Press Release

OLYMPIA – The Evergreen State College is proud to announce its upcoming commencement celebrations, honoring the hard work and achievements of the Class of 2024.

The main commencement event begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 14 on Red Square at the Olympia Campus, rain or shine. All are welcome and no tickets are required.

In addition to the main ceremony on Friday, Evergreen is hosting many graduation celebrations throughout this week to celebrate the class of 2024 including graduate program hooding ceremonies, celebrations for graduating students who are veterans, in the Paths of Study Program, Lavender and Multicultural Advising graduations.

Muckleshoot Tribal Councilmember, Virginia Cross has been named this year’s Public Official of the Year. She will be honored at the Master of Public Administration hooding ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 13 at Evergreen’s House of Welcome.

Each year, the MPA program makes this award to leaders in state, local or Tribal governments or those who work in nonprofits. Cross is being honored for exemplifying the program’s motto of, “Be the Change.” For over four decades, Cross’ service in such roles as Councilmember and chairperson of the Muckleshoot Tribe and as the Director of Native Education Programs for the Auburn School district has directly benefitted students, Muckleshoot citizens and the Puget Sound region.

Both Evergreen’s Tacoma campus and Native Pathways Programs will have ceremonies for graduates from those programs on Saturday, June 15.

Because of the higher-than-normal number of visitors to The Evergreen State College for graduation festivities, parking will be free from 4 to 9 p.m. June 11-13 and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, June 14.

Carpooling and use of Intercity Transit is encouraged. Graduates and guests driving to campus are encouraged to park in lots B and C. A shuttle will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to take guests from F lot to Red Square and again from 3 to 5 p.m. to return people to their vehicles.

Motorists traveling on Evergreen Parkway near the college can expect closures to inbound traffic from 2 to 4 p.m. to allow for guests departing the commencement ceremony. Expect delays and take alternative routes if possible.

For more information about The Evergreen State College graduation celebrations visit the webpage and to learn more about the college visit


Press Release

OLYMPIA – The Evergreen State College is proud to host an enlightening event titled "Disability and Voting," scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 21. The event will take place in Purce Hall with a reception to follow.

The college welcomes the community to a thought-provoking conversation with esteemed co-directors of the Program for Disability Research at Rutgers University, Lisa Schur and Doug Kruse. The program explores the efforts being made to increase voting access and discusses the remaining challenges.

"The right to vote is a cornerstone of American democracy,” said Dr. Greg Mullins, Dean for Evergreen’s Library and Learning Support. “Many voters with disabilities appreciate Washington's mail-in ballots, and other options are needed to make voting accessible to all. Researchers like Schur and Kruse help us understand where we can improve.”

According to alarming statistics, if people with disabilities voted at the same rate as otherwise similar people without disabilities, there would be an additional two million voters in U.S. elections. Recognizing the importance of amplifying marginalized voices, Evergreen is committed to addressing the barriers that hinder individuals with disabilities from exercising their right to vote.

Founded in 2000, the Program for Disability Research at Rutgers University conducts groundbreaking research aimed at informing public policy and fostering positive social change. In a 2020 peer review, Rutgers University was ranked #1 globally for disability and employment research.

Professor Lisa Schur is a distinguished scholar who received the 2002 Best Article award from Political Research Quarterly for her seminal work on "Enabling Democracy: Disability and Voter Turnout." She is the founder of the Disabilities Studies minor at Rutgers University and a co-founder of the Program for Disability Research.

Dr. Doug Kruse, a leading authority in the field, has co-authored several influential books, including "The Citizen’s Share: Reducing Inequality in the 21st Century" and "People with Disabilities: Sidelined or Mainstreamed?" He served as a Senior Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors from 2013-2014.

For more information on this event, please contact Dean Mullins at


Press Release

On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, our students began forming the Evergreen Gaza Solidarity Encampment on Red Square on the Olympia Campus. As part of an agreement with the college, students ended the encampment on Wednesday, May 1. I heard impassioned calls from students to issue a statement on the college’s position regarding the catastrophe in Gaza. As part of the agreement reached between students representing the encampment and college administrators, I agreed to make this statement.

Like many, I am horrified and grief-stricken by the violence and suffering being inflicted due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I mourn the destruction of universities and hospitals, the killing of journalists, and want to see the release of prisoners being held without due process. I wish to see an end to the violence and restoration of international law, including respect for the March 25, 2024, United Nations resolution that called for a lasting, sustainable ceasefire honored by all parties, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, expanded humanitarian assistance, and the protection of civilians. Restoration of international law also requires that the International Court of Justice fairly adjudicate charges of genocide.

