About the Speakers

2016 Return to Evergreen Speakers
Portrait of Emily Adams

Emily Adams


Emily L. R. Adams is an installation artist living in Olympia. Her work combines found objects with large-scale photo based screen prints. She earned her BFA from the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2005, and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin in 2015. She is a recipient of the David and Edith Sinaiko Woman in the Arts Award, and her work has been featured in New American Painting Magazine. Emily has a breadth of printmaking experience, working with well-known artists and master printers at Pace Editions and Tandem Press. She is currently the printmaking technician at The Evergreen State College and will teach evening classes this coming fall.

Session: Explore Fine Art Printing at Evergreen

Portrait of Katie Agren

Katie Agren '05, MiT '07

Teacher, Chinook middle school, Lacey, Washington

Katie is in her seventh year of teaching and her fourth year teaching social studies at Chinook Middle School in North Thurston Public Schools, serving as a social studies program lead, co-advisor of an ecology club, and union representative in her building. She also taught English as a foreign language at Banghak Middle School in Seoul, South Korea, and as a Peace Corps volunteer at the Chongqing University of Science and Technology in China.

Session: Teachers Are Agents of Change

Portrait of Louise Amandes

Louise Amandes

Producer and Director of Bezango, WA

Louise Amandes grew up in the Midwest in a large creative family. Music, art, comedy and theater were a big part of everyday life. Her dad instilled an early love for film-making by following the family around with his Super 8 camera. He taught her how to edit by splicing and piecing film together and this became the early inspiration for her desire to make films. Louise received a BFA in Interior Architecture from Northern Illinois University and a Certificate in Animation and Motion Graphics from Bellevue College. Louise also plays drums and bass and has done improv theater for many years. She also is a licensed massage practitioner.

Session: Bezango, WA: Feel the Impact of Northwest Comic Artists

Portrait of Jeff Antonelis-Lapp

Jeff Antonelis-Lapp

Emeritus Faculty

Jeff Antonelis-Lapp taught Native American Studies, writing, environmental education and natural history at Evergreen between 1998 and 2015. He began writing Tahoma: The Place and Its People, a natural history of Mount Rainier National Park, in 2009 because he couldn’t find an adequate natural history of Mount Rainier to use in his teaching. He is completing the final chapter of the manuscript and hopes to secure a publisher in the coming year.

Session: The Writer’s Way: Finding and Claiming Your Process

Portrait of Sarah Applegate

Sarah Applegate ‘95

Director for Teacher Leadership, Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession

Sarah is a National Board Certified Teacher and has worked for 21 years at River Ridge High School as an English teacher and then as a Teacher Librarian. This year, Sarah is on-leave and working as the Director for Teacher Leadership for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession, a non-profit committed to developing teacher leaders throughout Washington. She has been an active member of the Washington Library Media Association (President, Advocacy Co-Chair, and Secondary Levels Chair), has helped grow National Board Certification as an OSPI Regional Coordinator and facilitator since 2003, and has worked with CSTP as a consultant and trainer since 2006. In 2011, Sarah was a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant recipient and spent four months in Finland studying their education system. She is passionate about teacher development, collaborative teaching and learning, and ensuring that teacher voices are front and center of educational decision making. Sarah is married to Rob Campbell (MIT 2002) who teaches at Olympic Middle School in Shelton, and they have an amazing a 9 year old daughter, Marieka.

Session: Teachers Are Agents of Change

Portrait of Ron Austin

Ron Austin ’91

Producer and Director of Bezango, WA

Ron Austin was born in the Pacific Northwest and grew up reading comics and cartoons by Ray Collins, Shary Flenniken, Roberta Gregory, David Horsey, and other Northwest comic greats.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts at The Evergreen State College and a Master of Education from the University of Washington. Ron is currently an E-Learning Specialist at Bellevue College. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at Bellevue College teaching web development, film, and media arts since 2000.

Session: Bezango, WA: Feel the Impact of Northwest Comic Artists

Portrait of Scott Baker

Scott D. Baker ‘77

Principal Consulting Arborist, Tree Solutions, Inc.

Scott is a Registered Consulting Arborist and currently the principal consulting arborist with Tree Solutions Inc. in Seattle, Washington. Tree Solutions Inc. employs seven field staff, including three Registered Consulting Arborists and four Certified Arborists. All field staff are Tree Risk Assessment Qualified. The Company provides a variety of specialty services and consulting to private, municipal, and corporate clients. Scott began his career as an arborist in New York in 1972 climbing trees and running a spray rig for a small tree service. Scott continued to work with trees while a student at TESC and owned a tree service in Olympia, Washington.

