A speaker selected by the graduating class will present at commencement. Past speakers include Sherman Alexie, Rick Steves, and Angela Davis. An undergraduate student, graduate student and faculty member will also present at commencement.

2017 Guest Speaker

Jaime Mendez

Originally from Colombia, Jaime Méndez is an anchor/reporter for Noticias Univision Seattle, KUNS-TV 51; the first regional Spanish language newscast in the Pacific Northwest. He also co-anchors a Sounders FC highlight show and is the Spanish TV play-by-play announcer for Sounders FC games of Major League Soccer.  A popular personality among the Spanish-Speaking community, he graduated from Evergreen in 1995 with a focus on Political Sciences and Communications. He got his start in broadcasting at Evergreen’s KAOS community radio station, where he launched his own two-hour program featuring talk, music and guest appearances in both Spanish and English. After graduation, Méndez returned to Colombia for a short time before moving to Miami, where he was hired by Caracol Radio, a major Colombian station with a huge presence in south Florida. “It was such a great experience to work with people who really know what they’re doing and view their work as community service,” he says. “I’ve brought that way of thinking to my work in Seattle. It’s important to let the immigrant community know what services are available.”

Jaime and his news team have built relationships with local politicians, as well as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the King County Sheriff’s office, collaborating on anti-gang programs and other outreach to the Spanish-speaking community.  Méndez also takes advantage of the connections of their sister station KOMO news when covering particular stories relevant to his audience.

2017 Faculty Speaker

Anne Fischel

Anne Fischel joined the Evergreen faculty in 1989 after teaching at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Anne is a documentary filmmaker whose teaching has focused on nonfiction media production, media theory, and community studies. She has enjoyed and benefited from teaching collaborations with colleagues in environmental studies, political economy, public health, anthropology, Middle East studies, animation, education, African-American studies, Native American studies and feminist studies.  Anne has been active in college governance, and most recently, served on the Agenda Committee which oversees and facilitates faculty deliberation and input into policy decisions. She was a co-founder of the Sustainability and Justice planning unit, an interdisciplinary group of faculty who share a common focus on extending student learning through community-based work and collaboration. She is also a member of the Undocumented Students Task Force, one of several groups working to support undocumented students at Evergreen.

Anne helped to co-found Strengthening Sanctuary,  a local organization working to expand and protect the safety and security of immigrant residents of Thurston County. Anne’s own films include Lewis County: Hope and Struggle, which documents the history and current struggles of workers in nearby Lewis County, and Under the Stack, a documentary about the environmental impacts of mining and smelting in three Southwestern communities. 

2017 Undergraduate Student Speakers

Eder Humberto Nunez Diéguez

Eder was born in Mexico migrating to Oregon with his family at the age of 10.  He attended both the University of Oregon and Troy University before transferring to Evergreen Fall of 2011.  A father of two, he served 10 years in the United States Army deploying multiple times.  Through volunteer work at CIELO, an integral Latino education center in Olympia, he has realized his passion for community building, service and outreach and hopes to continue pursuing this passion after graduation.

Kadazia Allen-Perry

Kadazia graduated high school from Tacoma School of the Arts.  She attended Pacific Lutheran University before transferring to Evergreen in the Fall of 2014.  While at Evergreen, Kadazia focused on visual arts and communications exploring different elements of identity centered on the African American experience in filmmaking.  This past year, she started her own production company, Fro On Fleek Productions, and premiered her first feature length film, Chronic Means Forever.  After graduation, Kadazia intends to pursue independent filmmaking full time and, eventually, pursue a master’s degree in producing and filmmaking.  

2017 Graduate Student Speaker

Jesi Richardson-Chapin

Jesi entered Evergreen Fall 2013 graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2015 the same year her daughter received her Master in Teaching degree from Evergreen.  Prior to entering Evergreen, Jesi held positions in law enforcement, corrections, school resources and community grant coordination.  Currently, she is the Program Coordinator for Homeland Security Region 3, coordinating training and exercises for emergency responders in a 5-county region.  She enrolled in the Master in Public Administration program in order to influence “policies and procedures that create a culture of equality and safety for our most vulnerable citizens.”  This year she is receiving her Master in Public Administration degree along with her son, James, who is receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree.  Jesi is also a mother of six.