Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies Staff
- Mentor in the Business, Management and Economics area of study
- B.Sc. in Mathematics, Tel-Aviv University
- M.A. in Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Ph.D. in economics, University of California at Los Angeles
- Masters in Media Studies, Hunter College City University of New York
Eric Darton's books include the New York Times bestseller Divided We Stand: A Biography of The World Trade Center (Basic Books, 1999, 2011), and Free City, a novel, (WW Norton, 1996). His short fiction and essays have been widely published and anthologized.
In addition the HVASLS, Darton teaches the honors thesis course in the Urban Design and Architecture Studies program at New York University, and at Global College of Long Island University. He leads an ongoing weekly workshop in advanced prose writing. Darton is executive producer of the award-winning feature film Asphalt, Muscle & Bone. He is certified to teach foundational Liang-style Ba Gua Zhang, a Chinese martial art, health preservation and meditation practice.
- B.A. in Comparative Literature, New York University
- M.S. in City and Regional Planning, Pratt Institute
- Ana Fisyak is an urban planner dedicated to a community development-based approach, Ana has eight years of experience in planning, advocacy, and technical assistant provision for NYC communities and CBOs, especially serving immigrant and low-income communities of color. Her work intersects public space, equitable design, social determinants of health, arts and culture, and human ecology. Ana is currently the Deputy Director of Planning and Development at the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance and has previously worked for the WXY architecture + urban design, the J Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City, and Pratt Center for Community Development.
- Mentor in the Cultural Studies area of study
- B.A. in English, Thiel College
- M.A. in English, Radford University
- Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition), New York University
- Mentor in the Para–Professional Program
- B.A. in English Literature and Education, Brooklyn College, CUNY
- M.A. in English, Purdue University; Certificate (Renaissance Studies), Certificate (Women Studies),
- Ph.D. in English Literature, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
- Mentor in the Cultural Studies area of study
- B.A. in Literature Studies and Philosophy, M.A. in Comparative Literature, University of Toronto
- M.A. in Cinema Studies, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, New York University
- B.A. in Labor Studies, Queens College CUNY
- M.S. in Labor Studies, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Shaun Richman spent a decade and a half as a union organizer and representative. He was a Deputy Director of Organizing for the American Federation of Teachers, where he ran the union’s national charter school organizing division. As a writer, he has focused on union strategy and structure and proposals for labor law reform. He has been published in The American Prospect, In These Times, Jacobin, The New York Daily News, the New York Times, the Staten Island Advance, the Washington Post and Vox.
- M.A. in Labor and Policy Studies, SUNY Empire State College
Claudia Shacter-deChabert has been working in the labor movement since 1974 when she started working for the United Farmworkers Union as a Boycott Organizer. She has been active in workers’ education for many years. She recently retired from her job as a Labor Relations Specialist for New York State United Teachers in the Nassau Regional Office on Long Island. Claudia has a Master’s degree in Labor and Policy Studies from SUNY Empire State College. In addition Claudia is a registered nurse with degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Western Community College.
- B.A. in English from the University of Arizona
- M.Sc. in Literature and Modernity from the University of Edinburgh (UK)
- Ph.D. in English (expected May 2019) from Fordham University
Subjects of Interest
- Medieval Literature
- Rhetoric and Composition
Danielle Sottosanti is an adjunct instructor for the course College Writing for Workers at SUNY Empire State College. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in English at Fordham University, where she also served as writing center director for two years. Her dissertation, “The Romance of Conversion: Crossover in Late-Medieval Literature,” looks at religious conversion in late-medieval English texts as a window to larger issues of race, religious identity, and proof. Prior to doing her Ph.D., Danielle was a financial journalist in Manhattan, writing for the Financial Times publications Ignites, FundFire, and FTfm, and a newspaper reporter for the Arizona Daily Star.
Danielle Sottosanti, “‘We shul first feyne us cristendom to take’: Conversion and Deceit in Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale” [Accepted for publication by Studies in Philology, forthcoming Spring 2020]
- B.A. in Urban Studies, University of Pittsburgh
- B.A. in Political Philosophy, Pittsburgh University
- M.A. in City and Regional Planning, Pratt Institute
Kate teaches Labor Economics and Public Affairs, focusing on city & state government and politics. She works full time job as the Director of Intergovernmental & Legislative Affairs for the NYC Department of Probation (DOP). In this role, Kate manages DOP’s relationships with all NYC elected officials at the city, state, and federal level. She develops the agency’s legislative agenda, tracks and responds to legislation, and drafts testimony and responses for Budget, Oversight, and Legislative hearings, as well as special agency wide projects. For her work at DOP, Kate was selected for the 2017 DCAS Leadership Institute, a competitive training program to develop executive leadership focused on creating and sustaining strategic change within large organizations.
Prior to joining DOP, Kate was Special Projects Manager at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office (MBPO), where she coordinated policy initiatives focused on environmental equity, health, criminal justice, and the Community Board process.
- B.A. in Sociology from Skidmore College
Elly Spicer has been a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America for 33 years and counting. During her career she held a number of leadership positions, always the first woman at that level in the New York organization. Elly served as an apprentice, Journeylevel worker, shop steward, foreman, Labor management Representative, elected delegate and finally the Director of Training for the District Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College. Elly is now retired and enjoys the monthly pensions and still consults with unions, pre-apprenticeship programs and construction firms on workforce issues. She owns Spicer's House 2 Home Inspections LLC.
- Interim Associate Dean and Mentor in the Business, Management and Economics area of study
- B.A. in English Literature, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- M.A. in Economic History, Goddard College
- Ph.D. in Labor Economics, New School for Social Research
- M.A. Writing and Rhetoric, Long Island University, Brooklyn NY
- BA English, St. John’s University
Christopher Vallario holds a master’s in the teaching of writing and a minor in cultural studies. His research focuses on mental and physical geographies and how location affects individuals, especially within labor and identity politics. His initiation to academia began as a writing consultant when he was an undergraduate. Currently at SUNY Empire, he teaches College Writing and College Reading For Workers. In addition, he is an artist who writes for the screen and the stage. He co-wrote a TV pilot, first recognized by The Made-in NY TV Diversity competition, and most recently, it was accepted to the LA Film Awards.
- Mentor in the Historical Studies area of study
- B.S. in History, Northeastern University
- M.A., Ph.D. in Anthropology, New School for Social Research