Return to Evergreen 2017

Thank you to all who attended Return to Evergreen over the weekend of November 3-5, 2017!

Return to Evergreen, our premier annual alumni event, gathered Evergreen alumni and friends from every graduating class for a day of fascinating experiences and great people. This year we celebrated 50 years since Evergreen’s founding during this incredible weekend of immersive and interactive events, sessions, workshops, happenings and parties.

Close to 650 people participated in Return to Evergreen events this year!

Featured New Events:

Edmond Lapine Benefit Concert 

Edmond Lapine ’08 was one of thirty-six people who died in a warehouse fire in Oakland, CA last year. Proceeds funded a scholarship in his name. The night featured Selector Dub Narcotic, Tender Forever, and Alex R. Puckett with DJ Spin’nkre.

Tacoma Brunch

A panel of distinguished members of Evergreen Tacoma’s campus – faculty, students and community members – discuss how to serve Tacoma’s diverse community while participants feast in a seminar-style brunch event.

Quinault Field Trip

We offered a unique event this year: a venture to the Olympic National Forest to learn with Evergreen faculty, Longhouse staff, and Quinault tribe members about Indigenous communities, public land and climate change. The excursion was completed with a locally-caught salmon lunch.

Quinault Field Trip

Click here for a complete list of the Saturday sessions.

Click here for a complete list of all the speakers. 

Click here for more pictures of the Saturday Sessions. 

Here are some more snapshots from Saturday Sessions:

A panel, facilitated by former Program Director Diana Arens ’93 MPA ’15, talks about KAOS, Evergreen’s radio station.

Attendees feast over brunch while listening to an oral history of Evergreen’s early days, given by Sam Schrager, David Marr, Nancy Taylor, Ernest “Stone” Thomas, and Larry Eickstaedt.

Participants have fun making their own projects in a printmaking workshop.

Stephanie Coontz, a faculty emerita and returning speaker, talks about which myths about “traditional” families have and have not changed since she published her book, ‘The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap’, twenty-five years ago.

Participants tour the Tears of Duk’Wibahl exhibit in the Evergreen Gallery, experiencing Indigenous art as part of a session led by Laura Grabhorn, Longhouse Assistant Director.

Tanner Milliren ’14 and Daniel Cherniske ’15, green builders, talk about sustainable living in the Pacific Northwest.

The Trans and Queer Center offers a session introducing the Center, which was established in Fall of 2016.

The Sip and Savor Social Hour is a great opportunity for alumni to mingle with faculty.

And here are some snapshots from the Sunday Tacoma Brunch: 

Dr. Ernest “Stone” Thomas [right] with Dr. Maxine Mimms, emeritus faculty and founder of Evergreen’s Tacoma Program.

Moderator of the panel, Gilda L. Sheppard [left], with Managing Director of Evergreen Tacoma, Tenzing Gyatso.

Thank you for sharing your stories, enthusiasm, and love for Evergreen with us on this memorable weekend! Leave your own pictures in the comment, and check out more on the Return to Evergreen Facebook page.

If you missed out this year or if you want to participate again, make sure to come to Return to Evergreen 2018!

Make a Difference Through Local Government!

Have you ever aspired to run for elected office or to take part in an initiative campaign that is important to you? A Saturday session at Return to Evergreen from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm will give you the knowledge, inspiration and confidence you need to get involved.

Engaging in Local Politics: An Interactive Community Conversation

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm / Purce Hall 7

Discover the ins and outs of campaigns and elections from experienced politicians and campaign managers. Today, more than ever, people want to learn how to influence national policy through engaging in local politics. Join in a participatory discussion where you will hear from Evergreen alumni that have run for local office, enjoyed successful political careers, and managed political campaigns. Bring your questions and ideas for a lively session.

This session is facilitated by three alumni:

Jessica Bateman ’09, MPA ’12

Jessica is currently serving her second year on the Olympia City Council, where she belongs to the general government and finance committees. She is co-chair of The Home Fund, a coalition focused on passing a permanent supportive housing levy in Olympia, and was a proponent of Olympia becoming a sanctuary city. Before her election to the City Council, she served on the Olympia Planning Commission and the board of GRuB, a local nonprofit committed to empowering at-risk youth and low-income families. Jessica has over eight years of experience in the public and non-profit sector working in public policy, planning, and legislative affairs. She currently works as a health policy associate for the Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers and has served as community impact director for The United Way of Thurston County, as a legislative aide, and community organizer. Jessica is a first-generation college student who began her post high school education at Green River Community College. She holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies.



