Evergreen Explorers participated in thought-provoking sessions led by Evergreen faculty and alumni.
Nancy Anderson, M.D., MPH

Nancy Anderson, M.D.

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Nancy is originally from New York City, and attended Barnard College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is a board certified pediatrician with an MPH in maternal-child health from the University of Washington. She spent five years working in Mozambique, and worked for the Department of Social and Health Services in Washington for 12 years. Nancy currently teaches public health in the division of Evening and Weekend Studies at The Evergreen State College. Evergreen is focused on innovative and multidisciplinary approaches that engage students and faculty alike. Her particular interests are health equity, global health issues, and the health of women and children, with focus on the elimination of maternal infant health inequities in the U.S. She recently carried out a research project sponsored by the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, aiming to understand barriers women of color experience with respect to the midwifery profession. Research included describing the optimal structure for a midwifery education scholarship program aimed at women of color.

Drew Buchman, DMA, ‘77

Drew Buchman

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Drew received his Doctorate of musical arts, specializing in composition and theory at the University of Washington School of Music, in Seattle, in 1987. After teaching part-time at Shoreline Community College and the University of Puget Sound, and leading the choir at Central Lutheran Church in Seattle, he joined the full-time faculty at The Evergreen State College, in Olympia in 1986. Currently, his teaching includes classes on Arts Administration and Careers in the Arts, and South Asian Music. He's also taught at The State University of New York, Stony Brook, and gone to China with Evergreen students on travel/study trips four times.

Drew has written articles about the composers Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, and Stephen Sondheim, led chamber orchestras and jazz ensembles, and written music from orchestra pieces to piano solos, and film scores. He recently contributed a chapter to the Oxford Handbook of Stephen Sondheim Studies, a new book that's coming out from Oxford University Press in June, 2014. He has given public lectures for Seattle Opera, the 5th Avenue Theatre, and the Washington Commission for the Humanities around the state. Most recently, he compared the musicals "Camelot" and "Spamalot" for an audience at the 5th Avenue Theatre, during the recent run of their production of "Spamalot." Drew grew up in New York City and went to public high school there back in the 1970s, then moved to Olympia to attend Evergreen in 1975. He plays the piano and flute, goes out to concerts and shows, and always has a few books out from the library.

Abir Biswas, PHD

Abir Biswas, Ph.D.

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Abir is a geologist and has been a member of the faculty at Evergreen since 2010. He has a strong interest in biogeochemistry, soils, and nutrient and trace metal cycling, and been working with students in the curriculum and through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF) program over the past few years studying mercury cycling and soil development. At Mt St Helens, Abir has been working with Dylan Fischer in long-term ecological research sites, where Abir and his students' research has primarily focused on soils and mercury inputs and storage at the sites.

Kit Evans ‘93

Kit Evans

Executive Director, Hilltop Artists

Kit has been an Executive Director and consultant for non-profits for more than 40 years. Her passion has been creating organizations, developing programs, lobbying for legislative reforms, and advocating for social change in multiple venues. She has raised more than $20 million dollars for programs and facilities including domestic violence shelters, sexual assault centers, AIDS housing and the arts. Kit has participated as a member and officer on numerous boards and commissions, and received local and national recognition.

As the Executive Director for Hilltop Artists in Tacoma, she is a passionate supporter for creating awareness of the arts as central to the economic and social well-being of our communities, and as a core element of cognitive, social and academic learning for youth of all cultures and economic backgrounds. Kit received an M.A. in psychology from Antioch Seattle and her B.A. from The Evergreen State College, Tacoma.

Dylan Fischer, Ph.D.

Dylan Fischer, Ph.D.

