Category Archives: Alumni Spotlight

Advanced Certificate Student Pursues Ph.D.

What’s next for Advanced Certificate graduate Samantha Norris? Pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from The CUNY Graduate School Center

Samantha Norris believes in the power of collective spaces to dismantle oppressive structures. She is currently pursuing a graduate certificate at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. A Chicago native, she received her MA in Social Servic Administration from the University of Chicago. Samantha landed in NYC in 2013 after spending two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic, where she worked with adolescent girls and families and attempted to dance bachata. She is currently the Supervising Social Worker at Safe Passage Project, a legal services organization that represents immigrant youth in deportation proceedings. Through her doctoral studies, Samantha would like to explore the impact of neoliberalism on social service provision in nonprofit spaces and the transformative potential of emancipatory/critical social work practice and theory for workers and communities.

**This appears in  VOL. 1, ISSUE 6| JUNE 2022 edition of The Loop. The Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York

With a Degree from SLU, Yvette Clairjeane’s Career Trajectory Soars

Yvette Clairjeane is determined to succeed.  And with a Master’s degree in Urban Studies from SLU, that is exactly what is happening.

How did she arrive at SLU? “I was working (and still am) at the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP), and I was looking for a program with evening classes so I could improve my skills. I discovered the Advanced Certificate program through SLU’s partnership with the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). I thought the courses would help me in advancing my career. So I started out in the public policy certificate program.”

The certificate jump-started Yvette’s career progression. “I started out at the DCP as a research assistant in Counsel’s Office (legal division). After getting my certificate from SLU, I was given additional responsibilities and joined the business improvement team, which works to improve DCP’s business processes and make the agency more efficient. What I studied at SLU was really helpful in learning how the city runs, not just at my agency, but through all the services the city provides to its residents.”

Continue reading With a Degree from SLU, Yvette Clairjeane’s Career Trajectory Soars

Deran Cadotte’s Story of Worker Victory!

Six years ago, Deran Cadotte was weighing his options for a degree in urban policy. He walked into The Murphy Institute (SLU’s predecessor) and met with June Cumberbatch, advisor to the Urban Studies BA Program and his decision was made. “I immediately felt at home,” Deran reports.

In the fall of 2014, while working full-time, Deran began his academic and professional journey towards the next stage of his career in the non-profit world. As a part of his coursework, Deran happened upon a Labor Studies course. Little did he know that a class outside of his field of study would come in handy.

Continue reading Deran Cadotte’s Story of Worker Victory!

Alumni Achievement Album: Kristina Ramos-Callan

Spend five minutes talking to Kristina Ramos-Callan, and one thing is absolutely clear: Kristina Ramos-Callan cares.

Kristina is a program manager for United Hospital Fund (UHF), where she has worked for over 13 years. “Working in the health care field kind of came naturally to me,” she said. “I didn’t envision it at first, but a lot of my family members worked at the old St. Vincent’s hospital in Greenwich Village, and I started working there myself when I was 17 as a ward clerk in a neo-natal intensive care unit. Over time, I became a caregiver myself—for my daughter, my parents and grandparents— and it became important to me to understand not just the role of the caregiver, but the larger issues of providing care at the community level, health care education and advocacy, and getting health care research and programs funded.”

Continue reading Alumni Achievement Album: Kristina Ramos-Callan

SLU Alum Nastaran Mohit in Teen Vogue

To get more people organizing labor, more people need to know what organizers actually do. Which is why we were thrilled to see Teen Vogue feature a day in the life of Nastaran Mohit: labor champion, current organizing director of the NewsGuild of New York — and SLU alum. From the article:

It’s a tough time to be in journalism. Revenue sources are dwindling and new layoffs seem to be announced every day — and the COVID-19 pandemic sent another shockwave through the industry. That’s where Nastaran Mohit comes in. As organizing director of the NewsGuild of New York, Mohit works to unionize the staff at newspapers, magazines and online publications, so that reporters, editors and social media staff have access to the benefits and protections they so sorely need. The NewsGuild, a sector of the Communications Workers of America, represents more than 24,000 journalists and other media workers across the U.S. and Canada. Mohit has led successful campaigns to unionize publications including The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine and BuzzFeed. Here’s a window into the life of a busy union organizer.

Read about a day in the life of Nastaran here.

SLU Alum Liam Lynch Fights for Worker Safety During Pandemic

Liam Lynch (M.A. Labor Studies 2015) is on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Not in a hospital, but in a classroom. Not wielding a stethoscope and a thermometer, but a Powerpoint presentation and the law.

Liam works as a Safety & Health Specialist with the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), a non-profit comprised of workers, unions, community-based organizations, workers’ rights activists, and health and safety professionals committed to defending every individual’s right to a safe and healthy workplace. Continue reading SLU Alum Liam Lynch Fights for Worker Safety During Pandemic