Era Schrepfer, Executive Director
Era joined FIUTS in 2006, and brings many years of nonprofit and international experience to her role. Era has traveled extensively in Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean and served with the US Peace Corps as a Community Agriculture Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. In addition to her role at FIUTS, she is a volunteer for Seattle Works, The Beacon Hill International School PTA, and Girl Scouts. Her interests include cross-cultural leadership development, team building, nonprofit strategy and planning, and the use of social media for social change.
Era is a Minnesota native who was raised in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington. Era lives with her husband and daughter in South Seattle and loves Latin music, new recipes, dark chocolate, and fiction from around the world.
Other Languages Spoken: Spanish
Favorite Place on Earth: Palenque, Mexico
Next place I’d like to go: India
Favorite dish: Asopao de Pollo con Guandules
Alison Kilkenny, Manager of Education Programs
Alison grew up on American military bases in Europe and Japan, living mostly in Okinawa. She has been working and volunteering with students and Seattle communities at non-profit organizations for ten years. A UW alumnus, Alison graduated with degrees in Sociology and Political Science in 2005. After college, Alison lived in Vietnam, managed a tour boat and worked as an Americorps volunteer at Seamar Community Health Clinic.
Her professional passions include working in small non-profits, encouraging a safe exchange of ideas and promoting international education. When she is not working, Alison loves to daydream about traveling around the world, watch Glee, sing in the Seattle Peace Chorus and go to outdoor Seattle festivals.
Favorite Place on Earth: My cabin in New Mexico and anywhere with a beach!
Next place I’d like to go: Malaysia, South Africa, India....everywhere!
Favorite dish: Japanese ramen
Brianna Mercker, Manager of Student Programs
A life-long explorer, Brianna has traveled to more than 25 countries across five continents. She has been working with students, organizing events and cross-cultural programming for as long as she has been a Husky. Brianna studied Business Administration at the University of Washington and received a Masters in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute. Following graduate school, Brianna spent five years leading international programs and initiatives at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Brianna is passionate about intercultural exchange, student empowerment and leadership development.
A Seattle native, Brianna is proud to call the beautiful Pacific Northwest home and enjoys beach combing, swimming, hiking, enjoying local eats, and traveling.
Other Languages Spoken: Spanish and German
Favorite Place on Earth: Decatur Island in the San Juan Islands, WA
Next place I’d like to go: Thailand & Argentina
Favorite international dish: Impossible to pick just one! Panang Curry, Cheese Fondue, Sushi, Mofungo, Shawarma, etc…
Ellen Frierson, Manager of Community Programs
Ellen grew up in New York, Germany, and Virginia. Her experience includes teaching English in Germany, Ecuador, and Thailand; coordinating human rights education programs in Cameroon; teaching German at a summer camp in Minnesota; and working with nonprofits in Washington DC and New York. She studied English and theater at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and has an MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. Before joining FIUTS, Ellen served as an AmeriCorps member with Seattle Works. When she’s not working, Ellen likes to explore Seattle with her husband and their puppy.
Other Languages Spoken: German and Spanish
Favorite Place on Earth: The Andes mountains
Next place I’d like to go: Turkey, Namibia, Nepal, Morocco, Japan, and everywhere else…
Favorite international dish: Sushi, sushi, and sushi.
Michael Rooney, Office and Operations Coordinator
Michael, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is new to the Seattle area. Moving most recently from Roseburg, Oregon and Washington, DC before that, Michael brings a passion for international learning and culture to the FIUTS staff. Michael has also spent time living and working abroad in both Ethiopia and Kenya. He received his Bachelors degree in Political Science (international development focused) from Allegheny College. In his free time, Michael can be found either backpacking, skiing, kayaking or just enjoying the mountains.
Favorite Place on Earth: Heinz Field, Steelers Sunday, Pittsburgh PA
Next place I’d like to go: Nepal
Favorite international dish: Kitfo
Yuan Lin Qiu, Education Programs Coordinator
More commonly known as just Lin, Yuan Lin Qiu was raised under the shadows of skyscrapers in Shanghai, China. At the age of 7, her family uprooted to the United States in Boston, Massachusetts, birthplace of America! Before graduating from Boston University with a B.A. in psychology, Lin fell in love with the German language and studied abroad in Dresden, Germany while visiting many other fantastic European cities and becoming enamored with them as well. Since then, Lin has been dedicating herself to community service with AmeriCorps on the US West Coast, and meeting fascinating people from all over the world!
Outside FIUTS, you can find Lin in a vintage/thrift store, a concert/dance party, or trying out a new recipe.
Other Languages Spoken: Mandarin Chinese, German
Favorite Place on Earth: Berlin, Germany (Especially at night!) or San Francisco, CA
Next place I’d like to go: Budapest, Hungary (But I'm not that picky)
Favorite dish: Xiao Long Bao(Shanghai-nese Soup Dumplings), or New England Clam Chowder in a bread bowl by Boston Harbor
Tom Lang, Short Term Programs Assistant
Tom has recently returned from two years of Peace Corps service in the Republic of Georgia. He is now continuing his international experiences by working with FIUTS. Tom also studied for one year in Austria and has traveled extensively throughout Europe. He is now finishing his Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Washington and looking to pursue a career in environmental management. When not in the office, you can find Tom out hiking or playing Ultimate Frisbee.
Other Languages Spoken: Spanish, German, Serbo-Croatian, Georgian
Favorite Place on Earth:The Chuckanut hills near Bellingham, WA
Next place I’d like to go: Alaska
Tracy Montes, Office and Marketing Assistant
Tracy is majoring in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts and Women's Studies. Tracy has been worked with organizations focusing on activism and art education such as MUZAK, Casa Latina, the Seattle Center, and the Form/Space/Atelier Gallery.
Tracy's interests are women’s empowerment through education and equal opportunities, activism and helping others. Tracy grew up in Mexico in three different cities: Mazatlan, Cancun and Merida. When not in school, Tracy works on creating new projects, volunteering, taking courses, and traveling.
Other Languages Spoken: Spanish
Favorite Place on Earth: Merida, Yucatan
Next place I’d like to go: Brazil
Favorite international dish: Aguachile
Andrew Craig, Orientation Assistant
Originally from Troutdale, Oregon, Andrew is a first year graduate student at the University of Washington, enrolled in the Master's program at the Evans School of Public Affairs. Before moving to Seattle, Andrew graduated from Willamette University with a Bachelors degree in European History. Outside the office, Andrew is most likely playing ultimate frisbee, watching NBA basketball, or studying international politics.
Favorite Place on Earth: Walla Walla, Washington
Next Place I'd Like to Go: Africa
Favorite International Dish: Falafel
Jon Torres, Events and Activities Assistant
Jon was born in Seattle Washington, and has been a Washingtonian for most of his life. After graduating high school and experiencing a brief stint in community college Jon left for the military and was formally stationed in southern California for four years (San Diego!) Jon has volunteered for numerous grassroots community organizations and non-profits (Seattle, and San Diego) leading him to discover his passion for community service and social justice. After a four-year hiatus from higher education, Jon transferred to the University of Washington in 2012, with a major in Social Welfare. Jon has found adventure in the following places: Idaho, Montana, California, North Carolina, The Philippines, and Las Vegas.
Current interests include: Community empowerment, social justice, music from the 90’s, Food, and pugs.
Other Languages spoken: A wee bit of Tagalog, and Japanese
Second Home: San Diego
Favorite International Dish(s): Too many to count but for starters: Pho, Bulgolgi, Dinaguan, and Carne Asada Fries.
Next place I’d like to go: Either Hong Kong, Tokyo, or London