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2016 PTL Chapter Election: Executive Board candidates

Submitted by Staff on Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:24

Today ballot materials for the 2016 PTL Faculty Chapter Executive Board elections are being mailed to PTL union members.

A surge in union membership means there are more seats on the Executive Board - a total of 10! So, ten (10)  representatives will be elected to begin 1-year terms on the board. PTL members should watch their mailboxes at their home addresses for the ballot materials. The vote is by secret ballot, so please follow the voting instructions in the election packet carefully.  If you do not see your packet soon, then contact the union office at or call 732-964-1000.

The deadline for returning ballots to the union office at 11 Stone Street in New Brunswick is Monday, July 25 no later than 4:30 pm.

Here are the candidates, grouped by campus (Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick); then, listed in alphabetical order. All candidates have provided a statement explaining why they are running:


  • Years employed at Rutgers:  9 years and has been teaching 2 courses a semester fall and spring for the 9 years
  • Previous offices/positions held in Rutgers PTL Faculty Chapter, AAUP-AFT :  PTL Executive Board, Bargaining unit, Health Care Committee
  • Other Rutgers Activities: Psychologist/counselor, Rutgers Camden Student Health Center
  • Field of Specialization:  Clinical Psychology
  • Degrees Held: Ph.D. Clinical Psychology


“As a PTL in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers-Camden for the last 9 years, a current member of the Executive Board and a practicing clinician in the health care community in New Jersey, my membership, involvement and positive experiences with this Union, the Executive Board and most recently the Bargaining Unit (current contract) and the Health Care Committee have strengthened my commitment to all of us who teach as part time faculty.

It is my goal to continue to advocate for appropriate recognition where disrespected, inclusion where excluded, job security beyond a single semester, fair financial compensation and health insurance / benefits. My continued involvement on the Executive Board will provide continuity of this process. Together we need to move forward in all matters for our significant contribution to Rutgers University and the preservation of Academic Freedom.”


PATRICIA OJEA- Political Science, Camden

  • Years employed at Rutgers:  26 years –and has taught part-time at Rutgers (and occasionally full-time) since 1992 at the New Brunswick and Camden campuses as well as off campus.
  • Previous offices/positions held in Rutgers PTL Faculty Chapter, AAUP-AFT:  Currently serving on the Executive Board
  • Other Rutgers Activities – Has several publications, including Women Studies: An Anthology. I won a competitive grant sponsored by Rutgers New Brunswick Special Sessions to assemble” an e-college course
  • Field of Specialization: Political geography and urban studies
  • Degrees Held: BS in Public Policy, MGA in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and currently ABD in Urban Public Policy—emphasis is historic preservation—at the University Delaware


“PTLs are omitted from many department websites and most are not invited to department meetings—or gatherings.  My position on these oversights was published along with my bid to represent Camden in 2015. Since that time, more PTLs—including those in my Department—are invited to Department meetings and are listed on Department websites. Another important issue is PTLs are not always consulted about course scheduling before they are posted.  PTLs should not be taken for granted and must be consulted before classes are posted.

I will advocate on this behalf and on behalf of annual appointments to replace "antiquated" semester contracts.

Remember, united we bargain, divided we beg.


CYNTHIA SALTZMAN- Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, Camden

  • Years employed at Rutgers:  24 years
  • Previous offices/positions held in Rutgers PTL Faculty Chapter, AAUP-AFT: Currently serving on the PTL Executive Board
  • Other Rutgers Activities: Member of several University committees; University Senate PTL representative; Civic Engagement Faculty Fellow.
  • Field of Specialization: Anthropology
  • Degrees Held: B.A., Bennington College; M.Phil. and Ph.D. Columbia University


“I am currently a member of the PTL Executive Board of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, where I have advocated that we fight for higher pay in our most recent contract negotiations, and that we also negotiate for: gains that include fractional salaries of what full-time faculty earn; long time contracts rather than term-to-term hiring, promotional opportunities; fuller inclusion in all aspects of the Rutgers community for those PTL’s who seek greater collegiality and decision making; and protection of academic freedom and the right to grieve violations to academic freedom written into our contracts. We still have a lot to accomplish, and I pledge to work for a more equitable scholarly community. As a member of the Rutgers University Senate and its Faculty and Personnel Committee, I have co-written a statement on the adoption of best practices for contingent faculty that the Rutgers University Senate endorsed unanimously.


