We’re now two weeks into the 2023 legislative session, which is mostly in-person after two years of remote operations. Evergreen has a new government relations director, positive momentum around enrollment and a fair budget proposed by Governor Inslee that will help us serve students in new and traditional ways.

Former Evergreen Vice President Sandy Kaiser started January 3 as the college’s new government relations director and is working with leadership, staff, faculty, trustees and friends of Evergreen to advocate for the college in important committee meetings, work sessions and representational events.

In these first two weeks, we have deepened our relationships with Sen. Emily Randall (D-Bremerton) and Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue) who respectively lead key committees on higher education. In regular meetings, we remind them of the strong social and economic impact of Evergreen in the region and throughout the state.  We also emphasize the college’s areas of strength, while making the case for additional state investment on behalf of Evergreen students.

A January 11 Senate higher education work session on measuring campus climate featured Associate Vice President for Student Success Therese Saliba presenting Evergreen survey data on how students, staff and faculty assessed different aspects of well-being. Evergreen is a leader in this area. The legislature would like all public four-year institutions to conduct similar surveys and use the data to improve experiences.

At a January 19 Governor’s Mansion reception hosted by the presidents of all the state’s four-year public institutions, Evergreen President John Carmichael and Sandy connected with several new legislators including newly ranking higher-ed committee member Rep. Alex Ybarra (R-Moses Lake), Sen. Nikki Torres (R-Pasco) and Rep. Chipalo Street (D-Seattle). The legislators are eager to visit campus and learn more about Evergreen. Sandy’s in-person pro-Evergreen budget testimony in the state Senate Ways and Means committee was noted by Sen. Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake), who encouraged Evergreen to keep speaking up.

On February 2, regents and trustees from the state’s colleges will converge on the state capital to lobby and advocate for their institutions. We are proud to have Evergreen trustees Kris Peters (chair of the Squaxin Island Tribe) and Shane Everbeck (Evergreen senior) representing us. On February 3, John Carmichael and Chief Enrollment Officer John Reed will be part of a Senate higher-ed work session that will look at national, statewide and local college enrollment trends.

Press Release
A large group of prospective students gathers and smiles for a photo in Evans Hall Lobby on signing day for the new wrestling teams.
A large group of prospective students gathers and smiles for a photo in Evans Hall Lobby on signing day for the new wrestling teams.

Both women’s and men’s wrestling and cross-country will be added to The Evergreen State College’s student athletics programs starting in Fall 2023. 

“Student athletes make great Greeners,” said Evergreen’s president Dr. John Carmichael. “They are self-motivated and community minded. We look forward to welcoming more student-athletes to Evergreen.” 

Entrepreneurs, Kim Kaufman '78 and Jimmy Goldsmith, have made a $150,000 commitment to give $50,000 per year for the next three years to support the new wrestling and cross-country teams.  

“Kim is an Evergreen graduate and her husband Jimmy has deep experience in the sports industry. Their donation will get our new teams off to a great start," said Abby Kelso, Evergreen’s Vice President for Advancement. 

“We are beyond excited to partner with Evergreen in launching these new athletics teams. It’s the perfect project aligned with my passion for Evergreen and Jimmy’s passion for sports," said Kaufman. “With the popularity of youth wrestling on the rise, the wrestling program is of particular interest to us. We’re excited to cheer on the team, especially in their first few years," added Goldsmith. 

It is estimated that the expansion of Evergreen’s athletics programming, combined with other investments in existing sports teams, should yield more than 100 additional students over the next three years. The new teams join the college’s existing intercollegiate teams - men’s and women’s soccer, basketball and track and field and women’s volleyball. 

“Anytime you have the opportunity to give potential students the opportunity to attend college while participating in an athletic activity, it is cause for celebration,” said executive vice president Dr. Dexter Gordon. “Adding new teams will also help us weave a diverse tapestry within our programs to help ensure that underrepresented groups have equal access to opportunities here at Evergreen.” 

In addition to growing enrollment, successful athletics programs help to build student life on campus, provide a stronger sense of belonging for some students, and supports student retention. Athletics is a key contributor to Evergreen’s diversity, equity, and inclusion mission, and student-athletes are retained at a higher rate.