Corey Mosesly ’11
Manager, Family Stability Initiatives, United Way of Pierce County

Corey has over 10 years of experience working in both the non-profit and government sectors. He has worked with organizations on a broad range of issues including education, housing, and workforce development. He currently serves on the City of Tacoma’s Human Service Commission and Vision 2025 Advisory Committee, the American Leadership Forum Program Committee, and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative. Over the last few years, Corey has provided consulting services for the City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Council Program, Neighborhood Business District Program, and more recently to several of the independently run Neighborhood Councils. Corey was one of the Business Examiner’s 2014 annual “40 Under Forty” community and business leaders. He is a long-time member of the Pierce County Black Collective, a Palmer Scholar, and a Senior Fellow (class 18) of the American Leadership Forum. He has a Master of Public Administration degree from Evergreen State College with a concentration in non-profit management. Corey currently works as the Manager of Family Stability Initiatives for United Way of Pierce County and lives with his wife and three boys in Tacoma’s Central Neighborhood.

Dorian Waller has over 13 years of experience working in the government, non-profit, and private sectors where he has focused on public policy, community outreach, and economic development. He currently serves on the State of Washington’s African American Affairs Commission, the City of Tacoma’s Planning Commission, and Forterra’s Regional Leaders Council. Dorian was honored as an emerging leader by City Club of Tacoma and the City of Tacoma’s City of Destiny awards. He is a long-time member of the Pierce County Black Collective, a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, as well as serving as the former Chair of The Evergreen State College’s Alumni Association. He has a Master of Public Administration degree from The Evergreen State College with a concentration in Public Management. Dorian currently works as the Managing Consultant for Archway Consulting, where he consults for numerous political campaigns and advises municipalities on a wide range of issues. He lives in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.

Tell Your Story

With the help of StoryOly, anyway! The story slam event, founded by Elizabeth Lord ’95 and Amy Shephard ’09, will be teaming up with Evergreen Alumni Programs for a special kick-off event on Friday November 3rd at 7:30pm. 

Elizabeth Lord

Elizabeth Lord ’95 will offer an Evergreen-themed storytelling party.

You’ll love opening the weekend with this special storytelling party in downtown Olympia. Laugh and learn as fellow alumni tell their Evergreen stories, or take the stage to tell your own!

Rhythm & Rye. No registration required. Suggested donation is $10. Cash only at the door.


If after this kick-off event on Friday you still don’t feel ready to share your story, polish it up with a session led by Elizabeth Lord on Saturday November 4th at Return to Evergreen. Then you’ll surely be prepared for your next story slam!

Speak Out: Explore the Art of Storytelling

Join Elizabeth Lord ’95, Professional Talker and co-founder of Olympia’s premiere storytelling event, StoryOly, for an interactive session. Learn the basics of compelling live, oral, performative storytelling. Discover how to shape a personal experience or memory into a captivating oral narrative and recall all of your story’s details without memorization. Learn what works when telling to an audience─and what doesn’t work. You will come away with a tale to tell, whether for friends and family, or on stage at the next StoryOly event.

Elizabeth Lord ’95Portrait of Elizabeth Lord

Elizabeth Lord fell in love and grew a passion for oral storytelling and traditional folktales while studying at Evergreen and earned a degree in Folklore and Theater in 1995. She joined the Olympia Storyteller’s Guild in 1992 (now known as the South Sound Storytelling Guild) and in 1996 began storytelling professionally. Since then she has performed for numerous organizations and groups both public and private throughout Western Washington. She is one of the hosts of Olympia’s popular monthly storytelling event, StoryOly, where community members come together to share, compete and tell true stories based on a monthly theme.