Scott’s recent focus has been on advances in the field of biomechanics, use of trees to support structures, and the use of technology in the field of arboriculture. As a speaker and trainer, Scott has presented talks and workshops all over North America.

Session: Exploring Evergreen's 1000 Acre Wood

Portrait of Felix Braffith

Felix Braffith

Director of TRiO Student Success at Evergreen

Felix is a first-generation college graduate that escaped the socioeconomic and academic traps that plague most students living in poverty. He began his journey as a community college student without a support system in place to help him navigate the complexities of achieving a college degree. As he progressed throughout college he realized that so many students from my community were not succeeding in the higher educational system, and began to wonder why. After completing his transfer degree Felix enrolled at Evergreen and received a BA with an emphasis in Cross Cultural Education – he decided to pursue a career in education. The opportunity to advise, support, and motivate students to recognize their academic potential while becoming the first person in their family to graduate from college makes working for TRiO one of the most meaningful professions in the world.

Session: A Village Conversation

Portrait of Dharshi Bopegdera, Ph.D.

Dharshi Bopegdera, Ph.D.

Faculty, ChaOS Advisor

Dharshi is a chemistry instructor at The Evergreen State College. She earned her Ph. D. degree in 1989 (Physical Chemistry) from the University of Arizona and her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Peradeniya (in Sri-Lanka) in 1984. She completed post-doctoral research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado. Her academic interests include gas phase spectroscopy and developing problem based laboratory exercises and workshops to actively engage students in learning chemistry. She received two teaching awards from The Evergreen State College: The Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award (1993) and The Evergreen State College President’s Faculty Achievement Award (2014). She has served as the Faculty Advisor to The Evergreen State College Chemistry Club, a Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society, since its inception in 2003. She involves her students in outreach activities to teach science in the local community. Dr. Bopegedera currently serves as an Alternate Councilor in the Executive Committee of the Puget Sound Section of the American Chemical Society. She served as the Chair of this Committee in 2005.
Portrait of Ruth Brownstein

Ruth Brownstein ’99

General Manager, KAOS Radio

Ruth “aka Ruby Brown” Brownstein got her start in radio in 1996 when she wandered into KAOS radio as a student at The Evergreen State College. Returning to school to write, Ruth changed course in her junior year at Evergreen and began an intensive study in media curriculum. As student Program Director in 1997-98, Ruth realized radio was where it was at for her. In her senior year, she began working at KMTT “The Mountain” in Seattle where she was on air for nearly five years until 2003. Ruth returned to KAOS in 2008 as Training and Operations Manager.

Ruth currently works ‘on call’ for the former “KPLU” (now KNKX) in Tacoma/Seattle and has been General Manager of KAOS since 2014.

Session: Voices Unite at KAOS

Portrait of Keri Carkeek

Keri Carkeek ’92

Chieftess of Staff, Maker and Innovator Group, Intel Corporation

Keri graduated from Evergreen in 1992 with coursework spread evenly across the hard sciences and the arts. After initial employment with the Washington State Department of Ecology in water rights adjudication, Keri worked as a consultant with the Department of The Army at Fort Lewis working on environmental and business process improvement initiatives. For the past 19 years, Keri has been employed with the Intel Corporation. Keri considers herself to be the Swiss Army Knife of skills which has allowed her to have a fulfilling and varied career of life-long learning.

Currently, she is the Chief(tess) of Staff for the Maker and Innovator Group which develops technology with the goal of providing communities of people easy-to-use technology to create a better world. She believes they can impact global change in a positive way. Keri has served on Evergreen’s Foundation Board of Governors since 2010 and is the current chair.

Keri lives in Portland, Oregon, is delighted by her strong-willed daughter, Amalia, enjoys completing weekend errands using Portland’s new bike share program, Biketown, with her husband, Miles. She is a passionate proponent of a liberal arts education; anyone who crosses Keri’s path knows about Evergreen.

