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This June 29, 2017, Mark C. Russell, Core Faculty in our PsyD in Clinical Psychology program, and Establishing Director of our Institute of War Stress Injury, Recovery, and Social Justice, was once again published in the HuffPost.

This latest publication is his 14th in the HuffPost and is summarized in its title: After 214 Investigations isn’t it Time for a Department of Defense (DoD) Mental Health Accountability Act?

A retired US Navy Commander and Military Clinical Psychologist, Russell is a tireless advocate for servicemembers and their communities, both during active service and after discharge. In this piece, he describes the power that the US military has in helping its servicemembers, and urges the military to take a leadership role in destigmatizing mental health care in the United States. In his words, “the military is so adept at changing attitudes that it’s not uncommon to hear of heroic self-sacrifices by individuals willing to eat an enemy’s hand grenade to protect their band of brothers and sisters”.

He also describes the complicated impact of discharging servicemembers with unidentified and/or untreated war stress injury back into civilian life, not only on the servicemembers themselves, but also the potential impact on veterans’ families, spouses, children, “and sometimes innocent by-standers”. Russell argues that identifying and treating war stress injury during military service, rather than waiting for servicemembers to transition into veteran life first, allows them to receive mental health treatment while connected to a military social support system, an “identity as a warrior”, and other benefits of military life.

Individuals interested in learning more about military mental health from Mark C. Russell and the Antioch University Seattle Institute of War Stress Injury, Recovery, and Social Justice are encouraged to attend our upcoming continuing education workshop, The Politics of War Trauma: Ending the Generational Cycle of Mental Health Crisis, which provides an opportunity to earn 5 MA/Psychologist CE credits.

The full article, After 214 Investigations isn’t it Time for a Department of Defense (DoD) Mental Health Accountability Act? is available at the HuffPost.


2002 AUS School of Education alumna and current AUS Adjunct Faculty Kate Sipe was recently honored with a Green Lake Elementary PTA Golden Acorn Award, as well as a Davis Law Group, P.S. School Supplies Gift Program’s Golden Apple Award for outstanding contributions to her school community. In the past, Sipe has won numerous awards and grants as well, including the Sister Schools Teacher of the Year Award.

For the law office financial award, Sipe was nominated by Marleen Arenivar, the proud parent of a Green Lake student, who believes that Sipe spends hundreds of dollars of her own money each year on books as well as reading and math materials.

At the award ceremony, Sipe’s lasting contributions to Green Lake Elementary, where she currently teaches 3rd and 4th grade, were noted by parents and fellow teachers, as well as returning high school and middle school students. Included in those speeches was middle schooler Genevieve Lardizaba, who told Sipe, “Not only did you teach the fundamentals of learning, but you also taught us how to be good citizens. I remember when you taught us a lesson about the difference between equity and equality, a lesson that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Outgoing parent Katie Harris, whose children had Sipe for six years, added, “Every time I walked into her classroom, the students were engaged, managing themselves, empowered, and happy…She taught my children to be conscientious citizens of the world, to work hard, aim high…to be nurturing, caring, and to stand up for what’s right.”

The community-wide assembly included an original song, “In This Moment” written for Sipe by former parent, Jonathan Albert, and performed by the school’s parent-rock band, Mystery Meat.

The Davis Law Group, P.S. School Supplies Gift Program was founded by attorney Chris Davis and his wife, who use this program to donate a $100 Office Depot gift card to “a deserving Seattle Public School teacher and his/her class” each week.



The NES test is required for those who are pursuing teacher certification in the state of Washington. Antioch is offering free sessions to help prospective teachers prepare to be successful on the math portion of this test!

This series of workshops is designed to be a series of FREE informal (and fun!) test prep sessions for teacher candidates taking the Math portion of the NES. Feel free to come to one, several, or all sessions depending on your current level of Math confidence and skill. Topics to be covered include number properties & operations, algebra, measurement probability & statistics, and general problem-solving strategies.On this form, please indicate all of the sessions you are interested in attending. Sessions will be held Saturdays at the Antioch University Seattle Campus (AUS) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Summary of Session Topics

If you are interested in driving to campus, street parking is available for a fee. Alternately, AUS is located within walking distance of several bus routes, many of which have a stop at Third and Bell.

You are welcome to bring snacks. There will be a 30-minute lunch break. You can bring your lunch or purchase food from a nearby restaurant.

Interested students can register free online now through July 7th, 2017.

Register Now!





To celebrate Pride this month, AUS Art Therapy student, Beckett Weeks*, drew a mandala for everyone to color in as they see fit. He says of his design:

“The symbols in top and bottom center are the transgender symbol, and the symbols in the center circle are the Alchemical symbol for Mercury/Quicksilver. In Alchemy, Mercury was believed to be the “First Metal,” from which all other metals were derived, and in mythology Hermes/Mercury was one parent (along with Aphrodite/Venus) of Hermaphroditus, from whom we get the word “hermaphrodite.” Not a scientific or biologically accurate term for intersex people, but it is a term from Western mythology for people outside the gender binary.”

Grab the medium (markers, watercolors, colored pencils, etc.) of your choice, download the free mandala, print it out, and celebrate Pride!

