Spotlight on . . . Kafui Attoh

Professor Attoh received his B.A. from Macalester College and his Ph.D in Geography from Syracuse University. His broad interests are in the political economy of cities, the politics of public space and debates in and around the idea of the “right to the city.” His research has focused on three areas: 1) the role of transit within the political economy of cities;  2) the economic impact of limited access to transportation  on disadvantaged communities and 3) the role of urban social movements (including the labor movement) in shaping mass transit policy. Click here to read his full bio

Kafui Attoh
  • Mimi Abramovitz

    Mimi Abramovitz

      • Bertha Capen Reynolds, Professor of Social Policy, Silberman School of Social Work and Consortial Faculty, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Kafui Attoh

    Kafui Attoh

      • Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Juan Battle

    Juan Battle

      • Professor of Sociology, Public Health, and Urban Education and Consortial Faculty, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Stephen Brier

    Stephen Brier

      • Professor of Urban Education, CUNY Graduate School and Consortial Faculty, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Joshua Freeman

    Joshua Freeman

      • Distinguished Professor of History
  • Penny Lewis

    Penny Lewis

      • Associate Professor of Labor Studies, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Steve London

    Steven London

      • Associate Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College and Visiting Fellow, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Stephanie Luce

    Stephanie Luce

      • Chair and Professor of Labor Studies, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Ruth Milkman

    Ruth Milkman

      • Distinguished Professor of Sociology, joint appointment, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies and CUNY Graduate Center
  • John Mollenkopf

    John Mollenkopf

      • Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Consortial Faculty, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Frances Fox Piven

      • Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center and Consortial Faculty, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Basil Smikle

    Basil Smikle

      • Distinguished Lecturer, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • James Steele

    James Steele

      • Distinguished Lecturer, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies

Adjunct Faculty

Shareema N. Abel

is a former veteran prosecutor at the Bronx District Attorney’s office; a labor and employment attorney for the NYC Department of education; and current trial advocacy instructor and Special Counsel for Ethics, Risk and Compliance for the NYS Civil Rights Portfolio.  She is teaching “Collective Bargaining Theory and Practice.”

Steven W. Attewell

teaches “Social Movements.”

Marcella Bencivenni

is Professor of History at Hostos Community College where she has been teaching since 2004. Her research focuses on the histories of im/migration, labor, and social movements in the modern United States, with a particular interest in the Italian diaspora. She is the author of Italian Immigrant Radical Culture: The Idealism of the Sovversivi in the United States, 1890-1940 (New York University Press, 2011, repr. 2014), and co-editor of Radical Perspectives on Immigration  (2008), a special issue of the journal Socialism and Democracy of which she is an editorial board member. She has also published over a dozen book chapters, articles and historiographical essays on topics related to Italian migration, American radicalism, and labor history. In addition to her academic responsibilities, she currently serves as the editor of the Italian American Review and has been a delegate of the PSC-CUNY, the union of faculty and staff of The City University of New York, since 2014. Her new research projects include a biography of Carl Marzani, the first political victim of McCarthyism, and a study of the Triangle Fire of 1911 in Italian immigration history and memory. She is currently teaching “Special Topics:  Radical Social Movements.” For more information you can visit her website:

Jessica A. Bird

received her B.A. at Hampshire College and recently earned her PhD in history from Temple University. Her research focuses on municipal regulation of informal labor in New York City from the 1970s to the present.  She has an article on the Happy Land social club fire forthcoming in the Journal of Urban History ​and is teaching undergraduate “Introduction to Labor History” this spring at SLU.

Eugene T. Carroll

teaches “Public Workers in the U.S.”

Evan Mikhail Casper-Futterman

co-teaches “Economic Democracy and Social Change” and “Radical Social Movement” along with Michael K. Menser.

Rebecca Gillman Crimmins

is an adjunct lecturer in the Urban and Community Studies program and is teaching the “Urban Populations and Communities” course in Spring 2019. She is an Assistant Vice President of Multifamily Finance at New York State Homes and Community Renewal. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute.

Brendan J. Cooper

earned his Ph.D. in U.S. history from the CUNY Graduate Center.  His research focuses on the 19th century political economy, and he is currently teaching “U.S. Labor History.”

Elena Conte

teaches “Community Organizing” and “Community Organization.”

Samantha Megan Cocco-Klein

teaches “Social and Economic Policy in the United States.”

Elizabeth Cora Eisenberg

leads the Capstone project in Urban Studies.

Maria Clotilde Figueroa

teaches “Research Methods.”

Robin Mary Gillespie

is currently teaching “Transit Certificate Program Worker Health and Safety.”  Dr. Gillespie has worked as staff and consultant for labor unions on health and safety hazards and policies, with a focus in the past decade on transit workers.  She also does research on these issues for DOT-funded join labor-management projects, and is currently looking at toilet access for transit drivers.

Michael G. Johnson

teaches “Public Administration.”

