Guest Speakers

Will Barrett

Will Barrett '03, Director, Advocacy, Clean Air, American Lung Association

Will Barrett ’03 leads the American Lung Association’s work on clean air and climate change policy in California, focusing on vehicle emission standards, smart growth and clean fuels policies. Will represents the American Lung Association before the California legislature and federal, state, regional and local agencies engaged in clean air and climate policy. Will has served as a public health representative on advisory panels convened by the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and other public agencies, and serves on the steering committee of Climate Plan and the board of directors for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. Will is a graduate of The Evergreen State College and completed the Yale School of Public Health Climate Change and Health certification program.

Maia Bellon

Maia D. Bellon '91, Partner, Cascadia Law Group, Former Secretary of Department of Ecology, 2013-20

Maia D. Bellon ’91 is a Partner at Cascadia Law Group, where she practices in the areas of environmental and natural resources. Maia also works on energy and environment policy development and problem solving with Cascadia's consulting affiliate, Cascadia Policy Solutions. Before joining Cascadia, Maia was the longest serving Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology (2013-2019), where she was one of Governor Inslee's closest advisors on climate, toxics, water and air quality issues. Prior to her role as Ecology Director, Maia served as the Program Manager for the Department of Ecology's Water Resources Program. She also worked as an Assistant Attorney General for 15 years at the Ecology Division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office, where she focused on water, air quality and contaminated sites. She received her bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College in 1991 and her Juris Doctorate in 1994 from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.


Randy Engstrom

Randy Engstrom '99, Director of the Office of Arts and Culture for the City of Seattle

Randy Engstrom ’99 has been a passionate advocate and organizer of cultural and community development for over 15 years. He is currently the Director of the Office of Arts and Culture for the City of Seattle. As Director, he has expanded their investments in granting programs and Public Art, while establishing new programs and policies in arts education, cultural space affordability, and racial equity. Most recently he owned and operated Reflex Strategies, a cultural and community-based consulting business that worked with foundations, non-profits, and local government. He served as Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission in 2011 after serving two years as Vice-Chair and was Chair of the Facilities and Economic Development Committee from 2006 to 2010. Previously he served as the Founding Director of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, a multimedia/multidisciplinary community space that offers youth and community member’s access to arts, technology, and cultural resources. Prior to Youngstown, Randy spent three years as the Founding CEO of Static Factory Media, an artist development organization that owned and operated a record label, bar/performance venue, graphic design house, recording studio, and web development business. In 2009 Randy received the Emerging Leader Award from Americans for the Arts and was one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. He is a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, and he received his Executive Masters in Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs. 

Matt Fuller

Matt Fuller '13, MES '16, Community Organizer, Activist and Musician

Matt Fuller ’13 is a graduate of the Master in Environmental Science program at Evergreen and a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Geography and Political Ecology at the University of Victoria. He has a bachelor in arts degree focused on social movement theory and media justice from Evergreen and his research focuses on environmental and climate justice, especially pertaining to how Indigenous and other frontline communities resist and respond to the harmful presence of fossil fuel megaprojects. Fuller interned in the Environmental Justice Office of the Washington State Department of Ecology under Millie Piazza ’95 and has worked with the Lummi Nation Sovereignty and Treaty Protection office the last six years. Matt has spent 20 years as a community organizer, activist and musician and also worked to help found and manage several community radio stations. He has been arrested organizing at many local and national protests, including 2004 RNC Protests, the 2014 People’s Climate March and the 2015 PNW Shell No! Arctic drilling resistance. 

Louie Gasper

Louie Gasper '20, Communications Professional, Writer, and Consultant, ICF Managment Consulting

Louie Gasper ’20 is a Young Adult Consultant with the Capacity Building Center for States through the U.S. Children’s Bureau and a 2020 Journalism Institute Fellow with POLITICO. Scheduled to graduate in December 2020, he is currently taking political media coursework in London through the Council of International Educational Exchange (CIEE). Louie is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and participated in the Creator’s Institute for Aspiring Authors through Georgetown University. Louie has a certification in Citizen Politics from the Harvard Kennedy School and obtained a certificate in Digital Marketing from the Gies Business School at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has previously interned at NBC News “Meet the Press,” C-SPAN, and the Independent Journal Review (IJR) and a former student director for KAOS Radio from 2016 - 2018.

Shangrila Joshi Wynn

Shangrila Joshi, Member of the Faculty in Climate Justice at The Evergreen State College

Shangrila Joshi is a Member of the Faculty in Climate Justice at The Evergreen State College. She has a doctoral degree in Environmental Science, Studies and Policy (focal discipline Geography) from the University of Oregon, a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Ohio University, and a bachelor’s of science degree in Environmental Sciences from St. Xavier’s College, Kathmandu University. Her research has focused on climate policy and politics at the international scale, and in South Asia. Her dissertation Justice, Development, and India's Claim to Environmental Space: A Postcolonial Political Ecology of the Atmospheric Commons examined North-South climate politics leading up to the Copenhagen Climate Conference. She has published this work in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. She is currently working on a book Climate Change Justice and Global Resource Commons to be published by Routledge. Shangrila is from Lalitpur, Nepal, and spent her formative years there, as well as in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Kabul, Afghanistan. 