I share these thoughts as a member of this academic community, and I urge each of us to learn about the history of the conflict, the current conditions in Gaza and to speak about what we learn. Given the role that United States arms play in the conflict, we can do no less. Evergreen’s Evans Library maintains resources for more learning.

Beyond our individual responsibilities, Evergreen has responsibilities as an institution. In a time of war, the search for knowledge is more important than ever. Teaching and learning require an environment that values free expression and the open exchange of ideas. The encampment at Evergreen is a powerful example of what peaceful free expression can look like. Defending space for free expression is a core responsibility of the college. Alongside this is the responsibility to provide for the safety of our entire campus community.

The agreement we reached brought an end to the encampment and marks the beginning of a new phase of work. You can find the full text of the agreement on our website here. Taking demands for divestment and alternative models of crisis response seriously requires that we grapple with the complexity inherent in these subjects, so we are now beginning a set of deliberative processes where we can educate ourselves and each other to ultimately produce specific, actionable proposals.

For this work to be successful in creating positive change, we will need more than free expression. Free expression is rarely an end in itself. In an academic institution, free expression is a necessary condition in the quest for knowledge. Beyond free expression, we need the capacity to listen to each other, embrace inconvenient complexity, and welcome other points of view. Let us be especially on guard against Islamophobia and antisemitism as we engage with each other in this moment.

I am deeply grateful to the students, faculty, and staff who helped the college navigate the past weeks with integrity and fidelity to our mission. They fill me with hope for the work ahead.

The Evergreen State College stands firm in our commitment to inclusivity, diversity and equity. We are deeply disappointed by the recent ruling made by the NAIA regarding transgender athletes. As an institution that values the contributions and identities of all individuals, we believe in fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected and supported.

Our college community embraces the principles of fairness and equal opportunity for all student-athletes, regardless of gender identity. We believe in the power of sports to unite, inspire and empower individuals from all backgrounds. We believe that every student should have the opportunity to participate in athletics without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

While we acknowledge the NAIA's decision, we remain committed to advocating for policies and practices that promote inclusivity and uphold the rights of transgender athletes. We will continue to support all our student-athletes and remain dedicated to making sure they have the resources they need to thrive in and out of competition.

-Elizabeth McHugh, Director of Athletics for The Evergreen State College

Press Release

OLYMPIA — Two students from The Evergreen State College were honored with the 2024 Student Civic Award Friday, April 19 by the Washington Campus Coalition for the Public Good. This award recognizes the outstanding commitment to civic engagement and service these two students have had and the significant impact they’ve had on Evergreen’s campus and beyond.

The two students, Jocelyn Moreno and Drew Bland are being recognized for their work both on and off Evergreen’s campus.

"Being an award winner is a testament to both Jocelyn and Drew’s hard work and compassion, as well as the positive impact they have had on our campus and in your community,” said Dr. John Carmichael, President of The Evergreen State College. “I am proud of the vital role they have played in creating a better future for Evergreen and everyone whose lives you have impacted."

Jocelyn Moreno is being honored for showing remarkable dedication to community-based learning and action, exemplifying a profound commitment to effecting positive change. Between tirelessly fostering service and collaboration as a leader, intern and work-study participant, Jocelyn is continually bridging the gap between campus and community. Hailing from a Washington Farmworker family, their advocacy extends to Latinx and immigrant learners, demonstrating a passion for inclusive education. Their roles with the Center for Community-Based Learning and Action have notably contributed to initiatives such as Sound Learning in Shelton and Community Schools in Tumwater. Additionally, their internship with Together!, Bilingual Clubhouse and Evergreen’s elementary dual language program underscores their recognition of the importance of native language in education. Co-founding the campus student group La Familia and spearheading the El Camino path of study in Latin American, Latinx and Multilingual education further showcase Jocelyn's impactful leadership.

Drew Bland's receipt of the 2024 Student Civic Leadership Award underscores their exceptional service as a Center for Community Based Learning and Action student-worker at The Basic Needs Center. Drew's steadfast commitment to assisting peers and community members in fulfilling their fundamental human rights aligns with a broader vision of creating a more equitable world. Their integral role at the Campus Food Bank satellite intake processes and food distribution reflects Drew's deep-rooted experience in food justice, cultivated through work on various farms, including their own family farm. Drew's community engagement extends beyond campus borders, encompassing involvement with the Lacey Makerspace and an internship with Evergreen's new Center for Climate Action and Sustainability at the Estuarium, where they facilitate environmental education with school-age students. Notably, Drew's dedication to academic excellence is evident in their rigorous studies in Psychology Capstone: Clinical and Counseling and Applied Learning at the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County, all while maintaining a commitment to athletic pursuits.

