Junior Fellows 2021

Meet Junior Fellows - Visiting Slovenia


Pablo David Arraigada was born in 1985 in Entre Rios. He has always lived in Ezpeleta, a small city in Buenos Aires. He has a degree in literature. Pablo has just started his Ph.D. about Partisan literature as a literary genre in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. He is a member of the Dovstoievski’s Association in Argentina and helps with the organization of events and conferences in his country.
Pablo works as a consulting professor at the Slavic Literatures’ Department at the Buenos Aires University. He has been in charge of different seminars about ex-Yugo culture and literature. He was invited to give talks at different Universities, both in Argentina (Córdoba University) and in Europe (Zadar University and Ljubljana University). Nowadays, he is part of the UBACyT research project about utopias and dystopias in Slavic Literature. For this research project, he is translating different authors who developed the sci-fi and the utopia in the Balkans to Spanish, for example, Simon Jenko’s ‘Mikromega’. He also plans on translating Radoje Domanović and Dragutin Ilić from the Serbian language. On the other hand, Pablo also researches avant-garde movements in the Balkans, the Bosnian war and the figure of exile and speech, and aspects about the LGBTQ+ movements in ex-Yugo countries. He has previously translated Slovenian poets Brane Mozetič and Uroš Prah.
He is very interconnected to the literary world, both as a professor and as a publisher and bookseller. He was in charge of different activities related to books’ sales. In addition, he is a translator from Slovenian, Serbian and Croatian, and he has translated authors like Srečko Kosovel, Josip Murn, Dragotin Kette, Matej Bor, Desanka Maksimović, Radoje Domanović, Ivan Goran Kovačić and Vladimir Nazor, among others.
During his stance in Slovenia for the ASEF Junior Fellowship, Pablo is really excited about the idea of ​​being able to work and research with his mentor Slovene poet and art historian Miklavž Komelj on the Slovenian partisans. It will be an amazing opportunity to understand and translate poems into Spanish from authors who had fought in the Second World War and to analyze the point of view in their productions.
Beyond his professional perspective, Pablo also enjoys literature as a hobby, and is a poet. He has published three poetry books until today, and he was in 2019 Smederevo’s poet autumn Festival, where they published a bilingual Serbian-Spanish anthology of his poems as well, Beleške. His poems were translated to Slovenian and Bulgarian too.


Dylan Gimpelj is a second-year law student at the University of Montreal. After completing a Bachelor of Art’s in Economics at McGill University, he worked in the finance industry for two years before returning to his studies. He is grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity ASEF has provided which gives a chance to apply his current skillset in a professional legal environment, as well as gain new knowledge essential to his career growth. With Canada being a federal multicultural state and Slovenia being a member of the European Union, Dylan is excited to explore Slovenia’s legal tradition and thus appreciate the insightful parallels and distinctions that can be made with Canada’s legal context.
Having visited Slovenia only briefly a few summers ago, Dylan is eager to further establish a personal connection to Slovenia and his Slovenian family that will be made possible during the extended stay of the fellowship. He hopes to use his personal time while there to build strong, lasting relationships and thoroughly enjoy the cultural and natural heritage Slovenia possesses. In his free time, Dylan mainly enjoys spending time with friends in the outdoors, whether playing sports, hiking, or camping in many of Canada’s beautiful national and provincial parks.


Ren Gregorčič is an artist and researcher in the field of sculpture and spatial practice currently based in Canberra, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Sculpture and Spatial Practice) and a Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation from the University of Melbourne. In February 2020 he commenced a Ph.D. candidature in the School of Art and Design at the Australian National University in the Department of Sculpture and Spatial Practice. Ren’s connection to Slovenia is through his father and paternal family, who migrated to Melbourne, Australia, in the 1950s.
Ren’s art practice investigates how the principles of global modernity (i.e. Cartesian spatial arrangements, economic rationalism, cultural homogenisation) are expressed in architecture, infrastructure, urban planning and nature-management and the impacts of these expressions on individuals and collectives. In addition to his practice, Ren has worked in a diverse range of arts and cultural institutions within Australia. Previous roles have included Curator of Exhibitions and Outreach at Warrnambool Art Gallery, Researcher and Project Manager at The University of Melbourne, Project Manager at the Australian Museums and Galleries Association Victoria, and Relocation Project Officer at Museums Victoria. He is also currently Gallery Manager at the Canberra artist-run initiative, Australian National Capital Artists.
During his time in Slovenia, Ren aims to focus on investigating, documenting and producing critical research and artworks that examine the impact of the dominance of concrete as an ordering system and environmental mediator within the Slovenian context.


