What Became of the National Geographic Bee Champions?

There have been 25 National Geographic Bee champions since the competition started in 1988, the centenary year of the National Geographic Society. What became of the youngsters who walked away with a college scholarship and a lifetime membership of the Society?

Three former National Geographic Bee champions were present at today’s championship round in Washington, D.C: David Stillman (1991 champion), Anders Knospe (1994), and Seyi Fayanju (1996). They all agreed to do brief video interviews about what they are doing now, how geography has been useful to them, and how well they thought they could have competed in the Bee won today by Sathwik Karnik of Massachusetts.


David Stillman, Computer Programmer


Anders Knospe, Nuclear Physicist


Seyi Fayanju, Graduate Student

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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Changing Planet

Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn