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Home » Clarion » 2015 » March 2015 » PSC Elections: New Caucus Candidates for PSC Executive Council

PSC Elections: New Caucus Candidates for PSC Executive Council


Barbara Bowen (Queens)
14-Barbara-Bowen.jpgBarbara Bowen has been honored to serve as president of the union since 2000. Under her leadership, the PSC has made measurable gains for the CUNY faculty and staff, at the same time articulating a larger vision for public higher education. As that vision comes increasingly under attack, Bowen has emerged as a leader within the city and state in the fight against economic austerity, a fight that is at the heart of our current contract battle. Despite a tough political climate, Bowen developed the power of the union to win contracts that brought us sabbaticals at 80% pay, reassigned time for junior faculty, paid office hours for adjuncts, paid parental leave, professional development grants for adjuncts, HEOs and CLTs – as well as salary increases that regained ground lost in the 1990s. She led the campaign and negotiations that saved adjunct health insurance. A fierce opponent of accommodating to scarcity, Bowen has been an outspoken critic of Albany’s failed strategy of disinvestment in CUNY and reliance on increased student tuition. She has gained a national reputation as a principled and articulate labor leader, known for her commitment to CUNY students and educational justice. Bowen earned her PhD in English from Yale; she holds faculty positions at Queens College and the Graduate Center.

First Vice President

Michael Fabricant (Hunter)
14-Michael-Fabricant.jpgMichael Fabricant is a professor at the Hunter College School of Social Work and was Executive Officer of the PhD program in Social Welfare between 1999 and 2012. Mike has been a member of the PSC Executive Council and bargaining team for the past fifteen years. For the past nine years he has been treasurer of the PSC. As a leader of the PSC Mike has helped to build organizing campaigns that advance contract agendas, resist the standardized curriculum regimen of management’s Pathways initiative, and promote health care for part-time faculty. Equally important, he has represented the PSC at the AFT Organizing and Civil Human Rights Committee and the Working Families Party, and has contributed to NYSUT statewide campaigns on higher education and EdTPA. He has also written extensively on K-12 issues including charter schooling, privatization, and community-labor collaboration. Mike has a long activist history in and outside the labor movement. He has co-founded a number of service and housing creation agencies serving homeless people in New Jersey and was a principal officer of the National Coalition for the Homeless.


Nivedita Majumdar (John Jay)
14-Nivedita-Majumdar.jpgNivedita Majumdar is associate professor of English at John Jay College. She has been PSC Chapter Chair at John Jay College since 2011. She is a member of the Contract Campaign Advisory Committee, has completed the PSC Leadership Training Program and represents the PSC at the AFT Higher Education Program and Policy Committee. In her tenure as chapter chair at John Jay, she has spearheaded the building of a dynamic chapter that has led campaigns on several issues that extend beyond the contract. The signature campaign has been for workload mitigation for full-time faculty, which would entail a reorganization of workload in the interests of faculty and students. A sustained three-year campaign by faculty succeeded in its goal of getting the administration to institute a universal, non-competitive program that will benefit tenured professors and lecturers. This campaign, along with others like the anti-Pathways and adjunct seniority efforts, has dramatically increased the level of political awareness and participation among our members.

Nivedita has been active in progressive movements within and outside the university for more than 20 years in the US and India. She remains committed to working on improving the working conditions of our members while ensuring that our union actively works with other forces to protect and nurture public higher education and promote a progressive social vision.

Nivedita is an active scholar. Her research interests include Marxist theory, postcolonial studies, theories of nationalism and cultural studies; she has published widely in these areas. Her edited book, The Other Side of Terror, (Oxford, 2009) offers a Left critique of terrorism discourse. She is currently at work on her next book on postcolonial theory and literature.


Sharon Persinger (Bronx CC)
14-Sharon-Persinger.jpgSharon Persinger is an associate professor of mathematics and computer science at Bronx Community College, with a PhD in mathematics from the CUNY Graduate Center and a master’s in computer science from City College. She has served as chair of the PSC chapter at BCC since 2010. With her leadership, the BCC chapter has worked to restore adequate funding for CUNY, improve health and safety at the college, win equity for adjuncts, and support the struggles of other unionized workers in the Bronx. She has served as a member of the PSC Executive Council since 2011, is a member of the Labor Goes to the Movies Committee and the Anti-Militarization Committee, and was recently appointed as a trustee of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund and a member of the NYSUT Policy Council. Born into a union family in West Virginia, Sharon learned about the importance and power of organized labor from the United Mine Workers.