Cheryl Simrell King

Cheryl Simrell King, Faculty Emerita at The Evergreen State College

Cheryl Simrell King taught in MPA programs for over 30 years. In addition to teaching, she also held academic administrative and leadership positions. She writes, researches, and practices in the areas of citizen engagement, community-building, research design, workplace design, and human centered design/design thinking. She focuses on transformative practices that move governments toward social, environmental, and economic justice. In her 30+ years as a research designer and deployer, she worked as a policy and market researcher for a utility company, a researcher/partner at university-based and private consultancies, and engages in applied research and organizational development work with various public and nonprofit organizations. 

Malika Lamont

Malika Lamont MPA '16, Program Director, VOCAL-Washington

Malika Lamont ’16 is the Program Director for VOCAL-WA and a Project Manager for the WA State LEAD Expansion team. She has worked to address social determinants of health for over 20 years. In September 2019, Malika received a Community Champion Award from Molina Healthcare of WA that was awarded to individuals whose leadership, volunteerism and public advocacy embody the spirit of service and community. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University of Louisiana as well as a Master of Public Administration degree with a focus in Public Health Policy and Nonprofit Management from Evergreen. She has worked as a licensed Adolescent Counselor and Family Care Coordinator in Tacoma, the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services with the Syringe Exchange Program, and as a Project Manager at the Public Defenders Association with Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion. She is a founding member of the Washington Association of Syringe Service Programs and Full Circle United, Black Leaders for Action and Solidarity Thurston (BLAST), co-founder/care model designer and Director of Harm Reduction Practices of the Olympia Bupe Clinic and is also involved in other movements for social good. 

Lamont helped start the Olympia Free Clinic, is a board member of Behavioral Health Resources, and co-chairs the Thurston County Safety Net Council, and is the Chair for the Thurston Asset Building Coalition. Throughout her career and life, she has worked with vulnerable populations to increase health and improve social conditions by being a foster parent, advocating for people and intentionally choosing positions that can create change. Malika presents as a subject matter expert for organizations, to students working to become health care professionals, and in other academic settings. She volunteers with her daughter in the community, is on the St. Martin’s BSN program advisory board and is a student mentor, is a member of Zonta International, and does street outreach as her schedule permits with Emma Goldman Youth Homeless Outreach Project EGYHOP. 

Pam MacEwan

Pam MacEwan '76, Chief Executive Officer at Washington Health Benefit Exchange Group; Evergreen Board of Governors

Pam MacEwan ’76, Chief Executive Officer at Washington Health Benefit Exchange Group has been in the national spotlight, featured on National Public Radio as well as radio and newspaper reports across the country. This isn’t the first time she has been involved in health care access reform. In 1993, Governor Mike Lowry signed a new Health Services Act, which gave access to health care coverage to almost all Washington residents. Governor Lowry tapped MacEwan to serve as one of five commissioners in charge of making sure the Health Services Act was implemented effectively. She also serves on The Evergreen State College Board of Governors.

Jaime Mendez

Jaime Mendez '95, Anchor-News Reporter, Univision Seattle - KUNS

Jaime Méndez ’95 serves as an anchor/reporter for Noticias Univision Seattle on KUNS 51, a thirty-minute news program on the first Spanish language TV newscast in Washington. He also co-anchors a weekly Sounders FC highlight show and is the play-by-play announcer for selected Sounders FC games of the MLS.

The most recognized personality among the Spanish-speaking community in the Puget Sound area, he graduated from the program of Communications and Political Sciences from The Evergreen State College. Méndez has been working in Spanish language media since 1994; his work has concentrated in radio and television.

 Jaime is a pioneer of the Spanish media in the region being also the first morning radio show host on a full time Spanish station in the Puget Sound. He is dynamic and professional with broad and deep connections with the local Hispanic community.

Méndez was born in Bogotá, Colombia and has lived in the United States since 1987.

Greg Mullins

Greg Mullins, Dean of the Library at The Evergreen State College

Greg Mullins is Dean of the Library at The Evergreen State College. He is also a Member of the Faculty at Evergreen and has taught queer studies and literature there since the late 1990s. He earned his bachelor of arts degree at Stanford and his doctoral degree at Berkeley. Born and raised in Nebraska, he lived in a string of small towns in the 1960s and 1970s, punctuated by one year in Berkeley, California. That year convinced him he belonged on the west coast, and for the most part he has lived either in the Bay Area or Puget Sound region since 1981, with time away spent in Kenya through the Peace Corps and in Brazil through the Fulbright Commission. While a graduate student at the University of California, Greg volunteered to research and write for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and since that time he has concentrated his teaching and research on human rights, gender, and sexuality. Greg serves on the boards of Pride Foundation, the Evergreen Foundation, and the Orbis-Cascade Alliance library consortium.

