Washington Center Staff

Washington Center Staff


Julia Metzker, Director 

I believe in the power of a liberal arts education to transform individuals and heal communities. 

I have experience in many aspects of building effective learning environments and assessing student growth. I am thrilled to be able to continue this work as the Director for the Washington Center.  Prior to joining Evergreen and the Washington Center, I served as the founding Executive Director for the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence at Stetson University.

I received my first degree from The Evergreen State College where I learned first-hand the value of a transformative liberal arts education.  I obtained a doctoral degree in inorganic chemistry from the University of Arizona and completed a post-doctoral appointment at the University of York in York, UK. In my 10 years as a chemistry professor at Georgia College, I discovered the power of community-based learning to engage students and was selected to champion the institution’s Quality Enhancement Plan as the inaugural the Director of Community-based Engaged Learning at Georgia College in 2016.  During my journey of discovering myself as an educator, I was fortunate to find a cohort of like-minded university educators and we co-founded of the Innovative Course-building Group (IC-bG) – a grass-roots social network for learning that supports teaching faculty and staff across disciplines.  Our most recent endeavor, Course Design for Essential Learning, helps faculty build courses that use dilemmas, issues and questions (DIQs) to inspire students and facilitate transformative student learning. I am also particularly proud of my recent work with Imagining America’s Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship, a research group that is reimagining and reclaiming the democratic potential of assessment.

I hold many identities. I am a life-long learner. I am a faculty developer. I am cis-gender.  I am a feminist. I am a scientist.  I am a humanist.  I am a knitter.  I am a wife.  I am a Gemini. I am addicted to podcasts. I am a citizen.  I am an educator. I am a daughter. I am an occasional farmer. 


Rachel Homchick, Assistant Director

I am an adventurer. I love exploring the world through traveling, backpacking, river rafting, reading, researching, and writing.

In my role at the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, I provide support for both the planning and the execution of the Center's national events, regional workshops, and committee meetings. I am also the editorial assistant for the Learning Communities Research and Practice e-journal, and I provide ongoing support for the daily operations of the Center, including strategic planning, budget management, and staff leadership. As a graduate of the Evergreen State College, I am keenly aware of the importance of Learning Communities and just how powerful they can be when done well. I am very proud to be a part of a team that is furthering this pedagogical practice.


Ashley Williams, Program Coordinator

I provide coordination support for the Learning and Teaching Commons and Washington Center’s national and regional programming. I bring a depth in art education, media, and coordination. I hold a BFA in Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Arkansas, and a PK-12 teaching certification in Art Education, also from the University of Arkansas. I earned an additional BA at Evergreen in 2016, with a focus on Media Studies and Production. I am a member of the Olympia Knitting Mills Artist Collective. In my art, I employ an interdisciplinary and inter-media approach, spanning the mediums of: 16mm film, digital video, animation, photography, painting, printmaking, ceramics, textiles, digital sound, creative writing, and multimedia installation. Prior to joining our team, I held the position of Instructional Media Coordinator, where I supported Evergreen faculty and students incorporate media in their programs, both by providing instruction and coordinating requests for equipment and staff expertise. 


Bonnie Walden, Fiscal Assistant

I am an artist. I find beauty everywhere, and where there is little to none, I create it. I enjoy being in service to others and take focused, heart-felt and intentional steps into lifting others to attain their full potential. My previous career as a healthcare provider enables me to see through a more compassionate lens.

 I am in awe to be part of a team that is so passionate about creating, promoting and presenting engaging thought-provoking learning environments. I am deeply honored to work with those who assist students and educators alike to achieve their academic dreams and help make them a reality.

My role as Special Assistant to the Washington Center is to assist the Program Coordinator and Director in day-to-day operations, manage and maintain our document creating processes, departmental records, database, and filing systems, and fiscal support to monitor and document reconciliation of all income and expenses.  I provide office support to the Faculty Scholar and the Learning and Teaching Commons.

Learning Communities Research and Practice E-Journal Team


Janine Graziano, Editor (Kingsborough Community College)

I wear a number of hats at Kingsborough Community College—I am the Director of our Center for Teaching and Learning, a Professor in the Department of English, and a member of the coordinating team for Kingsborough’s Learning Communities program. My master’s degree in TESOL and my Ph.D in Linguistics (first language acquisition) reflect my interest in language learning, although in the past fifteen years, that interest has expanded to include learning, in general, and integrative learning, in particular. As a result, much of my current work focuses on collaborating with faculty at Kingsborough and across the country to foster and assess students’ integrative thinking in learning communities. It has also been my pleasure to work with campus teams as Resource Faculty at the National Summer Institute on Learning Communities, and to serve as President of the Learning Communities Association.


Gabrielle Kahn, Editor (Kingsborough Community College)

I am an associate professor in the department of English, and former co-director of the ESL learning communities program at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY. I have been privileged to partner with faculty from across my institution from such disciplines as Psychology, Health Education, and Philosophy to explore best practices in community college education. Based on these experiences, I can’t imagine teaching any way other than “team teaching.” My research interests are grounded in Vygotskyan Sociocultural Theory, which sees teaching and learning as a fundamentally collaborative endeavor. A recent focus of my work has been assessment-in-community, which calls upon students, as well as teachers and administrators, to reflect upon their experiences in learning communities in a group setting. As co-editor of our e-journal team, and member of the Learning Communities Association, I look forward to contributing to the continued development of the field of learning communities research and practice, and, along the way, continuing to grow as a teacher, learner, and scholar.   


Lynn Dunlap, Copy Editor (Skagit Valley College)

As an associate of the Washington Center, I frequently serve as one of the resource faculty for the summer institutes on Learning Communities. I am also a member of the editorial board and copyeditor for Learning Communities Research and Practice.

My own long-standing research and teaching focus has been the quality of learning and teaching and, in particular, integrative learning. Currently, I mentor new faculty at Skagit Valley College, where, prior to retirement, I taught composition and film studies for 34 years.