Dear Evergreen Colleagues,
Today, I am feeling hopeful. 
Vaccines are on the horizon and the prospect of a celebratory potluck is not as distant.
Summer Institutes are just around the corner.
I celebrated the life and service of Martin Luther King.
I witnessed the inauguration of President Biden and Vice-President Harris, who is breaking many barriers as the first female and the first black and asian-american to hold higher office–and I got to witness Poet Amanda Gorman inspire!
Today, I am feeling hopeful.
It’s not the kind of hope that is blind to reality but the kind that recognizes the resilience of a community with a shared purpose. Our shared goal of guiding students through a transformative learning experience as they earn their degree provides me purpose.  And yet, there is much work to do and much to learn as we continue to plan for a more equitable and just future.
This week's newsletter includes opportunities for us to hope together. You might choose to engage with one of the resources in this week’s inclusive teaching tip or grab some colleagues and propose a session for the 2021 Equity Symposium.  If you seek more human engagement, consider signing up for one of the opportunities to engage in conversations.
I hope you find the resources in this newsletter useful. If you don’t, please reach out with your suggestions.  You can always find us at
JuliA K. Metzker
Director, Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education

The Learning and Teaching Commons newsletter is delivered to your inbox on the Friday of odd weeks of the quarter.  Click here to read past newsletters.


  • Mentor Day will be taking a different shape this year. Instead of a student focused event, this year faculty and staff will explore student mentoring and advising. Details will be announced by email.
  • Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning is excited to announce its annual conference, this year held virtually and hosted by Prescott College. There is currently a call for faculty and student proposals related to the conference theme: Teaching and Learning in Equitable Environments. More information here
  • Andrew Beattie will serve as Evergreen’s Internal Communications Liaison. Andrew will work to develop, facilitate, and implement internal communications specifically targeted for students, staff, and faculty. More information here.
  • This recent email shares the achievements of Tacoma faculty and staff. 
  • Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday, January 22, 2021 from 12 PM - 1:30 PM. Keynote address by Kwabi Amoah-Forson, 2015 Tacoma alum and creator of the Peace Bus. More information here.
  • Monday, January 25th from 10-11:15, Evergreen faculty Ruth Hayes will be speaking about “Eco-Media; the Environmental Footprint of Media and the Myth of the Cloud,” as part of the Climate Justice and Resilience events
  • The Evergreen Holiday Mixer | January 28, 2021 | 5:30 PM - 7 PM- An opportunity to have some virtual fun with your colleagues. For more information email Employee Recognition and Appreciation.
  • This February, First Peoples Multicultural, Trans, and Queer Support Services will share community-created art, poetry, music, and creative work in celebration of Black History Month. If you would like to participate, please contact Merrill Pusey to sign up and receive more details. Creative work will be featured at weekly events on Wednesdays, February 3, 10, 17, and 24, from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm 
  • This Februray, faculty, staff, and students are invited to participate in the virtual Evergreen Lunar New Year 2021 seminar, celebration, and workshops. More information here.
Evergreen Equity Symposium 2019

Inclusive Teaching Tip

Every newsletter will feature an Inclusive Teaching Tip that you can add to your teaching toolbox. These reflections and strategies are catalogued on the Learning and Teaching website
We are substituting this week’s Inclusive teaching tip with a rainbow🌈 of readings (and a podcast).  Pick one or two that tickle your fancy and dig in!
In the interest of keeping our newsletter brief, this Inclusive Teaching Tip has been truncated.  Please visit the Learning and Teaching Commons blog for access to the full-length article.

A speech by James Baldwin (1963) 

Following the national day of service honoring Martin Luther King and on the heels of a season of protests demanding justice for BIPoC citizens, the speech James Baldwin delivered to teachers in 1963 is especially prescient.  The opening lines ring as true now as they did in 1963.

An essay by Crystal Williams

In this essay, the author reflects on how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) trainings can contribute to black trauma by engaging in white voyeurism – those panels that ask BIPoC colleagues to tell stories of harm to educate their white peers. Crystal Williams uses her experience as a DEI leader in academia to offer pragmatic advice to reframe diversity trainings.

An article by Cliff Rouder

This article in the online newsletter, Faculty Focus, offers a run down of steps you can take to offer LGBTQIA+ students a positive learning environment including several citations where you can dig deeper into these ideas.

A survey tool developed by Carl S. Moore, Edward Brantmeir, and Andreas Brocheild

One of JuliA’s favorite gateway tools – the tool described in this article offers a concrete framework for evaluating inclusivity through an analysis of the syllabus. The survey tool guides you through the process of analyzing the context and design for your program and course in addition to the subtext in your syllabus. 

A Tea for Teaching Podcast

In this episode of the Tea for Teaching Podcast, Karen Costa discusses with the hosts how integrating trauma-informed practices into the classroom can help students to be productive, focused learners.  Also, consider joining higher education colleagues next Tuesday in a conversation facilitated by Tara Hardy (read below) for details.


Academic Advising Panel

January 25, 2021 | 12 PM 
This session offers faculty and advisors an opportunity to exchange what they know about student experiences and needs in fall quarter 2020. Advisors will briefly share out generalized comments about their perceptions of student success and struggles, followed by a conversation that invites faculty to reciprocally share their understandings of student experiences. The session will provide an opportunity for faculty and advisors to meet each other, and to collectively learn more about our students. 
For more information, visit our website

Commons Conversation Series: Winter 2021

Commons Conversations provide space and time for Evergreen faculty and staff to discuss issues of teaching and learning, share resources, and build community.

Our Emotional Labor

January 27, 2021 | 1-1:50 PM 
Facilitated by Julia Metzker and Eric Stein 
Join us for a follow-up to last quarter's conversation about the emotional labor that comes from building caring relationships with students. We will share our stories, swap strategies, and think collectively about how we can better support this important aspect of our work.

