Organizing Committee

Our Organizing Committee comprises of UMass Boston Graduate Students who are passionate about labour issues and ensuring the fair and equal treatment of Graduate Workers.

Kathy Melish

President of the UAW 1596, the parent Union to the GEO here at UMass Boston. Kathy manages a large and diverse union which also includes the GEO at UMass Lowell. Kathy does not hold office hours here on campus, but instead works from the Union local in Canton, MA. She coordinates with the GEO Organizing Committee here on campus.

Christopher R. Whynacht

Chris was born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada and has close family ties to the fishing and natural resource industries which have dominate the local economy.  He attended Dalhousie University in Halifax before beginning a career in business development.  After almost 15 years as an entrepreneur and management consultant, he returned to Dalhousie for a Master of Environmental Studies (MES) degree to gain a better understanding of environmental resource management.  His research interests revolve around the intersection of business and sustainability.

Chris came to UMass Boston in the fall of 2014 to begin work on a PhD.  He was attracted by the Organizations and Social Change (OSC) Program at UMB’s College of Management.  This program in one of the few in the United States which brings together researchers interested in how organizations interact with society, the environment, and economics – the core pillars of sustainability.  The OSC group clearly sees an opportunity for organizations of all types to play a role in moving to a more sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future.

Chris has been involved with several previous student unions and activist groups; having chaired the Student Union, Association of Graduate Students, and Arts Society at Dalhousie University.  He will be bringing his experience, energy, and passion for student rights to his work at the UMass Boston Graduate Employee Organization.  Chris is always open to meet and discuss student issues with fellow students, administrators, and faculty as he believes that open collegial conversation is one of the best ways to provoke organizational change.

Program: PhD in Organizations and Social Change

Warren Hinckle

Warren Hinckle joined the GEO Organizing Committee as a student in Spring ’17, continued until he received his MFA in May ’18, and was then brought on as a staffer for the union–and he’s happy for it. Though a writer by education and vocation, he’s found solid craft in union work and, even better than discovering solid craft, has discovered immensely wonderful, beautiful, and actualized people.IMG_20180903_164622_689

At the GEO, he spends his time reaching out to members and administrators, as well as shoring up the organizing committee’s internal structure. He lives part-time in Allston, part-time in scattered, far-flung parts of the internet, and part-time in isolated sections of the US and world whenever his heart or mind wander. Though he’ll pick up the word and pen again some day, for now, he bears in mind always the final words of Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian; “…I have ceased to feel the immediate presence of those beings, the living reality of those events; they are near me still, but of the past, neither more nor less now than the memories of my own life. … what I could say has been said; what I could learn has been learned. Let us turn, for the time that is left to us, to other work.”

Juan Blanco 


Juan Pablo Blanco is a community organizer and academic originally from Mar Del Plata, Argentina. He holds a BA in Philosophy from UMass Boston and is currently completing an MA in the Transnational, Cultural and Community Studies program, with research interests in immigration, specifically undocumented populations and different national structures and responses to immigration around the world. Juan’s own experiences as a former undocumented student brought him to get involved as an organizer and advocate for local organizations such as the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, and currently with PHENOM, the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts. Through PHENOM and the coalition to SAVEUMB Juan has worked in tandem with the Unions on campus, faculty and his fellow students to battle the privatization structures that are putting UMB in jeopardy as an urban public institution. He has worked in many campaigns dealing with immigrant rights and access to higher education and hopes to be able to blend his deep interest in the theoretical work that is being done in the fields of immigration and migration with his work in the community to develop research that will be both academically important as well as a tool for immigrant communities for self-emancipation. Outside of his academic and professional work, Juan enjoys cooking and playing the bass.

Program: MA in Transnational, Cultural and Community Studies

Myles Green


Myles Green is the Co-Director/Coordinator of the Social Justice Mediation Program of the Boston Medical Center where he handles and mediates conflicts in the community through mediation and other conflict resolution modalities with focus on social justice. He is a former Mass. public schools teacher who is accustomed to work with administration in public schools – just like UMass Boston.

Program: MA in Transnational, Cultural and Community Studies


–Past Organizing Committee Members–