Monica Bielski Boris, Ph.D. Industrial Relations
mbielski at umn.edu
Monica Bielski Boris is an experienced labor educator who teaches courses on a variety of topics including leadership skills, union mobilization and organizing, contract negotiations, grievance handling, arbitration, and political economy. Monica also conducts research on union revitalization and worker diversity and has partnered with labor organizations such as the AFL-CIO and SEIU (Service Employees International Union) to conduct applied research. Monica has a Ph.D. and MS in Industrial Relations from Rutgers University and a BA from Oberlin College. She comes from a working class, union background and is happy be in a profession that serves working people.
Randy Croce, M.A., Mass Communications
rcroce at umn.edu
Randy has been doing documentary work since 1976, initially as a still photographer, then in video, focusing first on American Indian communities. He has been a video producer at LES since 1990, where he researches, shoots and edits various programs and teaches media and labor history classes. He is a member of IATSE Local 219 and has been active on University of Minnesota governance committees. One of his special interests has been past and current immigration. Randy's documentary about Italian immigrant stonecutters, If Stone Could Speak, was broadcast by Twin Cities Public Television and has been screened nationally.
Howard Kling, M.A., English
email: hkling at umn.edu
Howard's work for LES includes being a media and video professional and activist. Howard directs the LES Telecommunications Project, coordinating video production, union website maintenance and development and Workday Minnesota. Howard is also a playwright and for eight years was director of the Solidarity Kids Theater, a youth labor theater group located in the Twin Cities. He earned an MA/ A.B.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a concentration in theater and American working class literature. Howard is a member of the Executive Council of the International Labor Communications Association, the Executive Board of the United Association for Labor Education, Board Chair of the national Worker's Independent News radio project and a member of the Board of the Twin Cities Media Alliance, which operates the Daily Planet website.
Barb Kucera, M.S., Industrial Relations
Barb is an experienced reporter and editor who has worked many years with the labor movement. Prior to coming to LES in 2000, she edited The Union Advocate, the AFL-CIO newspaper in St. Paul. Barb is editor of Workday Minnesota, a ground breaking website that covers news and issues important to workers. In addition, she assists with other LES projects, including videos, teaching and conferences. Barb has a special interest in labor history and has been involved in many history-related projects in the Twin Cities.
Amy joined LES from the Graduate Employees' Organization, a local of the American Federation of Teachers, where she worked for six years as an organizer and educator of graduate student employees at the University of Illinois. She has designed and taught classes in a variety of traditional collective bargaining areas and initiated programs around special topics, such as diversifying the union and "queering" the contract.
Amy has connected with workers in a variety of ways, working on issues such as fast food organizing and the problem of mass incarceration. Her interests and skills will bring new strengths and perspectives to LES programming. Amy holds bachelor's and master's degrees in philosophy from the University of Memphis.
Sharice McCain, Executive Office and Administrative Specialist
Sharice has extensive experience as an Administrative Professional, working in the field for over 10 years. A former employee of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, her experience in both public and private sector administrative gives her a unique and valuable role at Labor Education Service. She is the Executive Office and Administrative Specialist for LES and some of her duties include, event planning and management, office management and administrative support. Sharice is a singer and dedicated volunteer in the community working with organizations such as, AmeriCorps VISTA, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin/River Valley, St. Paul Parks and Recreation, GML Charities and St. Paul Public Schools. She was the youngest Executive Board Member for the Office and Professional Employees Union Local 12 and a member of the City of St. Paul Neighborhood Star Grant Board. Sharice is currently pursuing a degree in Education.
Russell Raczkowski, M.A., Technical Communication
Russell Raczkowski came to Minnesota from Oklahoma in 1988 with his spouse and child (and two cats), continuing a career in postsecondary education begun at his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. Arriving in Minneapolis, he went to work at Minneapolis Community College (now Minneapolis Community and Technical College) in a federally funded program that reaches out the low-income first generation potential postsecondary students and continued with that program for twenty-five years. In that time, Russell was active in AFSCME and particularly in MAPE (Minnesota Association of Professional Employees) - serving as a steward, chief steward, local president, trainer, and chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and University/ MAPE Meet and Confer (Labor Management) committee. Believing in the importance of effective communication and education in union organizing, he completed a master's degree in Technical Communication from Metropolitan State University focusing his studies on communication in the labor movement and in public participatory decision making.
John started producing television programs in 1982 while an undergraduate at the U of MN as a director, writer, editor, and on-air talent. With these skills he began his work at LES in 1984 by cofounding "Minnesota At Work" which became the longest running, regularly scheduled cable television in the U.S. about labor and working people, and which ended in 2009. He was one of the founders of the Union Producers and Programmers Network (UPPNET). For 30 years he has taught video production classes and produced many video projects for LES. He served on the board of the Minneapolis Television Network 1989-1996, eventually as board chair, and was instrumental in promoting MTN's non-profit internet service to unions around the state. In 1993, John began teaching classes in website creation and internet skills, and is responsible for dozens of local unions' websites. In 2000 he became webmaster for Workday Minnesota. He has been active as a representative on two University governance committees. He is a long-time member and Trustee of IATSE Local 219, an associate member of the Minnesota Newspaper Guild and Typographical Union, and a past member of Teamsters Local 4. John received his Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership M.A. in 2010 at the University of MN-Duluth.