Spiritual Care as Self-Care

February 24, 2021 | 1-1:50 PM 
Facilitated by Melissa Bennett
Spiritual Care is one of several wellness focused resources available to students on campus. Learn more about spiritual care at Evergreen and how it contributes to students’ self-care and total well-being. Engage in conversation about the role of spiritual care in higher education and the ways it supports healing justice in our community.
RSVP for the Commons Conversation Series

Washington Center Collaborative Series: Winter 2021

Each month, the Washington Center Collaborative host monthly conversations that provide a space for you to engage with fellow higher education scholars, practitioners and administrators on  topics relevant to our collective work supporting student success.  

Opportunities that Trauma Affords: Trauma-Impacted People as Assets in Communities

Tara Hardy, Writing and Trauma faculty
DATE: Tuesday, January 26
TIME: 11:00 am PST | 12:00 pm MST | 1:00 pm CST | 2:00 pm EST (1.5 hour session)
LOCATION: RSVP for Zoom link
Explore the uses and benefits of trauma-impact showing up in our work with students. We will collectively investigate opportunities that arise from the impact of trauma being expected and accounted for in our learning communities.  

Covid & Equity: How is the Pandemic Impacting Students?  

Dr. Jeannette Smith, Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Engagement, and Julia Metzker, Director of the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) 
DATE: Friday, Februray 26
TIME: 11:00 am PST | 12:00 pm MST | 1:00 pm CST | 2:00 pm EST (1.5 hour session)
LOCATION: RSVP for Zoom link
Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, what have we learned? How do we take this opportunity to do our work differently as we plan for fall 2021? How do we sustain ourselves while also providing better experiences for students?
RSVP for the Washington Center Collaborative Series


Teaching Resources Available on Canvas

You can find support and resources for teaching on the Teaching at Evergreen Canvas site. If you don’t have access, use this link to self enroll:
The Learning and Teaching Commons has created a space in the Teaching at Evergreen Canvas: Critical Dialogues about Current Events, for faculty to share strategies and activities to support critical dialogues about current events. This space contains a discussion board and links to resources, which will continue to expand.

Building Successful Online Learning Communities

In the most recent Commons Conversation, participants explored online tools and in-class activities, which the co-facilitators of the session have successfully used to build comradery among students and faculty. For those who could not make the sessions, you can access the recording here.

Faculty Resources from Admissions

The Admissions office shared materials for faculty to help prospective students connect to Admissions if they haven’t done so already. These materials can be found here

Recordings Available: E-Resources at the Library Workshop Series

These workshops go over how to find, access, use, share, and request e-resources through the Daniel J. Evans Library while showing you some tips and tricks along the way. Each session focuses on a specific e-resource: e-books, streaming media, or databases and e-journals. Access the recordings here

Enduring Legacies Native Cases Projects

If you are looking for interdisciplinary curriculum about the lived experiences and real-world issues of contemporary Indigenous peoples, the Enduring Legacies Native Cases Projects has developed over 130 case studies on a rich diversity of topics, from arts to activism, environmental studies to human services, entrepreneurship to government relations—and many more. Read Barbara Leigh Smith's article here

Request a Teaching Consultation 

Do you have a teaching puzzle? Is there an activity you are struggling to translate to remote teaching? Do you need some help designing asynchronous activities?
The Learning and Teaching Commons offers individual and small group remote teaching consultations. Consultations provide an opportunity to get direct feedback on your teaching puzzles. Click here for details.


These individuals and offices are eager to support students remotely. Keep this list handy when advising students or reach out to schedule a visit to your program or course.

Limited In-person Student Service for Winter

Faculty, please let your students know that Evergreen has two areas of limited in-person student service this quarter. Student Activities plans to provide a space in the CAB for a limited number of students who need a warm, well-lighted place with good wi-fi to study. In addition, Evergreen will continue to plan a Basic Needs Center to provide students with access to a food pantry and other essential supplies. More information here

COVID-19 Testing Sites

Limited COVID-19 testing sites are now on campus. The College has partnered with Thurston County Public Health to host a community testing site on Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm in Parking Lot C. The clinic is walk-up, first-come, first-serve. No cost, no insurance billing. However, they will only test symptomatic people or close contacts of a confirmed case. For more information visit the Evergreen COVID-19 Health and Safety site.

Student Services, Technology, & Academic Help

Evergreen has launched a new and improved This resource has been specifically designed to put students in touch with the people, offices, and services they need. It is still the place for technical help, but it can now connect students with Student Services and Academics including academic resources, housing, financial aid, student accounts, the library, and more. Please share this resource with your students.

Other Resources:


Equity Symposium Propsal Deadline (submit a proposal
Academic Advising Panel | 12-1 pm
Path Conveners Meeting | 1-3 pm 
New Faculty Academy | 3:30-5 pm
SURF Applications Due | 5 pm
Evergreen Art Lecture Series: Patte Loper | 11:30 am -1 pm
Commons Conversation Series: Our Emotional Labor | 1-1:50 pm
Commons Advisory Council Meeting | 2-2:50 pm
Faculty Meeting | 3:00 pm 
 Greener Virtual Game Night | 5:30-6:30 pm 
 Evergreen Faculty and Staff Recipe Collection Deadline (submit here)

 Deadline for students to drop credits - 50% refund
 Black History Month at Evergreen | Contribute Your Art | 12-1 pm 
Path Group Meetings | 1-3 pm

 A Pre Lunar New Year Event: Mediation on Five Elements | 8-8:50 pm
Schedule Week 5 check-ins to check on student progress.  If students are at risk of losing credit, provide them notice this week, and communicate in writing how they can earn full credit. 
Send events to for inclusion in the calendar.
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