Recruitment for new Greener athletes starts this month and the college expects teams to be established by Fall Quarter 2023. Learn more about Evergreen’s athletics programs at  

Olympia – The Science Stories exhibit will be available from now until March 24 at The Evergreen State College’s Library.

The exhibit which brings together scientists and book artists from the Pacific Northwest together, has been touring colleges across Washington and is now at the Evergreen Library. The exhibit is divided into broad topics which include water, ice, mountains, flora, fauna and human health. 

There will an opening reception from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, January 19 in the Evans Hall Library. The reception will feature three curators for Science Stories: Dr. Lucia Harrison, Jane Carlin and Dr. Peter Wimberger. 

For more information about the exhibit please contact or visit the website.

OLYMPIA – The Board of Trustees for The Evergreen State College is set to hold its first regular meeting for 2023 on Friday, January 13.   

The hybrid meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and agenda items include an update on the college’s strategic plan regarding student academic success and support, as well as continuing to strengthen the college’s financial position.   

There is also an action item for the Board to consider approval for the establishment of a new Prison Education Program.   

Evergreen has a long-standing history in expanding prison education in Washington state starting back in 1996 with the Gateways for Incarcerated Youth, which was founded by college alum and faculty emerita, Dr. Carol Minugh along with Green Hill School staff, and the Sustainability in Prisons Project, which was founded by former Evergreen faculty member Dr. Nalini Nadkarni and alum Dan Pacholke.  

Board approval would direct faculty and staff to develop a proposal according to the accreditation process  required for Pell-funded prison education programs. Beginning July 1, 2023, all incarcerated students who are enrolled in eligible programs will once again be able to apply for Pell grants, thus increasing access to a college education.   

“We are very excited for the Board’s consideration of this new program,” said Evergreen’s president Dr. John Carmichael. “The first line of the college’s social contract reads, ‘The Evergreen State College is an institution and a community that continues to organize itself so that it clears away obstacles to learning,’ and establishing this new program that would meet the requirements to allow for access to Pell grant funding, which clearly helps eliminate some of the barriers that exist for incarcerated students.”  

Expanding access to college credits in prison is a widely recognized equity strategy that can help individuals build strong foundations for themselves and the communities where they live both during and after incarceration. In a recent cost-benefit analysis, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy has determined that for every $1 invested in college behind bars, the public stands to accrue $19.74 in benefits. College education also helps reduce recidivism in formerly incarcerated individuals.   
“What we hope is that with the Board’s permission, we can build a new program that helps improve the future for students, their families, and the communities they live in,” explained Dr. Dexter Gordon, executive vice president for Evergreen. “Ninety-five percent of people incarcerated are released – a college education allows for them to be better positioned to secure employment, find stable housing, and provide for their families upon their release.”  

The new program must address the requirements for Pell grant eligibility which is established by the U.S. Department of Education, and the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. Evergreen’s prison education program will be developed in coordination and collaboration with the Washington Department of Corrections, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, and as well as many other community partners. Another Board approval would be necessary once the final program proposal is developed in advance of it moving forward for submission to the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities and the U.S. Department of Education.   

More information about Evergreen’s Board of Trustees meeting can be found on the college’s website.




The Art Lecture Series presents a broad range of interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary art issues by artists, writers, activists and scholars. The ongoing aim is to bring an array of practices from a variety of fields, areas of inquiry and creative production that are active in the world beyond our campus. The series provides a lively forum for the exchange of ideas between the speakers, students, faculty, staff and the public.

Please join us for this great line-up and an opportunity to gather together to engage with artists working in a variety of modes and genres in response to our rapidly unfolding contemporary moment. All lectures for the 2021-2022 academic year are online via livestreaming webinars and are free and open to the public.

January 18, 2023 | Charles Edward Williams, painter

Charles Edward Williams is a contemporary visual artist from South Carolina. He holds a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia and an MFA from the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG). Williams has attended summer artist residencies at Otis College of Art and Design (CA), SOMA (Mexico City, Mexico), the Gibbes Museum (SC), and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation (NC). Solo traveling exhibitions include “Sun + Light,” “Warm Water,” and “Swim.” “Sun + Light” has been on view at Polk Museum of Art (FL), Gibbes Museum of Art (SC), and Residency Art gallery (LA). “Warm Water” has been on view at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (MI), SECCA (NC), and Weber State University (UT). “Swim” was displayed at Morton Fine Art (DC). His work was also recently exhibited at Aqua and Scope Art Fair / Art Basel (FL) and Texas Contemporary Art Fair (TX).

