Washington Center Staff

Julia Metzker, Director (she/her)

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 (she/her)

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.

Emily Johnston, Program Coordinator (she/her)

Emily Johnston (she/her) is a returning alum of The Evergreen State College (BA ‘15), and thus, she knows how valuable good education and good educators are. Her years of experience as a Project and Event Manager for a large non-profit instilled in her a Can-Do Attitude.  As the Program Coordinator for The Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, Emily brings passion, innovation and organization. Being part of a team that helps bring better education to all students will keep her cup full.

Emily is known as a maker of many things. Sewn apparel, knitted sweaters, and patchwork quilts are ongoing projects at all times. Outside of the office you are bound to find her in a yarn shop, at her sewing machine or on the water with her partner and dog. She has lived all over the U.S., and is very happy to land back in the South Sound.

Kel Lane, Office Assistant (she/her)

I am currently an undergraduate student who will be dual enrolled in Evergreen’s Masters in Teaching program this Spring. I am passionate about transformative social justice movements, restorative justice in public schools, and educational reform. In my free time, you’ll most likely find me with a book in hand – typically speculative fiction or nonfiction. I’m a lover of music and can’t wait until we’re able to see live performances again, but more than anything, I enjoy being in nature with my wife and kiddo, camping and exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

In my role as Office Assistant at The Washington Center, I provide support to the Program Coordinator, Assistant Director, and Director in whatever ways I can. I’m often the person hacking away to update, edit and maintain our databases, or providing visuals, such as website structure and program scheduling, for the rest of the team. I love the work I do and the folx I work with, and I’m learning more everyday about the incredible breadth and reach of The Washington Center’s work.