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Staff

Our diverse and talented staff deliver FIUTS programs to the community and beyond. Learn more about them here.


Era Schrepfer, Executive Director

Era Photo
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 Joyas Mestizas, Seattle Works, 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, daughter, and son 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 International Dish: Asopao de Pollo con Guandules

Contact Era at era@fiuts.org



Ellen Frierson, Manager of Education Programs

Ellen Photo

Ellen grew up in New York, Germany, and Virginia. She joined FIUTS in 2012 as Manager of Community Programs and became Manager of Education Programs in 2015. Previously, she taught English in Germany, Ecuador, and Thailand, and coordinated a human rights education program with journalists in Cameroon. She also spent ten summers teaching German at Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota, and has worked for nonprofits in Washington DC and New York City.

Ellen received a BA in English from Franklin & Marshall College and an MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is passionate about promoting social justice and global citizenship through cross-cultural exchange and collaboration. Outside work, Ellen can usually be found reading, taking pictures, planning future adventures, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Other Languages Spoken: German and Spanish
Favorite Place on Earth: The Andes mountains
Next Place I’d Like To Go: Turkey, Hungary, Namibia, Nepal, Morocco, Bangladesh, Japan, and everywhere else…
Favorite International Dish: Sushi, sushi, and sushi.

Contact Ellen at ellen@fiuts.org


Amy Bergstrom, Manager of Student Programs

Amy started exploring new places through the world of books, sparking an interest in learning about and from people everywhere. She has traveled internationally several times, each visit providing inspiration for more learning and exploring.

Amy grew up in the Seattle area, then studied journalism at Colorado State University. After several years working in sports journalism, she rediscovered the joy that is working with college students and made the shift into higher education. After completing her Master of Education in Student Development Administration at Seattle University, she joined the FIUTS staff in 2015 to help support international students in their learning and growth as they become global leaders. She loves books, baseball, baking, crafting, and laughing most of all.

Other Languages Spoken: Used to be able to speak French, but it’s been awhile!
Favorite Place on Earth: Anywhere along the water…and the British Library
Next Place I’d Like to Go: China
Favorite International Dish: Noodles in any language (spaghetti, udon, chow mein, pad see ew)

Contact Amy at amy@fiuts.org

 


Samantha Novak, Manager of Community Programs


Samantha grew up in the great state of Alaska, which translated to countless mosquito bites, being a real snob about salmon quality, and a high level of comfort with planes of all sizes. She joined FIUTS in April of 2017 as Manager of Community Programs, which involves communicating with the wonderful host community, juggling giant spreadsheets, wrestling with Salesforce, and fostering great donors. Outside of work, she loves reading, sailing, trying great cocktails, and especially cooking. She loves good food and should probably be kept away from produce stands for the health and safety of her credit card.

Samantha earned a BA in Global Studies from ASU, where she studied or interned abroad in China, Argentina, and the Czech Republic. She thinks peas are the most satisfying thing to eat with chopsticks. After an Americorps term of service in Seattle and a 4,000 mile roadtrip throughout many Western states, she came back to Seattle to earn her MPA at the Evans School of the University of Washington. She believes that everyone has a story, and that empowering a diverse community to express themselves works us towards a more empathetic world. She is passionate about creating strong vibrant communities, and enabling nonprofits to work to their fullest potential through good governance and strong systems.

 

Other Languages Spoken: Spanish and a teensy tiny bit of Czech
Favorite Place on Earth: Halibut Cove or Shrode Lake in Alaska, and Prague
Next Place I’d Like to Go: Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, and Fiji
Favorite International Dish: Tacos al Pastor, Palmiers, Njera, and curries of nearly any nationality and type.

Contact Samantha at samantha@fiuts.org


Pauline Tolentino, Student Programs Coordinator

Pauline was born in the Philippines, but is a Midwesterner at heart having grown up in Michigan. She received a BA in Advertising and Public Relations from Loyola University Chicago, where she was a student leader and volunteer and loved every minute of it. Inspired to share a love for education, leadership, diversity, justice, and empowering leaders, Pauline pursued a master in Student Development Administration at Seattle University and internships in Housing/Residence Life, International Education, Student Life, and Graduate Admissions at a variety of colleges in the West Coast. Pauline is excited be part of FIUTS and to continue helping people, especially students, recognize, explore, and fulfill their potential and capacity to become leaders for positive social change. But Pauline is most excited about sharing the baked goods and arts and crafts that she likes to make!

