The World Scholar’s Cup draws on the spirited contributions of staff, volunteers, and champions all over the world; there is no way to introduce all of them. Below are just some of our team members:
Rabieh Ansari (“Teacher”) loves cats and buses. Based in her territory of Dubai and the broader Gulf region, where her apartment lacks wallpaper, Rabieh recently recovered from leading the organization of our first-ever Holiday Special, which made her holiday very special. She enjoys awards setup, boutique hotels, hydration, Muscat, Istanbul (on film), and Korean restaurants in Los Angeles. When she isn’t at a World Scholar’s Cup round (probably because her visa was denied), you can find Rabieh singing along to her favorite song, "It's Raining Tacos".
Daniel Berdichevsky goes by many names: “The Alpaca-in-Chief,” “@alpacainchief,” “Big Boss,” and “David,” (just to name a few; there are more). Over the past fifteen years, Daniel has #spreadthepwaa all over the world, making the program #biggerbetterandmoremagical, all the while attempting to confuse scholars about #carrots, #chairs and #dunedin. Daniel undoubtedly loves hashtags. Some other quick facts about Daniel: 1) his favorite shape is a circle, 2) his favorite element is fire, 3) he strongly distrusts the notion of scientific calculators, 4) his favorite animal is the Tom, and 5) he founded the World Scholar’s Cup in 2007.
Thomas Brazee (“Scupper”) is the programmer behind the scoring software we use at all our rounds, Scupper. Accordingly, he is the member of team most likely to have developed an allergic reaction to the words unhandled exception error. He is also a time machine and a YouTube influencer. He has access to all historical program data as well as internal archives of the 1950s and 1960s. On the outside, Tom is a friendly grandfather from the American Midwest, but, if he sees spicy food or your team mishandling a clicker, beware.
Robert Brown will be president in 2036; for the time being, he is a benign despot. During the most difficult days of the pandemic, Robert ate Dave (with a side of peanut gelato). In his spare time, Robert worries about supply chains and the future of the global socialist economy. Robert has a working memory. He is a debater who runs debate schools; he is a Texan who will someday run Texas with the campaign slogan “We tried.” On most days, he is frazzled. He enjoys drinking vaccine.
Min Chiang is way more than min. Min is max. Min puts maximum effort into all of her World Scholar’s Cup endeavors—most recently, spending two years organizing rounds in China even while the rest of the world had no rounds at all. Long before that, she began as a scholar in Shanghai, then became a valuable contributor at one Global Round after the other. In 2021, she was Daniel’s cousin.
Jeremy Chumley (“JChum”) is the Managing Director of the World Scholar’s Cup. A specialist in belly-to-belly diplomacy, he is also an expert in burgers, Chelsea boots, essay reading, Texas, and frog anatomy. He takes Challenge proctoring very seriously—especially when scholars aren’t taking the Challenge very seriously. Prior to joining the World Scholar’s Cup, Jeremy taught math, sold suits, and questioned the value of the World Scholar’s Cup.
Emily Chung (“Super-Sreggop”) rarely sleeps or eats. When she does sleep for four-minute stretches at restaurants in a homage to Weekend at Bernies, she wakes up from nightmares about round organizing. Like Santa, she travels the world by ATV. Be sure to email her your wishes, as she has a unique ability of manifesting things, albeit usually misfortunes. Recent manifestations have included a teacher’s strike, the seizure of alpacas by customs, and her own reappearance on the team. Emily is a phoenix—and the Fair—and the Flag March—and the Director of Media. She only has one pair of pants, but they are comfortable—
Timothy Hibbins believes in the importance of a good breakfast—specifically, a Bacon and Egg McMuffin™, three hash browns, taro pie, and coconut water (if they have). He likes to explain things in great detail, even to those who do not like detail. When he isn’t diagramming Texan family trees or writing high-production value Bowl questions, he is probably at the mall or in Canberra, which has no malls. He is the member of the team most likely to have his hair dyed during a talent show by a scholar from Myanmar.
Jason Hu joined the World Scholar’s Cup after first serving as our keynote speaker at the Cape Town Global Round and our host liaison at the Yale University Tournament of Champions, where he represented the Yale International Relations Association. From the beginning, Jason has been the best-natured person on our team, an asset he uses everyday in his new role as a teacher in Texas.
Dylan Kroft is professional. He loves neat folds, both on paper and in his clothes. He is also back in the fold, more nearly than neatly. He enjoys annually upgrading AirPods at each year’s Global Rounds. When his cheekbones are not being poked by scholars all over the world, he is sneaking down back roads looking for sneakers, which he can then store in his new shed, alongside his original cheekbones.
Terran Kroft was the highest-scoring* scholar at the 2014 Singapore Global Round [“No, I’m Terran.”] Terran collects tea, puns, and the number ten. When he is not in Tokyo buying new backpacks for fair distribution (except to the Fair), he is remote scoring rounds, designing World Scholar’s Cup software, editing the website, creating animations, writing questions, and making phone calls. He is still waiting for his credit card to arrive in the mail. He distracts.
