School for New Learning > About > Centers > Labor Education Center > Center Staff and Advisory Committee

Center Staff and Advisory Committee


Jessica Cook
Dr. Jessica Cook became the Director of the Center in August 2016. She began her work with the Center as the Lead Instructor in January 2016. Jessica has more than 10 years experience organizing with unions, first as a staff organizer in the UNITE HERE international from 2006-2009, and then for 7 years as a leader and steward with the UIC Graduate Employees's Organization (IFT-AFT Local 6297) while working as a graduate instructor in Sociology. She has also worked closely with local worker centers since 2009. Jessica has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her doctoral research focused on the labor movement, worker centers, mass incarceration and criminalization, immigration, citizenship, race and ethnicity, civil society, precarious work, and labor market restructuring.
Steve Grossman
Steve Grossman joined the Labor Center in August of 2017 as the new Associate Director, bringing more than 20 years of experience as both an educator and union leader. Steve has taught in the social studies department at Niles West High School since 1995 and prior to that he spent four years teaching in the Chicago Public Schools. In recent years Steve has served as a volunteer coach for the Labor Center’s high school collective bargaining simulations. In addition to teaching, Steve began working in union leadership in 1997 and has served as the President of the North Suburban Teachers Union, IFT-AFT Local 1274, since 2010. He is also one of 40 elected Vice Presidents of the IFT and serves on its Executive Committee.

Advisory Committee:

Our Advisory Committee is comprised of former students and labor leaders who support the Center's programming. Below are the current members:
Judith Armstead, Cook County College Teachers Union Local 1600
Tim Bell, Chicago Workers' Collaborative
Juan Campos, Teamsters Local 705
Jack Canniff, Iron Workers Local 63
Ana Guajardo Carrillo, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos
Greg Foster, Teamsters Local 705
Leroy Jones, SEIU Local 73
Latisa Kindred, Chicago Women in Trades and IBEW Local 134
Richard Kuczkowski, Sewer and Tunnel Miners Local, Laborers Local 2
Meg Lewis, AFSCME Council 31
John Lodewyck, Elk Grove Village Professional Firefighters Association Local 2340
Paul A. Mancillas Jr., Teamsters Local 458M / GCC
Art Mangialardi, United Armored Transporters of America
Bob Przybylinski, IBEW Local 21
Stu Sikora, Cook County College Teachers Union Local 1600
Deb Takehara, Illinois Federation of Teachers
Paul Thompson, Iron Workers Local 63
Delores Withers, The Federation of College Clerical and Technical Personnel Local 1708
Paul Wright, IBEW Local 21
Beth Zavala, The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union Local 1