I have a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia and I studied the history of women’s union organizing at Yale. I have taught part-time at Rutgers for more than 20 years. My varied experiences have included: consulting with Demographic Perspectives for Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University, being a researcher and administrator at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and its School of Social Work, and the Renfrew Center Foundation.

Please give me the opportunity and honor to continue to represent you on the union’s Board.”


BETH ADUBATO- School of Criminal Justice, Newark

  • Years employed at Rutgers:  7 years as a PTL
  • Field of Specialization: Sports and domestic violence; police and media; crimes against wildlife
  • Degrees Held: Ph. D. Rutgers School of Criminal Justice (2011); M.A. Rutgers School of Criminal Justice (2004); M.P.A.P. Bloustein School of Planning and Policy (2004)


“As a longtime Rutgers PTL and union advocate, I am very appreciative of the recent gains won by our new leadership team. Rutgers has played a significant role in my career. I received my doctorate in criminal justice from Rutgers University in 2011, my M.A. from Rutgers School of Criminal Justice (2004) and an M.P.A.P. from the Bloustein School of Planning and Policy (2004). I teach in the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice. I have also been an assistant professor of criminal justice at the New York Institute of Technology, Bloomfield College and the County College of Morris. My research focuses on sports and domestic violence, police and the media and crimes against wildlife. I have also worked as a television journalist and actress, appearing in The Following, with Kevin Bacon.”



COLLEEN MARTINEZ- School of Social Work, Newark

  • Years employed at Rutgers: 7 years
  • Field of Specialization: Clinical Social Work, Play Therapy, Trauma

  • Degrees Held: Bachelor of Arts, Rutgers; Master's in Social Work, Rutgers; Ph.D in Social Work, Rutgers

“As a longtime Rutgers PTL and a proud member of an AFT household, I am very appreciative of the advocacy of our current union leadership. I believe that PTLs deserve a clear and direct career path, and I look forward to working toward that goal. I was especially pleased this year to be awarded funds for professional development, and am eagerly preparing to attend a conference in Chicago. I have earned my bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and PhD from Rutgers University. I am a licensed clinical social worker, with a private practice that offers training and supervision for social workers. As a PTL, I teach a variety of courses, at Rutgers Newark and online, with a direct understanding of the unique demands of those positions.  I have also taught as an adjunct at Monmouth University. One of my specialty courses is in Play Therapy, which exposes social work students to expressive and creative methods for working with traumatized children. I also volunteer with Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence, Creature Comfort Pet Therapy, Montclair Food & Wine Festival, and Girl Scouts."



ABDUR YASIN- School of Public Affairs & Admin., Newark


  • Years employed at Rutgers: 3 years (including as a Graduate Assistant & Graduate Fellow)
  • Other Rutgers Activities: Vice President, School of Public Affairs & Administration Alumni Association Network
  • Field of Specialization: Public Sector Labor Relations, Health Benefit Plan Design 
  • Degrees Held: BA, History; Master of Public Administration


“Since becoming a career firefighter in 2002, I have involved myself extensively in public sector labor relations by serving in a number of capacities, including executive, for the New Jersey Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association (NJFMBA), both on state and local levels. Currently, I am a lead member of the NJFBMA’s Legislative Committee, serving as a liaison between the union and public officials, private sector executives and lobbyists and a member of the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program Plan Design Committee, which is tasked with designing the health benefit plans for thousands of public employees and their dependents.


Previously, I earned a BA in History with honors from Rutgers-Newark in May 2003 and graduated from the Rutgers-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree in 2014. After earning my MPA, I began teaching as a PTL in SPAA in fall 2015 and was admitted into the union shortly thereafter. I strongly support our union’s latest efforts like enhanced opportunities for professional development, increased compensation for PTLs and bolstered job security as outlined in the most recent contract settlement. At this time, I wish to lend my talents and resources to further our collective efforts. If elected, I will work with other Board members to help make the PTL union even stronger and more effective as an advocate for PTLs at the university.”