Get mandala!

About the artist:

Beckett attended the Columbus College of Art and Design before, inspired by his own experiences with therapy and art-making, transferring to the University of North Texas to pursue a degree in psychology. Before attending Antioch, Beckett was an art instructor at a children’s art studio and at a women’s rehab facility. Beckett is in seventh quarter of Antioch’s Clinical Mental Health and Art Therapy program; he currently lives under a bridge, where he enjoys making comic books and yelling at the internet.

*Please note the mandala is copyright ©Becket Weeks, 2017.



Antioch University Seattle is live-streaming our Commencement 2017 ceremony during the event this Sunday, June 18, 2017, starting at 1:00 p.m.

Our Commencement ceremony celebrates our latest graduates, and includes graduating students from Fall 2016 through Summer 2017. Because of the limited space at our Commencement venue, Town Hall Seattle, each participating graduate will be guaranteed two (2) tickets, and have the option for getting more once all the RSVP’s are in. Our live stream of Commencement 2017 will help our students share their graduation with friends and family who are not able to attend Commencement 2017 in-person.

In addition to celebrating our graduates, Commencement 2017 will also feature a keynote address by Seattle City Counselor Debora Juarez, JD, and a speech by Joey Burgess, the winner of this year’s Distinguished Alumni award.

Debora Juarez is a lifelong legal and economic advocate for marginalized communities in the Pacific Northwest, such as working as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs under two of Washington State’s governors, and as an attorney who specializes in providing legal services to Native American tribes, on topics such as tribal-state inter-local agreements, gaming, and economic development.

Joey Burgess is a 2015 graduate of Antioch University Seattle, and he is also a co-founder of Guild Seattle, a dining and entertainment group which includes Lost Lake Cafe, who are well known in the Antioch University Seattle community for providing the food for our Women’s Education Program Soup Bowl events.

Persons interested in learning more about Antioch University Seattle’s Commencement 2017 are encouraged to go to our Commencement Details page for more information.


Rasheena Fountain and Tiffany Adams, Antioch University Seattle students in our MA in Education with Urban Environmental Education (UEE) program, recently collaborated on a story about their experiences at Islandwood. Fountain’s words and Tiffany’s photographs paint a picture:

“There we were: three people of color trekking through what looked to be an enchanted forest, welcoming us with assortment of tree branches covered in moss and carved paths. To get here, we had traveled our own long paths both literally and figuratively. My daughter and I are from Chicago and Tiffany from New York City. Yet, through our love of nature and educating others about the environment, Tiffany and I found ourselves gleefully charging through IslandWood’s beautiful campus, having just begun our journey in the Urban Environmental Education Masters program.”

In telling the story of their day, Fountain also adds information about how it can feel to be a student in AUS’s UEE program. “In our classes and in our practicums, we have searched for ways to explore the interconnectedness of nature everywhere. It is a concept that has opened my eyes to differing ways of teaching students about nature.”

Read all of Rasheena’s experience at Islandwood.

Antioch University Seattle offers our MA in Education with Urban Environmental Education (UEE) in partnership with Islandwood. This ground-breaking master’s program addresses the theory and practice of urban environmental education, urban ecology, and community action and stewardship, and encourages diversity in the field of environmental education.

Read more about our Urban Environmental Education program


Visiting a tent encampment has been a regular feature of my course on homelessness in the past. I took my winter quarter class for a first-time visit to the Nickelsville Tiny House Village at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd at 22nd and Union in Seattle.

Organized tent encampments in Seattle date back to 1988 and the numbers have grown, especially since 2000, to nine authorized encampments, primarily through the organizing efforts of SHARE/WHEEL and Nickelsville, in cooperation—after much foot-dragging—with the City of Seattle, as alternatives to living on the streets, in cars, or in shelters. Tiny houses are a recent innovation in these encampments. Smaller by definition than a living unit and not subject to zoning laws, they may be assembled in groups on relatively small lots.

We met with Sharon Lee, director of the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI), and Pastor Steve Olsen of the host congregation. LIHI has been providing consultation and case management services for the Nickelsville camps. “Tiny houses are a preferred option over tents for many reasons,” says Sharon Lee. “They provide better protection, they are insulated, some have heat, light and electricity, you can lock the door and windows, and you can get a good night’s sleep without worrying about your safety. Living in a tiny house allows a person to go to work or school, and gives them the ability to keep their belongings safe and secure.” (Crosscut, Jan. 4, 2017)

The students were impressed by the tiny houses. Overall, they felt that it was a more humane and, in many ways, more hopeful way to assist people experiencing homelessness. They noted a sense of dignity among the residents, the possibilities for creating community, and the advantage of having your own space and privacy that shelters and even tents don’t provide. While acknowledging that the houses were not a replacement for having your own house or apartment, they saw it as a positive interim step as long as the problem of homelessness continues to exist. The students are hopeful that the strategy will expand, and they saw how practical it can be for themselves to become involved in organizing groups to build a house. They all agreed: “It’s a tangible way I can help!”

