “chillest” approach to every interaction and decision in life, and she seems to be on cruise control down that path. Of course, she is pursuing one of the hardest career paths on earth and is aptly so one of the hardest-working engineers on the job, but spend one day with her traveling in a foreign country, or ravaging through a toy store, or jamming to some techno beats, and you’ll sincerely believe that life is good.

 

Rúben Lemos

 

  1. How old are you?
    Twenty-two
  2. Where are you from?
    Paris suburban area, France
  3. What is your favorite book?
    ‘Candide or Optimism’ by Voltaire.
  4. What is your favorite film?
    I’ve got way too many favourite movies, let’s say ‘Once upon a time in China 1&2 and Takeshi Kitano’s ‘SONATINE’ … 
  5. Who is your favorite artist at the moment?
    Metronomy 
  6. What are your three greatest passions?
    Music, Modern Art, French cheese.
  7. What is your ambition in life?
    Living a not so ordinary life with a not so ordinary person… Hope I can succeed in escaping from the boring routine. 
  8. What are you working on right now?
    Working on an alternative hip hop album (french, chinese, instrumentals).

Rúben is an awesome musician I met in Taiwan, originally from France but studying Chinese and English in Taiwan. I got to chat with him in a night market and also in a Jazz bar, where Taiwan students play live jazz on the side of their studies. He himself does not play any instruments but is a composer of new wave and hip hop music. Check out some of his music on his YouTube channel. It’s very rare that I find somebody who lives so freely yet devotedly for his creative and intellectual pursuits; someday in the future I hope to travel, learn languages, and make music with Rúben! Final note: his Chinese is way better than mine…

 

Amber Goboy

  1. How old are you?
    Twenty-one
  2. Where are you from?
    Rialto, California
  3. What is your favorite book?
    Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
  4. What is your favorite film?
    Perfume Story of a Murderer
  5. Who is your favorite artist at the moment?
    The Bloody Beetroots
  6. What are your three greatest passions?
    Singing, dancing, and watching movies
  7. What is your ambition in life?
    To make people happy
  8. What are you working on right now?
    Homework and midterms!

 

David Geeter

  1. How old are you?
    Twenty-two
  2. Where are you from?
    Jersey Shore
  3. What is your favorite book?
    Zoo books
  4. What is your favorite film?
    Rush Hour 2
  5. Who is your favorite artist at the moment?
    Andi Harrington [local Stanford artist you should all check out]
  6. What are your three greatest passions?
    Music, Entrepreneurship, and Environmental stewardship
  7. What is your ambition in life?
    I want to design sustainable buildings, spaces, and businesses.
  8. What are you working on right now?
    I am working on a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel throughout Africa with a Youth Climate Justice Caravan to COP17/CMP7 and raise awareness about climate change & sustainable development through performing arts and entrepreneurship.

I met David Geeter (Class of 2012, Earth Systems) through the Green Dorm project, and immediately admired his hip personality and vision. He is one of those very few who not only dream big, but do big and follow through with unparalleled energy and focus. In just the past few months I have run into him again and again through different lenses, and each time he has been on another incredible adventure: first finishing environmental work in Hawaii, then working as a leader in StartX, and now preparing for an incredible trip to Africa. He embodies the best of Stanford, a mixture of art and technology with an entrepreneurial mindset and disruptive vision (I mean that in the best of ways). I am looking forward to working with him on developing a brand new arts festival this spring, possibly even throwing in a couple of music collaborations in the next couple of years, and just following his way of life.

 

Christina Nguyen

  1. How old are you?
    Twenty
  2. Where are you from?
    I’m from a mile above sea level – Denver
  3. What are your favorite books?
    Easily The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, with runner-ups of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Bel Cantoby Ann Patchett, and Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
  4. What are your favorite films?
    Schindler’s List, Pride and Prejudice, as well as Ten Things I Hate About You
  5. Who is your favorite artist at the moment?
    I’ve been listening to a lot of The Script lately, but I can always rely on the Goo Goo Dolls no matter my mood.
  6. What are your three greatest passions?
    Traveling, writing stories that no one will ever read, and eating delicious food.
  7. What are your ambitions in life?
    Cheesy as it is, probably to fall in love, marry, and live a comfortable life. Ideally, “travel the world” is achieved in the process.
  8. What are you working on right now?
    Traveling the world. Keeping in touch with friends. Reading for classes and trying to attend every single activity/club/event in the first few weeks of Oxford term.

I met Christina last year in FroSoCo and she turned out to be one of my closest friends from sophomore year. We share a lot of the same interests in film, literature, and probably most important of all, food. She’s the kind of person I could stay up and have a deep conversation with long into the night while procrastinating on all my work and not feel bad about it. This past summer she traveled to incredible places like Jerusalem, Morocco, Egypt, Rome, the Vatican, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, London, Ireland, etc. etc. And at nearly every location she sent me a sweet postcard. It was like I was traveling the world vicariously through her snapshots and handwriting. Suffice it to say that she’s doing all the things I wish I had time to do, and for that I am compassionately envious.

Sinan Mihelčič


  1. How old are you?
    Twenty-eight
  2. Where are you from?
    Im from Kamnik, Slovenia, small country in the heart of Europe. 
  3. What is your favorite book?
    I believe there are several. But if i would have to pick the best one, it would probably be Alamut, from Vladimir Bartol
  4. What is your favorite film?
    I have three. Whale rider, Malena and How I Ended This Summer.
  5. Who is your favorite artist at the moment?
    Anina Furness, totally unknown, but for me, very inspiring.
  6. What are your three greatest passions?
    Architecture, Coffee and philosophical quantum physics.
  7. What is your ambition in life?
    Find out my own way of philosophy of architecture.
  8. What are you working on right now?
    Project for renovation of apartment blocks in Slovenia and having nice cup of coffee.

I met Sinan through the AEC Global Teamwork project last year, which spanned two quarters and over ten countries around the world. He struck me as an incredibly principled, intellectual, and professional architecture student, to the point that he had begun his own company, Zavod Štajn. Sinan was the one who first introduced me to this idea that students in architecture can and should begin collaborating on real projects as soon as possible, and that in fact it is very easy to begin influencing the community through design. This quarter I am only just starting to attempt this through initiatives like the Stanford Architecture Workshops, but it has been exhilarating thus far, and I can’t wait to work more with Sinan in the future.