Session: Fulfilling Our Innate Need to Create: Technology’s Role in Building a Community of Creators and Problem Solvers

Portrait of Rebecca Chamberlain

Rebecca Chamberlain

Member of the Faculty, Faculty Representative – Board of Governors, The Evergreen State College Foundation

Rebecca earned a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University and an M.A. in English from the University of Washington. Her expertise is comparative literature, writing, and oral narratives. Her interests include poetry, storytelling, folklore, mythology, Salish languages, cosmology and astronomy, arts, cultural and environmental education, mountaineering, and yoga/mindfulness practices. Rebecca’s current program is “Cosmology and Mythology: Science and Story."

Session: A Sense of What’s Coming: Exploring the Future-Historical Perspective through The Collapse of Western Civilization

Krishna Chowdary

Krishna Chowdary, Ph.D


Krishna Chowdary has been helping students learn math and physics at Evergreen since 2007. He identifies as male and a person of color, and is an immigrant from India who grew up in the United States, mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He did his undergraduate work in physics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and his graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he earned a Ph.D. in experimental condensed matter physics working on nanoscale magnetic materials.

He taught as a visiting assistant professor at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania before moving out to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to teach at Evergreen. He's taught in a wide variety of programs with faculty partners including animation, biology, botany, chemistry, classics, computer science, dramatics, ecology, geography, linguistics, mathematics, music, philosophy, and physics. He's committed to helping students get the most from their interdisciplinary liberal arts educations and particularly in seeing how citizens and scientists make sense of, and intervene in, the natural and human-created worlds. He's also committed to access, inclusion, and equitable outcomes for all students, particularly in math and science classrooms. Through contracts, programs, and undergraduate research in his lab, he's worked with students using Arduinos and other physical computing tools. His world currently revolves around toddler Mina and partner Margaret.

Session: Fulfilling Our Innate Need to Create: Technology’s Role in Building a Community of Creators and Problem Solvers

Portrait of Aimee Christy

Aimee Christy MES ’05

Research Biologist, Pacific Shellfish Institute

Aimee Christy is a research biologist at the Pacific Shellfish Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Washington and a Master of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College. Her current work involves nutrient bioextraction using blue mussels, harmful algal blooms, citizen science monitoring, and conducting environmental education for K-12 students and the community. She is particularly interested in marine debris and microplastics, ocean acidification, and exploring alternative disposal practices for dog waste in urbanized environments.

Session: Taking Care of Our Amazing Environment: Shellfish and the Puget Sound

Portrait of Stephanie Coontz

Stephanie Coontz

Faculty Emerita

Stephanie Coontz teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. She also serves as Co-Chair and Director of Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families, a non-profit, nonpartisan association of family researchers and practitioners based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work has been featured in many newspapers such as The New York Times, as well as scholarly journals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, and she is frequently interviewed on national television and radio.

Session: Myths About Past Family Life and How They Harm Contemporary Families

Portrait of Kian Dashti

Kian Dashti

Student, ChaOS Club

Kian Dashti is a Senior at Evergreen and he hails from a small town to the north of Seattle. His academic interests are in Chemistry and Physics and in his free time he likes to learn how things tick. He is a member of the Chemistry and other sciences club at Evergreen and the lead coordinator for Evergreen's Open Source Technology Club.

Session: It's the Water: Policy and Purity

Portrait of Patti Dobrowolski ’80

Patti Dobrowolski ’80

Founder, Up Your Creative Genius

Patti Dobrowolski ’80, author of Drawing Solutions: How Visual Goal Setting Will Change Your Life, is founder of Up Your Creative Genius, a consulting firm that uses visuals and creative processes to help companies and individuals around the world accelerate growth and change. A critically acclaimed comic performer, internationally recognized keynote speaker, writer and business consultant, she has brought innovative visual practices to Fortune 500 companies, NGOs and small businesses.

A 1980 Evergreen grad, she also holds an MA in Psychology: Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. A multiple business award winner, Dobrowolski is a two time TEDx speaker—with talks “Draw Your Future” and TEDxSacramento “Imagination Changes Everything.” Her clients may range from Nike and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the New Zealand Federation of Principals or Children’s Storefront in Harlem. She recently finished a 32 foot mural of employee experience for the employee entrance of The Seattle Space Needle.

Session: Drawing Solutions: How a Simple Picture Will Change Everything

Portrait of Susan Fiksdal

Susan Fiksdal, Ph.D.

Faculty emerita

From 1973 to 2013, Susan taught Linguistics and French and served as Academic Dean at Evergreen. She was hired to teach French Language and Literature as she had a Masters in French from Middlebury College. After eight years of teaching she had many questions, she studied at the University of Michigan and received an MA and Ph.D. in Linguistics.