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Dylan Fischer, Ph.D., is an ecosystem ecologist and faculty member at the Evergreen State College. He obtained both his doctorate and M.S. in forest science at Northern Arizona University. He obtained his B.S. in environmental science from Oregon State University. His research addresses carbon flux, nutrient cycling, and community ecology in the context of disturbance and ecological restoration. Since 1999, Dr. Fischer has worked riparian and upland forests, prairies, and desert ecosystems in the western USA. His work specifically addresses how genetic variation in forest trees affects ecosystem function, and how ecosystems respond to disturbance and ecological restoration. He works extensively with whole-tree water-use, fine-root dynamics, soil carbon flux, and community patterns at the ecosystem scale. His work has shown how forest tree genetics affect carbon cycling, nitrogen cycling, and water movement in riparian forests of The West. In The Northwest, his research has demonstrated how tree diversity affects carbon cycling and the responses of prairie communities to prescribed fire. More recently, he is “taking up the reigns” continuing a 30-year research effort at Mount St. Helens examining how old-growth forest communities respond to volcanic disturbance.

Kevin Francis, Ph.D.

Kevin Francis, Ph.D.

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Kevin is director and faculty member in Evergreen’s Graduate Program on the Environment, where he teaches history and philosophy of science, environmental history, and writing. He received a B.A. in biology and philosophy at Reed College in 1993. he worked as a wildlife biologist for Mount Hood National Forest and as a reporter for Willamette Week. He completed graduate work in history of science and medicine at the University of Minnesota and received a Ph.D. in 2002. Kevin has taught at Evergreen since 2004, including courses on environmental communication. His current research examines the visual communication of historical time within the context of climate change literacy.

Mariah Gerth ‘15

Mariah Gerth

Writer, The Fred Effect

In 2011 Mariah enrolled at The Evergreen State College, where she studied literature, creative writing, poetry, history, and film. She has made several short video essays and written many short works of fiction and creative nonfiction. During her time at Evergreen, Mariah worked as an instructional media technician, as well as a crew member on many small and large-scale Evergreen productions. She is currently interning for ARU, a media production and consultation company, and OUTSpoken, a LGBT radio show, both located in Spokane.

Elissa Goss ’13

Elissa Goss ’13

Executive Director, Washington Student Association

Growing up in a family of union members, teachers and health care practitioners instilled a strong sense of justice and civic duty in Elissa from an early age. Driven by a core principle of her Unitarian Universalist faith of the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, she organizes around economic and racial justice. After graduation from The Evergreen State College, Elissa spent time at the Economic Opportunity Institute, did campaign field work, managed a tutoring center, interned with Congressman Heck at his DC office and was the Legislative and Policy Intern for the Washington State Labor Council. Currently, Elissa is the new Executive Director for the Washington Student Association in Seattle. She is looking forward to organizing and supporting students around issues impacting higher education. In her “free” time, she likes to write, attempt to brew beer, and personally taste test the best BBQ in Washington, in an attempt to honor her birthplace of Texas.

Lucia Harrison

Lucia Harrison, Ph.D.

Former Emeritus Member of the Faculty 1981 – present, MPA Director

Lucia began teaching at Evergreen in 1981. She combined her interest visual art and management with a BA in Arts Administration from Antioch College (1972). She earned a MA in Public Policy and Administration (1976) and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration (1979) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She taught organizational theory and behavior in the TESC Masters in Public Administration from 1983-1993 and directed the program for three years. Her research focused on institutional racism. She engaged students to think about the impacts of public policy on diverse cultural groups. From 1994-1998, she taught in undergraduate programs that combined her interest in public service and visual art. In 1999, after gaining additional education in visual arts, she began teaching visual arts and team-taught programs that combined visual arts and science (botany, geology, marine biology, ecology). As an artist, her drawings and artist books focus on the natural and cultural history of South Puget Sound. Most recently she has engaged students in understanding the natural and human history of the Nisqually River Watershed, engaging students in visual art and community service. She retired from TESC in 2014 and continues her work as a full-time artist, curator, and educator. Her current project, Dirt? Scientists, Book Artists and Poets Reflect on Soils and the Environment, can be viewed at www.pugetsound.edu/dirt. Her artwork can be viewed at www.luciaharrison.com.

