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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 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, 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



Alison Kilkenny, Manager of Education Programs

Alison Staff
Alison grew up on American military bases in Europe and Japan, living mostly in Okinawa. She has worked and volunteered with students and Seattle communities at non-profit organizations for over ten years. A UW alumna, 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 non-profit management, youth leadership and empowerment and supporting citizen diplomacy.  Alison is earning her MPA at the Evans School of Public Affairs.  When she is not working and in school Alison can be found daydreaming about traveling around the world, spending time outside and dancing at her local fitness studio!

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 International dish: Japanese ramen



Brianna Mercker, Manager of Student Programs
Brianna Mercker 2


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: Argentina
Favorite International Dish: Impossible to pick just one! Panang Curry, Cheese Fondue, Sushi, Mofungo, Shawarma, etc…



Ellen Frierson, Manager of Community Programs

Ellen Photo

Ellen grew up in New York, Germany, and Virginia and has been working in international education for over ten years. She has taught English as a foreign language 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 Village in Minnesota, and has worked with nonprofits in Washington DC and New York City.

Ellen received a BA in English and Theater 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 of work, Ellen can usually be found reading, planning future adventures, and hanging out with her husband and their adorable dog.

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


Tom Lang, Education Programs Coordinator

Tom Lang
A Seattle native, Tom has spent a total of three years overseas: two serving in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia and one year studying in Austria. He has been with FIUTS since 2011, working with the short-term programs and K-12 programming. Tom holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.

When not in the office, you can find Tom out hiking, skiing 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
Favorite International Dish:
sushi


 

Danika Delano, Student Programs Coordinator

Danika_staffDanika began her international journey when she embarked on a Semester at Sea voyage where she circumnavigated the globe; she returned with a heavy case of the travel bug. Satisfying her desire to learn from and help others from different cultures, Danika became involved with the Fort Collins International Center, Colorado State University's (CSU) International Student Services Office, and CSU's Intensive English Program. Since then, she has explored over 30 countries on 5 continents, including living and working in Japan. She is currently a Master’s candidate in International Education at SIT Graduate Institute and is thrilled to be a part of the FIUTS team. As a global citizen, she is passionate about the success of international students and their role in international peace.

This Coloradoan comes alive when she is near the mountains and can be found hiking, backpacking, camping, eating street food, and telling bad pun jokes on the regular.  As an adventurer, she is a planner that lives for the things you can’t plan for and likes to experience the side streets of life.

Favorite Place on Earth: Home, wherever that is at the moment, and in the mountains
Next Place I'd Like To Go:
Turkey, Iceland, New Zealand, and Guatamala
Favorite International Dish:
Spanakopita


 

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



Meredith Stilwell, Education Programs Assistant
Meredith


A Michigander by birth and a citizen of the world in practice, Meredith moved to Seattle after spending two years serving in Peace Corps Morocco. After living on the border of the Sahara Desert, the rains of Seattle are a welcome change for Meredith who made her move here to pursue her MPA through UW's Evans School where she plans to specialize in International Development. Meredith hopes to put her degree to use by continuing her work in the non-profit arena working in an international education capacity.

In her free time, Meredith enjoys exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest by foot and bike, and planning for her next adventure.

Other Languages Spoken: French, Moroccan Arabic, Tashleheet Berber
Favorite Place on Earth:
Essaouira, Morocco
Next Place I'd Like To Go:
Japan
Favorite International Dish:
Moroccan Harira, sushi, a good cup of coffee from any country.


Michael Levkowitz, Homestay & Community Programs Assistant

Originally from Southern Arizona, Michael made his way to Seattle in pursuit of cooler weather, and a Public Administration degree at the University of Washington. Michael previously specialized in International Relations and Middle-Eastern Studies as an undergraduate student in Political Science, cementing his interest in his role as a member of the global community.

Within his MPA degree Michael is focused on Environmental Management, with a particular emphasis on water and energy conservation. With his precious few spare moments, Michael is often found playing, watching, writing, or talking about basketball.

Other Languages Spoken: Hebrew
Favorite Place on Earth: Sedona, Arizona
Next Place I'd Like To Go: India
Favorite International Dish: Panang Curry


 

Billy Nong, Student Programs Assistant

Billy was born and raised in Washington. He is currently an undergraduate at the University of Washington. Double majoring in Community, Environment, and planning (CEP) and Political Science, his educational focus is on community development and engagement. He has been involved with many on campus and local organizations such as UW Dream Project to the Pike Place Market Foundation.

In his free time, he enjoys going outdoors, playing sports, socializing with friends, and trying new cuisines around town. An interesting fact about Billy is he has never left the US to travel to another country.

Other languages spoken: Lao, Vietnamese
Favorite Place on Earth: Key West, Florida
Next Place I’d like to go: Paris, France
Favorite international dish: Larb

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Upcoming Events
International Student Orientation (Fall) Sep 10, 2014 - Sep 19, 2014
Dawg Daze Meet-up: South Asian Sitcom Sep 22, 2014 03:30 PM - 06:00 PM — Meet outside The Burke Museum Cafe
Dawg Daze meet-up: CLUE and Peer Advisor Trivia Night Sep 24, 2014 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM — Meet outside The Burke Museum Cafe
Urban Hike: Ballard Locks & Discovery Park Sep 27, 2014 11:00 AM - 06:00 PM — Meet outside The Burke Museum
Upcoming events…