Our Staff

These are the dedicated individuals who work together to make Xperitas programs possible.

Please visit our Careers and Internships page to learn about opportunities to join us.

Meet The Team
Amy Litman
Director of Advancement, Marketing & Communications



Amy comes to Xperitas with more than 14 years of experience in community and donor relations and a passion for making the world a better place. She is excited about working with under-resourced students and schools to ensure that Xperitas’ cultural and language immersion experiences are accessible to all.

Brooke Marchewka
Director of Community Partnership Programs



Brooke studied International Affairs at The George Washington University while working in the Office of Innovation at Peace Corps headquarters. From 2016 to 2018, she served in the Peace Corps as a Community Economic Development volunteer in Paraguay. In her small town, Brooke taught computers, professional development, and entrepreneurship to students of all ages. Among the many things she brought home from Paraguay were fluency in Spanish and a beloved street cat named Birdy.

Claire Edgell
Customer Experience Manager



After graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire with a degree in Education and Spanish, and many adventures around the globe, Claire taught in a Dual Immersion school in St. Paul, MN and spent a year teaching English in Costa Rica. She has worked with youth in a variety of different settings, is passionate about experiential education, and is excited to assist both customers and participants in the process of transforming lives through authentic immersion experiences. In her spare time, you will find Claire rollerblading marathons, salsa dancing the night away, hiking in the mountains and exploring new countries!

Courtney Faragher
Accounting Manager



Courtney has a passion for international travel and learning about world cultures and is pleased to work for an organization that provides these opportunities for others. After spending time in France while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, she understands the immeasurable value of being in the foreign country while learning the language.

Debby Bluem
Air Manager



Debby has worked in the travel industry for over 35 years. While growing up, her family hosted an exchange student from Israel and she has replicated this experience for her children by hosting a student from France. In her free time, Debby likes to travel and hike in the mountains.

Emily Hansel
Program Manager, Spain



Emily earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Ethnic and Racial studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Masters degree in International Education from the Universidad de Alcala de Henares in Spain. Emily has spent a total of six years living abroad, five in Spain and one in Colombia, where she taught English, continued her studies, and became fluent in Spanish. A traveling fanatic, she has been to over 23 countries and counting. In her spare time, she loves cooking (and eating), photography, spending time with family and friends, and exploring. 

Emma Rojas
Director of Language Programs



Emma was born in St. Paul and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Family Social Science and Spanish. She spent five years in Costa Rica teaching English and serving as an Admissions Counselor. Emma speaks Spanish fluently, loves taking pictures and enjoys road trips!

Jenny Behrens
Director of Language Programs



After graduating from the University of La Crosse Wisconsin with a degree in Spanish and Geography, Jenny spent one year volunteering in Ecuador. She spent eight years in Spain where she taught English and opened her own English Academy. Jenny speaks Spanish fluently and loves travelling, spending time with friends and being active.

Jenny Timm
Program Manager, Asia



Jenny graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Global Studies and can speak Mandarin Chinese, Chaozhou (a dialect of Chinese), Vietnamese and English. She is passionate about engaging people to learn world cultures and become global citizens. Jenny enjoys traveling, eating seafood, and camping.

Kate Bauman
Office Administrator



Kate earned her Bachelors degree in Urban and Regional Planning: Community Development. She has a passion for traveling and experiencing other cultures. She has seen firsthand the power of global citizenship and learning through language immersion when her daughter who spent a year abroad as an exchange student in Argentina. In her free time she likes to travel, spend time with her family and friends, see live music and attend has many community events and festivals as she can. She has visited almost every state in the U.S. and 15 countries worldwide and counting.

Katharina McCawley
Program Manager, German



Katharina is a German native, who moved to the United States full-time in 2016. She graduated from the University of Kassel, Germany with a degree in business economics and romance linguistics. Her professional background is primarily in the marketing space, particularly digital and destination marketing. Her language skills include German, English, Spanish and French. She has lived abroad in the United States, Spain and Mexico and loves to gain firsthand intercultural experiences in the world.

Katie Farley
Program Manager, Latin America



Katie grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead with a degree in Spanish and World Language Education. She has spent time in Spain, Argentina, and Costa Rica in addition to travels throughout Latin America and Europe. Katie has worked for nine years as a summer language camp administrator and taught K-6 and 9-12 Spanish in the Twin Cities for five years. She is fluent in Spanish and working on her Portuguese. She loves to read, travel, and try new foods.

Leslie Gale
Executive Director



Leslie has 25+ years of experience in the global education space as a language teacher, curriculum designer and in K-12 school operations. She first experienced the life-changing impact of cultural exchange as a college student on a 10-week homestay program in Morelia, Mexico. Leslie sees Xperitas’ mission as an extension of her own passion for bridging the divisions between people through the development of cultural competency and understanding.

Linda Whitteaker-Hanson
Marketing & Communications Manager

Linda has very recently become a member of the Xperitas team. She is a believer in life-long education and is currently honing her marketing skills through Cornell's Integrated Marketing 360 program. She has a passion for building strategic marketing communications that influence and inspire change. Her hobbies include watching film noir and other classic movies, reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Tyrel Nelson
Program Manager, Community Partnership Programs



Tyrel graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Journalism and Spanish Studies. Not only has he taught Spanish for several years, but the Twin Cities native has also taken many volunteer trips to Latin America, primarily serving as a team leader and/or interpreter. Tyrel enjoys traveling the globe with his wife, Alyssa, playing guitar, writing, photography, hot yoga, cold-weather 5ks, and slow-pitch softball. He has a 30-year-old painted turtle named Kirby.

Virginie Donzo
Senior Program Manager, French



A French teacher for 10 years, Virginie earned her Masters in English Literature. Fluent in both languages, she taught at universities in the U.S., France, Japan, and the U.K. She is happy to work for Xperitas, which will allow her to combine her passion for travel, the French language, and education.