Aaron Kish ’15

Aaron Kish ’15

Producer, Director, Camera, Editor, The Fred Effect

While studying at The Evergreen State College, Aaron took audio recording classes, cinematography/lighting classes, and spent two quarters as a media intern in order to learn the many different aspects of media production. Aaron dedicated two years of independent study to his feature length biographical documentary about Fred Goldberg. Aaron’s work ethic and ability to lead in both his education and his media projects, is exemplified in his leading and founding role in The Fred Effect. Aaron’s goal is to become a cinematographer and one day own a production company that can handle any type of media project, from conception to completion.

Carri LeRoy, Ph.D.

Carri LeRoy, Ph.D.

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Carri is an aquatic ecologist and member of the faculty at Evergreen since 2006. Her research is focused on how rivers and their landscapes interact and she has studied rivers and lakes in WA, UT, AZ, CA, OR, and Siberia. Her interests are in-stream carbon cycling, aquatic insects, energy resources and community structure. She has been collaborating with scientists at the US Forest Service on a research project at Mount St. Helens to study the five streams that are carving through the pumice plain deposits from the 1980 eruption. These streams are only 35 years old and pose an excellent opportunity to watch the development of stream ecosystems over short periods of time.

S. Rudolph 'Rudy' Martin, Jr., Ph.D.

S. Rudolph 'Rudy' Martin, Jr., Ph.D.

Founding Member of the Faculty, Emeritus Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Rudy was a founding faculty member of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where he taught American/African American studies (American/African American Literature and History) and was an administrator until retiring in 2000. His family memoir, On the Move: A Black Family’s Western Saga was published in 2009, his first novel Natural-Born Proud: A Revery came out in 2010, and his first short-story collection Seaside Stories appeared in 2011. He’s currently working on another collection of short stories. Rudy received a B.A. from The University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. from San Francisco State University and his Ph.D. from Washington State University.

Sandie Lewis Nisbet

Sandie Lewis Nisbet

Emerita Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College, Co-Founder and Consultant to Small World Productions (SWP)

In one venue or another, Sandi has thrived in theater, communication, public television production, and the performing arts. She took on her first acting role at age 10, and created and directed radio shows in high school. She pursued graduate work in theater arts and English, zeroing in on directing, drama theory, acting, and play writing.

A few past highlights: working with troubled teens, directing a play at Indiana Women’s State Prison, teaching at a professional actors’ workshop in Los Angeles, and studying with Stella Adler. A memorable venture-she and a partner created The Correspondents Reader’s Theater and performed across the U.S.-two actors and a guitarist-bringing to life stirring and lively pieces drawn from women's history.

She’s loved her college teaching, first at Oregon State University and then, for over 20 years, at The Evergreen State College. Along the way, she co-produced documentaries on social and political issues at KTPS-TV, Tacoma. Today, she consults with Small World Productions (SWP), the Seattle company she co-founded years ago to make travel series for public television. SWP has launched several travel hosts to TV including Rick Steves, Tom Bodett, and Shari Belafonte. Working to a deadline was her challenge in television: travel, research, scripting, directing, and editing-all on tight schedules. Now retired, Sandie enjoys friends, family and varied projects, and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.

Michael O’Neill

Michael O’Neill

Healthy Communities Lead, Cowlitz County Health & Human Services

As the Healthy Communities Lead for Cowlitz County Health and Human Services, Michael has been a tireless advocate for cross-sector coordination and collaboration at the local level, which he sees as necessary for improving health and well-being. Over the last three years, Michael has served a leadership role in numerous projects related to health reform in Washington State. The projects included Cowlitz County Health & Human Services’ Community Health Improvement Plan, the Healthy Living Collaborative of Southwest Washington’s effort to design and implement a multi-county strategy for modeling the effectiveness of peer-to-peer community health workers, Cowlitz Community Network’s project to create a Coordinated Prevention System for Maternal Child Health, and the Cascade Pacific Action Alliance which was recently designated as one of the State’s first two Accountable Communities of Health.