Bart Myers

Bart Myers '97, Founder and CEO of Countable &

Bart Myers ’97 is the founder and CEO of Countable & giving millions of Americans a voice in government and ways to have impact on the issues they care most about. Countable's technology platform is in use by leading organizations including Starbucks, GLAAD, EDF, the DCCC, Levi's, Patagonia and more. Recently their innovative platform powered the Democratic Convention's online platform giving Americans a voice.

Bart’s passion is giving people a voice in government. The idea for Countable came during one of the most politically contentious times in the U.S.; the months following the 2012 Presidential Election. “I saw one half of the country yelling at the other half, and vice versa. But no one was listening,” he says. From this moment, Countable was born: a way to bring people together genuinely, meaningfully, and safely around the issues they care most about.

Bart’s career prior to founding Countable led him through the building-and operations-phases of several tech startups. Just one example, Bart founded SideReel, among the first and most influential online video and TV platforms. SideReel was acquired by TiVo in 2011. He holds a degree in international studies from Evergreen (in the other Washington), and lives with his family in San Francisco.

Gilda Sheppard

Gilda Sheppard, Member of the Faculty at The Evergreen State College - Tacoma

Gilda Sheppard has taught on both Olympia and Tacoma campuses and is a long–time member of the Tacoma faculty in Sociology, Cultural and Media Studies. Her scholarly work is in urban sociology, intersectional feminism, media literacy, adult education, and cultural studies. For over a decade she has taught sociology courses at several prisons in Washington, and is a co-founder and faculty for FEPPS, Freedom Education for Puget Sound, an organization offering college credited courses at Washington Correctional Center for Women. Sheppard is an international award-winning filmmaker. In 2020 she completed her feature length documentary Since I Been Down on education, organizing and healing developed and led by incarcerated women and men in Washington State’s prisons.  

Cheryl Strange

Cheryl Strange '88, Secretary, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Cheryl Strange ’88 is the Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, Washington state’s largest state agency encompassing a biennial budget of $14 billion, nearly 17,000 employees and 23,000 contracted service providers. The department serves nearly 2 million Washington residents each year. As Secretary she provides executive level strategic and policy direction for the department while supporting the success of all programs through information technology services, human resources, communications, innovation and strategy, public records, diversity and inclusion, Indian policy and other critical central and statewide services.

Prior to becoming Secretary of DSHS, she served as chief executive officer of Western State Hospital since April 2016, one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in the country. Before coming to Western, Strange was assistant director for the DSHS Mental Health Division, where she managed the state's public mental health system, including the state’s three hospitals, and community outpatient mental health services.

Strange also has served as vice president of the Behavioral Health Division at a privately operated mental health service provider and as assistant secretary for Health Services and as deputy secretary at the state Department of Corrections. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College and a master’s in public administration from Seattle University, a certification in management and leadership from the University of Washington School of Social Work, and a certificate in healthcare policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. 

Emily Washines

Emily Washines MPA '10, Founder-CEO Native Friends

Emily Washines ’10 is an enrolled Yakama Nation tribal member with Cree and Skokomish lineage. She is a 2010 graduate of the Evergreen State College Master of Public Administration with a Tribal Governance emphasis. She has two publications on TESC Native Case Studies. Her blog, Native Friends, focuses on history and culture. Building understanding and support for Native Americans is evident in her films, writing, speaking, and exhibits. Her research topics include the Yakama War, women’s rights, traditional knowledge, resource management, fishing rights, and food sovereignty. Emily speaks Ichiskiin (Yakama language). Yakima Herald-Republic lists her as Top 39 under 39. She received a Single Impact Event Award for her November 2018 symposium presentation from the Association of King County Historical Organizations. She lives on the Yakama reservation with her husband and three children. 

Carol Rashawnna Williams

Carol Rashawnna Williams '97, Co-Executive Director Community Arts Create

Carol Rashawnna Williams ’97 is a Seattle-based, interdisciplinary artist who makes works that engage audiences in conversations about social, environmental and racial justice. Throughout her practice, she contends that the only way to shift race relations and understand climate change is through collective imaginings and re-imaginings of equitable relationships to the land, animals and resources. Williams’ aesthetic forms fall, swim, fly, drip and grow through various layers of reality, spirituality and data analysis. Her narrative installations reject the tidy, toxic logic of scarcity models, suggesting powerful alternatives in collective storytelling, collective ownership, collective re-valuing of biospecies and collective commitments to sustainable environmental practices over time. While in residence at Seattle University Williams created two dynamic art installations that included prints, paintings and sculptures made of primarily recycled or reused materials.

Carol is a mother to two children. She currently resides in Seattle and works to mentor emerging artists from various backgrounds. Carol is a musician of 21 years who plays the violin and the viola. Carol enjoys hiking in the Pacific Northwest's numerous old growth forests. She was certified thru the City of Seattle Parks & Recreation Urban Forest Educator Program and loves to teach about conifers, indigenous and invasive species. You can find her walking all over Seattle. Carol deeply believes in the power of art to build community, bridge community relationships and create authentic space for healing.