Faculty Institute Presenters - December 1, 2014

Barbara Leigh Smith, Ph.D.
Director, Native Cases Project, The Evergreen State College

Barbara Leigh Smith is Director of the Enduring Legacies Native Cases Initiative and teaches in the Reservation Based/Community Determined Program. She holds a Phd in Political Science , taught at Lawrence University and the University of Nebraska, and has been at The Evergreen State College since 1978 where she has served as Faculty, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She founded Evergreen’s Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education and is best known for her work on learning communities, education reform, and most recently, Native education. Her publications include Re-Inventing Ourselves: Interdisciplinary Education, Collaborative Learning and Experimentation in Higher Education (with J. McCann), Learning Communities: Reforming Undergraduate Education (with others), and Pathways for Native Students: A Report on Washington State Colleges and Universities (with others).

Ron Harris-White
Director, Diversity Services, Antioch University

Ron Harris-White, MPA, Baruch College; MA, Seattle University; BA, Hunter College; adjunct faculty, BA Degree Completion – Liberal Studies and Graduate Programs in Leadership and Change. For nearly fifteen years and three Seattle mayoral administrations, Ron Harris-White has been a strategic advisor for the City of Seattle. His areas of expertise include leadership, performance, policy, environment, communications and social justice. For the past few years, Ron’s assignments have included the City of Seattle’s grassroots climate action campaign, combined charities campaigns, paperless office campaign and the development of Seattle’s Race & Social Justice Initiative. Ron has more than twenty years of professional experience in policy, public relations, local government relations, and strategic planning.

Dr. Yvonne Terrell-Powell
Director, Center for Equity, Engagement, and Service, Shoreline Community College

Dr. Yvonne L. Terrell-Powell is the Director of Counseling Services, High School Programs, and the Center for Equity and Engagement at Shoreline Community College. One of her primary responsibilities is to provide leadership and support on matters related to mental health, student support, and equity and inclusion. She has over 15 years of higher education experience in multicultural counseling, education, services, and leadership. Yvonne mostly recently team up with a Shoreline Community College faculty member and developed the Multicultural Interviewing Rubric (MCIR), which focuses on identifying leadership skills that support the development of a multicultural organization. She is a licensed mental health counselor and a skilled facilitator and educator. Dr. Terrell-Powell earned her Bachelors of Arts degree from Langston University, a predominantly Black College in Oklahoma. She holds two master degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University.

Kelsen Caldwell
Service-Learning Program Manager, School of Medicine, University of Washington

Kelsen Caldwell is a white, trans* activist who is invested in dismantling all forms of oppression by building power in communities that are most negatively impacted by state and institutional violence. When they aren’t busy working at the UW School of Medicine as a Service-Learning Program Manager, they are often found organizing with the Coalition of Anti-Racists White or going on adventures with friends, making and experiencing music, poetry and film and wearing socks that match their desired mood at the beginning of each day (unless laundry hasn’t been done for a while).

Shila Hodgins
WACC College Access Corps AmeriCorps Member, MIT Candidate, Western Washington University

Shila Hodgins currently works at Denny International Middle School in West Seattle through Washington Campus Compact’s College Access Corps under the direction of Dr. Greg Fritzberg at Seattle Pacific University. She engages primarily with 8th graders, as well as Proyecto Saber classes (6th-8th grade levels). Shila is a candidate for her Masters in Teaching (Secondary Education) through Western Washington University, Woodring College of Education at the Everett Community College cohort. She graduated from WWU in June 2014 with honors in both Political Science and History/Social Studies. She also has a minor in Anthropology. Previously she has volunteered time tutoring at local high schools, and the Sehome Brushfire Learning Center in Bellingham.

Chip Dodd
Faculty/Coordinator, Service Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies, Shoreline Community College

Chip Dodd has been teaching Geography (both human and physical) as well as International Studies at Shoreline Community College since 1998. Chip has incorporated service learning in some the lab science courses he teaches and he has team taught several interdisciplinary courses at SCC. Since 2014 Chip has been the Service Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies Coordinator at SCC.

