Team Overview

Welcome to Susquehanna Valley Area Team!

Our goal through this site is to provide all visitors with any and all information on the news going on with our team.

Contact Us

Everyone needs help once in awhile.

Luckily, our team has a crew of dedicated volunteers ready to tackle any job. Here is a bit about them!

Michaela Bowers

Communications Coordinator and Returnee Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
About Me:
I guess you can say I am the tech of the team. I handle everything electronic, from the Facebook page to keeping this website updated. Speaking of that, if you have any problems or suggestions for this site, let me know right away. Anyway, I started volunteering at the age of seventeen after going abroad with AFS to Thailand and have yet to stop. I really enjoy connecting with people, even through electronic means, so don’t hesitate to contact me. If I don’t know the answer, I will find it out for you!

Deb Felak

Community Developer
Email: [email protected]
About Me:
My family has been involved with AFS since 2004, when our daughter Erin received a German American Solidarity Fund Scholarship and our son Luc later received a Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship.  We have hosted 7 year long AFSers and 4 AFSers for shorter periods of time as they transitioned to new host families.  I have volunteered with the Susquehanna Valley area team as a sending and hosting interviewer, liaison and chaperone on trips to NYC.  In 2011, after teaching for many years, I began working for AFS in a part time position to assist with Speedwell Foundation Study Abroad scholarship which offers full program fee scholarships to 20 students in our team each year.  Since 2007 more than 160 students have benefitted from this wonderful scholarship.  Jenny Messner, an AFS Brazil returnee and now with the Speedwell Foundation, grew up in our area and desires others Central PA high schoolers to enjoy the benefits she gained by participating in AFS. You can learn more about the Speedwell foundation scholarships here.

Nancy Hagerty

Liaison Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
About Her:
Nancy is the one that keeps your liaisons on their toes. She checks to make sure they’re filling out their reports properly and what-not. Actually, she herself is a long-time liaison for many hosted students in our team, so it’s safe to say she knows the job well. She also can be found at orientation camps working with other volunteers, which is why you might see her around on occasion. Liaisons, make sure you have her in your contacts!

Marien Parsons

Central PA Chapter Chair, Support Coordinator, and Area Cluster Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
About Her:
What doesn’t Marien do? She mainly works on the hosting side of things as the Support Coordinator, helping our hosted students with any issues they may have while studying here. Over the years, she’s been everything from a host mom to a treasurer for our team. In short, you will certainly see her around at some point during your involvement with AFS, however long that may be.

Mike Bertrand

Activities Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
About Him:
Mike is the guy all the hosted students are a fan of, generally speaking. Why? Because he’s the one who organizes all sorts of awesome field trips for them! Even non-students though tend to know Mike because often times he will permit volunteers and returnees to go too. He’s taken us a lot of places like New York City, Baltimore, and just recently Niagra Falls. Contact him for anything related to activities such as meeting points, times and dates, and any fees students may have to pay to go on these trips.

Denise Hoffman

Team Development Specialist (TDS)
Email: [email protected]
About Me:  Before becoming the TDS I was previously a volunteer and host parent to students from Germany, Denmark and Chile.  I truly believe in the mission of AFS and have hopes and dreams of peace between all countries, people and cultures.  As the TDS I work hard to support my team and volunteers.  I love meeting all the host families, students and learning about other cultures.  I’ve changed the world, you can too!

Traci Pawling

Susquehanna Valley Area Team Chair
Email: [email protected]
About Her:
When everybody else is scrambling to get the work done, Traci is there to keep it all steady. Her whole family has been involved with AFS. In fact, her son is about to embark on his year abroad in Spain! Traci herself though is the one who organizes our team meetings, events, and just generally points us in the right direction. If you aren’t getting answers from anyone else, Traci just might be able to help.

AFS Local & National Scholarships