WILLIAM FERNEKES- Graduate school of Education, New Brunswick

  • Years employed at Rutgers: 4 years
  • Previous offices/positions held in Rutgers PTL Faculty Chapter, AAUP-AFT:  Served on PTL negotiations team for current contract and am currently serving on Career Advancement and Evaluation Committee
  • Other Rutgers Activities:  University supervisor or student teachers (social studies); have served as an evaluation consultant for the Department of Political Science (United Nations and Global Policy Studies Program) and serve as an evaluator of online teaching portfolios for the Graduate School of Education; serve on the advisory board for the Rutgers Oral History Archives
  • Fields of Specialization: Social studies education/human rights education/global education
  • Degrees Held:   Bachelor of Arts, History (Rutgers College, 1974);  Master of Arts, Latin American History (Rutgers Graduate School, New Brunswick, 1978);  Doctor of Education, Social Studies Education (Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 1985)


“I am a part-time lecturer at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, and a proud member of the AAUP-AFT at Rutgers.  From 1974-2010, I worked as a public school teacher and supervisor at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington NJ, and was an active union member, first in the New Jersey Education Association, and for the past 30 years, in the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association.  I was the lead negotiator for our administrative unit at Hunterdon Central for two decades and we made very significant gains in our compensation and benefits during that time.  I continue to do consulting work for the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association on negotiations and related labor-management issues as a field representative.  Following my retirement from public school work in Dec. 2010, I became an adjunct professor at Rider University for one year, and then returned to Rutgers, where I had completed my B. A., M. A., and Ed. D. degrees.  At the GSE, I teach classes in social studies education and global education.  In 2014, I volunteered to assist the PTL negotiations process, participated on the negotiations team, and I currently serve on the contractually-mandated Career Advancement and Evaluation committee for our unit.  I am a strong supporter of the current PTL leadership, who negotiated a progressive contract emphasizing support for professional growth, improved compensation and enhanced respect for PTLs at Rutgers.  My goal in serving on the PTL board is to raise the status of PTLs at Rutgers by enhancing their profile on all university campuses, continuing to increase compensation and benefits, and emphasizing the critical role which PTLs play in making Rutgers one of the nation’s leading public universities.”


BRIAN KIN LEE- Physics & Astronomy, New Brunswick

  • Years employed at Rutgers: 3 years
  • Previous offices/positions held in Rutgers PTL Faculty Chapter, AAUP-AFT: Organizer/Recruiter (member activist)
  • Other Rutgers Activities: Editor/contributor to the Anthologist literary magazine; performer at Verbal Mayhem Poetry Collective
  • Field of Specialization: English-language poetry, physics
  • Degrees Held: B.A. in English; B.A. in Physics


“There are few things dearer to me than the pursuit of justice. Over the course of my time as an undergraduate and PTL, I have given my heart to the cause as an active participant and organizer in spaces that promote social and economic justice. In 2013, during my third year as an undergraduate, I was an organizer for the South Asian American Collective and Food for Thought student groups, the former a space that fosters open discussion about struggles common to South Asian American students, the latter a group that prepares and runs home-cooked meals to New Brunswick’s homeless population. The fall semester of 2013 was when I began teaching as a PTL in the Physics department, still as a full-time undergraduate; I joined the AAUP-AFT in 2015, after graduating with B.A.’s in both Physics and English. This summer, I’ll be organizing and recruiting for our union on a face-to-face basis. Mine is an immensely unique perspective, cutting across the demographics most afflicted by the practice of corporate adjunctification: there was a semester when I taught five sections of physics lab on top of a full-time double-major course load. I know the struggle intimately, both of the overworked adjunct and the student forced to learn from him or her. It is only through our most recent contract agreement that I was able to afford to graduate at all and, if elected, I will dedicate my all to working toward a future where struggles like mine are a relic of the past.”