Session: A Sense of What’s Coming : Exploring the Future-Historical Perspective through The Collapse of Western Civilization

Portrait of Nate Gibbs-Bowling

Nate Gibbs-Bowling, '04, MiT ’06

Teacher, Lincoln High School, Tacoma, Washington

Entering his eleventh year of teaching, Nathan Bowling is veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves and a graduate of the Evergreen State College. He was a 2014 recipient of the Milken Family Foundation’s National Educator Award, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year and was one of four finalists for 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Nathan is a cofounder of Teachers United, a teacher-led education policy advocacy group, and currently teaches AP Human Geography and AP Government & Politics at Lincoln High School, in his hometown of Tacoma.

Recipient: 2014 Milken Educator, 2016 Washington Teacher of the Year, 2016 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year

Session: Teachers Are Agents of Change

Portrait of Jami Heinricher

Jami Heinricher ’91

Owner, The Sherwood Press

Jami Heinricher graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1991 with an emphasis in philosophy and history. She is owner of The Sherwood Press, an historic letterpress print shop and design studio in Olympia where she began volunteering in 1989. Jami inherited the business after 14 years of apprenticeship with founder Jocelyn Dohm. She continues today to design and print for the community while endeavoring to maintain and enhance the historic property.

Session: Explore Fine Art Printing at Evergreen

Portrait of Steven Hendriks

Steven Hendricks ’97


Steven Hendricks is an Evergreen alumnus (’97) and has been a member of the Evergreen faculty since 2002. He teaches writing, literature, and book arts. His work has appeared in The Denver Quarterly (2000), Conjunctions (2001), Fold: The Reader (2002), and The Encyclopedia Project, Volume 3 (Sidebrow, forthcoming). He earned his MFA in Writing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. His novel, Little is Left to Tell, was first published by Starcherone Books in 2014 and is being republished now by Campanile Books.

Session: Explore Fine Art Printing at Evergreen

Portrait of Steve Herman, Ph.D.

Steve Herman, Ph.D.

Faculty Emeritus

Steve Herman is renowned in the worlds of science and natural history. He has a wealth of knowledge that he has shared with many through teaching. Steve has inspired many aspiring scientists to follow through with their goals. Although “retired,” he continues to teach biology and is a member of The Evergreen State College’s faculty.

Session: Exploring Evergreen’s 1000 Acre Wood

Portrait of David Johnston

David Johnston ‘97

Clearstory Investments, Skipping Stone Foundation

David Johnston is living out his dream for the revitalization of Bellingham’s historic architecture. Trained as an architect, he has helped place 11 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Bellingham entrepreneur Bob Hall took the young David Johnston “under his wing and started to teach me the philosophical and community-minded approach to property redevelopment.”

Now, David is managing both Hall’s office, as the company’s chief financial officer, as well as his own nonprofit called the Skipping Stone Foundation, which focuses on agencies and needs in Whatcom County. “I ask (the agencies), ‘What could we try that you’d want to do that you haven’t had money for?’ It’s entrepreneurial philanthropy.”

Session: Ireland in History and Memory

Portrait of Erik Ky Johnson

Erik Ky Johnson ‘17

President, Chemistry and Other Sciences (ChaOS) Club

Erik Ky Johnson is a senior in his third year at Evergreen and currently serves as President of the Chemistry and Other Sciences (ChaOS) Club. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, he studied cinematography at University of Minnesota and New York University until travelling to Evergreen to study Chemistry. Ky plans to pursue a doctorate degree in Physical Chemistry and would like to research nanostructures and nanomachines for use in asteroid mining.

Session: It's the Water: Policy and Purity

Portrait of McCurdy (Mac) Jones

McCurdy (Mac) Jones, MiT ’07

Teacher, River Ridge High School

Mac Jones is currently teaching Introductory Robotics, Robotics Engineering, Introductory Computer Science and Manufacturing Technology at River Ridge High School in the North Thurston School District. Before that he was at Reeves Middle School in the Olympia School District where he taught introductory robotics, health, math, and physical education. He is also a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Adolescent/Young Adult Career and Technical Education. His current project is to further develop a new robotics engineering curriculum and implement an introductory computer science course for this school year.

