Three New AAUP Organizers

By Kelly Hand

The AAUP is delighted to welcome three new organizers. Jim Bakken and David Kociemba are working in a reorganized Department of Organizing and Services headed by Christopher Simeone. Mariah Quinn joined the AAUP’s Department of External Relations, headed by Gwendolyn Bradley, as a digital organizer.

Jim Bakken is the new Pacific Northwest lead organizer, based in Eugene, Oregon. His organizing experience with various unions spans fifteen years. Most recently, he was SEIU Local 503’s publicsector field coordinator from 2012 to 2016, and he served from 2012 to 2014 as the statewide higher education coordinator, leading the organization’s fieldwork on all seven public university campuses across Oregon. In his previous position with the American Federation of Teachers–Wisconsin, Bakken led a successful organizing campaign at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire that resulted in the creation of one of the first faculty bargaining units in the University of Wisconsin system. With the Illinois Federation of Teachers, he developed and conducted winning organizing campaigns for both K–12 and higher education bargaining units.

David Kociemba is a new East Coast organizer, based in the Boston area. With more than fifteen years of experience as an adjunct professor teaching media studies and disability studies courses at Emerson College, Boston University, the Massachusetts College of Art, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Tufts University, he is particularly knowledgeable about the challenges of organizing contingent faculty. He served as the union president of the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College for ten years, acting as chief negotiator for collective bargaining in 2009 and 2014–15. He was also a member of the Boston University–Service Employees International Union (SEIU) organizing and bargaining committees from 2014 to 2016. In 2013, he began a three-year term as a member of the AAUP’s Committee on Contingency and the Profession, and he now serves as staff to that committee.

Mariah Quinn is the AAUP’s first digital organizer. This new position reflects the increasing importance of using online engagement tools to reach prospective supporters, mobilize members, and cultivate future leaders. Quinn will play a lead role in developing and implementing digital organizing plans for the Association. Having begun her career as a reporter, she has worked for the past four years as a digital strategist, using social media and e-mail and web campaigns to advocate for progressive causes. She led digital strategy for the SEIU’s higher education campaign for three years and served as the deputy digital director for Nevada for Bernie Sanders during the Nevada caucuses. As a consultant, her recent clients have included the Vermont Foodbank, the SEIU, and Basic Income Action.

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