Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning

Our programs and services build pathways to success for refugees and immigrants, as well as for the organizations that serve and employ them. In the current political environment, we work to make Greater Denver a model welcoming community and our programs and services are needed more than ever.

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Carrie Miller, Colorado Welcome Back Program Coordinator
Start Date: 2015

Carrie Miller is the Program Coordinator for Colorado Welcome Back, a program of Spring Institute designed to help internationally trained healthcare professionals reclaim their medical careers. Ms. Miller guides participants to understand the steps for re-licensure, conducts short and long-term planning, navigates resources, and assists in job readiness skills.

Prior to joining Spring Institute in 2015, Ms. Miller was the Work Skills Instructor for Goodwill's Career Connection Center at Place Bridge Academy, a hub for refugees and immigrants. Ms. Miller also worked with the African Community Center, a refugee resettlement agency, where she served as a Job Skills Trainer for the Safari Thrift Training Program and assisted their Job Development team. Ms. Miller holds a M.A. in International & Intercultural Communication from the University of Denver and a B.S. in Organizational Communication from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Tamas Farkas, The Interpreter Network Manager
Start Date: 2015

Tamas Farkas is the Program Manager at The Interpreter Network, a program of Spring Institute.

Born in Budapest Hungary, Tamas moved to the United States in 1999. He attended university at Metropolitan State University of Denver, spending one year abroad in Fribourg, Switzerland studying at the University of Fribourg. After graduating with a B.A. in German and French, he spent a year in San Juan, Puerto Rico learning Spanish.

At Spring Institute, Tamas is excited to do everything he can to help everyone have access to the public services they deserve.

Maria Velasco, Intercultural Training and Consulting Manager
Start Date: 2015

Maria Velasco is the Intercultural Training & Consulting Manager at Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning, bringing over 15 years experience designing and facilitating trainings on building cultural awareness and promoting inclusivity in the workplace.Before joining Spring Institute, Maria worked at Intercambio Uniting Communities from 1998 to 2015 where she served as the Diversity and Inclusion Manager. During this time she successfully launched a Cultural Awareness and Diversity program to educate and coach nonprofit organizations to become more inclusive and culturally competent. Prior to that, Maria served four years as the Director of Language and Cultural Services at Mason General Hospital in Washington, where she facilitated access to healthcare to multicultural individuals, provided cross-cultural training to physicians and clinical staff, and developed and implemented a system-wide cultural competency improvement plan.

Maria was born and raised in Salamanca, Spain. She has a BA in Business Administration and she is a Certified Cultural Competency Trainer by the Cross Cultural Health Care Program. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Organizational Development and Leadership at Fielding University.

Brandy Kramer, Manager of Project SHINE and Ready Tots
Start Date: 1997

Brandy Kramer is the Program Manager for Project SHINE, a program that connects elderly refugees and immigrants to health care, while engaging them in health wellness activities and teaching health literacy in in the communities where they live.

Ms. Kramer earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, NC, and spent four years teaching ESL abroad to medical providers and contracted with companies that were relocating employees to the United States. After returning to the United States, she taught at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins prior to beginning at Spring Institute in 1997.

She has a special interest in health and literacy and has presented at numerous regional, state, and national conferences.

Tiffany Pippin, Adult Education Manager
Start Date: 2016

Tiffany joined Spring Institute as the Curriculum, Instruction, and Training Coordinator in December 2016, and now serves as the Adult Education Program Manager. She oversees Spring Institute's community and workplace adult education services including English as a Second Language (ESL), basic skills, high school equivalency preparation, and pre-employment readiness training. She is also responsible for developing and overseeing curriculum projects, facilitating instructor development meetings, trainings, and professional development opportunities.

Tiffany earned a Master's in English with an emphasis in TESOL from San Francisco State University in 2009. Before coming to Spring, Tiffany taught ESL at Contra Costa College and Chabot College in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was also previously the Education Director for LCI at Park University, an intensive English program for international students. Before that, Tiffany taught academic English at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco and at San Francisco State University's American Language Institute. Additionally, she has an extensive background in teacher and volunteer training, tutoring, and curriculum and assessment development.

Paula Schriefer, CEO/Executive Director
Start Date: 2014

Paula Schriefer joined the Spring Institute for Intercultural learning as President & CEO on October 20, 2014. She came to the Spring Institute from the State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs, where she was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian affairs. Prior to assuming this position, Ms. Schriefer was vice president for global programs at Freedom House, where she oversaw Freedom House's global activities on freedom of expression, internet freedom, religious freedom, and advocacy efforts at the United Nations.

From 2006-2011, Ms. Schriefer was Director of Advocacy for Freedom House, overseeing all of its outreach and communications activities, including foreign policy advocacy, press relations, and coordination with international organizations. From 2001 to 2006 she served as its Director of Programs, overseeing nearly two dozen major program initiatives and thirteen overseas offices established to support independent media, open and transparent governance, civil society development, justice sector reform, and the defense of human rights.

In addition to Freedom House, Ms. Schriefer has worked at the National Forum Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. degree in Russian Area Studies from the University of Denver and completed coursework for an M.A. in Russian and Eastern European Studies at George Washington University.


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