For decades of work to help immigrants build a better future through education, Evergreen’s Center for Community Based Learning and Action Director, Ellen Shortt-Sanchez, was recognized with the “Heart of Gold Award” by Sound Learning, at their annual community meeting on October 26 in Shelton, WA.

Sound Learning, originally known as Mason County Literacy, offers adult education, GED, English and citizenship classes to help students achieve language skills and knowledge essential to their success.

“Sound Learning is such an important partner in the work I do at Evergreen,” said Shortt-Sanchez. “Hosting Evergreen students as volunteers, interns and work-study, this community-based education with adult learners makes a powerful difference in our hometown and in the wider world.”

CCBLA, based at Evergreen’s Olympia campus, links students with local communities and service organizations. Students have a chance to serve the community while earning credits and/or work study benefits. For more information, go to https://www.evergreen.edu/academics/centers-institutes/community-based-learning. 


The Evergreen State College is proud to announce the appointment of Onya Robertson as the Student Member of its Board of Trustees. Onya, a bright, dedicated and ambitious student, brings a wealth of passion and a commitment to student engagement to her new role.

Onya Robertson is currently pursuing a Master's of Public Administration at Evergreen's Tacoma Campus. She completed her undergraduate degree at Evergreen-Tacoma in 2023 and is known for her outgoing and driven personality. With a focus on Public Policy, Onya aspires to attend law school and ultimately serve as a judge.

Born in Pasadena, California, and raised in California's Inland Empire she now resides in Tacoma, Washington, with her two sons, Immanuel (15) and Mycah (12), and her faithful Husky companion, Naga (4).


In her role as a member of the Board of Trustees, Onya is eager to connect with students from both Evergreen campuses and uplift their voices and needs. She stated, "I'd like to empower students at both campuses and in all programs to see each other as comrades. I'd like for both campuses to feel like home to all students, and I'd like to see all events and activities attended by students from both Evergreen campuses. My hope is to end the year with more students than ever before (across programs) feeling included, heard, and seen."

Board of Trustees Chair Karen Fraser expressed her enthusiasm for Onya's appointment, saying, "Onya Robertson brings a fresh and student-centered perspective to our Board of Trustees. We are excited to have her passion and dedication as we work together to enhance the Evergreen experience."

Evergreen President John Carmichael also welcomed Onya to the Board, stating, "Onya's commitment to inclusivity and her determination to strengthen the sense of community among our students align perfectly with Evergreen's values. We look forward to her contributions and insights as we continue to prioritize student success."

For more information about The Evergreen State College's Board of Trustees and its mission, please visit the Board of Trustees webpage

OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee appointed Dr. John Carmichael, President of The Evergreen State College, to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

The WICHE Commission is comprised of 48 commissioners from 15 Western states and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States.  The commission works to expand educational access and excellence for all residents of the West and promotes innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy.

President Carmichael brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role with WICHE. He has served as Evergreen’s President since 2021 and has been on the college’s staff for more than two decades serving in roles ranging from secretary, chief of staff and vice president for finance and operations.  

“I am honored to have been appointed by Governor Inslee to represent Washington state and look forward to collaborating with colleagues from across the region to expand access to education so that our students can realize their potential and contribute to the region’s economic and cultural vitality,” said Carmichael.

To learn more about WICHE, visit its website and for more information about Dr. Carmichael and The Evergreen State College, visit evergreen.edu


At the June Board of Trustees meeting for The Evergreen State College, members voted to approve the 2023-24 college budgets and adjust student costs in response to the prevailing economic climate.

Evergreen leadership proposed these adjustments at the Board’s May meeting.
“Evergreen has long been known for not only its academic excellence but for commitment to inclusive learning and so the decision to increase costs was one that was not taken lightly,” explained Dr. John Carmichael, President of Evergreen.

“We remain dedicated to fostering an inclusive and accessible learning environment,” added the college’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Dexter Gordon. “Even with these cost adjustments, Evergreen remains extremely affordable for our students.”