There is now a template whereby church, school, community, other volunteer groups can construct tiny houses for about $2,200 for materials (Tiny House Assembly Instructions). There are currently six Tiny House Villages in Seattle, and the numbers are growing. The idea is catching on nationally, and the Wall Street Journal recently published an article (April 27) on their growth in Seattle, Portland, Denver, and other cities.

Article Author

David Bloom

Adjunct Faculty, BA Degree Completion – Liberal Studies


This post is republished here with permission from Dr. Jennifer Sampson, President of the Board of Directors at The Hoarding Project. It was originally published April 24, 2017.

One of the major reasons that hoarding disorder is one of the most complicated mental health issues to treat is that is a co-occurring disorder, which means that it is almost always (92% of the time, in fact) shows up alongside another mental health diagnosis- like major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. The idea of co-occurring disorders helps guide the way we think about the behavior of people who are affected by them. We understand that the symptoms of one psychiatric disorder are highly intertwined with symptoms of the other.

The term co-occurring disorder (or dual or comorbid disorder) is typically used in the field of substance abuse treatment, referring to the idea that people who abuse substances like alcohol or drugs are likely to be struggling with another diagnosable mental health condition as well. For instance, if someone is struggling with alcoholism that is co-occurring with generalized anxiety disorder, we may explain that some of the behavior of abusing alcohol may be exacerbated, or made worse, when life gets particularly stressful and anxiety increases. From there, the outcomes of excessive alcohol use can create additional stress in a person’s life, which can further increase anxiety, thus increasing alcohol use. It’s a slippery slope.

Things are similar with hoarding disorder. By applying an understanding of co-occurring disorders, we can start to make sense about why efforts to address the symptoms of hoarding (like difficulty parting with items or excessively acquiring things) seem so difficult for the person struggling with them. For instance, if a person has co-morbid diagnoses of hoarding disorder and major depressive disorder, that person may really struggle with motivation to work on discarding items or struggle with paying attention and decision-making about their possessions. While symptoms of hoarding disorder do include having a difficult time parting with items, they do not include a lack of motivation, inattentiveness, or indecision. However, all three of those are symptoms of depression. In this case, the person’s depressive symptoms are making the symptoms of hoarding disorder even more challenging to manage.

There are a lot of diagnoses that can co-occur with hoarding disorder- in fact, almost any of them can. The most common ones are mood disorders (like depressive or bi-polar disorders) or anxiety disorders. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common co-morbid condition, as is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We also see a fair amount of other types of diagnoses alongside hoarding disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other types of organic brain illnesses, like dementia or schizophrenia. When symptoms of any of these other types of mental health diagnoses show up, it can make managing symptoms associated with hoarding to be a very difficult task.

As mental health professionals, we can use strategies developed for other co-occurring disorders in our effort to support our clients. By prioritizing treatment interventions that help reduce the most significant symptoms first, we can then work more easily on addressing the direct symptoms related to hoarding. For instance, if a client has a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and is actively experiencing panic attacks, it would benefit the clinician to first work with the client on improving emotional regulation skills and distress tolerance prior to focusing attention on decision-making and discarding items.

By recognizing hoarding disorder as a co-occurring condition, we can help better understand the challenges people who hoard face and work with them to develop more effective approaches to treatment.

Jennifer Sampson, Ph.D., LMFT, is the President of the Board of Directors at The Hoarding Project

Article Author

Jennifer Sampson, Ph.D., LMFT

Core Faculty, Couples and Family Therapy, School of Applied Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy



Antioch University is both humbled and proud to establish the Bruce and Arlene Crandall Social Courage Award, with its first grant slated for Fall 2017. Founded by Antioch University Board of Governors member Steve Crandall, the award will enable the research, planning, and testing of actionable ideas for sustainable community improvement proposed by Antioch University students. The award is named for Steve Crandall’s father, Colonel (Ret.) Bruce Crandall, and late mother, Arlene Crandall.

The Bruce and Arlene Crandall Social Courage Award will reduce the financial barrier between idea and action, and encourage recipients to break new ground in the promotion of social justice. The award also includes faculty, community, and alumni mentorship and support. Currently, the award has more than $53,000 in contributions and continues to grow with support from the community.

Donate to the Award

“This program is one way AUS students may take action and deliver on the commitment to social justice that they adopted when they accepted admission,” said Crandall, who pledged an initial $30,000 to the award program. “I look forward to the creative and innovative ways future award recipients apply the valuable knowledge and inspiration gained at AUS toward helping and inspiring others through entrepreneurism and community engagement.”

Colonel Bruce P. Crandall (Ret.) is a husband, father, explorer, pilot, Vietnam War hero, engineer, and civic leader. Colonel Crandall will participate in a Vietnam War panel discussion with former prisoner of war Captain Joseph Crecca, Jr., U.S. Air Force (ret.), and Joseph (Joe) L. Galloway, one of the best-known correspondents of the Vietnam War, on May 23rd at Shoreline College.