Daniel Herbert La Botz

is the author of a dozen books on labor and politics in the United States, Mexico, Indonesia, and Nicaragua, as well as many articles on those and other topics. He earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Cincinnati, receiving a Fulbright Fellowship to research and write his dissertation “Slackers’ American War Resisters and Communists in Mexico, 1917-1927” (1998). He was for 20 years the editor of Mexican Labor News and Analysis and is now a co-editor of New Politics: A Journal of Socialist Thought. His most recent book in English is What Went Wrong? The Nicaraguan Revolution: A Marxist Analysis (Brill, 2016; Haymarket 2018). La Botz teaches Labor Perspectives and Comparative Labor at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies.

Rebecca J. Lurie

conducts Independent Study.

Justin M. Laird, Ph.D., L.P.

has worked in corporate wellness, college health promotion, and academic medicine, and has served as a university administrator, professor, academic advisor and faculty-in-residence.  In addition to his work in higher education, Justin is a private practice psychotherapist.  His academic interests include mindfulness, cultural humility, leadership, and existentialism.  He teaches “The Politics of Health Care.”

Michael Patrick McCabe

teaches a Research Seminar in Health Policy.

Michael P. McNeil

is the Chief of Administration for Columbia Health, Columbia University and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, where he teaches evaluation courses. At the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, Dr. McNeil specializes in teaching research methods as well as evaluation of health policy and urban health services.  His research interests span a broad range of topics in health. He has conducted studies on linking health promotion with student academic success, professional preparation regarding health promotion in higher education, and is current preparing manuscripts addressing topics including the spectrum of sexual infections, and a temporal exploration of alcohol use in college undergraduates. Additionally, Dr. McNeil is the author of dozens of practice-oriented articles and hundreds of presentations.

Laura Meltzer

is a writer and an activist, with a particular focus on Labor Studies. She is a long-time member of the CUNY system. Her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science is from Queens College and she holds a Master’s degree in Labor Studies from the Murphy Institute/CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies).  Despite its glum forecast, Laura’s optimism about the future of labor is derived largely from the energy of her students as well as from the initiatives of the School of Labor and Urban Studies. She teaches “Contemporary Labor Issues.”

Michael K. Menser

co-teaches “Economic Democracy and Social Change” and “Radical Social Movement” along with Evan Mikhail Casper-Futterman.

Andres F. Puerta

has worked in the labor movement for over two decades as an educator and organizer.  He has worked with unions in several industries including construction, television, radio and film and building services.  He participated in the first CUNY Union Semester, has a B.A in Political Science and an M.S in Labor Studies.  He has been a member of the Murphy/SLU faculty since 2008.   Andres directs the Labor Studies Field Work/Internship.

Arsenia Margaret Reilly-Collins

teaches “Issues in Labor Organizing.”

Gouri P. Sadhwani

is Executive Director of the Akanksha Fund, a public grant-making charity.  She has worked in social justice with a focus on human rights, education, labor rights for over 20 years. Prior to joining Akanksha she served as Deputy Executive Director at Amnesty International USA; Special Assistant to the President of the Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ; Executive Director of the New York Civic Participation Project and; Executive Director of the Hague Appeal for Peace. She is currently President of the Board of the Friends of Watsessing Park Conservancy in Essex County, NJ. and an Adjunct Professor at CUNY.  She teaches at the graduate and undergraduate levels on nonprofits, labor and immigrant issues.  She has also taught at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.  She has a B.A from Montclair State University and an M.P.A. from New York University. She is currently teaching “Non-Profit Leadership” for SLU.

Claudia Shacter-deChabert

has worked in the labor movement since 1974, when she started working for the United Farmworkers Union as a Boycott Organizer. She also worked for many years 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 Empire State College.  She is currently at Adjunct Instructor at SLU, teaching “Leadership and Administration.”

Anushay Said

teaches “Contemporary Urban Problems.”

Yunfei Song

obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Fordham University with a concentration on financial economics. He is currently a VP in market risk management at Bank of America. He has been teaching “Urban Public Finance” since Spring 2017.

Andrew Sparburg

is a retired MTA/Long Island RR manager, transportation historian, and author of the 2015 book From a Nickel to a Token, a history of New York mass transit between 1940 and 1968.  He teaches “The Development of Mass Transit in New York City: The Industry and its Workers.”

Michael R. Stack

teaches “Policy Analysis” and “Non-Profit Leadership.”

Alan Robinson Takeall

teaches “Classical Approaches in Urban Study.”

Margaret Tally

is Full Professor of Social and Public Policy at the School for Graduate Studies of the State University of New York, Empire State College. She is the author of Television Culture and Women’s Lives: Thirtysomething and the Contradictions of Gender (1995). She has also edited three book collections with Betty Kaklamanidou, HBO’s Girls: Questions of Gender, Politics, and Millennial Angst (2014), The Millennials on Film and Television: Essays on the Politics of Popular Culture (2014), and Politics and Politicians in Contemporary US Television (2016), and has authored several articles and book chapters in the area of gender and popular culture. Her most recent book is The Rise of the Anti-Heroine in TV’s Third Golden Age (2016).

She is leading the Capstone project in Urban Studies.

Denise Torres

teaches “Evaluation Health Care Policy.”