The board voted to approve the 2023-25 operating, capital, athletics and services and activities budget spending plans as well as  2023-24 tuition and housing, dining and service and activities fees increases. Tuition will increase by 3 percent – the same increase is being requested by the most of other four-year, public institutions in Washington. These increases will help the college adjust to the skyrocketing economic costs associated with food, goods and housing that are affecting people across the nation.

The college has resources for students who may struggle with the adjustments in fees including its Basic Needs Center which offers food, hygiene items and other basic needs at no cost. They also offer appointments to help students apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program better known as SNAP through the state’s Department of Social and Health Services and housing support consultation. 

The college’s Foundation is also amid its first-ever, college-wide fundraising campaign, Forever Green. The campaign has already raised $49.5 million of its $55 million goal to help students with financial resources so Evergreen can continue to put forth the diverse thinkers, doers and voices who can lead the future. 

College leadership is confident that the cost adjustments will enable the institution to navigate the current economic challenges and continue providing an exceptional experience for all students. Evergreen remains true to its interdisciplinary approach to education with its commitment to academic freedom, social justice and sustainability.  

For more information about The Evergreen State College, visit evergreen.edu.


Commencement for The Evergreen State College’s class of 2023 will take place from 1-3 p.m. Friday, June 16. At the time of this release, more than 650 graduates had registered to take part in the ceremony that will be held rain or shine in the middle of Red Square at the college’s Olympia campus. 

This year’s commencement keynote speaker is Evergreen alum, Josh Blue, ’01. Blue’s quick wit and infectious laughter have helped him win competitions such as Last Comic Standing and captivated audiences in clubs and theaters across the nation, but it is his personal journey that truly sets him apart. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Josh is a catalyst for change, using his comedic talent to challenge stereotypes. His ability to find humor in the most unexpected places has made him a comedic sensation and a powerful advocate for disability rights. 

Other commencement speakers include Faculty Speaker, Dawn Pichón Barron (Chowanoke/Choctaw/Mexican-Chihuahua/Euro roots) who is the academic director/faculty of the undergraduate Native Pathways Program; Undergraduate Student Speaker, Onya Robertson and Graduate Student Speaker, Sarah Brady. 

“The Evergreen Class of 2023 have already proven to the world that they are resilient,” said Evergreen President, Dr. John Carmichael. “They have conquered the challenges of a worldwide pandemic while earning their degrees. Now they will go do what Greener grads do – go out into the world equipped with knowledge, resilience and the courage to make the world a better place.”

“I’m so thrilled to watch what is now my second commencement as Executive Vice President,” said Dr. Dexter Gordon. “These graduates all have potential that knows no limits. I challenge them to embrace the unknown, unleash their creativity and let their passion guide them toward a future where their dreams become reality. “

In addition to the main ceremony on Friday, June 16, Evergreen is hosting many distinguished graduation celebrations throughout the week to honor its graduates including graduate program hooding ceremonies, celebrations for graduating students who are veterans, in the Paths of Study Program, Evening and Weekend Studies and Lavender and Multicultural Advising graduations. 

Both Evergreen’s Tacoma campus and Native Pathways Programs will have ceremonies for graduates from those programs on Saturday, June 17. For times and locations of all graduation celebrations, visit the graduation webpage.

Because of the higher-than-normal number of visitors to The Evergreen State College for graduation festivities this week, parking will be free from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 13, 14 and 15 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 16.  

Carpooling and use of Intercity Transit is encouraged. Graduates and their guests are encouraged to park in lots B and C. A shuttle will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to take guests from the F Lot to Red Square and again from 3 to 5 p.m. to take people back to their vehicles. 

Motorists traveling on Evergreen Parkway near the college can expect closures to inbound traffic from 2-4 p.m. to allow for guests departing the commencement ceremony. Expect delays and avoid the area if possible. 

From 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 17, Evergreen will host South Puget Sound Community College’s commencement exercises and a brief closure of Evergreen Parkway will again occur shortly after noon to allow for people to leave the campus grounds. 

For more information about The Evergreen State College, please visit its webpage at evergreen.edu. 


Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Pamela MacEwan to Board of Trustees for The Evergreen State College. 