Dr. Ernest Johnson
Professor, Multi-Cultural Studies, Shoreline Community College

Dr. J. is a professor of Multi-Cultural Studies in the Equity and Social Justice Department at Shoreline Community College, and adjunct in the American Ethnic Studies department at UW. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington Department of Linguistics, M.A. from the University of Khartoum (Institute of African and Asian Studies), and B.A. from the University of Hawaii. He has taught and lectured, while working on self-improvement, in African Studies, comparative religion, cultural diversity and ethnic studies at Shoreline Community College, Seattle Central Community College, University of Washington, University of Khartoum, Omdurman Islamic University, and the University of Hawaii over the past 30 years. While at Shoreline CC, since 1998, Dr. J. has conducted three study abroad courses to Cape Town South Africa with community college and university students, and has advised the Shoreline African Student's Club, Black Student's Union and Moslem Student's Association. He has performed mutlticultural and Cognitive Errors trainings with faculty, presidential hiring committees and the Board of Trustees at SCC. He has been a consistent presenter at both the annual, statewide, faculty and student of color conferences, and in honor classes at SCC. He has been recognized as a distinguished student mentor, has given commencement addresses at SCC and the University of Washington (Black Graduation); in 2001 and again in 2011 he was a panelist at a Post 911 Interfaith Conference on Peace held in Seattle. Over the past two decades he has annually lectured on the non-violent philosophy of his Sufi teacher, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, locally, nationally and most recently in Canada.

Neal Vasishth
Faculty/Coordinator, Insterdisciplinary Studies and Service-Learning, Shoreline Community College

Neal Vasishth has taught English at Shoreline Community College since 1994. He has taught courses in English composition, developmental English, world literature, and creative writing. He has team-taught interdisciplinary courses and created new courses such as “Great Works of Asian Literature.” He has also served as coordinator for the interdisciplinary studies program and the service-learning program. He has an M.A. in English and American Literature from New York University.

John Olson
Vice President, College Advancement, Everett Community College

John Olson is the vice president for College Advancement at Everett Community College. In this role he's responsible for public relations and fundraising for the college. He started at EvCC in 1990 as an instructor in the speech department, and has held various administrative roles throughout his time here. John has led the assessment, strategic planning, and accreditation efforts on campus, and participates actively in the community on boards and service organizations as an advocate for education at all levels.

Network Meeting Presenters - December 2, 2014

Erica Mills
Claxon Marketing

Erica Mills is an internationally recognized expert on how to use words to make the world a better place. She heads up Claxon, a company on a mission to teach those doing good how to get noticed. Mills is the author of the book: Pitchfalls: why bad pitches happen to good people. Her clients have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Group Health Research Institute, Idaho Nonprofit Center, Powerful Schools, Team Read and the Whatcom Community Foundation. She is on faculty at the University of Washington and Seattle University, and has lectured at the University of Chicago. Mills is a lover of words in general, and verbs and adverbs in particular. Check out a great, short video of Erica talking about the power of words here!

Dr. David Breyer
President, Everett Community College

Dr. David Beyer has been serving as President of Everett Community College since July 2006. His professional background includes significant and varied experiences at post-secondary and secondary educational institutions, including thirty-five years as a leader in a multi-campus community college with teaching experience at secondary and post-secondary levels. His work is extensive with community colleges in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, and Montana. Dr. Beyer was president of Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, MT and Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR. He also served in an interim capacity as President of Clark College in Vancouver, WA and Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee, WA. Dr. Beyer worked at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs for eighteen years in various positions including CEO/Dean of a residential campus. His doctoral study in community college education at Colorado State University was completed in 1992, and he received a Masters degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a Bachelors degree from the University of Iowa. Dr. Beyer is married and has one son. He has been actively involved with Rotary, United Way, Work Force Development Councils, Economic Development Corporations, Chamber Boards, fundraising campaigns, local schools, and various post-secondary education commissions.

Steve Swan
Vice President for University Relations and Community Development, Western Washington University

Steve is in his fifth year serving as the Vice President for University Relations and Community Development at Western Washington University. He joined the WWU leadership team of President Bruce Shepard in January 2009. The University Relations Division includes Internal and External Marketing and Communications, Government Relations, Community Relations, Web Communications Technology, and the Small Business Development Center. He is also responsible for special projects as assigned by the President, including coordination of Western’s planning for an expansion of the campus to the Bellingham waterfront.

