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Student Final Projects

All ULA students write a Final Project, worth 6 credits, to complete their degree. Students work closely with a Faculty Advisor of their choice to develop a project proposal, carry out original research, write and edit their papers. Final Projects are Masters Thesis-equivalent research papers, which build from ideas and materials from coursework, and incorporate the student's original research and analysis. Some are traditional academic papers, while other projects have included developing websites; curricula for internal union education; performance art; videos; and policy briefs.

Examples of Final Projects:

(List in formation)

Vinnie Addeo. May 2009.
"Analysis of Dramatic Loss in 2008 Organizing Campaign."

John Barry. May 2007.
"The Effect of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 on the Future of Defined-Benefit Pensions."

Randy Bassette. May 1999.
"A Local Union Election: An Illustration of the Need for Union Democracy."

Eugene Binda. May 2002.
"A National Standard for the GCIU Using New Methods of Training to Replace Its Apprentice Correspondence Course of 1970."

Dennis Bond. Fall 2001.
"Fall Protection Awareness Training."

Bob Boone. May 2000.
"The Process of Arbitrator Selection: What Sanctions the Process, and Is the Process Legitimate?  If So, Why?"

Mike Bunyon. February 1999.
"Chicago Firefighters Strike of 1980."

Mike Cavanaugh. May 1999.
"ESOPs for Labor: A Tool We Can Use."

Jimmy Connors. May 2000.
"From Construction to the Classroom: A Union Presence in Vocational and Applied Technology Education Can Be an Important Organizing Tool - The Transition from Construction to the Inner City Classroom."

Angela MacWhinnie. May 2008.
"An Uneasy Relationship: Labor Education at SEIU Local 49."
This paper is a study of the programs and choices made at one local while developing labor education for staff and members. The paper follows the programs, and outlines their intent and their outcomes. Ultimately the study also revealed the local's sense of hierarchy and the struggle with authority and control versus inclusion in knowledge and decision making. For more information about the paper, contact Angela at or 503-593-2697.

Michael G. Matejka. May 2000.
"Made in McLean County"
An historical overview of the labor and industrial story of McLean County, Illinois, this was a combination paper and museum exhibit, developed for the McLean County Museum of History, and exhibited for two years. Besides the paper, which was a labor history of McLean County, background material also included an historical encyclopedia-style directory of local industry, unions, and prominent personalities with more than 400 entries.

Mark Pattison. May 1998.
"Solidarity Forever, But Not Solidarity for Everyone: Working in the Union's Shop"
This paper, written by a member of a union local with a substantial number of bargaining units of labor-union staff,  takes a worker-centric view of the hazards that have beset workers when their employers are labor unions. The article is populated with perspectives from workers in such bargaining units, workers who were fired when trying to organize a union for their workplace, and union- and management-side negotiators responsible for achieving contract settlements. For more details, contact the author at

Carla Winkler. May 2009.
"A Women's Resource Manual."
The purpose of this Resource Manual is to provide IAM Women's Committees in unions with basic knowledge and information important to women. The materials should be used to provide education in your union, to organize Women's Committees, if they are not already established, develop campaigns that can involve other women in your Lodges, prepare materials for presentation during Career Day in your children's school on the importance of women and the value of unions, and as a source book to prepare for events such as commemorating International Women's Day-March 8th. The topics covered: Notable Women in History; Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW); Eliminating Violence Against Women; HIV/AIDs; the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women; plus a Facts and Figures section of statistical data regarding women in the workplace.


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