Our Team

JuliA Metzker, Director

Julia Metzker headshot
Julia Metzker

JuliA received her first degree from Evergreen, where she learned firsthand the value of a transformative liberal arts education. She obtained a doctoral degree in inorganic chemistry from the University of Arizona and completed a postdoctoral appointment at the University of York in the United Kingdom. In her 10 years as a chemistry professor at Georgia College, she discovered the power of community-based learning to engage students in learning that matters. After serving as director of community-based engaged Learning at Georgia college, she moved to Stetson University as the founding executive director for the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. During her journey of discovering herself as an educator, she was fortunate to find a cohort of like-minded university educators who cofounded the Innovative Course-building Group (IC-bG)—a grassroots social network for learning that supports teaching faculty and staff across disciplines.  Recently, she co-authored a book (1) with colleagues from this group that takes a fresh approach to designing learning experiences for the 21st century. JuliA believes in reimagining and reclaiming the democratic potential of assessment, work she champions as a member of the Imagining America’s “Assessing the Practices of Public scholarship” research group. She and her partner, Joe, raise chickens and bees with the help of an unruly Australian shepherd in the Pacific northwest.
(1) Zehnder, C., Alby, C., Kleine, K., & Metzker, J. (2020). Learning That Matters: A Field Guide to Course Design for Transformative Education. Myers Education Press.

Rachel Homchick, Assistant Director

Rachel Homchick headshot
Rachel Homchick Assistant Director

As a double graduate of the Evergreen State College (BA ’10 and MPA ’19) I know the value of an Evergreen education firsthand. 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 the administration of our website and database. 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.

Program Coordinator

Emily Johnston
Program Coordinator

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.

Learning and Teaching Commons Faculty Scholars

Cali Mortenson Ellis, Fall 2022 – Spring 2023

Cali Mortenson Ellis
Faculty Scholar

Cali Mortenson Ellis has been a faculty member of Evergreen’s Master in Public Administration Program since the Fall of 2017. Before coming to Evergreen Cali received her PhD in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She has a BA in economics from Bates College and a MPP from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Cali previously worked in the Homeland Security Directorate of the Michigan National Guard, the Michigan Governor’s Office, and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.  She is an author of Why Leaders Fight (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and has published in the Journal of Applied Security Research (2008), PS: Political Science & Politics (2012, 2014), Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (2013), International Interactions (2015), Enterprise Development and Microfinance (2015), and Michigan War Studies Review (2013, 2014, 2015). In 2016, Cali was at the University of Southern California Center for International Studies as a Hayward R. Alker Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate.

Anthony Zaragoza, Fall 2023 – Spring 2024

Anthony Zaragoza
Faculty Scholar

From a steelworker and poker-playing family, Anthony Zaragoza has worked at The Evergreen State College since 2004 (nine years at Olympia and eight at the Tacoma campus). Zaragoza has been teaching and learning political economy, popular education, and cultural studies inside and outside academia including inside prisons as well as various public and community spaces. He taught and researched in Kobe, Japan and Milan, Italy. Recent teaching and research projects include “Neoliberalism in the Neighborhood,” which examines economic, political, and social changes in communities over the last 50 years, including his own neighborhood in Hammond, East Chicago and Gary, Indiana. This work evolved into gathering, sharing and teaching through political economy stories from his family while helping students develop their own families’ political economy narratives. In these multimedia, story-gathering programs the learning communities discovered some important things about what they know and how they learned it, which led to Zaragoza’s most recent project “Shit You Should Know,” which gathers participants’ most significant knowledge from throughout their lives.

Eric Stein, Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

Eric Stein headshot
Eric Stein
Faculty Scholar

I started teaching as a graduate student in anthropology and history at the University of Michigan in 1997; since coming to Evergreen in 2007, I have had the opportunity to co-teach with, and learn from, 21 faculty members from across the college. My earlier research and publications considered public health–especially hygiene and family planning–within the histories of colonialism, decolonization, and nationalism in twentieth-century Indonesia. In my ongoing, visually-oriented book project on oral history, archival studies, and ethnography, I am thinking through ways to engage students in ethically grounded, self-reflexive, collaborative research that aims to have an impact in their own lives and communities. As the Learning and Teaching Commons Scholar, I plan to uplift the collective experience and wisdom of faculty, staff, and students from each of Evergreen’s campuses, and draw on current insights and innovations within Higher Education, to help address the challenges we face as a university.

Joli Sandoz, Fall 2018 – Spring 2020

Joli Sandoz headshot
Joli Sandoz
Faculty Scholar

Joli Sandoz has facilitated Evergreen classroom learning communities since 1995. She teaches primarily in the humanities and social sciences, focusing on writing, analog game design, and community studies. Before coming to Evergreen, Joli coached intercollegiate track and field and taught recreation administration. She also has worked professionally outside of academia, taking on tasks ranging from policy analysis, program management, and community outreach in healthcare and public health settings, to the management of her own consulting practice providing writing and organizational development services to non-profits and government agencies. Joli was accepted to attend Evergreen as a student, but life took her elsewhere first. She counts herself as extremely fortunate now to be at Evergreen as a member of the faculty. She is honored to serve as the 19-20 Learning and Teaching Commons Scholar.