Student Activities Staff
Jeannette Smith, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Engagement (Interim)
In her director role, Jeannette is responsible for the provision of a range of student-fee funded programs. These include Student Activities administration, supporting registered student organizations and student governance, The Cooper Point Journal and other student publications, and the Tacoma and Native Pathways Student Activities Committees; as well as supporting KAOS, The Flaming Eggplant Cafe, and management of the College Activities Building (CAB). In her interim role, Jeannette will lead an inclusive, cross-divisional process resulting in a proposal to identify a student-centered structure of systems and people who provide direct student services.
Jeannette has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno. She brings over 10 years of student affairs experience in student unions, financial aid, residence life, advising, student activities, budgeting, facilities, commuter student services, grant management, and curating an art gallery. She likes to spend time traveling, cooking, and reading books with her family.
Kayla Mahnke-Hargett, Interim-Director of Student Activities and Flaming Eggplant Cafe Advisor
Kayla is the staff advisor for the Flaming Eggplant Cafe, co-chair of the Clean Energy Committee, and advisor to the food and farming student organizations. She provides direct support for building student leadership, crafting communication strategies, and using design thinking to facilitate problem solving. Her favorite part of the job is working with students to clarify their vision and understand the steps it takes to achieve their goals. Kayla will serve as the Director of Student Activities for Fall 2020.
Kayla is an Evergreen graduate, earning a BA concentrated on sustainable agriculture and design in 2012. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at Evergreen. She loves the Pacific Northwest with her whole heart including all of the PNW clichés: excellent coffee, wool clothing, ferry boats, rivers & ocean, trees, all of it. Her favorite things to do outside of work are find new experiences, taste new foods, and read novels.
Melissa Bennett, Assistant Director for Spirituality and Meaning Making
Chaplain Melissa Bennett, M.Div. (Umatilla/Nimiipuu/Sac & Fox/Anishinaabe) is our Student Activities Assistant Director of Spirituality and Meaning Making. She has been engaged in spiritual care since 2008 working with people of all and no faith traditions primarily in higher education, mental health, and Indigenous settings. She is committed to racial and healing justice work and incorporates rest, radical imagination, altar building, and ancestral connection into her role accompanying students as they navigate college life.
Melissa is a poet, storyteller, storylistener, educator, and tarot reader rooted in the spiritual traditions of her Nimiipuu and Anishinaabe relatives. In addition to following her Indigenous practices, Melissa comes from a history of Buddhist, Christian Mysticism, and Wiccan/Neo-Pagan traditions. She has served people from a variety of faiths including Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Christian (both Protestant and Catholic), Atheist/Humanist, and Agnostic. She has experience working with LGBTQ2IA+ communities, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), veterans, and chronically ill/disabled folx.
Melissa is an Evergreen alum - having earned her B.A. in 2002 with a focus on Indigenous Studies and Creative Writing. She later earned her Master of Divinity degree and two graduate certificates in Spiritual Care & Counseling and Theological Studies from Marylhurst University. In 2013 she completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education in forensic mental health specializing in the spiritual care of Native American people. Melissa served as the Senior Program Coordinator for the Native American Student and Community Center at Portland State University for four years before returning to Evergreen where she has worked in Student Activities since early 2017. In 2020 she earned a certificate in Movement Chaplaincy from Faith Matters Network - a Womanist based organization and leader in spiritual care for people on the front lines of social movements, organizing, and activism.
In addition to her work at Evergreen, Melissa continues to collaborate with Faith Matters Network as a community care chaplain, maintains a private spiritual care practice with clients from across the nation, and is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop - an association of socially engaged writers working to advance creativity, foster generosity, and serve community.
Greg Porter, Productions Advisor
Prior to coming to Evergreen, he worked in public school education for 9 years as an Educational Music Representative for the Ted Brown Music Company. Greg provided music education to more than 50 school districts and produced and hosted the annual Southwest Washington Massed Band and Massed Choir Festivals. These festivals involved seventeen high schools in Southwest Washington with over 500 students in a massed choir and over 800 students in a massed band. Many of these students went on to received music scholarships from Washington’s state colleges and universities.
Anthony Arriola, Secretary Senior
Anthony was born and raised in Texas; and in 2012, he received a Masters degree in Community Counseling from the University of Texas at El Paso. Throughout his work career, he has worked with non-profits and community organizations in Texas and Washington. Anthony is excited to be a part of the Evergreen community and discover all the gems of the Pacific Northwest.
Jadon Berry, Director for New Student Programs
As the director for New Student Programs, Jadon is responsible for the development and implementation of programs designed to promote student success and retention. These include New Student Orientation, Pre-Orientation Programs, and the overarching collaboration of First-Year Experience programs. Jadon also advocates across the college to reduce barriers to student success and to develop student centered policies. Starting in 2020, Jadon will also advise the Student Fee Committee.
Jadon has a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from Central Washington University and a Master of Education in Student Affairs Administration from Western Washington University. He has worked in higher education for over 10 years and has experience in student leadership, academic advising, first-year experience, orientation, enrollment services, mentor programs, and student activities. Jadon has taught college level courses in student success, student leadership, social change, and fly fishing. He enjoys fishing, watching soccer, camping, and hanging out with his family.
Shirley Siloi, Asst. Director for New Student Programs
Afio mai! Susū mai! Maliu mai! (Welcome everyone!)
Shirley is from the Siloi and Tuialu’ulu’u families of Amouli, American Samoa and Ta’u, Manu’a and the Tarrant and Maifea families from Utulei, American Samoa. She is the eldest daughter of Ali’ioalataua & Diana Siloi, and sister to Elena, Tony & Tarrant. She was born in Hawaii to an Army family, and has spent most of her life in Lakewood & Tacoma, WA.
She is the Assistant Director for New Student Programs, supporting all new students and their families during their transition to Evergreen. She helps facilitate new student orientation, pre-orientation programs, and first-year programs.
She has worked in higher education for the last six years, mostly in the community college system. She has served students in different capacities, always working to remove as many barriers as possible while helping to empower all students. She has a BA in Social Welfare from UW-Tacoma and an MPA from Evergreen. She enjoys exploring Pasifika traditions, hanging out with family and watching Golden Girls.