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Annual Forum

Each year BAPA organizes an annual forum in efforts to bring together the Bosnian Diaspora throughout North America. The forum location rotates every year, in hopes to provide more opportunity for diaspora members to attend. During the annual forum, BAPA's goal is to create an environment for networking, mentoring, and educating amongst the BiH diaspora community. Additionally, BAPA invites its scholarship recipients to present how they've used their scholarship awards to further their education.


We hope you will join us for our next forum in 2023, where BAPA will be celebrating 10 years!

2022 Annual Forum Recap

Our 2022 Annual Forum was held in New York City! The forum consisted of:

  • Friday evening informal networking

  • Saturday all-day events of Scholarship Recipient presentations, Keynote Speakers, Piano Performance, and Networking Break-Out sessions

  • Sunday Coffee & Chat with United Nations Diplomatic Correspondent

Scholarship Recipients

Keynote Speakers


Alema Galijatovic Idrizbegovic

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Alema Galijatovic Idrizbegovic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia. In 1991, she came to the United States as a high school exchange student in Gallatin, Tennessee. She then obtained a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry and graduated from the Honors Program at the College of Charleston in 1996. In 2001, Alema received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the Medical University of South Carolina, receiving an outstanding graduate student award at the completion of her doctoral work. Subsequently, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, where she was also a recipient of the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Fellowship.

In 2003, with a passion for drug discovery and development, Alema started her career as a Senior Research Biochemist in Nonclinical Drug Safety at Merck & Co., where she held several positions, leading to her most recent post as the Vice President of the Nonclinical Drug Safety Department.


Hanka Grabovica

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Hanka Grabovica was born in Gorazde, Bosnia. In 2001, she came to Utica, New York and still resides there. She obtained a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Science, with a minor in Child Education and an E.S.L. professional certification from Syracuse University/Utica College. She went on and received her M.A. in Education Leadership. She has been an educator for over 14 years in both traditional and charter public schools, as well as an adjunct professor at the Mohawk Valley Community College.

She serves her time on several Board of Directors including The United Way of Mohawk Valley, Municipal Housing, WCNY/PBS, and is a member of the NAACP. She’s an ambassador for What’s Upstate New York and president of the Bosnian American Community Association (BACA). As a certified trainer, coach, and speaker in leadership, she serves her community through these various organizations and the John Maxwell team. She finds fulfillment in bringing value to others through growth and transformation.

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Azra Tokovic

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Azra is a high school senior at the International Academy of Macomb, where she will be graduating as a Valedictorian. During her time in high school, she pursued interests in community service and leadership as the founder and president of Key Club and as a group guide at the Michigan Youth Leadership (MyLead) conference, where she remains an active volunteer. Azra is connected to the Bosnian community as a member of the KUD Behar folk dance group. In the fall, she will be attending the University of Michigan Ross School of Business to pursue her bachelor's in business administration. At the university she plans to explore interests in consulting and finance.


Tajra Karabasic

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Tajra was born in Zenica, BiH where she attended International School Zenica and received the title “Student of the Generation”. She was later selected by the Bosnian UWC National Committee to study in the two-year-long International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at the United World College Mostar. Tajra is currently an honors student at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, USA, double-majoring in Business Management and Political Science. Thanks to her achievements and success in her business major, she was offered an opportunity to have an internship in Bangkok, Thailand where she will gain hands-on experience in business management. Furthermore, Tajra will continue her studies in Milan, Italy for one semester as a part of a study abroad program. Upon returning to the United States, the BAPA scholarship helped Tajra reach her goals of obtaining a master’s degree in International Affairs after graduating from Randolph-Macon College. Tajra wants to become a person who will have the influence and ability to help different projects in need, both in her country of origin and the United States.


Selma Cemerlic

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Selma is a junior at the University of Delaware majoring in Medical Diagnostics and Public Policy with a minor in Public Health. Selma is interested in pursuing a medical degree and is passionate about public health initiatives and equitable access to healthcare. As an undergraduate research assistant, Selma has collaborated with and led teams for large-scale projects regarding health inequities, the opioid epidemic and its implications on policy, as well as the effect of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on mental and physical health. On campus, she is a Resident Assistant, Peer Mentor for first-year students, Blue Hen Ambassador campus tour guide, and member of the Muslim Students Association. The BAPA Scholarship enabled Selma to continue developing her research skills and allow her to connect with more Bosnian-American professionals, both within her field and out.

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Hajrudin Muhic

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Hajrudin is a composer and pianist currently majoring in Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music. He has achieved great results as a pianist and composer and won numerous awards as a soloist, member of different chamber ensembles, and composer. He was given the “Cvjetko Rihtman” award by the Association of Composers – Music Authors of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the best composition student. Hajrudin plans to gain a Master of Music degree after Berklee and pursue his career as a contemporary classical and film composer. By providing financial support, the BAPA scholarship helped Hajrudin focus on studies and continue with his academic and career achievements. It has also allowed him to attend BAPA’s Annual Forum which whom he presented his research, performed several piano pieces, and expanded his network in our community.

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