Milena Javeršek moved to Indonesia for seven months after successfully graduating from high school in 2019. There she lived and worked in a center where women are supported in their education and professions. During this volunteer service with the UEM, she became intensely involved with structural racism, climate change, and women's rights and has since actively campaigned against global injustices.
She is very grateful for the ASEF Fellowship. She is extremely excited to get to know her grandparents' country of origin, culture, and language.
Milena is very appreciative of this opportunity to grow both personally and professionally and to be able to use the insight and experience gained in her future career. Next year, she will study law at the University of Cologne, specializing in international human rights and peacebuilding.
Suppose she is not spending her free time with her family and friends, reading books in her garden, or playing volleyball. In that case, she is actively involved in youth and children's work in her local church community. She is currently attending a Slovenian language course with her father, sister, cousin, and aunt. She is more than happy to consolidate and deepen her acquired language skills in Slovenia.


Sonja Košir is in her fourth year at the University of Cincinnati studying biomedical engineering. She has had four semesters of engineering internships and especially enjoyed her work in early phase research and development of medical devices used in cardiac and thoracic surgery. She has great interest in developing medical technologies to promote the health and wellness of her community. Outside of classes, Sonja is also very involved with the Catholic center, the club running team, her engineering sorority, and volunteering at the community food pantry.
Sonja is very excited to spend time with family in Slovenija while continuing to pursue her interests in medical research with her mentors, prof. dr. Damijan Miklavičič and Angelika Vižintin, and exploring the beautiful country of her grandparents. She is excited to go hiking, learn more of the Slovene language, and be immersed in the culture.


Stefania Leber graduated from the Universidad del Salvador – Asociación Odontológica Argentina with a degree in dental medicine in 2017. She was fascinated by orofacial pain and temporomandibular disorders since she was a student. She is now an assistant professor at Universidad del Salvador, Universidad Maimonides, and Universidad de Buenos Aires, where she enjoys teaching.
She is excited to form strong professional relationships with other ASEF fellows all over the world, especially in Slovenia. Through doing so, she hopes to advance professionally and personally, and investigate the effect of Slovenian culture on her field of research. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her bike and cyclotouring when the weather permits, allowing her to connect with the natural world surrounding her. She is also passionate about cooking, for that reason, she has dabbled in Slovenian cuisine under the tutelage of both of her Slovenian grandmothers.
She also participated in the organization of several socio-cultural activities in her community as a member of Slovenski Dom San Martin and is a former president of the Slovenian girls' organization. As a result, exploring her Slovenian identity would be an exciting experience, which is why Štefi is extremely grateful for the incredible opportunity provided by ASEF.


Jillian Morrison is a third-year graduating senior at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and she will be graduating with a BA in Political Science with an international politics concentration and minors in French and Museum Studies. Prior to ASEF, Jillian has spent extensive time learning about the various political systems around the world and relevant modern political theorists. In March 2021, she presented her research project on increasing the ethical mineral mining practices in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at the Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Research Conference. In addition to her political science courses, she has taken a special interest in oral history and museum studies leading her to intern at the Chicago History Museum in the Studs Terkel Oral History Center.
She is thrilled to have the opportunity to live and work in Slovenia this summer and looks forward to deepening her understanding of Slovenian political systems through oral history. She is also looking forward to solidifying relationships within the international Slovenian community. Outside of her academic and professional pursuits, Jillian enjoys rock climbing, fiber arts, and enjoying time with friends. She is certainly looking forward to taking advantage of Slovenia’s wonderful outdoors culture this summer and she cannot wait to begin this amazing adventure.


Micaela Resnik is an Actuary who graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Throughout her studies, she has analyzed different types of risks, their measurement, and management, along with the tools used to mitigate them. She has studied different insurance available on the market like property, life, financial, reinsurance, and the various configurations of retirement plan funds, pensions, and health coverage. In her final thesis, she developed a credit scoring model for a retirement loan portfolio.
Since she was a child, she has been raised in Slovenian culture. She speaks the language fluently and enjoys the different traditions her grandparents and parents taught her. Among the many activities she is part of in the Slovenian community, she enjoys dancing in Folklorna skupina Maribor.
She is very grateful to ASEF for the incredible and unique opportunity given to her, where she will be able to learn, appreciate and compare the behavior of the European market with the Argentinian. Furthermore, this will allow her to develop her working skills and discover her abilities collaborating in an interdisciplinary group. She is very honored that she can professionally and personally develop in the country where her grandparents were born, the land where she feels like home.