Michael is currently pursuing a M.A. in public administration at The Evergreen State College and is working on certification as an Expert Presenter & Coach in Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience. He enjoys mountain biking on Cowlitz County’s many trails and spending time with his wife and two young children.

Wendy C. Ortiz

Wendy C. Ortiz ’95


Wendy is the author of Excavation: A Memoir (Future Tense Books, 2014) Hollywood Notebook (Writ Large Press, 2015), and the forthcoming Bruja (CCM, 2016). She wrote the year-long, monthly column “On the Trail of Mary Jane” about medical marijuana dispensary culture in Southern California for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Hazlitt, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus and Brain, Child magazine, among many other places. She co-founded the Rhapsodomancy Reading Series, which she has curated and hosted since 2004. Wendy is a parent and registered marriage and family therapist intern in Los Angeles.

Carolyn Prouty, DVM

Carolyn Prouty, D.V.M.

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Carolyn is a veterinarian and public health advocate who has lived in Grays Harbor County, WA since 1991. She joined Evergreen in 2008 as an adjunct faculty member and is now a faculty member, teaching health sciences and public health. She completed research at the University of Washington in health care communication (human), including the disclosure of medical errors and cancer care communication.

Steve Salmi, Ph.D., MPA ’95 BA ‘88

Research Services Program Manager at Washington State Department of Commerce

Steve is currently the Research Services Program Manager at Washington State Department of Commerce. He has roughly 20 years of eclectic experience with public and nonprofit organizations, e.g., as a program manager, grants manager, researcher and public information officer. Steve has taught as a part time faculty member at Evergreen and emphasizes the integration of theory and practice through lively, student-focused activities grounded in an interdisciplinary context. He has done scholarly research and community service on sustainability issues connect theory and practice by linking techno-scientific innovation with psychologically literate political reform and consumptive behavior change.

Laurie Schaetzel-Hill

Laurie Schaetzel-Hill ‘78

Dietitian nutritionist for the Emily program

Laurie was born and raised in Minnesota and took her first canoe trip when she was 11 years old. Many mini expeditions followed to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area by canoe and snowshoe. At 20 and not satisfied with her college education at a conservative private school nor University Minnesota Experiential College nor the University of Minnesota’s large classes, she quit school and "homesteaded" with Will Stegger near Ely, Minnesota. Will, who worked at Outward Bound with Willi Unseold recommended Laurie go to Evergreen State College. So she went sight unseen, and quickly found other adventurers and the love of her life on her first day on campus. While in grad school and married to Burnell, who was in med school in another state, Neil Pritz called and invited them on his Kazan River trip. Canoeing in the Northwest Territory was an unfulfilled dream for Laurie and Burnell and so they accepted. Currently, Laurie is the lead dietitian nutritionist for the Emily program, treating eating disorders. She had a private practice and nutrition counseling for 18 years here in Olympia. Finding beauty and solace in the great outdoors continues to be a blessed experience in her life.

Doug Schuler ‘76

Doug Schuler

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Doug is a researcher / practitioner, who has focused on information and communication in society for 30 years. Doug has presented around the world on a variety of topics. He's written more than 50 articles and written or co-edited nine books, including Participatory Design: Principles and Practices and New Community Networks: Wired for Change. Cards based on the patterns in his latest book Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution (http://www.publicsphereproject.org/patterns/lv) are being used in design workshops and games.

Doug is president of the Public Sphere Project and former chair of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). For CPSR, Doug organized twelve "Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing" conferences between 1987 and 2010. He is also a co-founder of the Seattle Community Network, a free, public access computer network supporting community and civic engagement launched in 1994. Doug helped develop e-Liberate, the first online system supporting deliberative meetings using Robert’s Rules of Order.

In addition to his programs at The Evergreen State College, Doug convenes the Civic Intelligence Research and Action Laboratory at Evergreen, in which undergraduate students develop collaborative projects. Doug has an M.A. in computer science from the University of Washington and an M.A. in software engineering from Seattle University.