Return to Evergreen – Tacoma

Even after the many sessions, workshops, and seminars on Saturday, November 4th, the Return to Evergreen weekend won’t be over just yet! A brand new brunch with and alumni panel will be offered on Sunday, November 5th, at the Tacoma campus. 

The event is a seminar with a panel of members from Evergreen Tacoma’s community. Alumni and friends of Evergreen Tacoma will love this opportunity to connect with one another and discover how alumni, students, and faculty embody the motto “Enter to learn; depart to serve” in their daily lives.

Register Now!

Sunday, November 5, 2017
Lyceum Hall, Evergreen Tacoma, 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405
$20, includes a scrumptious brunch and program
Free Parking


Gilda L. Sheppard, PhD

Gilda L. Sheppard, PhD

Gilda L. Sheppard, PhD is a member of the faculty in sociology, cultural and media studies at The Evergreen State College—Tacoma. She has received local, national and international academic fellowships in media arts and sociology. She has taught internationally at colleges in Ghana, West Africa. In addition to teaching in the Tacoma Program, Gilda currently volunteer teaches college level courses at several men and women’s prisons in Washington State. Oftentimes Gilda bridges learning opportunities between her incarcerated students and her students in the Tacoma Program. She is an award winning filmmaker who has screened her documentaries in USA, Ghana, Berlin and the Cannes Film Festival.  She is currently in post-production of her documentary Since I Been Down about the transformative role of education and activism led by incarcerated men and women in Washington State prisons.


Monica Alexander ’13

Monica Alexander

Monica began her career with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) in 1996 as a Trooper Cadet. She was commissioned as a WSP Trooper on May 1, 1998. Monica spent many years as a line trooper and sergeant working the South Seattle freeway. Currently Monica serves as the Captain of Government and Media Relations, where she is the legislative liaison for the WSP.

During Monica’s career she received numerous honors and awards including the Educational Excellence Award from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. In 2003, Monica was inducted into the Tacoma African American History Museum for her service to the community and her work with the WSP. In addition to her duties as a trooper, Monica was the traffic reporter for KOMO-TV for six years.

Monica is the first and only African American female to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain in the history of the WSP.

Jason Reddock ’17

Jason Reddock

Powered by cheesecake and long hikes including ambitions to write for The New York Times, Jason tutors other writers at the Evergreen Tacoma Writing Center by combining his love for language with a strong need for justice. His major areas of study consists of political economy and media studies which reinforces his core values of equity, empathy, and self-expression. He lives in Tacoma, Washington.

“What motivates me to tutor is my belief that every person has a story to tell. And because writing is an intimate act, I believe it brings people closer to a shared understanding of humanity and its flaws.”

Cleven Ticeson​​ ’89

Cleven James TicesonBorn in Madisonville, Kentucky, Cleven James Ticeson often quips that he is “Kentucky bred, but Washington fed.” A Northwesterner through and through, Cleven is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and The Evergreen State College in Olympia. He was recently recognized for 40 years of service to KCTS 9, where he has worked since 1974 in a variety of capacities, from copywriter, actor, and floor director to his present position of senior post-production editor.

Over the years Cleven has received more than a dozen regional Emmy® honors, and earned national Emmy® recognition for his work on the documentary, Eli Creekmore. Cleven was an actor early in his career. From 1970 to 1973 he was part of the original national touring company of HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, for which he was the understudy for the character Hud.

He married Connie Bacalzo in 1972—she jokes that it was between performances of HAIR— and they have four adult children and nine beautiful grandchildren.

Cleven is committed to education. He was a co-founder and board member of the Seattle Central College School of Applied Sciences and served on the college’s technical advisory board. He also served as an instructor in the Media Literacy Program at Seattle Vocational Technical Institute. A sought-after speaker and lecturer, Cleven served as vice president of the Seattle Chapter of the Majestic Eagles, founding director of the Seattle Chapter of Power Learning Systems, a past-representative for the Inter-Faith Council of Seattle, and has served as chair of The Bahá’ís of Seattle.

Carol M. Wolfe ’96

Carol Wolfe

Carol received her BA from The Evergreen State College with an emphasis in Community Development in 1996 as a single parent and after 12 years of working full time and attending school part time.

