Program Faculty

LEARN program faculty are full-time and emeritus faculty members in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. Each brings an extensive knowledge of labor and employment issues, a strong background in consulting and training for labor and management relations, and experience in both the public and private sectors.


Photo of Will Brucher

William Brucher, Ph.D.

Prior to joining the faculty at SMLR, William Brucher served as a Labor Educator at Washington State Labor Education and Research Center at South Seattle Community College. He also served as an adjunct professor at National Labor College in Maryland. He received both his A.M. and Ph.D. from Brown University.

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John F. Burton, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor Burton received his Ph.D. degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. He is a former Dean of the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, and Professor Emeritus at Rutgers and Cornell University. He co-authored A Workers’ Guide to The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law, which will be used in his Workers’ Compensation Law course.

Photo of Rosemarie Cipparulo

Rosemarie Cipparulo, Esq., J.D.

Rosemarie Cipparulo is an assistant teaching professor at the School of Management and Labor Relations, where she teaches classes in collective bargaining, employment law, labor law and arbitration. Ms. Cipparulo is also an attorney licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey, the United State District Court for the District of New Jersey and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Since 1999, Ms. Cipparulo has been engaged in the practice of union-side labor law, employment law, constitutional law, civil rights matters, ERISA and the representation of social and economic justice organizations with the law firm of Weissman & Mintz, LLC. 

Photo of James Cooney

James M. Cooney, Esq., J.D.

James M. Cooney teaches courses including “Employment Law,” “Immigration Law & Employee Rights,” and “Employment Discrimination Law”, along with certificate program courses for human resource, labor relations, union representatives, and continuing legal education courses for attorneys. Mr. Cooney serves as a neutral labor arbitrator and mediator. He is on the grievance arbitration rosters of the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service N.J. Public Employment Relations Commission, N.J. State Board of Mediation, and Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation. In addition, Mr. Cooney serves on the N.J. Superior Court Roster of Civil Mediators, focusing on mediation of employment law and civil rights cases.

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William Dwyer

William "Bill" Dwyer teaches courses including Negotiation and Workplace Conflict Resolution along with other undergraduate and postgraduate level courses within the School of Management and Labor Relations. In addition to teaching, he serves as Faculty Career Advisor for the School’s Student Services Department as well as the Faculty Advisor for the Rutgers University student chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. Bill has over 20 years of experience as a labor and employee relations practitioner formerly with PSE&G, a publicly traded, diversified energy company headquartered in New Jersey and one of the 10 largest electric companies in the United States. In that capacity, he gained extensive experience serving as chief corporate spokesperson in negotiating collective bargaining agreements, developing labor relations strategy, and managing workplace dispute resolution processes including mediation and arbitration.

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Rebecca Givan, Ph.D.

Rebecca Kolins Givan is an associate professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She has published widely on employment relations in health care, comparative welfare states and labor studies in journals such as Social ForcesILR Review, and British Journal of Industrial Relations. Her recent book The Challenge to Change: Reforming Health Care on the Front Line in the United States and the United Kingdom was published in 2016 by Cornell University Press.

Photo of Carla Katz

Carla Katz, Esq., J.D.

Carla A. Katz, Esq. is an assistant teaching professor at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, where she teaches labor studies and labor and employment law. Prior to joining the faculty full-time, Ms. Katz taught at SMLR as a Visiting Lecturer for more than 12 years, teaching courses in Collective Bargaining, Union Organizing, Women and Work and Occupational Safety and Health among others. Ms. Katz is also an attorney with the law firm of Cohen Placitella Roth PC in Red Bank, New Jersey. Prior to joining the firm, she was an attorney with Fox and Fox LLP in Livingston, New Jersey. Her legal practice is primarily focused on labor and employment law representing unions and employees. She works closely with New Jersey's firefighters and other public employees.

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Tamara Lee, J.D., Ph.D.

