Now that we’ve won our union at Washington University, we’re taking the first step to win a good contract. We are forming our bargaining team, contract action team and communications team to lead our campaign for better wages. Please take a moment to learn more about each candidate and decide who you want to represent you. There is still time to nominate yourself or a colleague by clicking here.
I began teaching creative nonfiction in University College about a dozen years ago and now teach variously Introduction to Creative Writing, Short Fiction Writing, and Microfiction and Ten-Minute Plays. I have also adjuncted in UMSL’s Honors College, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and St. Louis Community College. At all of these institutions, I have had classes offered then not offered according to the whims and politics of the institutions, departments, or faculty members. I started working with the organizing committee in the fall of 2014 with the primary goal of creating class consistency, though I am interested in other things this union can accomplish such as better pay and benefits. I am interested in working on the bargaining team and the communications team to help meet these goals and help end what is an unsustainable system of universities relying on low-paid adjust workers for 70% of the faculty.
In addition to my teaching, I am the author of the poetry collections All the Wasted Beauty of the World (Able Muse Press, 2014), Domestic Fugues (Steel Toe Books, 2009), and Borrowed Towns (Word Press, 2005). My poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Boulevard, Crab Orchard Review, New Letters, The Sun, and many other periodicals and anthologies, and have been featured many times on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. For 20 years I have served as editor of River Styx and co-director of the River Styx Reading Series.
On the team, I would fight for higher wages, longer contracts and a choice of benefits.
I’ve been active with our union since day one, and I am committed to improving the working conditions for all adjuncts at Washington University. I’ll listen carefully to the concerns and desires of my fellow adjuncts, and I’ll fight hard during negotiations with the University.
I started graduate work in Comparative Literature at Washington University in the Fall of 2003. Before I finished my Ph.D. in Spring 2012, I started working as an adjunct periodically for Comp. Lit., but primarily in the College Writing Program; this is my fourth year as an adjunct. I have been involved as part of the Organizing Committee for unionization since early last fall, and have a long history with unions in my family. The importance of collective action and solidarity were stressed in my household growing up. When the opportunity came up at Washington University to change our working conditions through forming a union, I was excited to be involved. So many of my friends and colleagues are being underpaid and under appreciated for the considerable time and effort they put into teaching and mentoring. I want to be a part of the Bargaining Team to help insure that teaching labor at Washington University is being valued in tangible ways (salary, benefits, job security, input within our departments, etc.), and not simply in rhetoric.
I’ve been at Wash U 7 1/2 years. This is my first semester adjuncting. Adjuncting is a huge labor issue. With my long-standing relationship with the school I bring a lot of experience to bear.