MacEwan recently retired from her role as CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange where she helped lead the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington state, standing up a unique health exchange for consumers and making health care available for thousands of previously uninsured Washingtonians. Under her leadership, the Exchange launched the first public option health insurance program in the nation and won federal permission to use the Exchange to cover undocumented workers.

“I’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to reinvest some of what Evergreen invested in me as a student,” MacEwan said. “Enrollment numbers are continuing to move in the right direction and serving on the Board during such a time of reawakening for not only the college but everywhere, is an honor.”

“Pam is the epitome of who Evergreen students are,” said Dr. John Carmichael, “She took what she learned during her days as a student at the Olympia campus and turned it into a lifetime of public service – a service that continues even after her retirement. We are excited to have her return to the college as a Board of Trustee member.”

She was previously Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and a member of the executive leadership team at Group Health Cooperative for 16 years, where she led policy, governmental relations, communications, media relations, consumer governance, and government programs strategy. Her prior roles in health care included serving as a Commissioner on the State Health Services Commission and leading a statewide coalition effort to pass comprehensive health reform legislation.  
She is a proud graduate of the Evergreen State College, class of 1976.  She has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University and studied public administration in the MPA program at the University of Washington.  She lives in Seattle with her husband, John (Spider) Burbank, a 1977 Evergreen graduate. They enjoy biking and cross-country skiing and spending time with their two adult children - Megan, a journalist, and Owen, a software engineer.

For more information on Evergreen's Board of Trustees, visit the college's Board webpage.

The Evergreen State College announced they have been selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, providing Amazon’s hourly employees' access to undergraduate degrees. 

“The Evergreen State College is excited to become a part of Amazon’s career choice program,” said Evergreen's President John Carmichael. “This program removes barriers to education and provides pre-paid tuition for Amazon employees to learn new skills for career success. Providing a pathway for expanding an employee’s educational path is an amazing investment.”

The Evergreen State College is a place dedicated to empowerment, collaboration, creative problem solving and making unlikely connections that change the way we see the world. It is a place flexible enough to adapt to society’s challenges and prepares people to confidently meet their futures. The college offers unique programs and schedules for adult learners as well as internships, individual learning contracts, the Professional and Continuing Education Program and a new Early Childhood Education program at the Tacoma campus.

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an educational benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas, and GEDs. In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs. 

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and offering education that leads to career success. 

“We’re looking forward to The Evergreen State College coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” said Tammy Thieman, Global Program Lead of Amazon’s Career Choice program. “We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere. We have intentionally created a partner network of third-party educators and employers committed to providing excellent education, job placement resources, and continuous improvements to the experience. Today, over 130,000 Amazon employees around the world have participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.” 

For more information on Evergreen’s partnership with Amazon’s Career Choice, visit https://info.evergreen.edu/college-partnership-amazon-career-choice?hs_preview=wrIJsRYq-110007574327

OLYMPIA – The Evergreen State College’s two-day Equity Symposium takes place this Wednesday and Thursday, April 19 and 20. Each year, this event brings the Evergreen community together with speakers, performances, workshops and social events to inspire, teach and celebrate.

This year’s theme is “You Are Enough: Healing Towards Belonging and Collective Liberation.” Students, staff and faculty will have the opportunity to attend sessions over the two days that symposium planners aim to continue building a vision of equity, belonging and social justice across the college’s two campuses and beyond. 

The symposium starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 19 with Dr. Leticia Nieto who will lead an interactive plenary session until noon at the House of Welcome. Then for the next two days, Greeners will have their choice of several different sessions on topics from how to heal our relationship with the community post-pandemic, disability justice, how to engage some of the tensions around anti-racism work, to an Evergreen beach walk and aquarium activity. 

Wednesday’s events conclude with the screening of the film Rhythms of the Land about Black farmers in the United States. At the end of the viewing, attendees will have the opportunity to talk with film director Dr. Gail P. Meyers. 

The keynote event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, in the auditorium, is open and free to the public and features author, poet, comedian and public speaker, ALOK. They are internationally acclaimed, and their work explores themes of trauma, belonging and the human condition. In recognition of their work, they have been honored as the inaugural LGBTQ Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and awarded a GLAAD Media Award and Stonewall Foundation Visionary Award. Over the past decade, they have toured in more than 40 countries, most recently selling out their runs at the Soho Theatre in London, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Kennedy Performing Arts Center.