Colonel Crandall’s awards include two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the Congressional Medal of Honor—the latter was earned for leadership and fearless courage in Vietnam as he “voluntarily flew his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire, delivering desperately needed water and medical supplies….” He also made 16 trips to the front lines, transporting wounded to safety during a voluntary mission that even MedEvac pilots declined. His courage inspired other pilots to follow his example, multiplying the impact of the missions. Crandall remains committed to promoting the courage necessary for social justice to this day.
Arlene Crandall was also acknowledged in her lifetime. She was made an Honorary General by the US Army and an Honorary Admiral by the US Navy. She was awarded the Order of St. Joan D’Arc by the US Cavalry and Armory Association and the Honorable Order of Our Lady of Loreto by the Army Aviation Association. She passed away in 2010, leaving a legacy that continues to inspire.

Crandall Social Courage Award
The award reflects Antioch University’s commitment to providing educational access, healing, and social support to America’s veterans. In addition to this new award program, Antioch University Seattle also supports the Clemente Veteran’s Initiative, which draws upon the study of humanities to support American servicemen and women who are struggling with the transition to civilian life, as well as the Institute of War Stress Injuries, Recovery, and Social Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming the military and national healthcare systems through the investigation and elimination of the preventable causes of behavioral health crises in military personnel, their families, and civilians affected by war.

Donate to the Award

About Antioch University:
Inspired by the pioneering work of 19th-century educator Horace Mann, Antioch University promotes higher education that incorporates the common good, values experiential learning, and fosters a diverse academic community. Antioch University provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice.


Today, President Trump announced that the United States plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. We at Antioch University are both disheartened and concerned with this symbolic decision, as well as a lack of US leadership on global efforts to combat climate change.

Despite the efforts of the current administration to discredit climate science, opportunities for collaboration grow at the local level. We are proud to partner with our communities, which continue to focus efforts to respond and adapt to climate change.

Now, more than ever, we must be diligent and unrelenting in our work to protect the environment as we prepare for the continued effects of climate change.

Antioch University maintains our commitment to furthering social, economic, and environmental justice. We will continue our fifty-plus year history of training environmental policy-makers, environmental scientists, educators, and leaders to solve critical and emerging environmental challenges by delivering visionary, progressive, and interdisciplinary Environmental Studies programs.

About Antioch University
Antioch University is an accredited, non-profit university and a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education that serves adult students around the world, online, and from its five campuses in four states, in addition to its University-wide international and doctoral programs. Antioch University provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. Antioch University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1927.


Art therapy is changing lives in China. “Big Miao” Shimming showed us how.

The room was set in an intimate fashion, full of colorful cushions strewn on the floor in preparation for Miao’s presentation.  Miao, affectionately known as “Big Miao” because of his height, visited Antioch University  Seattle (AUS) in May of 2017 to seek professional training and guidance in the art therapy field. On May 17, Miao gave a presentation on his important work. AUS staff and students were so eager to engage with Big Miao, they began asking questions right away in the evening’s Q&A session.

Big Miao began working AUS’s Art Therapy Program after reaching out to Dr. Janice Hoshino, Chair of Art Therapy.

“I observed Janice working and knew I needed her training!” exclaimed Miao. Hoshino, reaffirmed his story.

“WABC [World of Art Brut Culture], Big Miao’s art studio, is collaborating with AUS to gain professional training from registered art therapists.”

Dr. Hoshino has already led two Art Therapy workshops in China in collaboration with Big Miao and is looking forward to future trips this summer.

Big Miao began as an art curator and artist specializing in oil painting.  In 2009, he came across the Special Needs population, moving his heart and changing his life. Since then, he has been transforming the lives of hundreds of people with “special needs” through creative expression. Big Miao opened World of Art Brut Culture, an art studio in which children and young adults with special needs come after school to paint, free of cost.

The majority of the students they work with are on the autism spectrum, have cerebral palsy, or have other varying developmental impairments. In a video Miao showed, the students spoke about their artwork, their own process, and the impact WABC has had in their life. Their teachers (they are not professionally trained art therapists) also speak about the students’ progress and involvement with WABC.

Parents of the students are pleased with the visible progress their children are making, noting the tangible transformation creative expression has brought into their lives. One audience member commended Big Miao’s hard work: “It’s apparent you have a huge heart, honorable intent, and are doing a wonderful service to your community.”

WABC has now opened public art centers in eight different cities in China (including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzghou, and Chengdu). They are collaborating with 32 different communities and schools and have served over one thousand children and families.

Big Miao plans various events and fundraisers, such as Cultural Creative Center, Dream of China, and Charity Night. These events have attracted large audiences and engaged the Chinese population.

The car company Infinity is a sponsor and has collaborated with the WABC students to create an art piece in their Beijing headquarters. WABC has also collaborated with various Chinese celebrities, pop stars, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. These events have brought healing and are changing how Chinese see and treat children with autism.

Through their work, WABC aims to foster a genuine connection between the Special Needs population and their Chinese community. They have empowered students to use their talents and have brought them closer to their dream of “being treated like everyone else.” There are 10 million people in China on the Autism Spectrum. There is a great need for psycho-education and awareness in China where people with special needs are not treated equally. Big Miao is among the first to do this kind of work in China, where most have no concept of art therapy.

“He is making inroads, paving the way, and doing fundamental work,” said AUS Drama Therapy faculty member Bobbi Kidder. “His progress is amazing!”