Congratulations to both Jocelyn and Drew for being recognized for their incredible work.


Press Release

Olympia – The Evergreen State College is proud to announce the 6th Annual Equity Symposium, being held Wednesday – Thursday, April 17-18, 2024. With the theme of "Building Skillful Coalition," this year's symposium aims to empower our community with the skills necessary to challenge the systems of oppression that divide us.

Each year, the Equity Symposium provides a vital space for our community to come together in pursuit of knowledge and skills related to equity, social justice, and liberation. This year's theme underscores the importance of fostering collaboration and understanding in an era marked by polarization.

The keynote speaker for the 2024 Equity Symposium is the renowned human rights activist, Loretta J. Ross. As the recipient of the 2022 MacArthur Foundation "Genius" award and an Associate Professor at Smith College, Loretta brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the symposium. With a career spanning over four decades, Loretta has been a trailblazer in activism and social change since the 1970s.

Ross is known for her groundbreaking work on building coalitions through compassionate dialogue. In her acclaimed work, "Calling In the Calling Out Culture," she offers a transformative approach to overcoming political differences by emphasizing empathy and respect in difficult conversations. Her induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2024 is a testament to her significant contributions to the advancement of human rights and social justice.

The portion of the event featuring Ross is open to the public but requires tickets which can be found at the EventBrite site – there will also be a virtual option to register for. For more information about the Equity Symposium, please visit

Press Release

OLYMPIA – In a landmark effort in bolstering STEM education initiatives, spearheaded by U.S. Senator, Patty Murray, The Evergreen State College has been awarded $2.1 million in funding through the FY24 appropriations bills signed by President Biden on March 9. This significant allocation underscores the federal government's commitment to advancing science education and empowering students to excel in critical fields.

The funding helps build a foundation for Evergreen to continue advancing science education programs, marking a pivotal moment in the institution's commitment to providing students with cutting-edge resources and hands-on learning experiences. With a focus on enhancing STEM offerings, the college will invest in state-of-the-art scientific and computing equipment, facilitating immersive learning opportunities that align with industry demands. 

"At Evergreen, we believe in the power of education to transform lives and drive innovation," said Dr. John Carmichael, Evergreen President. "This generous funding allows us to build upon our successful STEM curriculum and equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape." 

Central to Evergreen's mission is its dedication to inclusivity and diversity and the college is uniquely positioned to provide STEM education of the highest quality to students from all backgrounds. By investing in updated equipment and resources, Evergreen aims to foster an environment where every student can succeed and contribute meaningfully to the world around them. 

"Our commitment to diversity and equity is at the core of everything we do," added Carmichael. "We are grateful to U.S. Senator Patty Murray for putting forth this appropriation. With this funding, we will further our efforts to ensure that every student has access to top-tier STEM education and the opportunity to pursue rewarding careers in high-demand fields." 

Evergreen's comprehensive STEM curriculum encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including computing, environmental studies, climate change research, geographic information systems, mycological studies, cybersecurity, biomedical research and preparation for advanced healthcare degrees. Additionally, the college is set to launch several STEM-related certificate programs, offering shorter-term options for individuals to secure and advance in their future careers. 

The $2.1 million funding is a milestone in Evergreen's ongoing commitment to excellence in education and innovation. As the college continues pushing the boundaries of STEM education, it remains steadfast in its mission to empower students and drive progress in Washington's economy and beyond. 

For more information about The Evergreen State College, please visit


Press Release

OLYMPIA -- The Evergreen State College has received an initial briefing on the findings of the investigation conducted by the Washington State Patrol into the carbon monoxide poisoning death of student Jonathan Rodriguez and the hospitalization of two other students and an Evergreen police officer on Dec. 11, 2023.

According to the briefing, investigators concluded that the tankless water heater recently installed by a contractor in the modular apartment where the tragedy occurred had not been installed according to standard. The WSP also found deficiencies in the college’s training, protocols and response to the carbon monoxide events and the alarm system in campus housing at Evergreen.

In response to the findings, Dr. John Carmichael, Evergreen’s president, said:

“Jonathan’s death is a devastating loss. This tragedy has deeply affected our whole Evergreen community, and we will continue to grieve. Our care extends to staff – including student staff – who were there on the day of the tragedy and to students who were injured and who lived nearby.

“We are thankful for the Washington State Patrol’s diligence in conducting a thorough investigation. Their investigation found that lack of training and insufficient protocols for responding to carbon monoxide alarms contributed to this tragic accident. As a result, we are taking numerous steps to ensure our students’ safety – including improving training on incident detection and updating alarm response protocols.”