Session: Fulfilling Our Innate Need to Create: Technology’s Role in Building a Community of Creators and Problem Solvers

Portrait of Myrna Keliher

Myrna Keliher ’08

Proprietor, Expedition Press

Myrna Keliher is the proprietor of Expedition Press, a one-woman letterpress shop in Kingston, Washington. She is an artist, typographer, publisher, printer, and bookbinder. Myrna earned a B.A. in Literary Arts at the Evergreen State College and apprenticed with Stern & Faye, Printers. Equally at home on press and in the mountains, Myrna dedicates her days to the production of beautiful and useful things.

Session: Explore Fine Art Printing at Evergreen

Portrait of Megan Kelso

Megan Kelso ’91

Comic Book Artist and Writer

Following a brief stint at art school, Megan Kelso completed her B.A. at The Evergreen State College, where she studied history and political science. Inspired by Olympia’s explosion of ’zines, bands and DIY art projects, she self-published the Girlhero comic which ran for six issues, made possible with funding from the Xeric Foundation. The comic was compiled into a collection published by Highwater Books, titled Queen of the Black Black. In 2002, Kelso received two Ignatz awards for her graphic novel Artichoke Tales. In 2007, she was invited by The New York Times Magazine to serialize her Watergate Sue comic over six months as part of their weekly “Funny Pages” feature. Kelso is currently at work on her third collection of short story comics.

Session: Bezango, WA: Feel the Impact of Northwest Comic Artists

Portrait of Tina Kuckkahn-Miller

Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, J.D. ‘96

Director, Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, The Evergreen State College

Tina Kuckkahn-Miller has served as the founding director of the “House of Welcome” Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College since 1996. As a public service center of The Evergreen State College, the Longhouse’s mission is to promote indigenous arts and cultures.

With degrees in education and law from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tina is an adjunct member of the faculty at Evergreen who regularly teaches in the Master of Public Administration Program. She currently serves as a planning unit co-coordinator for the Native Programs at Evergreen. Tina curated the first public art in the University of Washington’s Longhouse in 2015. She also serves on the Indigenous Program Council at the Banff Centre in Alberta, as well as the Board of Directors for the Waaswaaganing Living Arts and Culture Center in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin.

Tina received a “Bridge Builder” award from Women of Color Empowered in 2013, the President’s Leadership Award from The Evergreen State College in 2014, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Warms Springs Tribe in 2015. Affiliated with both the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (enrolled) and the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa tribes, Tina works with a multitude of tribal peoples and artists from throughout the Pacific Rim in her roles at Evergreen.

Session: Engaging with Longhouse Art and Artists

Portrait of Clare Lilliston

Clare Lilliston ‘15

Coordinator for Student Support Services, New Student Programs

Clare graduated from Evergreen with a B.A. emphasizing literary arts and critical theory. During Clare’s (super) senior year, Clare was a Peer Advisor in Student and Academic Support Services (SASS). After graduation Clare remained at Evergreen, working first as an academic advisor and now as the Coordinator for Student Support Services in New Student Programs.

Clare has served as Youth Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House and performed nationally as a two-time member of the Youth Speaks Seattle poetry slam team. Clare has writing published or forthcoming from The Encyclopedia Project, Button Box, and May Day Press. Currently Clare is a member of the Olympia writing collective Sundae Theory, which organizes a quarterly curated, inquiry-based reading and performance series.

Session: A Sense of What’s Coming: Exploring the Future-Historical Perspective through The Collapse of Western Civilization

Portrait of Dani Madrone

Dani Madrone ’11, MPA ‘16

Puget Sound Recovery Projects Coordinator, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Dani Madrone works for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission as the Puget Sound Recovery Projects Coordinator, where she supports treaty tribes in their restoration projects. She has also worked with other habitat restoration and water quality organizations, including the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team and Thurston ECO Network. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Arts in 2011, and a Master of Public Administration in 2016, both from the Evergreen State College.

Session: It's the Water: Policy and Purity

Portrait of Miranda Mellis

Miranda Mellis


Miranda Mellis is the author of Demystifications (forthcoming, Solid Objects, 2017); The Instead, a book-length dialogue with Emily Abendroth (Carville Annex, 2016); The Quarry (Trafficker Press, 2013); The Spokes (Solid Objects, 2012); None of This Is Real (Sidebrow Press, 2012); Materialisms (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2009); and The Revisionist (Calamari Press, 2007). Her stories and essays have appeared in various publications including Harper’s, The Believer, Conjunctions, The New York Times, Fence, and McSweeney’s. She has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Hawkes Prize in Fiction, and has recently been an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts and Millay Colony. She is an editor at The Encyclopedia Project.