Despite this great progress, WABC and Big Miao recognize the road ahead still needs to be paved. There are still families who do not accept art therapy as a real treatment.

“Art therapy is a seed,” said Miao. “We are waiting for it to blossom.”

In order to gain more training and more empirical evidence to bring home to gain support, WABC partnered with Antioch University.

“We know art is powerful, transformative, and necessary,” said Miao, when asked how professional training can improve WABC. “However, we still have questions on technique, behavior, how to interact with families, fundamentals, how to gain all the therapeutic benefits of artistic expression, and how to properly raise awareness.”

Hoshino added, “The teachers in WABC are hungry to learn.  I’ve done two trainings with them in China and over fifty people attended. My heart is really with this organization.” Both Antioch University Seattle and WABC are eager to share the benefits of Art Therapy with as many people as possible.

Big Miao concluded his presentation by showing his students’ stunning artwork. Big Miao smiled and happily invited AUS students to join him in China.

“We all have advantages and disadvantages,” said Miao. “Together we can make each other better!”


Written by Art Therapy student Kim Bjanes


Learn more about our Art Therapy Programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Couple and Family Therapy.











There are a number of reasons people become angry. Challenges at home, work, or on the road are common triggers that can lead someone to lash out or boil inside. And yet, sometimes we become angry with everything, including people or things we would normally be able to brush off.  Anger, by its very nature, has us look outward to solve our problems. Yet, when we are angry with many things, it would be improbable – if not impossible – that we might be able to solve every problem. Most of us can identify with the moments when we are ready to explode at anything that comes near us. Think of parents of newborns who haven’t been sleeping, or that time you were really stressed. Or think of that time you were really hungry and especially crabby. Yes, I’m talking about being hangry.

My interests are in anger, aggression, and irritability. A lot of times people talk about reducing anger by figuring out how to solve the problem or by punching a pillow (which will actually make your anger and aggression worse in the long-term). However, when you are feeling irritable, these things won’t help. People often use the terms anger and irritability interchangeably. However, I’m going to ask that you think of them as two separate concepts. While anger is that tense emotion when your blood is boiling, irritability is the moment of grouchiness before you feel angry. When you are irritable you are more likely to become angry (which is why it is often associated with anger), but you might not be angry yet. For example, when you are hungry you might be irritable and will easily be angered, but you might not be angry yet. Similarly, when you are sleep deprived, hungry, or haven’t yet had your coffee you are likely to be irritable.

The reason for the distinction is important because when you are feeling angry, you might be able to reduce your anger by solving a problem. However, when you anger is a result of irritability, it would be more helpful to look for treatments that will first help you feel better. So next time you notice you are feeling angry at the world for no good reason (or are just looking for reasons to become angry), ask yourself what your body needs, and eat a sandwich, drink some water, exercise, get some fresh air, or get some sleep. You will feel better before you know it.






Article Author

Michael J. Toohey, Ph.D.

Teaching Faculty, School of Applied Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy.


In a move that speaks directly to Antioch University Seattle’s (AUS) vision to build and serve inclusive communities, Antioch University Seattle has embarked upon a historic Diamond Academic Partnership with the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), the largest LGBTQIA chamber of commerce in North America.

“Diamond Partnership represents the highest level of sponsorship,” said Travis Mears, Director of Development and Scholarship Programs for the GSBA. With this partnership, AUS finds itself in the company of Pacific Northwest corporate leaders like Microsoft and Alaska Airlines; sponsorship implies a very public investment.

“Ours is the first academic partnership of its kind with the GSBA,” said Emmelyn Hart, AUS Director of Institutional Advancement (IA). Hart is understandably excited by the news and looks forward to defining and refining this diamond in the rough.

The GSBA Scholarship Fund awards educational scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and allied undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate strong academic abilities and who are actively involved in their school and community organizations.

“Antioch University’s values attract the kind of student GSBA supports, but we have local and global university recipients,” said Mears. “Students must be residents of the state of Washington, and they must be moving the needle forward for social justice.” Mears goes on to explain that the partnership at the Diamond level not only contributes significantly to the 3 million dollars awarded to these students annually, but also provides the business chamber opportunities as well.

Helping to define the thrust of this investment has been the long-time challenge of the AU Associate Vice Chancellor of IA, Dr. Dan Hocoy, whose conversations as acting Interim President back in 2015 with GSBA President and CEO Louise Chernin planted the seed for the partnership.

According to Hart, a task force is being assembled and a memorandum of understanding is being crafted to outline the terms and details of how the AUS investment in GSBA will be directed.

“Dan brought us together to facilitate this,” said Mears. “We have a leadership immersion weekend planned at Islandwood in August, and leaders from across sectors are charged with guiding best practices.”

In keeping with the AU mission and vision for engagement, investment in the GSBA Leadership Academy will promote the common good; task force members include AUS visionaries and members from Seattle University and University of Idaho, as well other small business and corporate leaders. “We have a truly unique opportunity,” said Mears. “We’re a business chamber focused on equality for all in a city with the fastest growing economy in the country. Working together with AUS, a university known nationally for its commitment to equity and inclusion, and it’s unique model, we see even greater potential for our scholars.”

