SUNIA Staff

 

meet our team

With book worms, athletes extraordinaire, theatre geeks, science whiz-kids, debate queens and dancers ranging from "damn" to "Dad", SUNIA Staff is certainly a diverse group. If you're a fan of anything, or if there's something you're super passionate about... chances are that one of us is too! As different as our interests may be, we maintain at least one thing in common: our commitment and passion for SUNIA. We possess in-depth knowledge about all relevant subject matter, and are mature, trustworthy and responsible, meaning you can always count on us for whatever you need out at camp. We are super excited to see you at SUNIA in August! 

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Emma Jones

director@sunia.ca

Emma Jones is not only the director of SUNIA but a real powerhouse lady. Between her time spent writing for the University of Alberta’s newspaper The Gateway, and being a true debate MVP, it’s a wonder she has time for a life. When not busy pulling her hair out over deadlines, Emma can be found wandering the grounds of Goldeye crying out for the lost souls who didn’t attend SUNIA whilst they were eligible. And when she’s not scaring children in the woods, this Executive Director extraordinaire can be found listening to music that’s so trashy it’s good, or arguing with her friends about the world. But now matter how busy she may be, have comfort in knowing that she will always be there for you if you need her.

Victor Frunza

victor@sunia.ca

Victor “The Freeze” Frunza is SUNIA’s in-house Chief Technology Officer, descending from the heavens of NAIT’s Computer Engineering program to ease all of SUNIA’s tech-related woes. When he’s not furiously mashing ones and zeroes, he manages to not only juggle time between jamming to 80’s rock and taking up the latest novel, but also literally juggle - he’s even our resident clown curator. With all of that pressure, we’re adamant there’s a fountain-of-youth hidden somewhere, as he simply never seems to age; yet, Victor is always a reliable shoulder to lean on out at camp, and is a vast wealth of knowledge for everything international affairs. Should you be finding yourself wondering whether SkyNet or nukes will collapse the world first, as Security Council Coordinator, Victor’s your guy. A sturdy source of wisdom and all-around whiz, Victor is a key component to the SUNIA engine - though he wishes we would call it a motherboard.

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Anna Goplen

agoplen@sunia.ca

No matter where your interests lie, Anna is your go-to counsellor if you’re looking for a reliable and hilarious lifelong pal. If you’re into sports, you’re in luck! Anna has played almost every single sport known to man, with a stacked trophy case to show for it. Maybe you’re more of bookworm? Fear not! In her downtime, Anna loves to read—some of her favourites include Harry Potter, Turtles All the Way Down, and The Hate U Give. Or maybe you love hip hop? Let’s just say Anna can rap as fast as she skates—real freakin’ fast. When asked what kind of potato she would be, she replies “french fries, of course!” Of course. Everyone likes french fries, and everyone likes Anna. It’s simply impossible not to befriend such a well-rounded, multi-talented, and friendly counsellor.

Erika hurl

registrar@sunia.ca

Erika Hurl AKA "Screech" is a fun loving lizard-lover, who always manages to make people see the positives of life. With a ton of experience in politics and foreign affairs, Erika is an A1 SUNIA counselor. If it wasn’t clear from her nickname, you should know that Screech is not a shy person, and she has no problem being the loudest one in the room. A determined engineering student, Erika hopes to one day become the world's greatest civil engineer. Her genuine kindness makes her presence a delight, and her love of mountains, books, and naps will be brought up in any conversation you have with her. She is a great leader and an even better friend. SUNIA is truly lucky to have her as a counsellor and you will be too when you meet her at camp!

 

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Alexandra padilla

apadilla@sunia.ca

Alexandra Padilla goes by many names, from Alex to Padillo, and her personality is as versatile as her nicknames. With two Alexes on staff this year, it can get a bit confusing, but Alex is always able to roll with the punches. As someone who is well-versed in pop culture of many kinds, Alex is down to chat about anything, and as an improv star she will blow you away with her quick wit and quicker friendship. She’s funny, she’s friendly, and she’s always a good time. On Baldy or in Security Council, Alex will be sure to bring a smile to your face out at SUNIA.

jenna mulji

jenna@sunia.ca

Jenna is the heart-of-gold counsellor who is, if you get to know her, pretty much the most hilarious person out there. If you ask her, she’ll tell you she doesn’t have any talents… but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. She’s passionate about Learning Beyond Borders, HSMUN, generation SHIFT, and above all else, Harry Potter (a devout #Hufflepuff). A lover of the Lumineers, One Direction, The Office and The Kite Runner, Jenna’s also totally down to nerd out with you over any book. She kills it on the dance floor, loves plant shopping and exploring new places (like Edmonton’s River Valley!) and taking part in social change. It goes without saying, Jenna is a 10/10 friend. Get to know Jenna out at camp, and you’ll be so glad you did!