VP Senior Colleges

Alex Vitale (Brooklyn)14-Alex-Vitale.jpg
Alex S. Vitale is an associate professor of sociology at Brooklyn College. A consultant for human rights organizations and police departments, a frequent op-ed writer and a contributor to The Nation, he researches the politics of policing and the policing of politics. His book City of Disorder deals with the rise of neoconservative politics and policing. Since coming to CUNY as a doctoral student in 1993, he served as co-chair of the Doctoral Students Council and as head of the Adjunct Organizing Project, was involved in the formation of CUNY Adjuncts Unite, has served six years on the PSC Legislation Committee, is a NYSUT PAC representative, and is now in his third term on the PSC Executive Council and in his first term as Brooklyn College chapter chair.


Senior College Officers

Penny Lewis (Graduate Center)14-Penny-Lewis.jpg
Penny Lewis is the Academic Director of Labor Studies at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute (SPS), where she is also an associate professor. She has held many positions at CUNY, including graduate assistant, adjunct, high school teacher and instructor. She has also held many positions in the PSC, including organizer, delegate, and executive committee member. She is currently a PSC university-wide officer, as well as vice-chair of the Graduate Center chapter. Her research interests are labor, social class and social movements; she is the author of Hardhats, Hippies and Hawks: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement as Myth and Memory (Cornell, 2013).

Clarence Taylor (Baruch)14-Clarence-Taylor.jpg
Clarence Taylor, a professor of history at Baruch College, researches the civil rights struggle in New York City and writes on African-American religion and labor. Among his six books are The Black Churches of Brooklyn; Knocking at Our Own Door: Milton A. Galamison and the Struggle to Integrate New York City School; and Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Civil Rights and the New York City Teachers Union. Clarence has served as chair of the Black and Latino Studies Department and as acting chair of the history department. While at Florida International University, he was vice president of FIU’s chapter of the United Faculty of Florida and was a member of the UFF statewide executive committee.

George Sanchez (CSI)14-__IMG_2138-George-Emilio-Sanchez-Professor_landscape.jpg
George Emilio Sanchez is a performance artist and writer. He has been creating original performance works for over 25 years. Besides his solo performance work, he has also collaborated on numerous pieces with choreographer Patricia Hoffbauer. Sanchez is also the Performance Director for Emergenyc, a program that explores the intersection between arts and activism. He is completing his third term as chairperson of the Performing and Creative Arts Department at the College of Staten Island and was twice elected to serve as vice-chair of the College Council. He is currently the PSC chapter chair at CSI.


VP Community Colleges

Lorraine Cohen (LaGuardia CC)
14-Lorraine-Cohen.jpgLorraine Cohen, professor of sociology at LaGuardia Community College, serves on the PSC Executive Council and is a member of the contract bargaining committee. As LaGuardia’s chapter chair, she helped organize the struggle against the ever increasing workload. She has embraced her role as an organizer, increasing activism at her campus especially against implementation of Pathways. A sociologist with deep roots at CUNY, Lorraine has been an outspoken advocate for CUNY faculty and staff. She believes that the union must act in solidarity with the issues facing our students, their families, and communities. She was NYSUT’s 2005 Higher Education Member of the year.


Community College Officers

Lizette Colón (Hostos cc)
14-Lizette-Colon.jpgLizette Colón is a proud Puerto Rican mother of an incredible 18-year-old young woman and a staunch advocate for social justice issues. Since 1982 she has served Hostos Community College as College Discovery Program Coordinator, Special Assistant to the President for Community Affairs, executive member of the College Senate, College -Wide Curriculum Committee member, and Service Learning Committee member. She is currently a faculty counselor, the chair of the Hostos PSC Chapter, and an Advisory Board member of P.S. 18 Community Learning School in the South Bronx. She holds a BA from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Michael Spear (Kingsborough CC)14-Michael-Spear.jpg
Michael Spear, assistant professor of history at Kingsborough Community College, is the vice-chair of the Kingsborough PSC chapter and he has served on the PSC Executive Council since 2011. He is a member of the PSC collective bargaining committee and of the PSC legislative committee, and is co-chair of the PSC archives committee. His scholarly research is on the New York City labor movement and post-World War II New York City history. His article “In the Shadows of the 1970s Fiscal Crisis: New York City’s Municipal Unions in the Twenty-First Century” appeared in the September 2010 issue of Working USA.

Anthony Gronowicz (BMCC)14-tony2.jpg
Anthony Gronowicz, an adjunct faculty member in political science at BMCC, is a member of the BMCC PSC chapter Executive Committee and of the PSC’s International Committee and Academic Freedom Committee. He is the author of Race and Class Politics in New York City Before the Civil War and editor of Oswald Garrison Villard: The Dilemmas of the Absolute Pacifist in Two World Wars. The faculty advisor to BMCC’s student government and to CUNY Divest (from fossil fuels), he believes that working with students is key to growing the PSC’s political clout.