Kevin Kuo recently transitioned out of and then back into the program. On any given day, he may be found upgrading the solid-state hard drive on a teammate’s laptop, running a side gig selling technology on Facebook, booking and rebooking flights for the entire team (with some exceptions), enjoying an episode of an anime series on Crunchyroll, working for the Canadian government, or DJ'ing a Global Round Awards Ceremony.
Douglas Lau was a photographer, and then a tournament organizer, and is now a Meituan driver. For the laust two years, he has been the heart and saul of the program in China. Doug’s drone has seen a lot of action, including in the Hague Global Round theater. His photo of Painted Warrior has been seen by more scholars around the world than any other picture at the World Scholar’s Cup.
Chauncey Lo (“Chacha”) is officially celebrated at the World Scholar’s Cup. As our Creative Director, he directs creatively—when he isn’t playing Geoguessr. Chauncey is the team member most likely to win at Jeopardy! In hindsight, he is also the team member most likely not to have won at Jeopardy! Chauncey’s voice is the Official Dramatic Voiceover of the World Scholar’s Cup. In 2019, he announced the 2020, 2021, and 2022 themes with a speech he rehearsed.
Patrick Henry McDonald III is the member of the team most likely to respond to your many questions and information requests. A former librarian, he loves making learning fun, safe, and effective. Over the years, Patrick has become one of our team’s most experienced travelers, round organizers, and purveyors of nutraceuticals.
Thishin Moodley is the unseen force behind our certificates, which we know matter to many of you. After recognizing the impact of debating in his own life, he went on to launch a coaching cartel in Pietermaritzburg; it was in this role that he first met Daniel and learned about the World Scholar’s Cup. A few emails later he was applying for his first passport and leaving home to help spread the value of debating in a whole new way. He spends most of his time programming, renting apartments, avoiding political mayhem, mining Bitcoin, and breaking (and repairing) phones and laptops.
Logan is friendly.
Josephine Richstad is the Director of Curriculum at the World Scholar's Cup. She holds a Ph.D. in English from UCLA and a BA, also in English, from Columbia University. She first joined our team as a writer in 2008, beginning her alpaca-centric collaboration with Daniel over breakfast at a Malibu diner shortly before going underground at a Charles Dickens festival. She is pictured here at her desk in Idaho, where she divides her time between tending her family, teaching herself economics, masterminding the production of curriculum and testing materials, and not taking international flights.
Brady Sanders (“Colby”) is a twin, the son of two twins, and possibly destined to father twins. His trave0l adventures have included recruiting in Dhaka, cutting nametags in Manila, and making memorable jokes in Muscat. This may not be a photo of Brady, but we are counting on it being accurate enough.
Anika Sharma began her World Scholar’s Cup journey as a Skittles scholar before Skittles scholars were even called Skittles scholars. She has grown a lot since then, but (she insists) not in height. If you break your glasses, Anika can fix them with a little dash of oculus reparo, or some tape borrowed from a flight attendant.
Rosie Berdichevsky is the program’s alpaca-mom; based in Los Angeles in a suburb full of coyotes and Hollywood film production crews, she processes all our registrations and takes care of the program’s two puppies, Molly and Luli. At Global Rounds, she can be found at the souvenir booth with her grandson Aiden, who will be watching YouTube.
Kylie, if you see this, please email [email protected]
Maris van Boheemen is returning to the team for a second tour of duty. ❤️🇳🇱. Previously on Scholar’s Cup, Maris shared their love of stroopwafel with teammates and scholars alike. As one of our strongest team members under the age of 70, they would easily win the Alpaca Bale-ance Challenge, to be premiered at the 2022 Global Rounds in Sofia, Dubai, and other places. Maris presently lives in our Amsterdam storage unit. If you would like a t-shirt from the 2019 Hague Global Round, go to Amsterdam and then take a right on A27.
Vishal Verma (“Sir”) is the Director of Global Round Planning, which means he didn’t have much work to do in 2020, but in 2021 he was very busy again. By 2023, he will be overworked. Please tell him how much you support him. If you are a potential sponsor, please contact him. He loved the Dubai Holiday Special so much that he decided to spend an extra ten days in Dubai reflecting on the experience.
Painted Warrior is alive.
Olivia Watson spent much of the pandemic in Western Australia, where she enjoyed the local wildlife, especially the spiders. She began as a volunteer for the program in Warsaw, then very quickly joined our team to help recruit new schools and build new rounds all over the world. She is a dolphin, except when she is in Missouri, when she is a fox.
Alexandra Witt (“Teacher Lexi”) has joined our team for a gap decade following an earlier career as a well-trained performer for the Cirque’d’ISA. Her emails are strategically sad. An expert in hide-and-seek, Lexi will gladly find you the nearest bathroom during the Scholar’s Challenge. If she ever sees a lost scholar, you can count on her to ask, "where are you going...?" Before joining the World Scholar’s Cup, Lexi attended the smallest school in the world, located in a mall in Costa Rica.
The many jetlagged members of the World Scholar's Cup traveling team would like to thank their friends and families for their relentless love and support as they tote alpacas all around the world; it helps make the tough times bearable and the good times truly joyful.