Washington Center Staff

Washington Center Staff


Joye Hardiman, Interim Director and Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at the Evergreen State College

I am a teacher, educator, storyteller, keynoter speaker, institute designer, global traveler, and classically trained improvisational artist.

 I am passionate about teaching and learning, student engagement, culturally inclusive pedagogies, integrated curriculum designs, resiliency studies and applying ancient and global wisdoms to contemporary situations.

I have over 40 years of experience as a learning community practitioner. I was a Washington Center Founding faculty (1985). I have been a Resource Faculty for Washington Center/ Ford Foundation Cultural Pluralism Project (1990 –1993); the Pew Charitable Trust/ Washington Center Learning Communities Dissemination Project (2000- 2003); and the National Summer Institute on Learning Communities (1998-2018). 

I have done faculty development and student success work with a variety of 2 year and 4 year colleges and national higher education venues including the National Learning Communities Conferences, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Faculty Development Network Institutes and the Achieving the Dream - Community Colleges Count Annual Conferences.

I served as the Executive Director of The Evergreen State College's Tacoma Campus from 1990 to 2008. During my tenure, our retention and graduation rate was consistently more than 89%.


Rachel Homchick, Office Assistant 3

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 the administration of our website and database. 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.


Katie Frank, Office Assistant 3

I am a Bachelor of Arts graduate of The Edward R. Morrow College of Communication at Washington State University, with a minor in Public Relations /Hospitality Administration. My most recent position at Evergreen was as a Certification Officer in the Registration & Records Office at the Evergreen State College as part of her 11+ years there. Previously, I was Evergreen’s Agency Transportation Officer and also the Assistant to the Director of Alumni Relations. My previous State of Washington employment was as a Financial Services Case Manager for the Department of Social and Health Services for the State of Washington for 10 years. Experience before that was in Construction Project Management and Event Management/ Financial Accounting for Hilton, Hyatt and Atlas Hotels and as National Event and Sales Director for Ride Hard Apparel Inc. in conjunction with The National Rodeo Finals for 16 years.

Having been at Evergreen for the past 11-plus years and a State employee for over 20 years, I am always excited to see the difference our students and graduates make in the world both while they are here and once they are out in the world and support them during their time here. Evergreen is a unique college that prepares our students to follow our core values of Inventing, Evolving, Focusing, Learning and Evaluating their achievements and preparedness for entering the working world successfully from a different perspective.

I love to volunteer. I am currently a 23 year member of The Associated Junior Leagues International and The Junior League of Olympia. Both are Women’s Volunteer Organizations committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. I serve currently as the Sustainer VP on the Olympia League’s Board. As past President of Junior Leagues of Washington State (JLWS), I worked on diversity, inclusion and collaboration initiatives in conjunction with our state legislature. Currently I am a 10 year Red Cross Disaster Action Team leader/volunteer and having been deployed to our regional fires the past 3 years it has given me a chance to see all of corners of our state. Raising a blended family of my daughter and three, now grown step kids, has landed me titles of “mom, friend, team mom, leader, taxi driver, travel agent, ski instructor and now grandma.”

Growing up a Native Pacific North Westerner, I am a hiker, skier, kayaker and love to travel, fish, hunt, crab and clam with my husband Dave of 26 years, my family and our Black lab Miss Dakota. I am an avid concert junkie, crafter and spur of the moment road tripper.


National Summer Institute on Learning Communities Planning Team

Joining Joye Hardiman and Rachel Homchick on this project are:


Emily Lardner Ph.D, Vice President of Instruction – Grays Harbor College 

After serving at the Washington Center for twenty-one years, I'm honored to step into the role of Vice President for instruction at Grays Harbor College, a community college in Aberdeen, WA. I'm currently serving as editor of Learning Communities Research and Practice as well. 

Rachel Singer, Senior Fellow – Achieving the Dream, Inc.

Currently, I am a Senior Fellow with Achieving the Dream, Inc. (ATD), a non- profit educational reform network consisting of nearly 200 community colleges from across the country. In this role, I help to promote the adoption of evidence-based reforms to improve college effectiveness and student success. I also work with colleagues to design the content of ATD’s annual learning institute DREAM, which convenes close to 2,000 practitioners, policymakers, and thought-leaders from across the higher education reform field to unveil cutting-edge research and create opportunities for deeper learning and real-time information sharing to promote action and foster progress in higher education.

Previously, I spent 25 years at Kingsborough Community College, working in various roles, where I coordinated and oversaw several successful learning community initiatives.

National Advisory Committee

Joining Joye Hardiman, Rachel Homchick, Emily Lardner, and Rachel Singer on this project are:


Pat Hutchings, Senior Scholar – National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

I am a senior scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). My work has focused on a variety of strategies for creating a campus culture of teaching and learning: student learning outcomes assessment, assignment design, integrative learning, the peer collaboration and review of teaching, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.  Prior to my work with NILOA I was senior scholar and vice president at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  Recent publications include The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Reconsidered: Institutional Integration and Impact, co-authored with Mary Taylor Huber and Anthony Ciccone (2011); and, as part of the NILOA team, Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education (2015).  I received my BA from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa.

Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director Center for Postsecondary Research Indiana University

I am the Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Institute, Indiana University School of Education. I conduct research and leads project activities on effective use of student engagement data to improve educational quality, and serve as senior scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) project. I am a co-author of Assessment in Student Affairs (2016), Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education (2015), Student Success in College (2005/2010), and One Size Does Not Fit All: Traditional and Innovative Models of Student Affairs Practice (2008/2014). I am co-editor of New Directions in Higher Education and serve on the boards of the Washington Internship Institute, and the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. I received the Robert J. Menges Honored Presentation by the Professional Organizational Development (POD) Network in 2005 and 2011. I earned my PhD from Indiana University in higher education with a minor in women’s studies. Prior to this, I served on the faculty of Indiana University and coordinated the master’s program in higher education and student affairs. I also worked in academic and student affairs at Miami University and Case Western Reserve University.

Jen Whetham, Program Administrator for Faculty Development – Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

It is my great pleasure and honor to serve the faculty of the Washington State CTC system as program administrator for faculty development at the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). In my role, I work with faculty, staff and administrators across Washington State to deepen individual and collective expertise in a variety of instructional areas. 

I earned my MA in English Literature at Western Washington University in Bellingham in 2001, and I earned an MFA in poetry from Pacific University in 2008. As a former faculty member (I taught a variety of English courses for more than a decade at a number of Washington State institutions of higher education), my overarching goals are to support educators with self-directed professional learning experiences– namely through communities of practice and faculty learning communities.  

I am currently increasing emphasis on support for the scholarship of teaching and learning, leadership development programming for faculty, and a greater emphasis on inclusive teaching and course design. Because I think a lot about the evolving role of our faculty and how best to provide educators with professional learning experiences that model the kinds of effective learning experiences we wish to provide our students, I am excited by the potential of this Institute in terms of providing practical strategies and techniques as we make a paradigm shift in terms of professional development– to move away from the “one and done” model of stand-alone workshops, and instead support faculty learning endeavors that are iterative, long-term, multi-faceted, tuned to local contexts and goals, data-based, and respectful of learners as knowledge-creators.

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.