February 1, 2023 | Neely Goniodsky, animator

Neely Goniodsky has directed and animated over twenty-five short films including productions at the National Film Board of Canada, The New York Times, and Seattle University. She holds a master’s degree in Animation from Royal College of Arts, London, and a bachelor’s degree in Animation from Concordia University, Montreal. Neely has been animating for over 15 years with her works reflecting an ever-ongoing search for new styles and expressions. Neely is interested in interpreting the human condition through abstract narrative and visual experimentation attempting to translate reality into visual poetry. She explores a combination of traditional animation techniques including ink and paint on paper, cut-out collage, under the camera animation, computer drawing, and 2D computer animation. Beyond animation, Neely’s works include video installations, paintings, drawings, and collage.

February 15, 2023 | Sean Negus, poet/translator

Sean Negus is a writer & artist who works in the expanded field of poetics. In addition to a book of poems published bilingually in Portuguese and English, Hurricane Music, he has also published an artist book in limited edition, Congeries. Transmedia projects of his have explored forms of visuality, performativity, and collaboration.. As a translator and editor of contemporary Brazilian and Portuguese poetry they have edited, Saccades as well as DUSIE 21. Professor in Writing & Literature and also Critical Studies at both California College of the Arts and Santa Clara University, their current work inquiring into archival poetics has been recently exhibited in publications by the Goethe-Institut and Tasaworat Collective. 

March 1, 2023 | Elizabeth Chin, anthropologist and ethnographer

Elizabeth Chin is an anthropologist and ethnographer with a varied practice that includes performative scholarship, collaborative research, vernacular electronics, and experimental writing. Chin's work interrogates race and racism with fieldwork in the US and in Haiti. Currently Chin is Editor in Chief of American Anthropologist. My Life With Things: The Consumer Diaries was published in 2016. 

OLYMPIA – The Evergreen State College has hired an exceptional coach to start up its men’s wrestling team.  

Greg Ford, Jr. be joining Evergreen athletics after the holidays to prepare for the college’s first wrestling season in 2023.  

“We are very excited to be adding this talented coaching staff member to help us kick off Evergreen’s new wrestling program,” said Zeb Hoffman, Assistant Intercollegiate Athletic Director for The Evergreen State College. “Greg has a strong wrestling background and has helped raise several athletes to the national level. We look forward to his passion and leadership to help us build this wrestling program.” 

Ford will lead the men’s team. He has been involved with wrestling since he was a small child, winning his first state title when he was only five years old. He has coached for Washington’s National Wrestling Team since 2016, has been the Junior Director for Washington State Wrestling since 2018, has his gold coaching certification from USA wrestling and has also been the head coach for two high school wrestling teams.  

Evergreen announced it would be starting teams for men’s and women’s wrestling and cross country earlier this month to complement the college’s men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, track and field and women’s volleyball teams.  

Entrepreneurs, Kim Kaufman and Jimmy Goldsmith, have made a $150,000 commitment to give $50,000 per year for the next three years to support the new wrestling and cross-country teams.  

“Kim is an Evergreen graduate and her husband Jimmy has deep experience in the sports industry. Their donation will get our new teams off to a great start, “said Abby Kelso, Evergreen’s Vice President for Advancement. 

“We are beyond excited to partner with Evergreen in launching these new athletics teams. It’s the perfect project aligned with my passion for Evergreen and Jimmy’s passion for sports, “said Kaufman. 

“With the popularity of youth wrestling on the rise, the wrestling program is of particular interest to us. We’re excited to cheer on the team, especially in their first few years,“added Goldsmith. 

Evergreen athletics will host a signing event at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30 where several wrestlers will sign their letters of intent to become Geoducks. The event will take place in the Evans Hall lobby on the Olympia campus.  

For more info about Evergreen athletics visit To learn more about The Evergreen State College, visit  



The Governor released his budget proposals for the 2023-25 biennium. These proposed budgets include nearly all of Evergreen's budget requests for the biennium.