Although this event is free, tickets are required for entry. Ticket availability is limited as most of the 1,000 tickets have already been claimed. 

For more information about Evergreen’s Equity Symposium, please visit the website. 



The Evergreen State College was awarded the Thurston County Chamber’s Green Business of the Year for a big business at an award ceremony on Wednesday, April 12.  

The program assesses an applicant’s actions in seven key areas including: 

  • Green Business Practices 
  • Energy Efficiency 
  • Transportation & Community Trip Reduction 
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling 
  • Water Conservation 
  • Social Performance 
  • Sustainable Product Lifecycle 

Evergreen has two campuses, one located on the shores of Eld Inlet and surrounded by a 1,000-acre forest, and the other is in Tacoma within the historic, urban Hilltop community. The college was established with sustainability in mind and a commitment to environmental education.  

“Since 1971, we have been intentional about our campuses, being mindful of our built and natural environment, and constantly improving,” said Evergreen’s president, Dr. John Carmichael. “From our designated LEED gold-certified buildings, forest ecology, beach and salmon restoration projects, to the sustainable values woven into our business practices and academic curriculum in the classroom, it is a distinct honor to have the hard work of the college to be good stewards of the environment recognized with this award.” 
Evergreen walks its talk around environmental stewardship by generating 35,000 kWh of solar power on an annual basis; is proud to be a 100 percent green power customer for both of its campuses; hosts electric vehicle charging stations; supports an active and engaged student-led Clean Energy Committee that supports the creation of models for climate solutions through collaborative on-campus research;  deploys energy efficiency endeavors, recycling and composting programs in most buildings. A team of dedicated students, staff, and faculty are continuously learning and implementing new sustainability practices.  

In recent years, Evergreen established two new centers – the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Transformational Change developing social and sustainable businesses, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills, as well as the Center for Climate Action and Sustainability which focuses on just and equitable solutions to the climate crisis and a hub where students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community can come together in search of new ideas and solutions.The two centers continue to collaborate on climate change, sustainability, business, public policy, and more throughout Evergreen’s curriculum and beyond. Evergreen’s campus has over 700 acres of preserved, undeveloped lands that students use as a living laboratory and the college’s Master of Environmental Studies program provides a learning environment that invokes creativity and prepares the next generation of critical thinkers with the research skills required for professional environmental action work.  

To learn more about The Evergreen State College, please visit evergreen.edu.  


John Howard, Emeritus Professor of Arts and Humanities at King’s College London, Queer Studies scholar and author will be in Olympia and featured at two events on April 7 and 10, one of which is at The Evergreen State College.

Professor Howard will be featured at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 7 at the Olympia Film Society’s screening and discussion of “Electra,” (1964). Students showing their Evergreen ID can get tickets for $9.00. 

He will then come to Evergreen’s Purce Hall at 3 p.m., Monday, April 10 for a public lecture titled, “Doing Queer History: Here and Now.”

Dr. Howard is the head of the Department of American Studies at King’s College London and is the author of eight books including his latest work, Truths of his Sleeve: The Times of Michael Cacoyannis (2022) and Men Like That: A Southern Queer History (2001). 

“For the last 30 years, John Howard has shown with his work that the adage ‘we’re here, we’re queer,’ coined in 1990, really meant, ‘we’re not only here; we’re everywhere,” said Dr. Nancy Koppelman, Evergreen faculty member and sponsor of the Dr. Howard event, “Everywhere included places where no one seemed to be looking.”

Dr. Howard is interested in the historical production of human differences and their attendant inequalities. His work also assesses differences as productive mechanisms of affiliation, identity, coalition, and struggle. Informed by queer, feminist, materialist, critical race, and spatial theory, his research and teaching primarily engage with the categories now known as sexuality, gender, class, race, and region.

His work has received awards and commendations from the American Sociological Association, American Studies Association, Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy, Delfina Studio Trust, Fulbright Commission, Rockefeller Foundation, and King’s College London Students’ Union, among others.