Ellen Short Sanchez
Director, Center for Community Based Learning and Action, The Evergreen State College

Ellen Shortt Sanchez is the director of the Center for Community Based Learning and Action (CCBLA) at The Evergreen State College. CCBLA is a public service center that builds community based learning into the curriculum and involves students in grassroots organizations to meet community needs. The CCBLA is the home to Gateways for Incarcerated Youth. Ellen lives in Mason County and has a background in popular education, literacy work with immigrant learners and with incarcerated adults.

Antonio McClinon
Advocacy/Outreach Coordinator, Gateways for Incarcerated Youth, The Evergreen State College

Antonio began his work with Gateways for Incarcerated Youth in 2007. As a student of the college class, he was a peer learner and mentor for the African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Pacific Islanders Cultural groups at Greenhill School in Chehalis, WA. As the group leader, Antonio worked with the multiple culture groups to guide them in their desire to learn more about themselves and culture. As an African American male, he has personally experienced the challenges in an environment where the odds for success are slim for minorities’ specifically young men of color. Antonio’s personal and professional experience will guide him during his work with Gateways. As a former collegiate men’s assistant basketball coach at The Evergreen State College, South Puget Sound Community College and Saint Martin’s University, he was responsible for assisting student-athletes with personal and career goals, educational planning and graduation preparation. He will bring his coaching and teaching philosophy to Gateways, which includes accountability, motivating, validating and reinforcing positive behaviors and positive change.

Kent Koth
Director, Center for Service and Community Engagement, Seattle University

As the founding Director of the Seattle University Center for Service and Community Engagement, Kent has overseen a rapid expansion of campus-community partnerships that have received national recognition. Kent has also directs the Seattle University Youth Initiative, a long-term commitment by Seattle University faculty, staff and students from all disciplines to join with parents, the Seattle School District, the City of Seattle, foundations, and more than 30 community organizations to help children of Seattle succeed in school and life. Kent is an adjunct faculty member in the Seattle University Liberal Studies Program and has written several articles and book chapters related service-learnings and university-community partnerships. Earlier in his career, Kent worked as Executive Director of a non-profit K-12 community service organization and also served as Program Director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. Kent received his B.A. from Grinnell College and M.A. from Pacific School of Religion. He and his wife, Ling, are the proud parents of two daughters.

John Forsyth
Administrator, Seattle Housing Authority

John Forsyth serves as the Administrator of the Seattle Housing Authority Community Services Division, partnering with residents and numerous organizations on initiatives promoting economic self-sufficiency; education; community building; youth development; social services; and fundraising. He oversees the successful implementation of several Department of Housing and Urban Development grants including Choice Neighborhoods; Neighborhood Networks; Family Self-Sufficiency; HOPE VI CSS; Resident Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency; and Drug Elimination. In addition, under his leadership, Seattle Housing Authority has successfully utilized grant funding from the Gates Foundation; Seattle Foundation; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; JP Morgan Chase Foundation; and Department of Labor. Most recently, a key element of John’s work has focused on developing new public-private partnerships, including major medical centers and the Seattle University, to increase education and economic opportunities for Authority residents. John has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts from Whitworth University. Prior to joining Seattle Housing Authority, he spent over ten years working for non-profit agencies conducting community development and emergency relief work in developing countries.

Sue Oliver
Executive Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, Seattle University

Sue Oliver is the current Executive Director of the Seattle University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. She brings over 25 years of experience in launching and running new ventures, programs, products, and services for Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, and startups. She’s held senior management roles at Russell Investments, Washington Mutual, and other leading financial services companies, and, most recently, has run her own consulting firm and nonprofit to support young adult social innovators. Sue holds an MBA in finance from George Mason University and a BA from the University of Virginia.

Solynn McCurdy
Director of External Affairs, Seattle University

Solynn McCurdy is passionate about his profession, dedicated to making a difference in the community, and has a strong personal commitment to helping individuals and organizations reach their full potential. Solynn brings over 12 years of experience in the education, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors, with a specialized expertise in strategy, outreach and engagement, and facilitation. His work has impacted thousands of students, educators, business and civic leaders throughout the Puget Sound region. During the course of his career, Solynn has served in many nuanced roles incorporating organizational development, program management, large-scale projects, and community-based efforts. He has been fortunate to hold key leadership positions in a variety of settings including Seattle University, Washington STEM, Alliance for Education, and various youth-service organizations. Solynn holds a master’s in education from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Washington. He is a native of the Seattle area and in his spare time, enjoys traveling with his family, movies, fine dining, hiking, and strength training.