Candidate Statements

Candidates for Bargaining Research & Proposal Coordinator:

Matthew J Donlevy

Hey yall,

I hope you’ll consider voting for me to fill one of the Bargaining Research & Proposal Coordinator positions.  Over the years that I’ve been here I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the union to push various member mandated initiatives.  I have pushed for nuanced understandings of member concerns, constant pressure against unfair university practices, and for a union culture that center personal responsibility and transparency.  One of my greatest strengths, in regards to representing you at the bargaining table, is that I’ve been through the process before.  I was a central member of the bargaining committee when we negotiated our last contract, and I’m proud to say that we made virtually no concessions to the university. I was instrumental in supporting a team that secured a wage increase of over 10%, increased access to affordable healthcare, the institution of new contract clauses that further protect workers, and various other significant gains. I have no fear of UMass administration, and no qualms about cutting though, vocally, their layers of nonsense and equivocation.  As we prepare to meet the university again I hope you’ll allow me to utilize my extensive institutional memory, and detail focused resourcefulness to secure the best possible contract for us all.

With respect,

Your fellow worker Matthew J Donlevy


Hadassah Masudi Minga

Hello! My name is Hadassah Masudi Minga and I need your vote to be the Bargaining Research & Proposal Coordinator. I am running for this position because:

  • I have experience bargaining funds for high school and university students
  • I am a public policy and administration student thus this position uses a lot of the skills I acquire in my program and is good practice
  • I recently completed a term research report on funding conditions for graduate students at UMass and know many of the issues plaguing international and non-international students when it comes to funding.
  • I have been thinking of alternatives on how to solve issues regarding funding for graduate students
  • I am a strong believer in transparency and involvement of all stakeholders, as bargaining research and proposal coordinator, frequent updates of the different stages of negotiations will be available to members and all suggestions will be welcomed
  • I have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, I will be able to affectively transfer your concerns to the administration

Vote for Hadassah Masudi Minga and lets work together to address graduate student concerns.



James Owens

 My name is James Owens and I ask for your vote for Bargaining Research & Proposal Coordinator. I am a graduate student in the PhD program in Communication where I study political communication and social movements. I am intimately familiar with processes of research and writing in coordination with political campaigns. I gained skills in strategic research and campaigning through over twenty years experience organizing political movements. As a researcher, I negotiated and won the support of dozens of working groups within Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan to document over 120 of our political projects. I coordinated publicity and outreach for those projects through a print newspaper distributed to tens of thousands of New Yorkers and an online presence reaching many thousands more. In Chicago I led efforts to help community organizations negotiate with a local TV station to address classist and racist reporting practices. As part of that campaign, I authored a quantitative study of news produced by that station. My report earned coverage in leading area print and broadcast outlets, including our NPR affiliate, and contributed to pressures culminating in the termination of specific producers. My current research examines the use of media in historical struggles and evaluates new strategies for radical pluralist democratic movements in the United States. In New York City and Chicago I helped organize mass mobilization for civil liberties, immigrant rights, and opposition to the Iraq War through traditional and social media campaigns. I successfully coordinated agreements between divergent political organizations and represented those agreements in negotiations with police at protest sites. As a press coordinator, I negotiated positive coverage of campaigns from local mainstream reporters. Protests I collaborated on drew tens of thousands to the streets of Chicago and New York City. I also co-founded activist organizations such as Chicago Media Action that coordinated with national campaigns for net neutrality and against corporate control of media. In the 1990s I served as a media coordinator for a Chicago housing rights law firm and a campaign writer for Congressman Bobbie Rush. In addition to writing movement research, press releases, and outreach, I published work in Editor & Publisher, The International Encyclopedia of Communication, Extra! (the magazine of FAIR), Huffington Post, CovertAction Quarterly, and elsewhere. I offer skills and experience in strategic research, writing, negotiation, and outreach.