Daniela Selan was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently finishing her degree in Anthropology with an orientation in Archaeology at La Plata University (UNLP). Daniela is particularly interested in Bioarchaeology – the study of human remains from archaeological sites. At the moment, she is working on the analysis of osteological collections from the Upper Paraná River Delta (Entre Ríos province) in the La Plata Museum. All four of her grandparents were born in Slovenia and migrated to Argentina, so both cultures are fundamental in her life. Part of her interest in studying cultural diversity – in the present as well as in the past – derives from her personal history. As part of her ASEF Fellowship, Daniela will be working with dr. Anton Velušček at the Institute of Archaeology ZRC SAZU. She looks forward to generating intellectual bonds with Slovenian experts and learning how they approach archaeological and cultural heritage. Beyond her interest in growing professionally, Daniela seeks to take advantage of her visit by exploring the many historical and natural landmarks in the country, meeting relatives and friends, and strengthening her relationship with her Slovenian heritage.


Claire Staresinic is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is pursuing a double major in psychology and German with a minor in biology. She will be taking the next step towards becoming a psychiatrist by applying to medical school in May. Claire is passionate about increasing access to mental health care as well as treating and destigmatizing mental illness. She hopes to build on her previous experience in outpatient behavioral health by conducting medical research or working in psychiatric inpatient treatment. Claire’s paternal great-grandparents hail from Slovenia, and she is eager to discover more about her Slovenian roots and build relationships in a country that already feels like home. She also hopes to foster conversations between leaders in mental health research in both Slovenia and the United States to help expand resources in both nations. In her free time, Claire loves to draw and paint, play the oboe, visit the local farmers’ market, and indulge in just a little bit of reality TV.


Agustin Stellatelli is a lawyer who graduated from the Catholic University of Argentina. He is currently writing his postgraduate thesis on labor law that he intends to deliver at the end of 2021 to continue with his master’s degree. His studies and his professional actions as a lawyer are marked by a special sensibility towards social problems. Agustin loves his country and firmly believes that Argentina needs to learn from international experiences. His visit to Slovenia will give him the opportunity to get to know closer the culture and the judiciary, and the political system. He is keen on labor law and human scourges in general, politics, and history, which he tries to approach with a proper humanistic vision. Agustin is passionate about rowing, cycling, and other sports, and he likes to challenge himself. He considers sports as a means of sharing with others. Agustin is sure that his visit to Slovenia will have a considerable impact not only on him but also on his family and community. His wife is Slovenian, and therefore, his interest in the culture, history and all aspects of the country grew naturally. He is looking forward to fruitful cooperation with his mentor while studying the Slovenian language and discovering all the beauties Slovenia offers.


Jana Maria Urbancic is currently enrolled as a last-year international trade student at the University of La Matanza in Buenos Aires. Since she was a little girl, she was always interested in economics and business, so she decided to study international trade.
Born in Buenos Aires in a family with deep-rooted Slovenian heritage, she was always very passionate and dedicated to her culture, her ideals, her interests, and hobbies. During her childhood and adolescence, she spent almost every afternoon in the Slovenian club of San Justo. There she learned and perfected the Slovenian language, trained and competed with her volleyball team, danced Slovenian folklore, and attended Holy mass in the Slovenian language every Sunday morning.
Jana considers herself a young woman full of energy searching for new experiences and adventures that contribute to her development. She has continually prioritized her personal and professional growth, always seeking to cultivate new skills and to learn daily from the situations that arise. Therefore, she decided to apply for the ASEF fellowship because she considers it a wonderful opportunity to experience her grandparents' homeland. She will also have the chance to learn how international trade works in the context of the Slovenian economy. Jana visited Slovenia on two previous occasions, but she believes that this time will be unique since she will experience her homeland from a completely different perspective.
This year, she will be visiting Slovenia as a part of the ASEF community. Her supervisor and mentor will be dr. Denis Mancevič, CEO at Herman & partners. There she will develop her professional and interpersonal skills oriented to international trade, learning more about Slovenian trade practices every day.