Carmichael added: “This tragedy is a reminder that every year preventable deaths occur due to carbon monoxide poisoning. We hope others across the country can learn from our situation and redouble their efforts at awareness, education and training.”

A full list of additional measures the college has taken can be found on the college webpage dedicated to communicating updates related to the tragedy:

Media Inquiries: Please contact Kelly Von Holtz at 360-918-3686 or via email at


In 1986, a congressional resolution declared that Saturday, February 28, 1986, should be designated as “National TRIO Day” to commemorate the annual achievements of the TRIO programs in communities across the country. The federal TRIO programs are educational opportunities that support limited-income students, first-generation students, and students with disabilities to enter college and earn a degree.

Every year since then, the fourth Saturday in February is reserved as National TRIO Day - a day of celebration, reflection, and action around increased access to higher education for disadvantaged students.

Evergreen is proud to partner with several TRIO programs to further the academic pursuits of our students.

Let us:

  • Celebrate the positive impact of federal TRIO programs in our communities throughout the nation.
  • Reflect on the importance of educational opportunity programs in creating a fairer society for all Americans.
  • Act to protect and further access to higher education for limited- income students,  first-generation students, and students with disabilities.

Join us and celebrate the 38th anniversary of National TRIO Day February 24, 2024, and raise awareness about the importance of these educational opportunities!

TRIO students were recently asked to share their experience at Evergreen, read what they have to say!


Huda Hashim

What does TRIO mean to you?  

TRIO has helped me with EVERYTHING!  I joined the program in 2022 and have worked with a couple of advisors who have been supportive and responsive to my needs.  As a first-generation student and language learner I had to figure out how to be a college student on my own, but TRIO has been there to support me.  I meet on a weekly basis with my advisor, and they help me navigate everything that comes my way.  With the support of TRIO, I have been able to pursue learning experiences I had dreamed about.  Last year, I did a study abroad in Vietnam and India,  and with the help of the program I was able sort out travel arrangements and financial aid.  They also remind me of important things I need to do, like apply for scholarships to help me save some money.  I know I can go to them for any questions I have, and I will receive the help I need.  I was encouraged to apply to TRIO by another TRIO student when I first came to Evergreen, and now I’m that student telling others  to go to TRIO for help.  The quality of support I have received is great and I want other students to benefit from this great program too!


Hailey Maria Salazar 

What does TRIO mean to you?  

TRIO is an incredibly vital program for scholars from diverse backgrounds because of the invaluable support and resources it provides to those facing unique challenges in navigating higher education. As an Indigenous, first-gen, and (dis)abled student, TRIO was instrumental in my undergrad journey by offering mentorship, advocacy, and the support that helped me pursue my academic goals and dreams.

I am immensely grateful for TRIO, both as a former student and now as a faculty member in the Native Pathways Program. Here, I have the privilege of continuing to work with TRIO in supporting students in the many ways TRIO supported me. Thank you, TRIO!


Kevin Woolridge

What does TRIO mean to you?  

TRIO, to me, is always a place I can rely on to reach my academic and career goals. It has allowed me to make the most of my college experience here at the Evergreen State College and overcome my odds, enabling me to reach heights I never thought were possible. TRIO saw me for who I am, tailored perfectly to my neurodivergence, and showed me how to harness my strengths and find balance. TRIO is not only a place to ask general questions about how to be successful in college, TRIO is about helping you persevere through internal and external pressures along your education journey.. 

Why are TRIO programs important?  

TRIO programs are important because they assist students facing significant barriers in achieving success in college, promoting equity in education and empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds. I grew up in a small rural town amidst less-than-ideal influences and limited academic opportunities. Despite attempting university, I ended up dropping out, later trying community college with similar results. This cycle left me questioning what was wrong with me, as I knew I was capable of doing better. Eventually, I found myself drawn to the natural world, inspired by species like steelhead and beavers. After enrolling at the Evergreen State College and joining TRIO, I underwent a transformative experience. TRIO helped me see things that I hadn’t noticed before, and everything just clicked. TRIO ensured I harnessed my neurodivergence in the right ways, preventing any negative outcomes. As a result, I'm now getting opportunities I never would have dreamed of back in the sticks of my hometown.

How has TRIO supported you?

TRIO supported me through the stress of determining what courses to take, ensuring I fulfill the graduation requirements, and advising me on post-graduation plans. TRIO has been able to answer all my questions, allowing me to fully focus on academic programs at hand without worrying about other confusing college matters. TRIO also supported me by providing resources to become a better student, whether through improving note-taking skills or navigating difficult situations in and out of the classroom. TRIO even supported me when I couldn't find affordable housing and was dropped from my food assistance post-pandemic, directing me to different resources to succeed in the quarter. The unwavering support of  TRIO not only aided me in overcoming obstacles but also significantly contributed to my personal growth.