Operating Budget

  • Compensation
  • Enrollment and Student Success ($1.3 million)
  • Corrections Education ($1 million)
  • Modernization ($2.3 million)

Capital Budget

  • Full funding of the Seminar I Major Renovation ($25 million)
  • Minor works

While this budget proposal is the first step in the process, it is a good sign that Evergreen's priorities have been included. The legislature will convene on January 9th, 2023 for the beginning of a 105 day legislative session. House and Senate budget proposals are expected sometime in March. While revenue forecasts are looking good, compensation requests to keep up with inflation will likely strain the legislature's ability to spend on new initiatives.

A Critical Thinker Whose Thirst for Learning is Unquenchable

Marcia Mueller’s life can be described as a continuous curiosity to learn new things. She has held many different jobs over the years. She worked as a telephone operator to pay for college tuition before rising through the ranks to become the youngest Chief Operator at the Wisconsin Bell.

During college, she spent two summers working in Glacier National Park, where a childhood love of the mountains blossomed into a concern for the environment that would help shape her professional and personal path. She also worked for a major airline, drafted legislation, trained Forest Service staff to conduct wolf howling surveys, and started a wildlife conservation non-profit. She is even a certified travel consultant and internationally exhibited photographer.

When alumnus Marcia Mueller MES ’94 considered making a planned scholarship gift to The Evergreen State College, the fate of the earth was top of mind.

Paying it Forward, Marcia Mueller MES ’94

But Marcia’s true-life calling can be summed up in three short words: Pay it forward. “It was a family thing,” says Marcia. “We were always taught by my parents to help other people and ‘pay it forward’.” It’s easy to imagine that those three words were on Marcia’s mind when a search for a more meaningful career brought her to Olympia and The Evergreen State College in the early nineties. Captivated immediately by the welcoming, open-minded campus community, she enrolled in the Master of Environmental Studies (MES) program—a decision that would allow her to pay it forward in more ways than she could have imagined.

Even though she was the oldest student in her cohort, Marcia recalls that she never felt out of place. Instead, she felt embraced by a learning and teaching culture that places importance on the power of critical thinking and prepares students to live in the real world.

“Evergreen is so unique,” says Marcia. “It teaches you how to learn and to listen. It focuses on you as an individual to make sure you are learning and are successful. When I think of Evergreen, I always think of professors and students who are world changers—who are working to make the world a better place—to sustain it.”

Marcia credits off-campus internships as essential parts of her education, allowing her to translate different disciplines into real-world impact. Internships with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and the Washington State Association of Counties opened doors to opportunities for a career in environmental health at the Washington State Department of Health and prepared her to launch her own environmental consulting firm, in addition to serving as a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Through all her learning experiences, Marcia never forgot the most important lesson of her life—pay it forward. Naturally, when the time came to give back, she turned to her family for inspiration. She found a role model in her beloved brother, who had established scholarships at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before succumbing to his battle with cancer.

“My brother and I both struggled to afford college and dropped out several times to work and save money for tuition. We decided to make it easier for students with financial need who are at risk of dropping out. By making a scholarship legacy gift of $1.5 million to The Evergreen State College, I can support students who demonstrate an academic focus on environmental studies and indigenous arts and governance as a way to help them change the world and pay it forward themselves someday.”

We offer our gratitude to Marcia for her generosity which will sustain the passion for learning she Evergreen students for generations to come share.

For more than 50 years, The Evergreen State College has prepared future educators, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to confront the biggest challenges facing our world. One of the biggest problems we must solve together is climate change. Addressing this complex, global issue requires solutions grounded in sustainability, collaboration, and justice – values that are the foundation of an Evergreen education. Of course, values alone will not be enough. Turning cherished Evergreen ideals into action requires vision, creativity, and significant financial support. Often, that financial support comes from donors who are looking for a way to make an impact that will last for generations.

Evergreen graduates Christy Holz ’78 and Tim Ball ’80 understand what it will take to tackle climate change. The couple, who met at Evergreen, have devoted their careers to developing sustainable technologies. Together, they have helped launch more than half a dozen start-up solar companies. Now, Christy and Tom have made what might be their greatest investment yet, a $1 million gift to the Evergreen State College to establish The Evergreen Center for Climate Action and Sustainability. The center opened in September 2021 under the leadership of its first director, Dr. Anthony Levenda.

