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, Program Coordinator

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 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.

 

Rhonda Woods, Learning and Teaching Commons Program Coordinator

In my role in the Learning and Teaching Commons at the Washington Center my primary responsibilities include assisting the Academic Dean and the Washington Center Director with the planning of the Evergreen Summer Institutes and faculty development events during the academic year, coordinating those functions, and providing support to speakers, conveners, and attendees. In addition I create and distribute marketing materials, and design and maintain data management systems of all records and assessment materials related to LTC events.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and although new to Evergreen I have spent most of my working life in colleges and universities in and around Seattle and Tacoma, filling roles in academic administration and HR. I read voraciously, enjoy organic gardening, and love the out-of-doors where I can be active with my dogs and horses.

 

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.  Previous positions at Evergreen were as the Certification Officer /Registration & Records, Agency Transportation Officer and Assistant to the Director of Alumni Relations.  Before Evergreen, my State of Washington employment was as a Financial Services Case Manager / Department of Social and Health Services for 10 years.  
As a state employee for over 20 years and now 13 years at Evergreen, I am always excited to see the difference our clients, students and graduates make in the world.  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 a member of The Associated Junior Leagues International /The Junior League of Olympia- VP board Position.  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.  I am a Past President of Junior Leagues of Washington State (JLWS)-focus on diversity, inclusion and collaboration initiatives in conjunction with our state legislature.   I am a 10-year Red Cross Disaster Action Team leader/volunteer deployed to our regional fires.   I am a mom, mother-in-law, dog mom and grandma for our 4 grown kids and our lab Dakota.  I am a hiker, skier, kayaker, traveler, fisher, hunter, crab/clam hunter with my husband of 26 years. I am an avid concert junkie, crafter and spur of the moment road tripper.

 

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 intentional steps into lifting others to attain their full potential.

I have lived in Olympia most of my life and I absolutely love being a part of TESC Washington Center's community. To be part of a team that is so passionate about creating learning environments to assist students and educators alike to achieve their dreams is truly elating and awe-inspiring.

My role as Fiscal Assistant at the Washington Center for Undergraduate Education is to assist the Department Coordinator in keeping our Washington Center Summer Institute for Improving Graduate Education and year-long financial records in order. I provide office support to the entire staff in an array of areas and monitor and document reconciliation of all annual income and expenses.

 

Charles Favor, Clerical Office Aide

I am currently a student at The Evergreen State College where I am half-way through my senior year. Unsure as to what comes next, I am looking forward to what life has in store. 

At the Washington Center I complete various organizational and miscellaneous tasks.

 

Finn Stupakoff, Clerical Office Aide / AV Tech

I am currently on my fourth year here at the Washington Center. I love being able to learn about learning communities first hand with the wide variety of people that come here. My duties include mostly Audio/Visual work along with helping in the office with a multitude of tasks.

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.