Session: The Writer’s Way: Finding and Claiming Your Process

Portrait of Mary Middleton

Mary Middleton ’99 MES ’04

Research Biologist, Pacific Shellfish Institute

Mary Middleton received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College. She is involved in phytoplankton identification and analysis, water quality education and outreach, and field work related to interactions of shellfish culture with the natural environment. Mary served as project manager and lead environmental educator for the "Scoopy Doo Pet Waste Education Campaign" for which she relied on social marketing principles and interactive, hands-on learning techniques to design and carry out environmental outreach and education to the general public. Mary's previous work experience includes conducting salmon spawning ground surveys, limnology studies, and wetland monitoring. Immediately prior to her work with PSI, Mary served as the Education Coordinator for the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Session: Taking Care of Our Amazing Environment: Shellfish and the Puget Sound

Portrait of Delbert ‘sm3tcoom’ Miller

Delbert ‘sm3tcoom’ Miller ‘96

Culture Bearer, Lecturer, Story Teller, Wood Carver, Drummer, Singer

Delbert ‘sm3tcoom’ (pronounced: smutcoom) Miller is the spiritual leader of the traditional longhouse at the Skokomish Tribe along the Hood Canal. A culture bearer, lecturer, story teller, wood carver, drummer, singer, and great grandfather, Delbert has received numerous national and state-wide awards, including the First Peoples Fund’s Community Spirit Award, a Traditional Arts Fellowship from Artist Trust, and the Fran James Cultural Preservation Award from the Potlatch Fund.

Delbert conducts numerous ceremonies, including reburials of ancestral remains, repatriation of artifacts, naming and land ceremonies where sacred sites and burial grounds are located. Language preservation is a central focus of all of his work. As a member of the Skokomish Tribe, Delbert has never moved away from his ancestral territories. This proximity has allowed him to remain in close contact with elders (many of whom are gone now) who lived during a time when travel was by canoe, long before the highways and the housing programs that arrived on the reservation. He currently works as a drug and alcohol counselor at the Northwest Indian Treatment Center.

Session: Engaging with Longhouse Art and Artists

Portrait of Maxine Mimms, Ph.D.

Maxine Mimms, Ph.D.

Faculty Emerita, Tacoma Program Founder

Maxine Mimms was born on March 4, 1928, in Newport News, Virginia, to Isabella DeBerry Buie and Benson Ebenezer Buie. Influenced by her grandparents' love for Marcus Garvey and educational lectures by Howard Thurman and other black leaders at nearby Hampton University, Mimms attended Booker T. Washington High School and graduated from Huntington High School with highest honors in 1946. She earned her B.A. degree from Virginia Union University in 1950. In the early 1950s, Mimms served as a social worker in Detroit, Michigan. There, she was married and would eventually earn her Ph.D. in educational administration from Union Graduate School.

Accompanying her husband to Seattle, Washington, in 1953, Mimms taught at Leschi Elementary School, where Jimi Hendrix was a student. In 1969, Mimms served as the assistant to the director of the Women’s Bureau in the United States Department of Labor. In 1972, Mimms returned to the education field, working as a faculty member at The Evergreen State College. In 1982, the Evergreen-Tacoma campus was formally established under Mimms’s leadership.

Mimms’s mission as Director of Evergreen-Tacoma was to increase the number of African Americans in Washington with degrees and improve the household value on education for the African American community. Mimms became a national consultant in curriculum design and instructional methods. In 1990, Mimms retired as Director of Evergreen-Tacoma and became an emeritus faculty member. In 2001, Mimms was awarded the first annual Sustainable Community Outstanding Leadership Award. Later, Mimms founded the Maxine Mimms Academy, a non-profit organization in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood established to serve youth expelled or suspended from public schools.

Session: A Village Conversation

Portrait of David Muehleisen, Ph.D

David Muehleisen, Ph.D

Faculty Member

No bio available.