Candidates for Bargaining Organizing & Mobilization Coordinator:


Hafez Abu-Adwan

Salam! My name is Hafez AbuAdwan from Gaza Strip- Palestine; and I am pursuing a master in International Education focusing on Peace Education at the College of Education. I am an active member of the Palestine Solidarity Caucus, and a Steward at the Center of International Education at the College of Education. I was a FULBRIGHT scholar at Loyola University in Chicago where part of my job was advising students and address issues of concern. Also, I was the Communication Officer at Middle Easter Students Association (MESA); a student organization on campus, where I networked with other students organizations to engage them in political events such as Palestine Awareness Week. This experience professionally advanced my knowledge of regulations and policies in U.S higher education institutions towards graduate students.

During my time in Gaza Strip, I was one of the trainers for community campaigns involving training youth on leadership and volunteerism by fostering the importance of being an active citizen in one’s local community and how one’s voice does make a difference.

I worked as a Project Development Assistant at the Center for International Education where I worked with students to answer and assist their needs, with faculty on pursuing externally funded projects, and build partnerships with departments across campus. In addition, I worked and mobilized with my fellow students to explicitly address our issues and needs at the center after the resignation of the former dean of the College of Education.

I have a working experience across groups and divisions as I worked at Creative Associates International in Washington D.C; an pioneer organization focused on projects in international development, where I worked with multiple divisions on several initiatives and that advanced my multitasking skills to formulate goals based on addressing the needs of different groups.

Finally, as an international student, I believe I can bring more to the table on what would be the concerns and/or needs of GEO’s members.

–       Hafez AbuAdwan


Nyari Changamire

Hi fellow graduate employees!

I am a third year PhD student in the department of Education Policy and Leadership. As a graduate student employee, I realize that the benefits that I am enjoying right now as a student employee are a result of the commitment and hard work of bargaining committees in the past years. Because of that, I value the GEO/UAW bargaining committee. As a senator this semester, I have actively represented graduate students in my department through participating in GSS events, meetings and focus groups. Through these platforms, I have learned about the various problems that graduate students face socially, economically and academically. These include housing issues and related costs, health insurance coverage for families, the specific tax burdens on certain groups of students among many others. As a TA and RA, a member of the UMass labor force, I have a shared experience and understanding of the difficulties of managing a heavy workload without adequate support. I am also familiar with common concerns of graduate students such as job security through transparent allocation of assistantship opportunities. This has motivated me to take an even more active role in bargaining for a better campus academic and social environment for us. As an international student and a parent, I also bring a unique perspective to often forgotten needs that students with families have. Advocacy on issues such as childcare and comprehensive family medical coverage are crucial to me.

If you elect me as your Bargaining Organizing and Mobilization Coordinator, I will do my best to represent and push for your demands. I will advocate for a strong and fair contract that supports our needs as students. The relationships and networks I have fostered with you will be invaluable as a continued source of information about our diverse and common needs. I want to work with all of you to ensure that we get a better deal from the university that is commensurate with all the dedication and commitment we invest in our jobs every-day.


Mary C. Dickman

My name is Mary Dickman I am a PhD student in the Department of Communication and am nominated for the position of GEO Bargaining Organizing & Mobilization Coordinator Fall 2016. I bring a passion and commitment to social justice issues.

Prior to attending UMass I was engaged in social justice organizing in Tampa, FL. Through the Faculty Forward Network (FFN) I participated in grassroots efforts to recruit and unionize adjuncts at local community colleges and universities. After a long campaign, which included demonstrations and canvassing, the contingent faculty at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) overwhelmingly voted to join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Florida Public Service Union last month. This victory is historic in that it is the first faculty union election in Florida, and at a public university in the South, with SEIU.

While a graduate student at the University of South Florida I was an active member of our Graduate Assistant United (GAU) which is a chapter of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF). I was able to network and bring together members of Faculty Forward Network and Graduate Assistant United in a move towards solidarity between contingent faculty and graduate assistants to demand higher wages and better working conditions. Skills I have that would assist me in this position include that I am highly organized, attentive to detail. Additionally, I have strong writing and communication skills, and excel at strategic thinking, goal-setting, and action planning.

I look forward to opportunity to bring my experience and knowledge to the coordinating position.

In Solidarity,

Mary C. Dickman


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