VP Part-Timers

Susan DiRaimo (Lehman)15-Susan-DeRaimo.jpg
Susan DiRaimo, an adjunct in English as a Second Language at City College and Lehman and coauthor of Life, Language and the Urban Experience, has served as a PSC Executive Council member representing part-time personnel since 2003. She lobbies Albany for unemployment insurance for adjuncts and testifies regularly at the Board of Trustees, especially against tuition increases. Susan is co-chair of the PSC Open Access Committee and Anti-Militarization Committee and is the volunteer director of the Northwest Support Committee for the Homeless. She has an award from Community Board 10 for her work with the homeless


Part-Time Personnel Officers

Blanca Vázquez (Hunter)15-Blanca-Vazquez.jpg
Blanca Vázquez is adjunct assistant professor in Film and Media Studies at Hunter College. At the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, she was the founding editor of Centro Journal and a researcher on the Culture and Oral History Task Forces. In 2009, she received Hunter’s Cecile B. Insdorf Award for Excellence in Teaching for Part-Time Faculty. Blanca has been a PSC delegate, secretary of the Hunter chapter, and liaison for part-timers. She has served one term on the PSC Executive Council and is on the bargaining team and the International Committee. She is a lifelong activist in social movements for civil rights, women’s equality and Puerto Rican self-determination.

Lenny Dick (Bronx CC)15-Leonard-Dick.jpg
Leonard Dick works as an adjunct lecturer in the mathematics department at Bronx Community College. During the past ten years, he has been a member of the BCC PSC executive committee, chair of the PSC Peace and Justice Committee, a member of the PSC Delegate Assembly, and a delegate to AFT and NYSUT conventions. Leonard has worked to develop campus-community solidarity through campaigns to support the Bronx Stella D’oro strike and for justice for Ramarley Graham.

Michael Batson (CSI)15-Michael-Baston.jpg
Michael Batson has been an adjunct lecturer at CUNY for fifteen years, teaching history and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the College of Staten Island since 2000 and American history at Kingsborough Community College since 2010, and has been active in the PSC for twelve years. He served as adjunct campus liaison at CSI from 2007 to 2009 and since 2009 has been a part-time personnel officer on the PSC Executive Council. He is currently a member of the bargaining team and the Legislative Committee. He is proud to have played a role in securing adjunct health insurance through the city plan.


VP Cross-Campus

15-Iris-DeLutro.jpgIris DeLutro (HEO/Graduate Center)
Iris DeLutro, a senior counselor and CUNY wide coordinator of the LEAP to Teacher Programs of the Murphy Institute since 1984, is PSC Vice President for Cross-Campus Units and chair of the Higher Education Officer chapter. She serves on the Board of Directors of NYSUT, the PSC bargaining team, and the PSC Legislation Committee. She is also co-coordinator of the Political Action Committee for Queens. Iris works to ensure equity and advancement for the professional staff and to raise awareness of professional staff issues, including bullying in the workplace, changes to the time and leave timesheets, increased workload, and the lack of a promotional system for HEOs and CLTs.


Cross-Campus Officers

Andrea Vásquez (HEO/Grad Center)
Andrea Ades Vásquez, the associate director of the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, is the managing director of the Graduate Center’s New Media Lab, a resource for both students and faculty. She is also the designer of many US history websites and documentaries used in CUNY and other college and high school classrooms. On the PSC Executive Council and bargaining team, Andrea is active in the HEO chapter and has helped to organize HEOs across CUNY. She has contributed to the union’s use of social media and is involved with issues pertaining to educational technology.

Alan Pearlman (CLT/Baruch)15-Alan-Perlman.jpg
Alan Pearlman is a senior college laboratory technician at Baruch College and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees there. A member of the PSC Executive Council, he is also the Vice Chair of the College Laboratory Technician (CLT) chapter and a member of the Delegate Assembly. As a cross-campus officer, he proudly represents a hardworking and often unseen labor force of the University. He brings to the Executive Council years of experience interacting with students, faculty and management, and he welcomes the opportunity to be an advocate for the professional staff.

