Jen ShererDirector, University of Iowa Labor Center
Jennifer Sherer is Director of the University of Iowa Labor Center, which conducts educational programming for Iowa’s organized workforce. She previously served as president of UE Local 896-COGS (the Campaign to Organize Graduate Students), a Project Staff Organizer for the UE (United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers), and taught as a graduate instructor in the UI Rhetoric and English Departments. She joined the Labor Center in 2002 to work on the Center's Child Labor Public Education Project, part of the UI Child Labor Research Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Sherer is currently a member and officer of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Local 716, and serves on the boards of the UI Center for Human Rights, the Iowa Policy Project, the UI Occupational Medicine Residency program, and the Labor Studies Journal. She holds PhD and MA degrees from the University of Iowa, and a BA from Oberlin College.
Christine RalstonIowa Policy Project
Christine Ralston is a Research Associate at the Iowa Policy Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to provide timely research on policy issues of critical importance to the citizens of Iowa. Ms. Ralston is co-author of The State of Working Iowa, 2009, with Colin Gordon. She is currently researching medical discount cards, the negative employment effects of not having health insurance, and whether the negative outcomes differ among the standard and nonstandard workforce populations. Ms. Ralston holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice, an MA in Urban and Regional Planning, and a JD from the University of Iowa.
Shelley ParbsPresident, Hawkeye Labor Council
Shelley Parbs is President of the Hawkeye Labor Council. In the past she has served the organization as a delegate and executive board member. An employee of Rockwell Collins for over 20 years, she is a member of IBEW Local 1362 in Cedar Rapids and serves as Treasurer of that organization. Labor history has taught her the importance of advocacy for public policy that benefits workers and their families. Ms. Parbs holds a BS in Business from Mount Mercy College. She represents labor as vice-chair of the Regional Workforce Investment Board for Region 10, and is a newly appointed member of the Credit Union Review Board for the State of Iowa.
Shelton StromquistDepartment of History, University of Iowa
Shelton Stromquist works primarily in the fields of U.S. labor and social history. His first book, A Generation of Boomers: The Pattern of Railroad Labor Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America, examined railroad strikes and working-class community in the “era of Great Upheaval.” He is also interested in the transformation of working-class political culture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As a University of Iowa Global Scholar, Professor Stromquist has researched the municipal setting of labor and socialist politics in England, Sweden, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Austria. Other interests include the meaning and historical significance of class in American life; the regional processes of class formation (with particular attention to the Midwest); and global patterns of labor mobilization, recruitment and conflict. His interest in Midwest labor reform is reflected in his book Solidarity and Survival: An Oral History of Iowa Labor in the Twentieth Century. Professor Stromquist received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. To visit Professor Stromquist's home page, click here.