Session: Taste the Organic Farm’s Harvest

Portrait of Adam Osbekoff

Adam Osbekoff

Cultural Resource Compliance Manager, Snoqualmie Tribe; Co-Director, One Totem; Executive Director, Aleutian Sun

I studied Sustainable Community Development with an emphasis in Tribal Governance and Master of Public Administration in Tribal Governance. My curriculum covered a wide range of topics from permaculture, solar (both passive and active), water issues and solutions, green building practices, social issues based on environmental issues, tribal governance and management. In my current career I mostly review development permits and determine if the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe has any cultural resource concerns such as sacred places or old village sites by reviewing maps, old documents, and other sources.

Session: It's the Water: Policy and Purity

Portrait of Rebecca Orbeck

Rebecca Orbeck ’14, MPA '16

Lean Fellow, Results Washington

Rebecca received a Master of Public Administration from Evergreen and is now working as a Lean Fellow for Results Washington, Office of the Governor. The year-long program will allow her to gain skills in performance management, leadership and cross agency collaboration. Her vision is to create a culturally adaptive work environment which allows career development through training and mentorship. During Rebecca’s Foundations of Public Policy program taught by Larry Geri, she wrote a paper on the Flint Michigan water crisis. This subject was of interest to Rebecca for several reasons: the importance of having clean water in our daily lives, its necessity for survival, and the realization in the failure of our current infrastructure.

Session: It's the Water: Policy and Purity

Portrait of Jerry Price

Jerry Price ’93, MiT ’95

Co-Creator, Tribal History is Finally Required in Washington Public Schools

Jerry Price teaches U.S. History and Washington State History and Government at Ridgeline Middle School in Yelm, Washington. Jerry has been a member of the Social Studies Cadre since its inception, and also worked on the revision of the Social Studies Grade Level Expectations. Additionally, Jerry is a middle level writer and presenter for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s “Since Time Immemorial” Tribal sovereignty curriculum and is currently working on a project for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Jerry lives in Yelm with his wife, a fourth grade teacher, and two daughters.

Session: Teachers Are Agents of Change

Portrait of Bill Ransom

Bill Ransom

Emeritus Faculty

Bill Ransom is an accomplished novelist and poet from the Pacific Northwest. His original novels include the high-tech Sci Fi thrillers Jaguar, Burn, and Viravax. With Frank Herbert, he wrote the three novels in the Pandora Sequence: The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect, and The Ascension Factor. His poetry has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He was an advanced life-support medic and firefighter who received NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction.

Session: The Writer’s Way: Finding and Claiming Your Process

Portrait of Sean Riley

Sean Riley, MiT ’05

Teacher, Catharine Blaine K-8 School, Seattle, Washington

Sean Riley is a National Board Certified teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. He has also worked in the Highline School District and the Chilean Navy. During his 11 year career, he has taught, led professional development, and been an instructional coach. In addition to teaching, Sean writes and talks about education. This year, he wrote a feature for The Stranger about segregation in Seattle schools. He earned Evergreen’s 2014 Distinguished Educator of the Year Award.

Recipient: 2014 Distinguished PK–12 Educator of the Year Award from The Evergreen State College

Session: Teachers Are Agents of Change

Photo of the Evergreen Shellfish Club

Students of the Evergreen Shellfish Club


Evergreen students are passionate about providing hands-on and educational experience through shellfish aquaculture for the Evergreen Community. Their goal is to develop and maintain a strong commitment to water quality and our access to healthy marine resources on Geoduck Beach.

Session: Taking Care of Our Amazing Environment: Shellfish and the Puget Sound

Portrait of Dana Simpson

Dana Simpson ’99

Cartoonist, Writer, and Illustrator

Dana Claire Simpson grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington, drawing the entire time. She eventually graduated from the Evergreen State College, despite having spent all her time drawing, and not always for credit. Attempts at doing real work along the way are hardly worth mentioning; the relevant fact is that, from 1998 to 2008, she drew the internet comic strip Ozy and Millie. After winning the Comic Strip Superstar contest in 2009, she developed the comic strip Phoebe and Her Unicorn (originally known online as Heavenly Nostrils), currently syndicated in nearly 200 newspapers. There have been three Phoebe and Her Unicorn book collections, to date. The first, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, won a 2015 Washington State Book Award. The second, Unicorn on a Roll, won a 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Award. A third book, Unicorn vs. Goblins, was released in February 2016, debuting at #6 on The New York Times bestseller list (graphic paperbacks category). She currently lives in Auburn, Washington, with her tech genius husband and her fairly stupid cat.

