Dear Evergreen Colleagues,
As we head into our classrooms this week and next, students may need time to process—or at least collectively acknowledge—the events on and surrounding January 6th. For students isolated by the pandemic, the online classroom may be the primary space they connect with others face-to face; our learning communities also provide possibilities for peer support, friendship, and meaningful dialogue about experiences and events beyond what is offered in our curricula. Next week the Learning and Teaching Commons will offer a panel and conversation on “Successful Online Learning Communities, Evergreen Style” on Wednesday, January 13, 1:00 – 1:50pm. We invite you to come, learn about community building tools and approaches from our faculty colleagues, and share your own experiences and ideas.

We have a full winter quarter of workshops and events. If you missed this week’s workshop, you can access a recording of the session here. On Monday, January 25, 12 -1pm, the Learning and Teaching Commons will be hosting a panel and conversation with Academic Advising; it’s a great opportunity to gain perspective on student experiences and build connections between faculty and staff. Please register for the event in advance. And, the LTC will host a follow-up to our fall “Emotional Labor” Commons Conversation on Wednesday, January 27, 1 - 1:50pm. Further details on each of these opportunities are listed below.

I would like to recognize the work of our Washington Center and Learning and Teaching Commons Director, Julia Metzker, who has co-published Learning That Matters: A Field Guide to Course Design for Transformative Education. The book emphasizes “research-informed approaches for creating learning experiences and developing innovative, intellectually-engaging courses.” Let’s congratulate Julia on this accomplishment and asset to our campus!

Best wishes for your new quarter and new year!

Eric Stein 
Learning and Teaching Commons Faculty Scholar, 2020-2021
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.


  • The next Art Lecture Series, featuring artist Thea Quiray Tagle, is scheduled for January 13 from 11:30 am - 1 pm. Please visit the Commons Calendar for zoom link.
  • The Division of Inclusive Excellence & Student Success (IESS) is collaborating with campus and community partners to provide some exciting Racial Equity and Social Justice programming for students, staff, and faculty. Mark these events in your calendars as outlined their recent email
  • South Puget Sound Community College is pleased to host John A. Powell as the featured speaker for its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. event, on January 19, from 5-6:30 pm. Professor Powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. This virtual event is free. You can pre-register here
  • Proposals for Evergreen's 2021 Equity Symposium: Wade in the Water are open due on January 22. You can learn more about this year's Equity Symposium in this recent email.
  • Join in celebrating Michael Clifthorne, retiring from his position as Assistant Director of International Programs after 15 years of service. More information about the celebration and Michael’s accomplishments can be found in this recent email. Don't forget to leave a message for Michael on his retirement Kudoboard!

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

How do you plan a new program or course? Imagine, you’ve cleared your schedule of distractions and are meeting with your teaching partners ready to start planning. What is the first thing that comes to mind? What do you do first? What do you need? Where do you turn for support?

Centering students in program and course planning

We frequently hear the phrase “student-centered” as an important framing in learning and teaching. But what does it mean to center students as we execute the day-to-day tasks of teaching? How do we center students as we develop reading lists, create new assignments, evaluate student work, and engage in the many other important tasks our jobs require? A strategy for keeping students’ goals and needs center to your planning comes from the field of design. In design thinking, human-centered problem definition is one of the first stages in the design process.
Building an empathy map is a tactic for centering students in the design process by building narratives that describe their diverse experiences and perspectives. 

Activity: Build an Empathy Map

Start by imagining the students who will be taking your course/program. Who are they? What backgrounds do they come from? What talents do they bring? What are their goals? Why have they enrolled in your course? What futures are they seeking? What does success mean for them?
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 warm welcome to Ashley Williams

The Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education is thrilled to welcome Ashley Williams to our team. Ashley will be leaving her role as Instructional Media Coordinator.  While she isn't going too far, her colleagues in Media Services are going to miss working with her every day.  We've dedicated this space to a beautiful tribute of appreciation.

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. 

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.

Building Successful Online Learning Communities

January 13, 2021 | 1-1:50 PM
Join us for a conversation to share how you are building your virtual learning communities. Share practices and tools with colleagues and learn how colleagues are creating community. 

Our Emotional Labor

January 27, 2021 | 1-1:50 PM 
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.    
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 pm 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.  

Post Covid19: What to do when the plan keeps changing?

Dr. Jeannette Smith, Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Engagement
Julia Metzker, Director of the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education
DATE: Friday, February 26
TIME: 11:00 pm 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:

Hypothesis for Collaborative Web Annotation

This week the Learning and Teaching Commons hosted a workshop on the annotation tool Hypothesis. For those who could not make the sessions, you can access the recording 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.

Food Assistance

Evergreen’s Pop-up Food Bank serves our Olympia campus as well as the broader community on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. Vegan options are available. If you can’t drive to campus, use the Geoduck Student Union's Google Form to request delivery in the local area.

In addition to the Food Bank, there are some other options for food on campus:
  • The Food Pantry was moved in March from Police Services to the Housing Community Center, and is accessible to students living on and off-campus.
  • The Hungry Greener Program allows residential students to get a limited number of free meals in the Greenery, or in their rooms if they are in isolation or quarantine. To receive or donate meals, visit  

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:


Fall Quarter Evaluations Due
Fall Quarter Evaluations Due
First day of Winter Quarter 2021
Agenda Committee Meeting |  3:00 pm
Curriculum Planning | 1:00 pm
Commons Workshop: Hypothesis | 1:15-2 pm
Submit week 1 tracking forms (
Deadline for students to add/drop program or adjust credits - 100% refund
Registration Closes 
New Faculty Academy | 3:30-5 pm
Commons Advisory Council Meeting | 2:00-2:50 pm
Faculty Meeting | 3-5 pm
Syllabus and Community Agreements Due (submit through
M L King Day (campus holiday) 
CAT Meetings | 1-3 pm
Agenda Committee Meeting | 3-5 pm
Equity Symposium Proposal 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 
Send events to for inclusion in the calendar.
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