MICHAEL SLOTT- Labor Studies, SMLR, New Brunswick

  • Years employed at Rutgers: 15 years (since 2001) 
  • Previous offices/positions held in Rutgers PTL Faculty Chapter, AAUP-AFT: President, 2010- 2011; 2009- 2010; 2008- 2009; Vice President, 2007- 2008; 2006- 2007; 2005- 2006; New Brunswick Executive Board Representative, 2004- 2005; Negotiations Committee Co-Chair, 2003- 2004
  • Field of Specialization: Labor Studies
  • Degrees Held: MA, Ed.D


“In a very real sense, the labor movement has been at the center of my adult work life.  Since I graduated from college over 40 years ago, I have been involved in the labor movement both as a union activist and a labor educator. During this time, I have been a rank and file member and worked on the staff of several unions. In 1992 I joined the staff of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE)/AFT, a union which represents RNs and other health workers in New Jersey, and am currently a Staff Representative/Education Coordinator for HPAE. After getting a doctorate in the Philosophy of Education at Rutgers in 2000, I began teaching as a PTL in the Labor Studies department in 2001 and soon became involved in the PTL union, first as a Board member, then as President of the local from 2006 to 2010.  In that role, I served as our union’s chief negotiator in three rounds of bargaining, including the negotiations for the first Winter/Summer instructor contract.  Although I have not been on the Executive Board since 2010, I have supported our union’s efforts to improve professional standards, job security, and compensation for PTLs.  I’m glad that the most recent contract settlement represents another gain for PTLs and I support the current leadership’s effort to strengthen our union. If elected, I will work with other Board members to help make the PTL union even stronger and more effective as an advocate for PTLs at the university.”


KAREN THOMPSON- English Writing Program, New Brunswick

  • Years employed at Rutgers: 37 years
  • Previous offices/positions held in Rutgers PTL Faculty Chapter, AAUP-AFT: President, Vice President, Representative to Board, Staff Representative
  • Offices/positions in National AAUP.:12 years on National AAUP Council, member and then chair of national AAUP committee on Part-time and Non-tenure track Faculty; chaired committees on contingent faculty for AAUP, CCCC, and MLA
  • Other Rutgers Activities: Led organizing drive in the 1980s, served on various committees including bargaining teams:
  • Field of Specialization.: Originally Arabic Linguistics, now professional issues for part-time, adjunct, and non-tenure track faculty
  • Degrees Held: BA, MA, PhD / ABD


“Having taught part-time at RU since 1979 and helped organize the Union for PTLs in the 1980s as well as maintaining continual activism after that, I have loads of experience with PTLs, University policy, the administration, etc.  I am proud to have spoken out on behalf of part-timers over the years, advocating for better salaries, benefits, professional treatment, etc.  Although we have accomplished much (salary growth 5 times over, "access" to health benefits, representation in faculty governance, 50% tuition remission, growing professional development fund, etc.), there is much more to do.  I just helped author a report in the University Senate that passed unanimously calling for better integration of PTLs into University life and more professional treatment for PTLs.  I look forward to putting my years of experience to good use gaining further improvements for PTLs throughout Rutgers.”




Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg- Criminal Justice, New Brunswick

  • Years employed at Rutgers: One semester
  • Field of Specialization: Criminal Justice
  • Degrees Held: Master of Science, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Reporting and Writing Concentration (2004) Bachelor of Arts, Rutgers College, History Major (2001)


“I have devoted my career to social justice as a writer, advocate and, now, as a Part-Time Lecturer at Rutgers University. After working at a national non-profit organization for several years, I decided to lead an organizing effort with UAW to unionize the staff over wage inequality, a health benefit plan that penalized staff with families, and a dearth of opportunities for advancement. While the campaign was ultimately defeated by management’s union busting, management felt compelled to give in to several of our demands: the lowest paid staff were given raises and a more equitable healthcare contribution system was implemented.


I am currently working as a Part-Time Lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice teaching a course on wrongful convictions. I am also proud to work for the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey as the Communications Manager. APN is a coalition of faith leaders, labor leaders, advocates, people with lived experiences of poverty, and direct service providers devoted to addressing the systemic causes of poverty.


Prior to joining APN, I worked at the Innocence Project from 2007 to 2015 as a Case Analyst in the Intake Department. My published work has appeared in The Huffington Post, In These Times, and Alternet.


The new leadership team of our union has won 5 percent increases for longtime PTLs, tripled the funds for professional development, strengthened alliances with the full-time unit, and increased membership with 400 new members in the past year. I would be honored to be elected to the Executive Committee to work with union leadership and membership to build on this success. The issues of most importance to me are wages, health benefits, job stability, and opportunities for advancement.”

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