Model Sara Ziff and SAG-AFTRA’S Roberta Reardon Judge LER Class’ Case Competition

Two Graduate Teams Tied As Winners

Sara Ziff, the founder and director of The Model Alliance, and Roberta Reardon, co-president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), served as judges for SMLR’s Master’s Leadership Case Competition, held on April 24 at the Labor Education Center.

Above: Model Alliance member Katharine Brown, co-president of SAG-AFTRA Roberta Reardon, Model Alliance director Sara Ziff, Dean Susan J. Schurman, and Model Alliance organizer Meredith Hattam at the Case Competition. Photo courtesy of The Model Alliance. 
Above: Members of Team 2 conduct a mock interview focused on unionizing the WNBA.
Above: Each group member addresses the audience, which included fellow LER students and the case competition's judges. 
Above: LER Students in additional classes attended the Master's Leadership Case Competition as judges and voted for their favorite team by texting. 
Above: Each team takes turns presenting their analysis to LER students.
Dean Susan J. Schurman advises students in her class, prior to their presentations.
Presenters discuss Sara Ziff's leadership style and apply the leadership theories they've learned.
Above: Professor Janice Fine and model Sara Ziff. Photo courtesy of The Model Alliance.

Graduate students in the Leadership in Work Organizations course formed teams and were tasked with analyzing The Model Alliance. Incorporating the leadership theories they’ve learned throughout the semester, the teams presented their findings using a variety of dynamic approaches—mock interviews, vivid presentations, and videos—to highlight The Model Alliance’s work and the benefits of worker representation in similar unions.

Students from additional labor studies and employment relations courses assisted as judges and cast their vote via text message. Ms. Ziff and Ms. Reardon were joined by a panel of SMLR professors to determine the final result.

While the entire Leadership class gave strong presentations, there was a tie between two leading teams. The winners of the Master’s Leadership Case Competition for spring 2013 will receive an award and gift certificate from SMLR. They are:

Team 4

  • Rebecca Cushing
  • Lisa Flynn
  • Elliott Krause
  • Ferheen Naqvi
  • Zois Pournaras
  • Fatima Rana
  • Daniel Sanchez

Team 1

  • Karina Arcila
  • Peter Clark
  • Jillian Egan
  • Maria Ganz
  • Jessica Gisondi
  • Johnny Laine
  • Anna Tarasova

Congratulations students!


Sara Ziff has worked as a model for over a decade; walking in runway shows for Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel; and appearing as the face of Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic, and Stella McCartney. In 2009, she co-directed and produced the feature film Picture Me, which chronicles her and other models’ experiences in their industry. Ziff founded The Model Alliance to give a voice to the faces of the fashion industry. For more information, visit


Roberta Reardon is an actress, who has performed many commercials, voice-overs, and industrial videos. In 2012 she led her union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists into a merger with the Screen Actors Guild and became the new union’s (SAG-AFTRA) national co-president. Reardon is also a vice president of the AFL-CIO and a member of the Arts & Entertainment Committee of the New York State AFL-CIO. For more information, visit


Leadership in Work Organizations is taught by SMLR Dean Susan J. Schurman. The graduate course provides an in-depth examination of leadership theories and their practical application —with a focus within work organizations, including labor unions. For more information, visit