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The Worker Institute

Advancing worker rights and collective representation



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Student Fellows

Laura Carver

Laura Carver

Laura Carver is an Ithaca native and a Cornell senior majoring in Government and German Studies. After graduating high school, Laura spent seven months in Germany, where she completed an internship in the German Bundestag and spent a semester studying at the University of Leipzig. While at Cornell, Laura has been involved with a number of progressive organizations on campus, including serving as treasurer for Cornell's branch of VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood. Laura's interests lie at the intersection of women's rights and politics, and she hopes to pursue a career in this area after graduating in January. She is currently working as a Summer Fellow for the Worker Institute under the advisement of Lowell Turner.

Zach Cunningham

Zach Cunningham

Zach Cunningham is entering his first year as a Master's student in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations.  A native of Indiana, Zach graduated from Indiana University in 2010 with a degree in History. In 2008 he worked as a field organizer for Barack Obama's presidential campaign in Youngstown, Ohio, and since graduating, Zach has taught high school in Arkansas and participated in the City University of New York's Union Semester program. As a summer fellow at the Worker Institute, Zach works with Lara Skinner and Sean Sweeney on several Global Labor Institute projects related to labor unions' engagement in issues of sustainability and climate protection. These include Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and Project Sandy: A Labor Task Force on New York State's Energy Future, both efforts to develop and advance a trade union vision for a democratic, low-carbon, and equitable energy system.

Savannah King Norton

Savannah Norton

Savannah Norton is a rising senior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She carried her volunteer experience in Texan education to Cornell University and focuses her studies on education reform and public sector labor relations. She has taught children in Austin and Ithaca and has worked with local schools, educational initiatives, and summer classes. Savannah is currently a summer fellow at the Worker Institute assisting the Bargaining for Better Schools project. Her long-term goals are to achieve better cooperation between school districts and teachers' unions and to encourage labor reforms which improve the status and conditions of teachers, raise student outcomes, and increase ESL and special education training.

Porter pic

Susan Mason Porter

Susan Mason Porter of Cleveland, Ohio, was an entrepreneur in the software and restaurant industries before enrolling at ILR in 2012 to pursue life-long interests in social justice and human rights.  Workers' rights have been the focus of her coursework and extracurricular activities during the past year. She wrote blogs and policy articles for the Cornell Roosevelt Institute during the 2012-2013 school year and also created a campus-wide support network for non-traditional students. She also worked with the United Association for Labor Education (UALE) Summer School for Union Women this summer. In August, she begins a semester at the University College Dublin, and returns to Ithaca in January for her final semester. Porter is the mother of two adult daughters and has a granddaughter.