After receiving her degree she worked for 3 years in Tacoma‘s Hilltop Community on a national pilot program between National Main Street and the Local Initiative Support Corporation to implement a comprehensive approach to community and economic development.  In early 1999 she was hired by the City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Business District Revitalization Program. In this capacity, she has worked with fifteen neighborhood business districts in the areas of organizational capacity, promotion and marketing, economic development and the implementation of physical improvement projects. She also manages the Neighborhood Council Program focused on civic engagement and bringing the community voice into the decision making process of local government. In her current position she oversees staff and programs focused on Small Business Development and Neighborhood Revitalization

Carol is married to Greg Piercy, Operations Manager of the Hilltop Artist Glassblowing program and has 2 children, Catherine Wolfe and Jacob Piercy. Her daughter Catherine is a recent graduate of the Cooper Union College in Manhattan with a degree in Civil Engineering and will be continuing to earn her Masters at Cooper while working for the Manhattan Transportation Authority. Jacob will be entering the 6th grade a Mason Middle School in Tacoma.

Precious Yarborough​​ ’17

Precious YarboroughPrecious Yarborough is a Seattle native who grew up in South Seattle and the Renton/Skyway area. After having her first 3 children, she became deeply concerned with the lack of culturally appropriate birth support and educational resources available for Black and brown families. She also noticed the need for a community space that centered Black women. Fueled to fill these needs, Precious co-created 2 organizations she nurtures with passion; Puget Sound Birth Professionals of Color (PSBPoC) and Black Power Circle. After her first doula training, she and 2 other birth workers created PSBPoC as a networking and referral service that connects families of color to birth professionals of color. Black Power Circle is a support and empowerment group for Black women and children, where community news and resources are shared. After graduating from The Evergreen State College—Tacoma, Precious plans to combine her love of birth and community support with social justice initiatives to bring more birth support and resources to Black and brown families in the Pierce County area.

Return to seminar with “Just Mercy”

Classes are well underway on campus as students and faculty get settled into fall quarter. The recent orientation for new students included a common reading of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. The autobiography chronicles Stevenson’s early years as an attorney for the nonprofit he founded, the Equal Justice Initiative.

“JUST MERCY is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.”

After reading the memoir over the summer, students had the opportunity to seminar about it throughout Orientation Week and then come together at the convocation event Dig Deep: Introduction to Your Education, which centers around a keynote panel of experts who discuss themes presented by the book.

Gilda Sheppard, PhD led a panel of experts who spoke on the themes of Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy”.

Has distance made your heart grow fond for seminar? Alumni don’t have to miss out on an intellectually-stimulating conversation: this year’s Return to Evergreen includes a seminar on Just Mercy! Dig deep with fellow alumni and friends on Saturday, November 4th for a lively seminar led by faculty member Rebecca Chamberlain and faculty emerita Susan Fiksdal.

Just Mercy Seminar

Described as a “powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most influential lawyers of our time,” your facilitators will provide context and quotes from the text and help you explore several topics related to our existing justice system, how it fails, and ways to make real lasting change. You will receive a copy of the book so that you can explore the themes from our seminar in depth.

The active reading and seminar will be facilitated by:

Rebecca ChamberlainPortrait of Rebecca Chamberlain
Member of the Faculty

Rebecca Chamberlain earned a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University and an M.A. in English from the University of Washington. Her expertise is in comparative literature, writing, and oral narratives. A Northwest writer, storyteller, educator, and activist, her publications include poetry, essays, articles, research, and curricula. Her interdisciplinary work explores culture, language, and communications; folklore and mythology; astronomy and cosmology; natural history, environmental, and outdoor education; arts in education; and contemplative practices. She has published papers with Evergreen students on subjects as diverse as binary star research and citizen science, and with Salish elders on language, culture, and sustainability. Her poetry has been featured in international journals. Rebecca has been teaching at The Evergreen State College since 1996, and has served on the on the Board of Governors for The Evergreen State College since 2011.

Susan Fiksdal
Member of the Faculty Emerita

Susan Fiksdal first came to Evergreen in 1973 with a M.A. in French from Middlebury College in Vermont. She taught Linguistics and French language classes, and later served as Academic Dean at Evergreen. After eight years of teaching, she had many questions about language and went on to study at the University of Michigan and received a Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1986. Her second book, A Guide to Teaching Seminars: Conversation, Identity, and Power, was published in 2014.

