Era Schrepfer named 2014 Globalist of the Year

Winners are in2

The Seattle Globalist is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Globie Awards. Help us honor the winners at The Globies on Saturday, September 27th at Washington Hall.

Globalist of the Year: Era Schrepfer

Era SchrepferExecutive Director of The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS)
Volunteer for Seattle Works
PTA member at The Beacon Hill International School

For the record numbers of international students that will be arriving at the University of Washington this fall, Era Schrepfer and her staff at FIUTS are already preparing to make their college experience a memorable one.

“International students are remaining on campus longer,” Schrepfer said. “Our challenge now is how can we engage them in increasingly global, out-of-classroom programming.”

For the independent, UW-based organization, that programming can look like a group trip to Mt. Rainier with other international students or a multi-year facilitator program where older students mentor incoming freshmen.

FIUTS was founded way back in 1948, but it’s seen some incredible growth since Schrepfer joined the staff in 2006.

SUSI students visited The Seattle Times newsroom. (Photo by Jessica Partnow)
SUSI students visited The Seattle Times newsroom. (Photo by Jessica Partnow)

As one member of the award selection committee put it, “under Era’s leadership, FIUTS has transformed from a sleepy nonprofit on the UW campus to a powerhouse force for international exchange, leadership development and global reach.”

The organization now hosts programs with the U.S. State Department like the Study of the U.S. Institute with 20 visiting South Asian journalists, student leaders and activists.

But this is just the beginning of Schrepfer’s vision for FIUTS, which she sees as center for international activity and global programming with partner organizations in the region.

“I think what international students bring to our region is a strong connection to important places overseas,” Schrepfer said. “But they also bring a level of expertise that we need in order to maintain our competitive advantage in a world where we need to work together.”

To really understand those lasting connections, just ask Schrepfer about all marriages of couples who first met during FIUTS orientations!

2014 Contributor Awards

In addition to the community-nominated Globalist of the Year, we will also be honoring five of our top Globalist contributors at The Globie Awards on September 27th. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Lael Henterly, Investigative Reporting

LaelLael Henterly is Tacoma-based journalist working at the intersection of law and policy to redefine justice. Armed with tenacious reporting skills, Lael’s investigations have taken on inmate hunger strikes at the Northwest Detention Center and overreaches by federal agencies in South Puget Sound.

Her work for the Globalist has drawn high praise from politicians and immigrant rights advocates. Her stories have and put pressure on The Department of Homeland Security for greater transparency, and on The Gates Foundation to divest from private prison corporations.

Atoosa Moinzadeh, Social Justice Reporting 

AtoosaAtoosa Sonia Moinzadeh is a UW student studying Economics and Journalism whose work has contributed to discourses on social justice and socioeconomic activism. When she’s not writing, she enjoys making and collecting zines, reading up on pop culture critique, and brushing up on her Farsi.

Atoosa’s stories for the Globalist brought to light immigrant shop owners singled out by downtown development, highlighted trends in transgender equality from Scandinavia to Facebook, and featured new opportunities for travel to Iran. 

Dacia Sáenz, International Reporting 

DaciaDacia Sáenz is a digital content creator, communications strategist, and storyteller from Austin, Texas where she worked in television and documentary productions for CNBC, PBS, and the Sundance Foundation. 

Dacia brings a passionate, creative eye for social justice filmmaking in projects like “The Cost of Gender,” a Globalist short-film about transgender Americans faced with healthcare discrimination at home, who look to Thailand for better options. She also documented stories of human rights abuses in El Salvador this year as part of UW’s Center for Human Rights’ justice campaign.

Aida Solomon, Youth Reporter

Aida SolomonAida, a communication major at the UW, honed her visual storytelling skills as Seattle Globalist Apprentice this past year. 

Aida is in the midst of publishing, “I AM ETHIOPIA” a series of videos profiling Ethiopian Americans in Seattle who are subverting misconceptions of Ethiopia and its people, and forming their own colorful and groundbreaking identities. Check out her videos on chef Mulugeta Abate and hip-hop artist Gabriel Teodros.

Irina Vodonos, Community Journalism

IrinaIrina Vodonos was born and raised in Moscow and now lives in Seattle with her Siberian-born husband and their California-born dog. She works for Neighborhood House, a social services nonprofit, teaches Russian cooking classes in her spare time.

Irina’s dedication to high quality journalism shines through in both heavy hitting topics like “Seattle’s views on Crimea, Ukraine and Russia” and light-hearted storytelling of newlyweds “united by love, but divided by World Cup rivalries.”

Her work for the Globalist reflects her commitment to elevate the voices of immigrants and refugees in our city.

Join The Seattle Globalist in honoring all of our Globie Award winners at Washington Hall, Saturday September 27th at 6:30 pm. Buy Tickets »