“Both organizations have a desire to be part of the progressive change in the city, and both recognize that we are stronger as partners than alone,” noted Hocoy. But it was in discussions with Chernin regarding the challenge of providing scholarship recipients with supportive, developmental, cumulative, and competency-based leadership curriculum in addition to structure and content reflecting best practices that Antioch University Seattle’s strength as a partner crystallized.

GSBA scholarship recipients represent a diverse group with audacious dreams, as well as the skills and dedication to make them reality. According to Mears, though, the emotional impact of the scholarship program on participants rivals the financial. “For them it’s about having a community of people who believe in their ability to succeed.” And as a community, we shoulder responsibility for that continued support.

“This generation of leaders faces unique creative challenges,” said Hocoy. Transitioning personally while emerging professionally requires support and fresh thinking about the nature of support. “As many leadership and management programs have discovered, we know that the best leadership is authentic leadership. Leaders need to know who they are before they can lead.”

For the moment, according to Hart, the inaugural GSBA Leadership Academy intensive weekend at Islandwood might be compared to cutting-edge CE credits for working leaders with a job to do. “The academy will provide leadership training not only to support academic success but also to provide the tools for leadership once school is done.” The task force is also challenged to come up with a collaborative fundraising plan and essential, measurable, sensible, and simple metrics that will allow the GSBA Leadership Academy to be a lasting, evolving investment in the future.


Antioch University Seattle envisions that its graduates this spring will emerge with a heightened sense of their power and purpose and be prepared to put theory into practice. With the Run Like A Girl summer program, AUS Practicum & Internship students in Drama Therapy (DT) will run into the woods and pass this same vision into the very capable hands of middle school girls.

The phrase “like a girl” calls into question a girl’s capability. And the fact that this micro-aggression is so often tied to sports performance is doubly damaging. Run Like A Girl celebrates the power that sports can provide, developing in girls the intentional active strategies we all need to build self-confidence and seize the day.

Run Like A Girl (2004) filmmaker Charlotte Lettis Richardson (also a decorated runner) credits losing races with teaching her the most about herself. And in her 2011 memoir, Run Like A Girl, champion athlete Mina Samuels outed her fiercest opponent—the one within. This August, AUS’s own local theatre-sports star, AUS Drama Therapy Co-coordinator Bobbi Kidder, MA, RDT/BCT, shines a light on Like A Girl fierceness and the power of story with a reframed “On the Road” student field experience at Table Rock Foundation summer camps.

Since 2014, Kidder has noted the high percentage of young girls referred to Camp Phoenix, the camp at Table Rock Foundation that serves middle school kids from Oregon’s Jackson and Josephine Counties who have experienced severe trauma. Given the emotional and physical changes naturally at work in the bodies of ten- to thirteen-year-old girls, Bobbi thought a powerful camp to run like girls, with girls, and for girls might be in order.

Run Like A Girl offers AUS intern urbanites a rare regional view of rural life. And by confronting derogatory definitions of girlness and the effect societal shaming can have on self-image, they will champion the campaign that is changing the narrative.

Kidder is no stranger to programs that focus on social justice and empowerment. Run Like A Girl takes a page out of the playbook Kidder used for Inside/Out, a community ensemble with young women prisoners at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility. “We set the stage for recognizing assets—we create and share stories about them.” Kidder’s practice, strongly based on Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, reframes concepts such as meaning, truth, and like a girl, and puts a voice to the oppressor within—sometimes multiple voices. Kidder calls it “performative.” “With Boal’s rainbow of desire aspect, we answer our own voices and silence the ones that hold us back.”

Alongside the camp’s Rainbow Grandmothers, and amidst the webs and native wisdom of a truly enchanted forest, it is intention and not service that Kidder and her interns provide. They will work together for moments of choice and potential, inspired by a quote from the Aboriginal elder and educator Lilla Watson: “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”



Big Miao” Shimming is trying to revolutionize the way China engages with special needs children – and he’s reaching out to Antioch Seattle’s Art Therapy program to help.  Shimming will be visiting AUS on May 16 – 17.  The public is invited to attend Miao’s presentation on his important work on May 17 from 3-5pm.

Shimming’s visit is part of a developing relationship between Antioch Seattle’s Art Therapy program and Worldwide Art Brut Culture (WABC), a Shanghai-based NGO Shimming founded in 2009.  With a mission to help special needs children express themselves through art, WABC has so far opened 20 learning centers across China and has more than 50 teachers.

Janice Hoshino PhD, chair of Creative Arts Therapy at AUS, has traveled to China several times over the past year in order to help WABC train its volunteer teachers in art therapy.  She says the fact that WABC is rapidly increasing the number of areas and individuals it serves is an impressive accomplishment given China has a long history of stigmatizing and punishing people with mental disorders:  “Despite recent reforms, it’s still not unusual for persons with psychiatric issues to be involuntarily institutionalized,” says Dr. Hoshino.

Hoshino says the reason art therapy is gaining acceptance in China, and the reason WABC specifically has been able to attract donors like the Gates Foundation, comes down to the transformative process of art-making.  She described one 20-something individual who took part in a WABC art therapy training she was involved in: “This young man has been mute for much of his life, and by the end of the training he was talking.”