Tamara L. Lee, Esq. is an industrial engineer and labor lawyer by professional training. She received her Ph.D. from the department of labor relations, law and history from the ILR School at Cornell University. Her academic research focuses on the popular participation of workers in macro-level political and economic reform in Cuba and the United States. She also conducts research on the political practice of workers under the National Labor Relations Act, the intersection of labor and racial justice, cross-movement solidarity building and the impact of radical adult education on workplace democracy. Her teaching focuses on identity politics in the workplace, and labor market discrimination.

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Saul A. Rubinstein, Ph.D. in Management

Saul focuses his research on the impact of changes in work organization on firms and unions. In particular he has studied intra and inter-organizational coordination as well as the new forms of firm governance and co-management that have resulted from joint labor-management efforts to transform industrial relations and work systems. He is the Associate Director of the SMLR Center for Workplace Transformation and has served as a member of the NJ State Employment & Training Commission Task Force on High Commitment Work Organizations. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation, and has been published in numerous top academic journals such as the Industrial and Labor Relations Review and various book chapters. He is the co-author of Learning From Saturn: Possibilities for Corporate Governance and Employee Relations, published in 2001 by Cornell University Press.

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Todd Vachon, Ph.D.

Director of LEARN

As the Director of LEARN, Todd works to ensure a broad selection of courses and educational opportunities for NJ workers, labor relations professionals, and worker organizations. Todd’s scholarly interests include the political economy of American capitalism, social stratification, social movements, and the intersection of climate change and work and employment issues. His research has been published in numerous top academic journals and book chapters. He is the co-editor of the book Revaluing Work(ers): Toward a Democratic and Sustainable Future, with Tobias Schulze-Cleven, published in 2021 by Cornell University Press. Todd has over 20 years of experience in the labor movement as a Laborer (LIUNA), a Carpenter (UBC), and a Teacher (AFT). He has served as shop steward at various worksites, worked as an organizer, and served as the founding President of UAW Local 6950, representing over 2,200 graduate employees while completing his PhD at the University of Connecticut. Todd has also worked throughout his career as a labor educator with the UConn Labor Education Center, various unions, and Rutgers LEARN.

Photo of Naomi R Williams

Naomi R Williams, Ph.D.

Naomi R Williams received her Ph.D. from the History Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her primary research interests include labor and working-class history, urban history and politics, gender and women, race and politics, and more broadly, social and economic movements of working people. Naomi’s primary focus is on late-capitalism at the end of the 20th century and workers’ role in shaping U.S. political economy. Currently, she is revising a book manuscript, tentatively titled “Workers United: Race, Labor, and Coalition Building in Deindustrialized America,” on the transformation of class identity and politics in the second half of the twentieth century.

Program Instructors

Program instructors are full-time and adjunct faculty of the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers, leading legal experts, and PERC personnel. All instructors bring their extensive academic knowledge and real world experience to the program.


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Christine Lucarelli-Carneiro

Rutgers School of Law-Newark

Christine Lucarelli-Carneiro serves as General Counsel for the Public Employment Relations Commission, a role in which she provides expert legal counsel to the Chair, Commission and all divisions of PERC.  She represents the Commission in all litigation in federal and state court and also serves as PERC’s Ethics Liaison Officer and Equal Employment Officer.  Prior to joining PERC, Mrs. Lucarelli-Carneiro served as Deputy Attorney General with the Department of Law and Public Safety.  As a DAG, she counseled  the Division of Pensions and Benefits and various pension boards and issued statutory and regulatory guidance pertaining to the administration of health and retirement benefits.  She regularly appeared to defend the Division in the Office of Administrative Law and the Superior Court in both the Law Division and Appellate Division. Mrs. Lucarelli-Carneiro received a B.A., cum laude, from Montclair State University, and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. Upon graduation from law school, she served as a law clerk in the Superior Court, Appellate Division.

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Don Dileo

Harvard Trade Union Program

Spent 25 years negotiating contracts in the public and private sector. Negotiated over 300 collective bargaining agreements for District Council 73, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFSCME, AFL-CIO. Former President of the Mercer County NJ Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, former Political and Legislative Representative for AFSCME in New Jersey. Lobbyist for AFSCME in Trenton for many years. Former President of SEIU Local 175 Princeton University. Graduate of the Harvard Trade Union Program 1990 with alumni status. Former Municipal Court mediator for Hamilton Township NJ and veteran of the United States Army, 1965-67.