Other Language Spoken: Tagalog/Filipino, Spanish (a work in progress)
Favorite Place on Earth:
Anywhere with water and the Chicago Cultural Center
Next Place I'd Like To Go: Philippines (always number one on list), then Peru, Scotland, and Ireland
Favorite International Dish: My mama’s Bicol Express and sushi

Contact Pauline at pauline@fiuts.org

 


Kailyn Swarthout, Education Programs Coordinator

 

Kailyn grew up in Olympia, WA and completed both her BA in International Studies and M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Washington. She also completed a certificate in Education for Environment and Community at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island, WA. In addition to her deep love of the Pacific Northwest, Kailyn is passionate about building a global community through meaningful personal connections. She has studied in Prague, worked as an English teacher in Marseille, France, led high school service-learning programs in Northern Thailand, and has had the pleasure of visiting friends across Europe, South and Southeast Asia.

After several years of volunteer involvement with FIUTS, Kailyn joined the team as Education Programs Coordinator in September 2017 to help connect UW international students and local K-12 students with opportunities to share their cultures and experiences with each other. Kailyn believes in the power of meaningful cultural exchange to bring about greater social and environmental justice. In her free time, you will probably find Kailyn in the outdoors (hiking, camping, climbing, kayaking etc.), trying to learn how to fiddle, or cooking with her lovely roommates.

Other Languages Spoken: French
Favorite Place(s) on Earth: San Juan Islands, WA and Mae Sariang, Thailand
Next Place I’d Like to Go: Anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Open to suggestions!
Favorite International Dish: Tea leaf salad from Myanmar

Contact Kailyn at kailyn@fiuts.org


 

Jean Guth, Development and Office Administrator

Jean_bio photo

Jean joined FIUTS in December 2013, after working in fundraising at Bastyr University. She grew up in multi-cultural New York City, got a BA in European History in Boston and after working at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, moved West out to Seattle in 1996 after a two year stop in Chicago for an MBA at the University of Chicago. She is excited to be at FIUTS and is a passionate believer in the value of intercultural exchange and cross-cultural experiences. As a college student, she studied in Germany on a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) summer grant and is still friends with contacts she made on that trip. She attributes her love of things global to her grandmother, who was a travel agent in her 20's, traveled extensively to India, South America and the Middle East and always brought something tangible to share with her grandchildren from her travels that was totally different and had local meaning. Jean enjoys exploring the trail and parks the Northwest with her husband and young son.

Other Languages Spoken: Some German and rusty French
Favorite Place on Earth: Skiing on the Methow Valley community trails on a sunny winter day
Next Place I’d Like To Go: Nepal, Portugal
Favorite International Dish: SO hard to choose! Indian, Ethiopian, tapas, and a good Seattle cup of coffee

Contact Jean at jean@fiuts.org


 

Manjot Singh, Work-Study

Manjot is an undergraduate at the University of Washington and his intended major is Bioengineering. He is originally from India and moved to the United States a little over five years ago. Back then, he had never been outside his home state in India, so moving here was a drastic change in his lifestyle. He understands how difficult it can be to get adjusted to life here in the US, which is why he decided to join FIUTS. He wants to help international students get accustomed to life here and he wants to open them to the vast array of resources available to people here.

In his free time, he likes to watch TV shows and movies, play sports, and hike. He also enjoys cooking different types of food whenever he has time.

Hometown: India
Year: Sophomore
Intended Major: Bioengineering

Contact Manjot at Manjot.Singh@fiuts.org

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Upcoming Events
21+ Seattle's Best Damn Happy Hour Dec 14, 2017 04:30 PM - 08:00 PM
Snowflake Lane Dec 20, 2017 05:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Winter International Student Orientation Jan 02, 2018 01:00 PM - 07:30 PM — HUB 214
FIUTS Wednesday Lunch Jan 03, 2018 11:30 AM - 01:30 PM — HUB South Ballroom
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