Beyond the power of art therapy, Hoshino also gives credit for WABC’s success to the outsized personality of its founder: “With his infectious enthusiasm, kind heart and ready laugh, Big Miao is the perfect ambassador for the program.”










It’s officially GiveBig 2017!

GiveBIG is a 24-hour campaign to raise funds for nonprofit organizations serving Greater Seattle. Please consider making a gift to support Antioch University. Now, more than ever, your help is needed to prepare the next generation of socially responsible leaders.

It’s May 10, 2017 and is up and running– let’s make the next 24 hours count, now more than ever!

Below are three easy ways to show your AUS pride during GiveBIG:

  1. Make a gift.   Doing big things doesn’t take much if everyone participates. Imagine if our entire community made a gift, of any size, for GiveBIG.
  2. Spread the word. Share our message with with family, friends or old classmates.
  3. Follow us on social media. Check our Facebook and Twitter accounts for GiveBIG and other updates.

Gifts made to Antioch University today through GiveBIG also come with rewards:

GiveBIG continues through 11:59 pm PT tonight. Thank you for supporting Antioch Seattle!

[UPDATE] 2:45 p.m. – Our Institutional Advancement team of Dan Hocoy and Emmelyn Hart will match the next $200 in donations!

[UPDATE] 1:30 p.m. – Ben Pryor will match the next $200 in donations!


Grant-funded urban ecology project will sustainably curtail polluted water runoff into Salmon Bay while building infrastructure and community

Seattle – Antioch University Seattle (AUS) and Urban Systems Design (USD) will celebrate the completion of a project that will reduce polluted runoff that drains into the city’s Salmon Bay each year. The East Ballard Greenstreet Project, will host a ribbon-cutting party on Saturday, May 20th from 1:30-2:30pm. Address: 1101 NW 57th Street, Seattle WA 98107.

The public is invited to attend the event and learn about the block of roadside rain gardens that were installed along 11th Avenue NW at 58th Street in Seattle’s East Ballard neighborhood.  The project was funded through a $65,000 Russell Family Foundation grant as a pilot demonstration for future community-driven and environmentally-friendly drainage projects. The Duwamish Infrastructure Restoration Training (DIRT Corps) program, a green infrastructure job training program focused on women, people of color and other disadvantaged communities, completed the project installation in 2015 and has been monitoring the site for the past year. DIRT Corps crew will be on site to answer questions about green infrastructure.

“Our small natural drainage projects absorbs and filters the roadway runoff before it can reach the catch basin system, which directs runoff into Salmon Bay at the end of 11th Avenue NW,” said Cari Simson, project manager with Urban Systems Design, and adjunct faculty at AUS’ liberal studies Bachelor Completion program.

Managing roadway runoff is an important environmental consideration because it can easily transmit toxins and pollutants – such as vehicle exhaust particles, oil leaks, pet waste, garbage and other chemicals on roads and roofs – as it makes its way to the nearest catch basin, and ultimately the nearest waterbody. Polluted runoff enters the food chain and affects the health of marine creatures and the people who eat fish or shellfish.

The East Ballard Greenstreet Project was launched not only to offset pollution, but also show community, government and private groups how to work together to build rain gardens and use that experience to shape best practices for implementing similar projects elsewhere. “This project illustrates how at AUS we look below the surface to solve problems in sustainable ways that truly make a difference in our communities,” Simson said.

The E. Ballard Greenstreet Project is funded through a grant from The Russell Family Foundation with support from Antioch University Seattle, the Washington Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and East Ballard Community Association. To learn more about the project or to get involved, visit The DIRT Corps  or contact Simson at 206-234-5102.


The Antioch University Seattle grads behind Wheelhouse Workshop are in the news again! Kotaku, a major online publication dedicated to “games and things serious gamers care about” recently published a piece about Wheelhouse Workshop, a therapy group that specializes in using tabletop games, including Dungeons & Dragons, as counseling tools.

Dungeons and Dragons is a J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired, books-based game first published in the 1970s. Players take on the role of specific characters they create in this world, such as “halflings” (essentially hobbits), elves, dwarves, and more, while the host of the game, the Dungeon Master or “D.M.” tells the players about the fictional world their characters are in, giving the players the opportunity to make creative choices based on the content of the story. The game is also recognized as culturally significant in the Seattle area; in 2016, Dungeons & Dragons was inducted into Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

Kotaku writes “Therapists have long used role-play to help their patients, inviting patients to role-play personal scenarios from friends’ or parents’ perspectives. But buying in can feel pretty lame without a good hook, or a fictional world’s distance from real-life. Because D&D is inherently cooperative and escapist, it urges players to reimagine the ways they interact with peers.” While Wheelhouse Workshop is not the only therapy group to incorporate Dungeons and Dragons, they are luminaries in the field, and have given talks at multiple gaming conventions, such as Emerald City Comic Con and PAX.

Adam Davis and Adam Johns are the co-founders of Wheelhouse Workshop, and both have earned master’s degrees from Antioch University Seattle. Davis earned his MAEd with a focus in Drama Therapy, and Johns earned an MA in couple and family therapy.

