President and Chief Negotiator: Kate Birdsall
Kate Birdsall teaches in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures and has been a UNTF member since 2014. She served on the Contract Negotiating committee during the 2018 contract negotiations and became vice president in the General Election in spring of 2019. Prior to her work with UNTF, she served as a steward for GEU and is strongly committed to organized labor. She has taken the lead on communications with MSU in the wake of COVID-19 and has successfully obtained letters of agreement that will protect our members in the coming months and years.
Vice-President: Victor Rodriguez-Pereira
Víctor Rodríguez-Pereira teaches in the department of Romance and Classical Studies, and has been a UNTF member since 2017. He became a Member at Large of the Executive Board in the elections of 2019. Previously, he was part of the Organizing Committee of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO) at University of Michigan.
Secretary: David Medei
David serves as the UNTF Secretary and works in the department of Writing, Rhetoric, & American Cultures at MSU.
Treasurer: Yolanda Anderson
Yolanda Anderson teaches in CSE.
Member at Large and Chair of Grievance Committee: Carol Prahinski
The purpose of a union is to represent the members in negotiating on behalf of all members. We have more power and influence together than individually. I’m a proud union member, having contributed to the 2018 UNTF-MSU bargaining unit negotiations. As an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management (Eli Broad College of Business) since 2007, I’m thrilled to add my perspective to our board conversations.
Member at Large: Carmela De Lorenzo
Carmen De Lorenzo has a degree in French and Spanish Languages and Literature and an MA in TESOL. She is an Instructor of Italian and French at the Department of Romance and Classical Studies at Michigan State University. She started working in the department of Romance and Classical Studies (RCS) at MSU in 2005 first as a part-time and then as a full-time instructor. She is now an Italian and French language instructor and the coordinator of the Italian Program. Her fields of interest are Italian and French pedagogy and second language acquisition. Carmen was in the first group of recipients of the Designation B contract at MSU. She is an active member of UNTF since 2009 and currently she is one of the at large members on the UNTF Board.
Carmen firmly believes that joining UNTF helps to give a voice to more vulnerable categories of workers unified by similar problems and issues in the workplace.
Member at Large: Rebecca Cifaldi
Rebecca Cifaldi (she/her) is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and UAW member who worked at GM/Cadillac for 42 years. She understands how vital unions are to the equity and justice of the higher education labor force. Rebecca received a BFA and an MA from Eastern Michigan University and an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. She has been teaching in the Art, Art History, and Design Department at MSU since 2017. Before that, she was an adjunct faculty and union member at Washtenaw Community College. She was voted Member at Large in the UNTF spring 2021.
Office Manager: Ashley Hewlett
Ashley Hewlett serves as the UNTF Office Manager. She grew up in Michigan and received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from MSU, where she studied Spanish, French and history. She also has her MATESOL and was a fixed-term faculty member at the English Language Center at MSU from 2011-2018. As of October 2017, she has been employed by UNTF to provide assistance managing the office on Lake Lansing Road.
Organizer: Richard Fessler
Richard Fessler has been the UNTF organizer since 2019. When he isn’t building solidarity, he enjoys hiking, history, boardgames, and baseball.