“Climate action is the greatest opportunity for entrepreneurship, leadership, and purposeful endeavor of our time,” said Holz, who serves on the Evergreen foundation’s board of governors. “Transformative change requires transformative education to understand and ultimately solve the challenges ahead. Evergreen is uniquely prepared to educate tomorrow’s leaders who can tackle this very real crisis.”

Based on Evergreen’s Olympia campus, Center for Climate Action and Sustainability is designed to equip students with the knowledge abilities they need to be climate leaders. This interdisciplinary hub of innovation will align curriculum across the arts and sciences, connect students to community partnerships, and provide internships, all with a focus on developing justice-oriented, science-based, and equitable solutions to the climate crisis. Inspired by youth leadership in global climate action, the center allows Evergreen students to explore to the causes and consequences of climate change, builds resilience in ecological, cultural, and energy systems, and prioritizes equity in the effort to study and combat this planetary threat. In true Evergreen spirit, the center recognizes that no single person or institution can save the planet alone. Indeed, it is a public laboratory for science and action, a galvanizing force for community groups, government agencies, and students and faculty to work toward solutions together.

Thanks to the landmark donation from Christy and Tim, the Center for Climate Action and Sustainability will give Evergreen students the skills and expertise to answer an urgent call to action, starting a ripple effect of hope and progress that will be felt across time and distance. At the same time, the gift is a symbol of the impact that donors can have on Evergreen and on communities everywhere. We offer our gratitude to Christy and Tim for a gift that will be felt far beyond the Evergreen campus and for many decades to come.

In the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center

In addition to its flexible and strategic responses to the pandemic, the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen recently marked a milestone anniversary with a special online event. Below is a brief snapshot of how the Longhouse celebrated — and how it has engaged and expanded its community over the past two-plus years.

Happy Anniversary

In November 2021, the Longhouse marked an anniversary: 25 years of supporting culture and arts in Indigenous communities and at Evergreen.

World Premiere

In November 2021, Sky Bear Media released a documentary on the Longhouse, featuring historic photos and poignant interviews that revealed that the center — the first of its kind — has inspired generations of arts and cultural leaders.

Life-Changing Grants

Over the last decade, the Longhouse has given over $800,000 in small grants to tribal artists, including dozens of small pandemic-era emergency grants to purchase art supplies. Native artists Terresa White, Yu’pik, Joe Seymour, Squaxin Island, and others note that they were inspired to take up artistic pursuits after a contact with the Longhouse.

National Reach

During the pandemic, the Longhouse inaugurated a lunchtime lecture series where Northwest Native artists discussed their public art commissions in Portland, Tacoma, and Olympia. The series was attended by art enthusiasts nationwide, expanding the reach and influence of the Longhouse, and more lectures are planned.

New Classes and Workshops

The Longhouse returned to in-person events by offering art workshops for students, a Coast Salish weaving class taught by Susan Pavel, and a celebration of civil rights activist Elizabeth Peratrovich, Tlingit. The Longhouse also continued its Native heritage workshops in tribal communities, including hosting an online basket-hat workshop by Coeur d’Alene artist Leanne Campbell for Tribal participants.

The Gift of SIAM

The Longhouse launched the Supporting Indigenous Arts Mastery Program (SIAM), which will offer grants to select colleges and universities in 11 states and one Canadian province. The program will help grant recipients support the cultural arts of Tribal peoples in their communities.

Expanding Curation

The Longhouse’s retrospective exhibition, “Across the Waters,” was so well-received that the Longhouse is taking on management of the Evergreen Gallery. In this way, Longhouse leaders can ensure that art, including Native art, remains at the center of the Evergreen experience.

Leadership and Structure

Founding director and Vice President Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, Ojibwe, left the college to take on a new role in philanthropy, and was succeeded by Kara Briggs, Sauk-Suiattle. Laura VerMeulen, Tlingit/Haida, after a long tenure at the Longhouse, became its managing director. In addition, the Longhouse is now administered by the new Tribal Relations, Arts and Cultures division, and is creating a tribal liaison position.