Cheryl Simrell King

Cheryl Simrell King, Ph.D.

Member of MPA Faculty 1991-1993 and 2000-current, MPA Director 2006-2010 and 2013-2015

Cheryl Simrell King has taught in MPA programs for over 25 years. She is trained as an experimental psychologist (M.A.), in public administration (Ph.D.), and worked as a regulatory/strategic marketing researcher before pursuing a full-time academic career. Like most Evergreen MPA faculty, she is a generalist and teaches across the MPA curriculum. Most of her scholarship and community-based work is in the area of citizen engagement andtransformational practices to improve governance and government. This area has led her, of late, to sustainability and design thinking as portals to transforming governance. In particular she is interested in how we shape public spaces to build and sustain communities. She is co-author of one book (Transformational Public Service: Portraits of Theory in Practice) and editor of two (Government is Us: Public Administration in an Anti-Government Era and Government is Us, 2.0) as well as author and contributor to many articles published in academic and trade journals. She serves on editorial boards of journals, reviews manuscripts for journals and publishers, and served inleadership positions in professional organizations. Locally, she serves as a Board member of a foundation that supports regional parks, recreation, arts and culture programs and organizations and on the Board of her community’s Home Owners Association.

Justin G. Smith, Ph.D., ‘04

Justin Smith, Ph.D., BA '04

Director and Assistant Professor of Community and Economic Development, Washington State University (WSU) Extension Mason County

Justin graduated from Evergreen in 2004 where he studied under Doug Schuler in the Community Informatics and Social Change program. He went on to complete an M.A. in international relations at St. Mary's University, and a Ph.D. in environmental and natural resource Sciences at WSU.

For the past 11 years Justin has carried out research and conducted outreach initiatives on issues related to community and economic development, sustainable agri‐food systems, social innovation and distributed learning. Justin spent the last two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University researching climate change, social learning and community resilience across North America. His work with WSU is focused on building a new food and energy economy through farmer education programs, including research into seaweed cultivation for food and biofuel in the Pacific Northwest. He is also working with businesses and community organizations on the use of digital storytelling as a community development practice.

Camilla Stivers

Camilla Stivers, Ph.D.

Evergreen MPA Faculty 1987-1996, MPA Director 1994-1996

Camilla has had a multi-decade career in public administration: 20 years as a practitioner in community-based nonprofit organizations, and more than 25 years as an academic, teaching at The Evergreen State College and Cleveland State University. She retired from full-time teaching in 2008. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Her books include Gender Images in Public Administration (1993, 2002), Government Is Us, with Cheryl Simrell King and 11 other collaborators (1998), Bureau Men Settlement Women (2000), and Governance in Dark Times (2008), which was co-winner of the NAPA Brownlow Book Award. She is editor of a public administration book series for University of Alabama Press, entitled “Public Administration: Criticism and Creativity.”

Tom Womeldorff ‘81

Tom Womeldorff, Ph.D.

Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College

Tom graduated from Evergreen in 1981 with emphases in Third World studies, political economy, economics, and education. After graduate school and starting a family, he was fortunate to return to Evergreen as a member of the faculty in 1989 where he continues to teach. Among the many highlights of his teaching career was the opportunity to team up with York Wong, one of his first Evergreen faculty (Voices of the Third World) along with fellow alumnus Drew Buchman and faculty member Alice Nelson to teach Politics of Identity. Currently in his teaching, he is expanding his understanding of the systemic economic forces perpetuating racist structures of power, with a specific focus on what it means for whites to actively challenge these structures.

Juniper Zars-White ‘04

Juniper Zars-White

Writer, Artist

Juniper is a letterpress printer, woodblock carver, teaching artist, and writer with a MFA in Creative Writing who cultivates handwork in northwest communities.

Local Discounts Available

  • Red Lion Hotel, Olympia