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Welcome Letter from SLU Dean Greg Mantsios

Dear Friends of the Murphy Institute and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies;

On this Labor Day weekend, I want to welcome everyone to the new CUNY School for Labor and Urban Studies (SLU).  As you may know, the School traces its roots to the Murphy Institute which was re-constituted as a CUNY School last year. This week, we proudly opened our doors to students under our new name. The Murphy Institute continues as an important unit of the School—one that is focused on public engagement and workforce development.

SLU is the only interdisciplinary program in Labor and Urban Studies in the nation.  With this letter, we are launching the SLU website (slu.cuny.edu). We invite you to explore it for details about SLU’s undergraduate and graduate programs as well as its range of student and community services.

SLU is driven by a set of core values: access to education, diversity at every level, social justice, and equality for all. Our goals are to expand higher education opportunities for workers; prepare students for careers in public service and movements for social justice; promote civic engagement; provide leadership development for union and community activists; and help workers achieve greater economic security.

Labor Day is a perfect time to acknowledge those who have worked so hard to make SLU a reality. First, I want to thank the City University of New York and its Chancellery for having the vision and the political will to create this new School. The idea for SLU was shaped by many individuals and organizations. Our Advisory Board —chaired by Arthur Cheliotes (Manager of CWA 1180) and consisting of 23 unions and community organization—led this effort over a six-year period. They were committed to creating a School for workers and working-class communities and put enormous effort into raising funds to inaugurate and sustain the School. As a result, we have been honored by the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie as well as leading members of the State legislature and the New York City Council (especially Senator Diane Savino and Council Members Daneek Miller and Inez Baron).

Our faculty of distinguished scholars and practitioners has crafted a rich curriculum that examines the world of work and workers from the perspective of urban communities, especially those that have been underserved by government and public institutions.  We also have   a dedicated staff of program administrators and student services experts who spare no effort to help our students succeed in college.  Finally, SLU is nothing without its decades-long history in worker education and without the remarkable students who have established our reputation as a School for change agents. We are proud to thank the many union organizers and administrators, municipal employees, elected officials, researchers, and community advocates who were and are our students.

In our first year of operation, we will focus on building out the School, hiring additional faculty and staff; expanding current programs; and launching new initiatives. We will establish an academic governance structure for the School—one that is faculty-led and includes student and staff representatives. We will serve new constituencies, with higher education opportunities for resident leaders in housing projects and mentors who counsel youth offenders. Our year-long series of public programs rolls out with a September panel on Democracy and Capitalism (featuring NYC Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson); an October panel on New Labor and Community Organizing (with Larry Cohen, former International President of the CWA and now  Board Chair of Our Revolution); and a November Reporters Roundtable analysis of the 2018 midterm elections. Throughout the year, we will be offering our popular Saturday series on civic leadership, a program that prepares activists to run for public office or work on electoral campaigns.

We have an exciting year ahead. No doubt, we will have our challenges.  But with your continuing support, SLU will meet them and rise to greater heights. I want to thank you for being a part of the SLU community, and I look forward to sharing this banner year with you.

Sincerely,

 

Gregory Mantsios, Ph.D

Founding Dean, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies

Fall 2018 MA Scholarship Application Now Open (Deadline: July 12th)

The Murphy Institute is offering a small number of tuition-only scholarships for Fall 2018 to both newly-admitted and continuing MA students in Urban Studies and Labor Studies. Students must re-apply each semester to be considered for a scholarship for the next term. (Scholarships and amounts may vary from semester to semester depending on the availability of funds and/or enrollment status.)

Applications are open until 11:59pm on July 12th, 2018. Learn more and apply here.

Writing Center Coordinator Michael Rymer Receives Award

The Marilyn Sternglass Writing Award at City College is given for excellence in writing in the English Department’s Language and Literacy program. This semester, that award went to Murphy Writing Center Coordinator Michael Rymer, who holds an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is currently enrolled in the English Master of Arts in Language & Literacy program.

From Michael:

The paper looks at the use of Close Vertical Transcription (CVT) of writing center sessions as a professional development tool. Close Vertical Transcription is a method of transcribing that draws from linguistics, and some writing center professionals advocate for it as an alternative to less rigorous methods because they edit out non-verbal utterances and pauses and have no way or representing interruptions. In the paper I look at the literature on using transcripts in WC professional development (which has been happening since the beginning of writing centers) and I write about using CVT to transcribe a session here.

Congratulations Michael!

The Murphy Institute Welcomes New Staff

As the Murphy Institute prepares for the fall 2018 semester—our first as the CUNY School for Labor an Urban Studies—we are very pleased to announce four new appointments that will add luster to our already exceptional faculty and staff. Basil Smikle and James Steele have been appointed to our full-time faculty as Distinguished Lecturers in Politics and Public Policy. Stephen Greenfeld will assume the post of Academic Program Manager for Urban Studies. Warren Winter will be our new Information Technology Director, helping us advance our technical capacities as we make the transition from Institute to full-fledged CUNY School. Welcome all! Continue reading The Murphy Institute Welcomes New Staff

Welcoming the Spring 2018 Union Semester Class

Nadja Barlera

Born in New York and raised in many places, Nadja is a recent graduate from USC with a degree in English. She was a community and labor organizer with the Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation and service worker unions on campus. She is excited to join the Union Semester and learn about the labor movement in New York.

 

Zane Markosian

Zane lives in Northampton, MA and is in his third year at Oberlin College where he is studying Politics and History. He’s been most interested in classes relating to economic inequality and power in America. He’s excited to be a part of Union Semester because he wants to spend time gaining a real-world perspective on these issues.

 

Kristina Lilley

A Portland, Maine native with a heart for serving others, Kristina is a recent graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Biology. Her passion for social justice was heightened after her time spent overseas serving in the mission field. Kristina is eager to leverage all the experiences that will be earned by participating in her upcoming internship. She will complete her Master’s degree in labor studies this fall and plans to help advance the existing workforce and create a lasting impact within her community.

 

Jake Appet

Originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Jake Appet is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied creative writing. After spending the last five years as a professional filmmaker, he has shifted his energy toward electoral organizing and activism. He  volunteered extensively for two DSA-endorsed City-Council candidates, Khader El-Yateem and Jabari Brisport, and continues to work on organizing efforts with the central Brooklyn branch of the Democratic Socialists of America. He is looking forward to exploring a new career path within the labor movement.

 

Jose Sanchez