For information about our MAEd with Drama Therapy:

For information about our MA in CFT:


Save the date of Wednesday, May 10, 2017 to GiveBIG to Antioch University Seattle!  This city-wide campaign is a one-day online giving event to raise funds for nonprofit organizations serving Greater Seattle. The 2017 theme is “Now. More Than Ever,” reflecting the urgent need to support nonprofits working to create greater equity and opportunity for all.  The campaign is a great opportunity for our investors to stretch their generous gifts even further and supports our students’ academic experience.

Please join us on May 10th in this day of community generosity and support Antioch Seattle as it encourages innovative exploration and prepares the  next generation of socially responsible leaders to dare to solve society’s most pressing challenges.

Early donations now open, so you can give today!
Give Now!


All across the United States, Antioch University campuses are transforming the ideals of Earth Day into action.

In New England, Antioch alumna Hermine Levey Weston, RN MBA will be facilitating a workshop at the Green Health Academy to develop and identify fresh ideas to celebrate Earth Day specficaly in healthcare settings.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Antioch University Seattle will mark Earth Day with a bonfire and beach clean up. As the notoriously grey Northwest winters yield to spectacular summers, the Antioch Seattle Outdoors Club will help get the region ready at 5:00pm on Sunday, April 23rd at Golden Gardens Park. The club will provide firewood and s’mores but asks attendees to bring their favorite campfire treat.

In California, the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival is celebrating 47 years of community activism, just as Antioch University Santa Barbara is celebrating their own 40th year of helping to steward the Earth.

At Antioch University Los Angeles, the Sustainability Committee and the Urban Sustainability Department recently sponsored two workshops in celebration of Earth Month. Presenters included Rashonda “Zoe Blaq” Bartney, a Certified UC Victory Gardener who created Urban Soul Farmer to encourage people to grow food and share healthy recipes; Mallory Burden, an Environmental Scientist for CalRecycle; and Lesha Siler, a Policy Associate for the LA Food Policy Council and staff liaison to the Working Groups on Urban Agriculture, Food Waste and Farmers Markets For All.

On April 15th, attendees also learned from professionals from a wide array of fields in the industry at a panel on Careers in Sustainability. Panelists Christina Hall, Executive Director OC Food Access Coalition and an Antioch Alum; Jeff O’Keefe, Supervising Sanitary Engineer with the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water, Southern California Field Operations Branch; and Shavon Paige, Real Estate Officer at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power shared tips and tricks on how to stand out in this competitive and emerging job market.

Though Earth Day is a particularly active time at the University campuses, Antioch holds these ideas front and center year round as part of our core mission. Earth Day is a celebration of that commitment and a springboard for the year to come.

  Aimie Vallat

Antioch University Seattle is thrilled to share the news that one of our alumna, Aimie Vallat (along with Noah Dassel) is nominated for a Northwest Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The nomination comes in recognition for, Present Moment, a documentary that Media Inc Magazine called, “An empowering film about courage, resilience and acceptance.”

The documentary is an insightful and compassionate portrait of a man coming to terms with Parkinson’s disease, incorporating it both into his sense of identity and into his determination to not only live, but live well.

The film was created by Vallat and Dassel’s production company, REEL WITNESS, which is “committed to creating a more resilient future by telling the stories of social change in our communities.”

“My passion for social justice filmmaking started when I was a college student living in South Africa in 1992.” Vallat says. “My first documentary project was to interview township residents to talk about the impact of receiving small business and home loans (we now call this micro-credit lending). It was an incredible experience witnessing first hand how a $20 dollar loan to sell vegetables could literally transform someone’s life. I left South Africa in 1994 energized and committed to a lifetime of working on social justice issues, and that has never really wavered…Now, with my production company, REEL WITNESS, my focus is about elevating a conversation around important social issues while looking at what is resilient and thriving in that story or person or organization. Staying alert to the places of growth and joy within any system of change has helped me stay motivated to keep doing this work after all these years.”

Vallat received her Master’s in Communication from Antioch University Seattle in 2009 and, for the past twenty years, has focused on issues of sustainability, social justice, and building thriving communities. She credits much of the success of Present Moment to local PBS station, KCTS 9, as well as to “Laila Kazmi for their unwavering support of our film and our local, Pacific Northwest filmmaking community.”

She goes on to describe her surprise and delight at the film’s success.

“What has happened since Present Moment’s release in 2015 has been a huge surprise for all of us. A few things really did change after making it; first off, I learned to trust and follow inspiration, wherever it might take you, without expectation. Secondly, as a family we sat down for the first time and talked frankly about the impact of Parkinson’s (PD) in all our lives. My sorrow prior to making the film of seeing my dad living with this disease has now lessened as we’ve been through this process together, and that was a very welcome and unexpected change.”

Present Moment has already received numerous other awards, and is a film festival favorite.

“All of those accolades have been a great surprise but it was never the intention when the film was made – to do the festival circuit etc. – but since we did end up doing following that path, it’s allowed more viewers to see the story and perhaps find some solace or a sense of connection. For that reason alone, I’m truly grateful that it’s been available to a much broader audience.”

The entire Antioch community wishes to extend our congratulations and joy at this achievement.