Jill Hopke

Environmental Communication. Social Movements. Mobile Media.

Tag: TAA (page 1 of 2)

I’m Running for TAA Co-President and Here’s Why

Our union is at a critical juncture. The next year will be a pivotal moment in the TAA’s history. We have fought hard over the course of the last year against the attacks on our rights to have a voice in determining our working conditions and higher education funding in this state. Our union is still strong, but the fight is far from over. We need to get Scott Walker out of office this June and work to rebuild what the right-wing has dismantled in the past 16 months.

The university works because we do. We are the voice for graduate student employees and for all graduate students who desire tuition-remitting employment. As graduate assistants, we teach almost half of all the lectures, discussions and labs combined on campus and are integral to the university surpassing the $1 billion mark in research expenditures for the first time in 2010 (data from the UW-Madison Data Digest 2010-2011).

The fight back against cuts to higher education. At the same time that UW-Madison is ranked 27th among universities globally, in the past year we have seen unprecedented cuts to funding for the university’s basic educational mission. Within this context, we need to do a better job at articulating why we are better off advocating together for fair working conditions and draw connections to undergraduate learning.

Continue reading

One Year of #wiunion: Remembering. As We Move Wisconsin Forward.

It has been quite a year in Wisconsin and I am proud to have lived in these times. It has not been a moment to stand on the sidelines of history.

We have lost much but I believe over the course of the coming years will gain much more in terms of social progress. Here is an excerpt of a blog post I authored for Defend Wisconsin:

A year ago the system of social trust in Wisconsin began to come unraveled. Today marks the one-year anniversary of Gov. Walker’s announcement of the Budget Repair Bill, now Wisconsin Act 10, effectively ending 50 years of public sector collective bargaining rights.

I believed a year ago that we would “kill the bill.” I believed if we made our voices heard, we could appeal reason on the part of lawmakers. If we spoke about the hardships this bill would cause around the state for families, for students, for ordinary Wisconsinites that go to work everyday with faith in the system, our government would listen to us. Continue reading

Prelims or bust!

2011 has been an interesting year to say the least. I am proud of all that we’ve done in Wisconsin to stand up for workers rights and defend the democratic process, as well as my small part of it through the TAA and our Defend Wisconsin project. For an excellent collection of essays check out this volume “We are Wisconsin” edited by my friend Erica Sagrans, one of the many people I’ve had the privilege to get to know in 2011.

While the past year may have been about protesting in many respects, I also finished my doctoral coursework, submitted several research papers to journals (and a few revisions!), co-authored a book chapter on mobile phone use in Colombia (details forthcoming) and was inducted into the UW Teaching Academy.

But 2012 is all about “prelims,” or the preliminary exams that I need to pass in order to become a doctoral candidate. The way it works in my department is that I’ll need to take five eight-hour long open book exams over the course of two weeks, one for each of my dissertation committee members.

I’m embarking on this intellectual journey hopeful that it will be an opportunity to step back and reflect on all that I have learned over the past four and a half years. Many people have told me that coming out of prelims I will feel smarter than ever. For a reflection on this, see this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Personally, here is some of what I find invaluable:

Camille and Allison at Redamté.

1. Study buddies. I’m lucky to be in a graduate program that fosters research collaboration. While graduate school is very individualistic in many respects I have always tried to approach it in a collective spirit so that we all succeed. Along those lines I have had the honor to slog through these years with many fellow students who have become good friends and constant sources of inspiration, intellectual and otherwise. Plus, you make me laugh (especially the lovely ladies pictured here). Thank you!

2. Mentors. I am also fortunate to have the professional mentorship of many excellent scholars and practitioners in the field of communications who believe in my abilities as a scholar and human being. Thank you all! I really could not do this without your support and encouragement.

3. Organization. Because eight hours isn’t that much time.

4. Healthy habits (eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise). Because there’s truth in the saying “You are what you eat.”

5. Creativity and a computer. Enough said.

Hopefully I’ll end this year “as smart as I’ll ever be,” well on my way to completing a dissertation and Wisconsin will have a new governor.

The Importance of Communication in Collective Action

I spoke on a labor panel this afternoon, “The Wisconsin Fight Back: Union Organizers Sound Off,” at a conference organized by The Progressive magazine. Scholars struggle to explain under what conditions social movements are able to turn out a critical mass (see Marwell & Olson, 1993). One of the other panelists, from Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI) and a school guidance counselor, very aptly described importance of communication and interpersonal trust in overcoming the “collective action problem.”

Continue reading

Back to classes but with added financial stresses

Students and faculty are heading back to classes today at UW-Madison in what has been a tumultuous year in Wisconsin. The effects of Wisconsin Act 10, which strips public sector workers (including graduate assistants) of our collective bargaining rights, are only now beginning come to pass.

Continue reading

Older posts

© 2020 Jill Hopke

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