Barbara Bowen, "an associate professor of English at Queens College and the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, was elected president of the Professional Staff Congress in 2000. The PSC represents 22,000 faculty members and professional staff at CUNY. Bowen, a respected scholar of 17th-century English literature who has written numerous articles and books in her field, is also an experienced union organizer.
"Bowen began her union career when an assignment as a VISTA volunteer turned into an effort to organize 800 tobacco pickers in the Connecticut River Valley. Her record of labor activism includes working with cranberry pickers in Cape Cod, Mass., and loggers in Maine; while obtaining her Ph.D. at Yale, she helped organize clerical workers at the university.
"In addition to her position as an AFT vice president, she is a member of the NYSUT board of directors and the executive board of the New York City Central Labor Council. She also serves as an elected delegate to the American Association of University Professors collective bargaining congress."