Session: Bezango, WA: Feel the Impact of Northwest Comic Artists

Portrait of Eirik Steinhoff

Eirik Steinhoff


Eirik Steinhoff is entering his fourth year as a Visiting Member of the Faculty at The Evergreen State College, where he teaches and co-teaches intensive interdisciplinary programs with titles like “How to do things with words,” “Imperialisms,” “Forensics,” “A New Middle East,” “Literary Arts Toolkit,” and (currently) “Words/Woods.” He has also taught Shakespeare, Early Modern Poetry, critical theory, rhetoric, poetry, and poetics at the University of Chicago (where he got his Ph.D. in English), Bard College (where he got his B.A.), and Mills College. In the early 21st century he edited Chicago Review, and in 2009 his translations from Petrarch’s Rime Sparse appeared as Fourteen Sonnets from Albion Books (San Francisco). A collection of pamphlets he curated in late 2011 and early 2012, called A Fiery Flying Roule, is forthcoming from Station Hill Press of Barrytown. In 2010 he taught at Green Haven Correctional Facility under the auspices of the Bard Prison Initiative, and in 2014 he co-facilitated a weeklong reading and writing seminar with faculty at Al-Quds University in
Palestine. He co-edits Black Box: A Record of the Catastrophe, and works with incarcerated teachers and students at Clallam Bay Correctional Facility under the auspices of the T.E.A.C.H. program (“T.E.A.C.H.” = “Taking Education and Creating History”). Most of his teaching and research in recent years revolves around the question, “What needs to be the case for
things to be otherwise?”

Session: A Sense of What’s Coming : Exploring the Future-Historical Perspective through The Collapse of Western Civilization

Portrait of Rebecca Sunderman

Rebecca Sunderman, Ph.D.

Faculty, ChaOS Advisor

To be added.

Session: It's the Water: Policy and Purity

Portrait of Students from the Practice of Organic Farming Program

Students from the Practice of Organic Farming Program


Students in this program focus on marketing to promote and establish a greater connection between the farm and main campus along with the greater Olympia community. While not everyone in our community has the capabilities or desire to run an organic farm, the topics of sustainable farming practices are considered important and widely discussed. The TESC Organic Farm serves as an educational demonstration of the latest ideas in organic farming.

Session: Taste the Organic Farm’s Harvest

Ernest L. Thomas

Ernest L. Thomas


September 1972, Dr. Ernest L. Thomas began his career in higher learning. His first professional position was Recruiter and Advisor for the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) at Central Washington State College in Ellensburg, Washington. He also served as a lecturer in the Sociology Department.

As a first generation learner, Dr. Thomas is passionate about supporting the access and transition of first generation learners into higher learning. In 1973, this passion led to writing and successfully procuring an Upward Bound grant. For 40 years, Dr. Thomas diligently supported first generation learners in a number of roles including Coordinator of Upward Bound, Director of Educational Support Programs and Dean of Student Development, Vice President of Student Development and Campus President. In 2011 Dr. Thomas retired as Campus President from Tarrant County College South Campus. In tandem with his administrative appointments, Dr. Thomas served as an adjunct faculty for 12 years at The Evergreen State College. Dr. Thomas firmly believes in the reciprocal value between higher learning institutions and the communities that support these learning organizations. He has served on numerous civic and business related boards. However, his preferred means of serving the community is through community based program development for young people, parents and families. He never turns down an opportunity to speak to diverse audiences on the importance of continuous learning, leadership and legacy development, and self-empowerment.

Session: A Village Conversation

Portrait of Sean Williams, Ph.D.

Sean Williams, Ph.D.


Sean Williams has taught ethnomusicology, Irish Studies, and Asian Studies at Evergreen since 1991. This fall, she will be teaching the Ireland program for the eighth time, and looks forward to another life-changing experience with her students. She has published extensively; her books include The Sound of the Ancestral Ship: Highland Music of West Java (Oxford, 2001), Focus: Irish Traditional Music (Routledge, 2010), Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song-Man (Oxford, 2011), and four edited volumes (two versions of the Southeast Asia volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and The Ethnomusicologists’ Cookbook, volumes 1 and 2). She is currently working on a world music textbook for Oxford University Press that should appear in
2017. All of her students understand the term 'liminality."

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Past Events

This year marks the fourth annual Return to Evergreen, and we’re making it the best event yet. See what happened at past events.

Return to Evergreen 2015.

Return to Evergreen 2014.

Return to Evergreen 2013.

Return to Evergreen 2012.

Other past alumni events.