Welcome PACE’s July 2023 Member Class!

The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is pleased to welcome nine new members from across North America, representing seven different states and two countries.

Headshots of Giifti Benti, Ben Chapman, Anna Csiki-Fejer, Ashish Kumbhardare, Aidan Leahy, Kiran Rachamallu, Samir Sarma, Felix Wang, and Geoffrey Wu.
From top left; Giifti Benti, Ben Chapman, Anna Csiki-Fejer, Ashish Kumbhardare, Aidan Leahy, Kiran Rachamallu, Samir Sarma, Felix Wang, and Geoffrey Wu.

PACE is very excited to welcome a new member class that’s passionate about projects ranging from outreach and tech to set production. Read more about each of our new members and their goals for their PACE work:

Headshot of Giifti Benti

Giifti Benti (she/her) is currently a sophomore at SIUE. She did quizbowl for four years at Carbondale Community High School in Southern Illinois, and hopes to become more involved in quizbowl from an organizational perspective.

Ben Chapman (he/him) joined PACE in 2023, but has been involved with quizbowl since 2016. An alum of Hunter College High School in New York City, he currently is a student at the University of Toronto and is an active player and staffer in the Canadian circuit. Ben also is an avid question writer and is excited to contribute again to the NSC this year.

Headshot of Anna Csiki-Fejer

Anna Csiki-Fejer (she/her) began playing quizbowl while attending Parkway West High School in St. Louis, Missouri. She has staffed various high school and collegiate tournaments including the 2023 PACE NSC and appeared as a panelist on the 2022 PACE NSC Women in Quizbowl Panel. Anna is passionate about creating inclusive and welcoming spaces in the quizbowl community and helping tournaments run smoothly.

Headshot of Ashish Kumbhardare

Ashish Kumbhardare has been involved in various quizbowl roles in Pennsylvania and beyond including staffing, tournament directing, question writing, editing, outreach, advising, tech development, and more. Ashish was first introduced to high school at Henderson High School in West Chester, PA; before going to play for Penn State, and is attempting to start and develop a team at Rowan University. He is currently passionate about technology, outreach, and focusing on challenges that new quizbowl teams face. He works as a Systems Engineer maintaining software for naval weapons systems and associated testing equipment, and is based out of Mt. Laurel, NJ.

Headshot of Aidan Leahy

Aidan Leahy (he/they) is a graduate student at the University of Georgia, where he played quiz bowl for four years and NBC’s College Bowl for four days. He hopes to use his experience coordinating set logistics to help PACE build connections with tournament organizers, set editors, and the community at large. Aidan is proudly one of eight people in the “Poasters” category on QBWiki.

Headshot of Kiran Rachamallu

Kiran Rachamallu (he/him) was introduced to quizbowl in 2015, eventually serving as the captain of his high school team for two years and making his school a circuit regular. He continued to play at the College of William and Mary, serving as President his Senior year and contributing to outreach efforts in the area. He is passionate about logistics, expanding access to high school quizbowl to previously overlooked communities, and making the community an inclusive and welcoming space. Kiran currently lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Headshot of Samir Sarma

Samir Sarma (he/him) is a second-year at Georgia Tech majoring in Materials Science and Engineering. He hopes to further quizbowl outreach by working on sets aimed at novices to quizbowl. Before joining Georgia Tech, he played for Eden Prairie in his beloved Minnesota circuit.

Headshot of Felix Wang

Felix Wang (he/they) has been involved in quizbowl since 2015. He currently lives in Columbia, MO where he attends the University of Missouri. He formerly served as the treasurer and president of the Missouri Quizbowl Club and continues to staff, coach, play and direct in the area. He is passionate about seeing teams and clubs grow to the next level, as well as ensuring equal access to resources of improvement and community.

Headshot of Geoffrey Wu

Geoffrey Wu (he/him) was introduced to quizbowl at Naperville North High School, where he graduated in 2021. He currently plays at Columbia University. When he’s not studying science or social science, Geoffrey likes to work on developing qbreader.