Institutional Relations Manager
B.A. in International Studies, Political Science, Spanish
University of St Thomas, 2005. (MN, USA)
M.A. in Comparative and International Development Education
University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development, 2012. (MN, USA)
Since getting her first taste of intercultural studies in a Spanish immersion elementary school, Ellen has sought out any excuse to see new places and faces, having lived in eight different US states and visited 16 countries for study, business, or pleasure. Her first international experience is still her most memorable; her high school Spanish project came to life when she planned and implemented a study on history and culture in Mexico, where she experienced the sounds and smells of a public market followed by the tranquility of drifting to sleep in a hammock, lulled by a chorus of frogs.
Ellen’s love for international experiences (and hammocks) grew during college, where her studies on ecology, economics, and public policy brought her to Ireland, Tanzania, Greece, Cuba, and Guatemala. She began her career by managing community-building service programs for an international nonprofit organization before making her way to international education with a position managing semester study abroad programs for the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. While working at the University of Minnesota, Ellen earned a M.A. degree, focusing her studies on the impact of public education systems on students’ cultural identity development.
Driven to promote active, experiential education programs and to introduce students to truly transformational learning experiences, Ellen joined the SFS team in April ’14 as an Institutional Relations Manager. When she’s not on the road with SFS, she is home in Salem, Massachusetts, exploring the natural beauty of New England, and training and competing in Crossfit. She couldn’t be happier to spend her days being challenged and inspired by the SFS community.