Jacqueline Elliot (CLT/NYCCT)
15-Jackie-Elliot-Debra-Bergen-0514.jpgJacqueline Elliot is co-chair of the PSC Environmental Health and Safety Committee, the co-chair of the New York City College of Technology campus Health and Safety Committee, union-wide officer at large for the College Laboratory Technicians chapter, CLT campus rep, a member of the City Tech Executive Committee, and a grievance counselor for the CLT chapter. She works in the biology department at City Tech and has mentored upcoming union activists for many years, encouraging her fellow union members to take their health and safety seriously. She is also a proud graduate from the first class of the New Generation leadership training program at the Professional Staff Congress.


University-Wide Officers

Steve London (Brooklyn)15-Steve-London.jpg
Steve London is associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College. Steve has served the union in many capacities. He served five terms as first vice president, chaired the Legislation and Contract Enforcement Committees, is a member of the Negotiations Committee, serves as trustee and executive officer of the Welfare Fund, and is a NYSUT Board director. A founder of the New Caucus, in the 1990s he served three terms as Brooklyn College’s chapter chair and as University Faculty Senator. Steve will bring his deep understanding of academic unionism, his rich knowledge of the PSC, and his fighting spirit to the new Executive Council.

Paul Washington (HEO/Medgar Evers)15-Paul-Washington.jpg
Paul Washington, a Higher Educational Associate, is vice-chair of the HEO Chapter. He is the coordinator of outreach for the Black Male Development & Empowerment Center at Medgar Evers College. A member of the PSC Legislation Committee, he is also co-coordinator for the union’s political action committee for Brooklyn. Before coming to CUNY, Paul was a counselor and case manager for the homeless, a teacher in NYC schools, and chief of staff to the New York City Council Chair for Higher Education, where he worked on increasing CUNY funds and coordinated the an initiative to provide education and resources to unemployed men of color.

Alan Feigenberg (City)15-Alan-Feigenberg.jpg
Alan Feigenberg, a professor of architecture at City College and Director for the City College Graduate program in Urban Sustainability as well as an affiliate professor of environmental psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center, has been a practicing architect for over 40 years and a teacher-facilitator for over 35 years. Alan has initiated programs in New York City public schools using the urban environment a source for integrated learning and has taught design studio and construction technology, as well as classes on the architecture of New York City, teaching architecture, food and architecture, and the city as a museum. Alan has been PSC chapter chair at CCNY since fall 2011.

David Hatchett (Medgar Evers)15-Dave-Hatchett.jpg
David Hatchett is a lecturer in English at Medgar Evers College. He has been active in the PSC for more than 15 years. David was a part-time faculty organizer at Medgar Evers and Hostos Community College from 2000-05. In 2005 he became the coordinator of the adjunct organizing project. He was member of the Medgar Evers chapter Executive Committee from 2010-2012 and is currently a member of the PSC Delegate Assembly. He has served as a member of the PSC’s Executive Council on two previous occasions.

Alia Tyner-Mullings (Guttman CC)15-Alia-Tyner-Mullins.jpg
Alia Tyner-Mullings is assistant professor of sociology at Guttman Community College. She has also taught at Hostos and Hunter and worked at the City Honors Center. Alia is the third generation of her family to earn a degree at and teach within CUNY. Coming from a background of civil rights and union activities, Alia became the first PSC chapter chair at Guttman in 2014. She is an editor of Critical Small Schools: Beyond Privatization in New York City Urban Educational Reform, an author of Writing for Emerging Sociologists and the author of Enter the Alternative School: Critical Answers to Questions in Urban Education.


Retiree Officers

Steve Leberstein
15-Steve-Leberstein.jpgSteve Leberstein has been at CUNY over 42 years, beginning as adjunct lecturer in history at Brooklyn College and retiring as professor of History at City College in 2005, but continuing teaching as an adjunct professor of political science at Brooklyn College’s Graduate Center for Worker Education until 2013. He was chair of the planning committee at the City College Center for Worker Education and served as its executive director for more than 20 years. A longtime PSC activist, he has been chair of the CCNY PSC chapter; chair of the PSC Academic Freedom Committee; co-chair of the PSC Social Safety Net Working Group; a member of the PSC Grievance Policy Committee and the Solidarity Committee; and a member of the AAUP Committee on Academic Freedom & Tenure.

Glenn Kissack15-Glenn-Kissack.jpg
Glenn Kissack taught mathematics at Hunter College High School, served on the chapter’s Executive Board and was grievance counselor for 13 years, working on grievances that increased pay for teachers and counselors and overturned unfair non-reappointments. During that time, he worked with the PSC Health and Safety Committee to expose problems with the ventilation system at the Campus Schools, leading to a major system renovation. Glenn has represented the PSC at both AFT and NYSUT conventions, was active on the PSC Peace and Justice Committee, and currently serves on the PSC Anti-Militarization Committee.

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