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ayman adwan

Ayman@sunia.ca

Ayman “Ay-money” Adwan: the chillest dude on staff. Active in his community as a part of his local leadership, Rotary and Business clubs, Ayman is also keen on literature. Describing himself as ‘a die-hard Gryffindor fan since day one,’ he also counts The Kite Runner as his favorite book of all time. You can always catch Ayman listening to music, be it rap, indie, hip hop, or R&B. A super dedicated and talented counsellor, in a way, Ayman is comparable to mashed potatoes: super adaptable to any situation. However, I’d argue that he’s mashed potato but with some more flavour added. I mean, someone who loves Game of Thrones, The Office, and Inception can’t just be regular old mashed potatoes! He’ll be having dinner with students and fellow counsellors every night at SUNIA, but if he wasn’t, he’d choose to dine with Martin Luther King Jr. to discuss his thoughts on our current world, and become inspired by his wise words. This U of A Engineering student has one of SUNIA’s most brilliant smiles, and is sure to brighten anyone’s day!

Andrew zhao

Andrew@sunia.ca

Andrew “Peanut” Zhao is SUNIA’s hilarious, enthusiastic, resident international affairs expert. His love for all things politics, coupled with his experience running various organizations that end with ‘MUN’ make him more than qualified to teach you everything you need to know at SUNIA. While he’s not studying political science at the University of Toronto, he enjoys playing Jeopardy with his friends, dancing (he’s proudly mastered the “double dab”) or listening to the indie artist du jour. An avid impressionist, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are among his go-tos. So, whether you need advice on American foreign policy or the trendiest place to grab sushi, make sure to talk to Andrew out at camp!

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freia de waal

Freia@sunia.ca

Otherwise known as Frooo, Frah, and Mother Nacho, Freia is a radiant, energetic and involved counsellor. While she’s not sponsored by Vans, you could certainly describe her as being Off The Waal. By day she’s studying Architectural Studies at the University of Toronto, however the most important thing she’s architected so far is a vast collection of memes. By night, you’ll find Freia Netflixing, taking sweet photos, drawing, and thinking about field hockey (which she happens to excel in). She’s artistic, creative, and always ready to have a good time. If you need someone to talk about social justice, The Office, or just about anything with, she’s your girl. Freia is a counsellor you need to make sure you meet this year out at SUNIA!

samina rashiq

samina@sunia.ca

Samina is the hilarious, involved, sociable counsellor you can’t miss at SUNIA! Samina claims her hidden talents are drifting and cup stacking, but she otherwise spends her time volunteering for the Boys and Girls Club, playing basketball or handball, or speed-solving Rubik's cubes on her secret YouTube channel. If she could pick any superpower, it would be teleportation so she’ll never have to wait for the Edmonton LRT ever again. Samina is a leader, a sweetheart, and has great taste in all forms of pop culture  that you can ask her all about at SUNIA!

 

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michael demarco

michael@sunia.ca

Michael “Mickey” DeMarco one of our resident uber-involved, aspiring engineers. Currently part of the Speech and Debate club, chess club, and the school paper, his favorite pastimes are playing soccer, hockey, and golf, to name a few. He also enjoys classic rock, hip-hop/rap, The Walking Dead, and any good literary classics. He also enjoys photography and videography. When asked who he would most like to have dinner with, he was torn between Shakespeare and Francis Bacon, although he settled on Einstein so he could learn what his famous last words actually were. One day he hopes to gain the superpower of changing his height so he can be taller than 4’3’’. If he had to be a type of potato, he would be poutine for no other reason than it tastes really good.

alex erickson

aerickson@sunia.ca

Alex Erickson is a witty, intelligent, and friendly counsellor who loves anything and everything related to politics. Both a MUN god and a professional rock climber,  Alex has a wide array of talents, some of which he doesn’t even know himself. He has a ton of leadership experience, with his work on the Student’s Union, Model United Nations, debate club, and Stollery Youth Network… need I say more? Alex loves talking to people about different perspectives, and will always be open to discussing new ideas with you. An avid listener of Imagine Dragons and One Republic, he would describe his music taste as “basic, but fun”. Although he has yet to read the Harry Potter books, Alex is a true Ravenclaw, and an even truer friend. He is so excited to meet all of the students who come out to SUNIA this year, and is pumped for SUNIA 2018!

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Amelia zaiane

amelia@sunia.ca

Amelia “Mango” Zaiane is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. This kind, heartwarming, and fun-loving SUNIA counsellor will be someone who you won’t forget meeting. Amelia is one busy gal; she is currently part of her school’s Poetry club, Student Union, Yearbook club, and leads social studies peer tutoring initiatives within her school. In her downtime, Amelia enjoys dancing, swimming, music, and saving the bees. When she’s not saving the world, Amelia enjoys binge-watching documentaries of any kind, reading super nerdy non-fiction books, and listening to chill music. Amelia’s love for food and dedication towards her work captures the essence of her inner Hufflepuff. Amelia has a deep love for languages and language-learning - when asked what her superpower would be, she chose the ability to speak and understand any language in the world. Amelia is super easy to talk to, and can chat all day about Swiss Modern Design. She is super approachable and is one the kindest people you’ll meet out at SUNIA. Amelia is super stoked for SUNIA and can’t wait to meet everyone at the camp!