Casey Caronna 

What does TRIO mean to you?  

As an alumnus of the Evergreen State College and a proud former TRIO student, TRIO is as essential to my education, personal and professional growth, as a citizen of the world and educator. 

Why are TRIO programs important?  

TRIO programs are important because they support those who are underserved and sometimes not provide the exact access or opportunities that others may have because of their privilege. I am thankful for having been a TRIO student and all of the support they provided me and thousands of others just like me.

How has TRIO supported you?

TRIO provided wrap around advising including supporting my goals towards becoming a teacher and guidance on graduate school applications. Additionally, TRIO provided me understanding to financial aid resources and college scholarship applications. TRIO also supported guidance on activities, organizations, and on-campus support groups. Finally, TRIO really provide a space and opportunity to believe in myself. Removing any shame from my status as a first generation, low-income, and student with a disability. The support provided helped me recognize and realize that there were others out there just like me, and TRIO was a space to provide that support for us. 


Laura Downing

What does TRIO mean to you?  

To me, TRIO means a safe place and a source of support for students with disabilities on campus. My TRIO advisors have helped in so many ways. They helped me complete my scholarship essay that ultimately won me a scholarship. They encouraged me when I was writing my Internship and Independent Learning Contracts. During the Pandemic, my TRIO advisor co-worked with me online and kept me connected during such an isolating time. They helped me with time management techniques for navigating an overwhelming to-do list and maintaining a homework/fun balance. Most of all my TRIO advisors have believed in me and my potential to learn and grow. 

How has TRIO supported you?

TRIO's support has made it possible for me to keep persevering. Because the homework load is a lot at college, and there are many systems to navigate, being a student is overwhelming and it is hard to see the forest for the trees. Especially at first, navigating Evergreen's unique ways of doing things was difficult. TRIO was there for me through these processes and helped me keep the faith. I am now a Senior getting ready to graduate and a tutor in the Writing Center, and TRIO has been instrumental in giving me the support I have needed to get to where I am.  The TRIO programs are so important because they give students that extra support they need to make it through. 


Onya Robertson 

What does TRIO mean to you, and how has the program supported you?

When I think of TRIO, I think of how it helped me survive my first year back in college as an undergrad after over 10 years of being out of academia. My TRIO advisor, Wes McIntosh, saw me. He saw my challenges, and my strengths, and just encouraged me to keep going. He reminded me of my goals and empowered me to stand tall and keep my integrity, take care of myself, and care for my children as I worked full-time through college. He made me think I could do anything. And he reminded me that I can't do everything all at once. He proofread papers, edited resumes, and carried out mock interviews with me. he gave me space to vent, cry, and yell my triumphs over adversity. I am so appreciative of TRIO. The scholarships I received were so helpful too. When I was just starting back to college and didn't think I had what it took, TRIO made sure I knew I had what it took; it was an important piece in my undergraduate journey. Thank you so much!!!


Chase Patton 

What does TRIO mean to you?  

TRIO means support whether it is picking out my course schedule or making a connection to resources. TRIO provides assistance for people from diverse backgrounds to help them reach their goals and achieve their potential.

Why are TRIO programs important?  

TRIO programs are important because they help students with the tools needed to navigate school. TRIO supports those who most need it.

How has TRIO supported you?

TRIO has supported me in setting up my original FAFSA application, applying for scholarships, and applying and getting into graduate school. TRIO was there for me when I needed help with school and I didn’t know what direction to take or who to go to.

Press Release

Olympia - The Evergreen State College Unsoeld Seminar Series partnering with the American Chemical Society – Puget Sound Section, is excited to announce an exclusive event featuring New York Times Best-selling author, Sam Kean. The event will start at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21, in Lecture Hall 1 in Purce Hall on Evergreen’s Olympia campus. Kean will captivate audiences with a selection of funny, spooky, poignant, and entirely true science stories drawn from his acclaimed books.

Sam Kean is widely celebrated for his ability to blend scientific expertise with storytelling finesse, creating narratives that are both informative and immensely entertaining. Attendees can expect an evening filled with intriguing anecdotes and fascinating insights into the world of science.

After the presentation, there will be a book sale and signing, providing attendees with the opportunity to purchase Kean's books and have them signed by the author.

This event is open to the public, and admission is free. Seating is limited, so early arrival is recommended.

Don't miss this rare opportunity to engage with one of today's most captivating science storytellers. Join us for an evening of laughter, intrigue and enlightenment with Sam Kean at The Evergreen State College.