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Joyce M. Klein, Esq.,  J.D.

University of Wisconsin Law School

Ms. Klein is a mediator and arbitrator, and an Adjunct Professor in Labor Studies and Employment Relations at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. She has served as Special Counsel to the Presidential Emergency Boards, and on the National Mediation Board and New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission.

Photo of Ursula Henrich Leo, Esq.

Ursula Henrich Leo, Esq.

Syracuse University College of Law

Ms. Leo is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the United States District Court- New Jersey, United States District Court- Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ms. Leo is a member of the Sussex County Bar Association and focuses her practice on Land Use, Municipal, and Labor and Employment matters.

Photo of Melanie Lipomanis, Esq.

Melanie Lipomanis, Esq.

Rutgers School of Law-Newark

Ms. Lipomanis, an attorney with Porzio Bromberg & Newman, handling a wide range of employment matters for the Firm’s public and private clients in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Her practice focuses on defending management-side employers in all areas of employment litigation, wage and hour claims, unfair labor practice charges, OSHA investigations, and audits and investigations by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s/Homeland Security. Ms. Lipomanis partners closely with human resource professionals in the areas of labor relations, contract negotiations, regulatory compliance, and workforce management; conducts internal investigations involving harassment and ethics complaints; and provides workforce training on a variety of topics including anti-discrimination, diversity, inclusion, and ethics.

Photo of James W. Mastriani, M.S.

James W. Mastriani, M.S. in Labor Economics

University of Massachusetts

Mr. Mastriani has more than 20 years of arbitration and mediation experience. He has authored articles on collective bargaining and dispute resolution, and taught graduate courses in the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. He previously was Chairman of the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, and also served as a Commission Mediator and Hearing Officer.

Photo of Joan Parker, Ph.D

Joan Parker, Ph.D. in Industrial and Labor Relations

Cornell University

Dr. Parker has been a sought-after arbitrator and mediator in both the public and private sectors for more than 30 years. As a tenured Professor at Rutgers University from 1976 to 1990, she taught graduate courses; conducted research; and  published numerous scholarly books,book chapters, and articles on labor and employment, dispute settlement, and human resource management.

Photo of Mary E. Hennessy-Shotter, J.D.

Mary E. Hennessy-Shotter, J.D.

Seton Hall University School of Law

Mary E. Hennessy-Shotter (Mary Beth) is the Director of Conciliation & Arbitration and former Deputy General Counsel with the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) in Trenton, New Jersey. She was appointed Director in 2018 and is one of five full-time staff mediators in New Jersey. In this role, she is a neutral who assists parties to resolve impasses in contract negotiations between public entities and public sector labor unions. She frequently speaks on labor issues in New Jersey and has taught classes for ICLE and the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations.

Photo of Steven Weissman, Esq., J.D.

Steven Weissman, Esq., J.D.

Rutgers School of Law, Newark

Mr. Weissman, of Weissman & Mintz, LLC, specializes in employment-related matters. A published author, he has been a bencher for the Reitman Inn of Court and is an Executive Committee member of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section. He also serves on the State Advisory Council to the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations.

Program Staff

LEARN program staff are full-time staff members at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. They bring extensive background knowledge and expertise to their roles supporting and facilitating LEARN programs and initiatives.


Photo of Djar Horn

Djar Horn

Djar Horn is a Labor Education Specialist who develops and facilitates labor education programs, assists with applied research, and helps with outreach and promotion for LEARN. She is also the lead coordinator for the Summer School for Women in Unions and Worker Organizations at the Rutgers Labor Education Center. Djar has more than 20 years of experience in the labor movement—including as a union journeyman carpenter, a union organizer, and most recently as an HPAE staff representative where her responsibilities included leading negotiations, handling grievances/arbitrations, leading internal organizing campaigns, training members, and mentoring co-workers.