The Evergreen Student Civic Engagement Institute

Before Orientation Week, a group of about fifty new freshmen arrive on campus ahead of their classmates to participate in leadership, conflict resolution, and community service activities in a program called the Evergreen Student Civic Engagement Institute, or ESCEI. The fifth annual class of ESCEI students came through recently to commence the new school year. 

Students in this program commit to assigned reading, radio listenings, volunteer activitiesworkshops, performances and field trips to prepare for their education at Evergreen. Alumni play a major role throughout the week as they lead students through workshops and local tours.

For example, Laura Coghlan ’94 MPA ’11 and Amadou Ba ’06 MPA ’08, two researchers at Evergreen, led a workshop on thinking critically about statistics called Talk Data to Me!, “We hoped to help ESCEI students… to examine the different ways data can be used/misused to support a claim,” says Ba. “ESCEI is important to new students because it gives them a good base as they are designing and thinking critically about their education at Evergreen. We were very delighted to see the students engage critically with data during the workshop.”

New Greeners learn from Alumni.

In addition, Ellen Shortt Sanchez ’92, director of Evergreen’s Center for Community Based Learning and Action (CCBLA), worked with the nonprofit Books to Prisoners to organize a volunteer session sending literature to under-served incarcerated people. Evergreen’s mental health therapist Jamyang Tsultrim ’92 helped lead a lesson on self-care through a shinrin yoku, a meditative walk through Evergreen’s forest. Delbert Miller ’96 led teachings and stories as an elder and spiritual leader of the Skokomish Tribe.

The institute was inspired by Evergreen Trustee and donor Fred Goldberg, who felt strongly that civic engagement and civil dialogue should be integral aspects of a college education. ESCEI was launched in 2013, thanks to Goldberg’s generosity. The institute gives students alternate paradigms to the often-polarized and frustrating levels of American discourse.

Students depart the institute ready to deeply engage with their education and their community. As a matter of fact, the requirements include carrying out a community service project of their choice into Fall Quarter. This could be a continuation of volunteer work started during the week or other work that students are passionate about; done in groups or individually.

The group reunites in November to share projects and reflect. If all coursework is completed and satisfactory, participants receive two credits. The first of many!

If you are interested in supporting the Evergreen Student Civic Engagement Institute, contact

If you would like to learn more about ESCEI, visit

Introducing the Trans and Queer Center at Return to Evergreen

During the 2016-2017 school year, Evergreen added a new resource center to campus. Located in the Library building, the Trans and Queer Center (TQC) aims to provide academic and social support for the LGBTQQIAA members of Evergreen’s community.

Read the whole story here –

The Gay Resource Center in 1974, a predecessor to the Trans and Queer Center.

In a nutshell, the TQC’s main goals are to help:

  • Navigate coming out
  • Become a better advocate for yourself
  • Get support and advocacy to meet your needs
  • Find culturally-competent medical and mental health providers

The Center’s newly-hired director, Amria Caluya, says alumni support is important.

“If you’re an alum who came out in college, you can give to ensure that there’s a space for today’s students to develop their identity in the most meaningful way possible. I couldn’t imagine what my own life would look like if I hadn’t had access to a place like this.”


Amira Caluya will offer a session at Return to Evergreen about the TQC’s history.

You can share your support by attending their session at Return to Evergreen, where you can learn about its history and meet students –

Evergreen, Our Home: Move-In Day

Here at Evergreen, Orientation Week is underway, and campus is swarming with fresh faces. You know what that means! In addition to participating in fun icebreaker campus activities, freshmen experience the exciting chaos of moving into their dorm!

New students scramble to assimilate into Greener life during this exciting week, whether it’s going to a fun event hosted by Geoducks@Nite or doing chores like getting their picture taken for their Student I.D. We look back on this transition week in our own time at Evergreen as one of enthusiasm and anticipation. These new Greeners will join us Alumni in just a few short years.

The Class of 2021 gathers in Red Square during Orientation Week.