Every two years, all elected positions in UAW 2865 come up for re-election, including Head Steward positions at all nine campuses and all ten positions on the Executive Board. This year, OSWP candidates from UC-Irvine, UC-Santa Barbara, UC-Davis, UCLA, and UC-Berkeley ran for positions at the campus or statewide level. While most were elected by acclamation, some elections are contested; click on the campus or the E-Board link to find out more, both about candidates still running and about those who have already been elected!

Up for election UC Berkeley
Elected by acclamation Executive Board | UCLA

Candidates for UAW 2865's Executive Board 2019

OSWP ran a full slate of candidates for the UAW 2865 Executive Board, all of whom were elected by acclamation on April 17, 2019. They are an immensely committed group of member-leaders who bring a wide range of skills and experiences to the table. Read about them below!


Kavitha Iyengar,


Kavitha is a 4th year JD/PhD student at Berkeley Law. She has been a teaching assistant and research assistant at UC for the past four years, and has served in elected leadership in our union for the past two. As co-chair of Berkeley’s Organizing Committee, Northern Vice President and then President of UAW 2865, Kavitha has overseen historic growth in union membership and participation across sectors, co-authoring crucial union plans and policies like our statewide organizing plans from 2017-19 and budget realignment to respond to Janus vs. AFSCME.


Alec Uebersohn,

Financial Secretary

Alec is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. He currently studies the regulation of gene expression in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the lab of Dr. Gloria Brar and is a teaching assistant for Berkeley’s General Genetics course. He has served as a head steward in the Berkeley unit since April 2018, supported the bargaining team as an alternate during the 2018 contract negotiations, and has previously been a co-chair of the Berkeley unit Organizing Committee.


Marissa Ochsner, Recording Secretary

Marissa is a sixth-year PhD student in the Department of Musicology at UCLA. She has been an elected leader of UAW 2865 for two years, first as a Head Steward and then as Southern Vice President on the Executive Board. In both positions, she has maintained her commitment to on-the ground organizing, regularly participating in block-walking and other campus activities of the UCLA organizing committee. On the Executive Board, her focus has been on aligning policies and office practices with an efficiently run, organizing-driven union, activities she will continue as Recording Secretary.


Tom Hintze, Northern Vice President

Tom is a fifth-year PhD Candidate in English at UC-Davis. He has been an elected leader of UAW 2865 for one year, during which he has served as the Executive Board’s Legislative Outreach Coordinator, rebuilding 2865’s effort to intervene meaningfully in state politics. Before sitting on the E-Board, Tom was an alternate on the Bargaining Team for the 2018 contract campaign, focusing largely on membership communications.


Alli Carlisle, Southern Vice President

Alli is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA, where she works on Cuban literature and cultural studies. She joined union leadership by way of becoming active in Bruins Against Sexual Harassment, and since then has served our union as Bargaining Team Co-Chair and LA Recording Secretary. She is also President of the Spanish & Portuguese Graduate Student Association.


Alex Bush, Trustee

Alex is a PhD candidate in the Department of Film & Media at UC-Berkeley. She has been an elected leader of UAW 2865 for two years. Her UAW 2865 highlights include coordinating the Fall 2017 Grade-In, organizing members at Berkeley, Davis, LA and Santa Barbara, working as the Communications Liaison on the E-Board, and helping to coordinate the #FixUCPath campaign to win make-whole remedies for over 750 workers affected by UC payroll errors.


Andrew Elrod, Trustee

Andrew Elrod is a 4th year PhD student in the Department of History at UCSB. He is a doctoral grantee of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. In addition to his research work, Andrew has also worked as a teaching assistant, reader, and associate at UCSB.


Kevin Kadowaki, Trustee

Kevin is a 3rd-year PhD student in UCI's Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, where he has worked as a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant. He has served our Union as a Head Steward for the past two years, as part of UCI's Advocacy and Contract Enforcement Committee, and as an alternate on the bargaining team for the 2018 contract negotiations.


Griffin Johnson, Sergeant-at-Arms

Griffin is a second-year MFA student in the Screenwriting program at the UCLA school of Theater, Film and Television and a TA in UCLA's Freshman Clusters program. He joined our union immediately after grad orientation and has since served as a head steward, campus organizer and co-chair of the organizing committee at UCLA. Before grad school he tutored writing, worked at movie theaters and edited local news.


Gwen Chodur, Guide

Gwen Chodur is a third year PhD Candidate in the Graduate Group of Nutritional Biology at UC Davis. She has worked as a teaching assistant for nine quarters and has been a proud UAW member since 2016.

OSWP Candidates for Berkeley 2019

The following candidates are running for leadership positions on the Berkeley campus on the Organizing for Student Worker Power slate. They share a vision of building shop floor power through one-to-one organizing to create an industrial union (with GSRs!!!) with real clout to push for a UC for All. Members at Berkeley may elect a Unit Chair, Recording Secretary, and 16 Head Stewards. Read about the candidates below, and click on the candidate image for a full position statement!

Hannah Ehrlinspiel, Unit Chair

Hannah is a 6th-year grad student in the English Department. She has been a UC-Berkeley Head Steward since April 2018, the UC-Berkeley Unit Chair since October 2018, and a delegate to the Alameda Labor Council since November 2018. She is determined to build power in UAW 2865 to give academic student employees more clout in broader political struggles, and to sharpen members’ political vision of what an 18,000-worker union can achieve.

Garrett Shishido Strain, Recording Secretary

Garrett is a 3rd-year grad student in the Sociology Department. He has been Berkeley Recording Secretary since April 2017 and has been heavily involved in the Organizing Committee to bring Berkeley up to majority union membership for the first time in seven years and revive the departmental stewards network. Prior to graduate school, Garrett was the International Campaigns Coordinator with United Students Against Sweatshops, where he coordinated a transnational campaign that successfully pressured Adidas to pay $1.8 million in severance to 2,700 Indonesian garment worker unionists. As an undergraduate tutor at the University of Washington, Garrett was a bargaining team member of UAW 4121 during a historic contact campaign that won 30%+ wage increases for Academic Student Employees.

Zach Angulo, Head Steward

Zach is a rising second-year law student at UC Berkeley. Before joining the J.D. ’21 Class, he co-founded Northwestern University Graduate Workers (NUGW) with his doctoral student colleagues in Evanston, IL. There, he organized for guaranteed fifth-year graduate funding and lower continuation fees for Doctor of Musical Arts students. He also founded NUGW’s Research Committee to provide strategic guidance for its Organizing Committee. As a member of UAW Local 2865, he serves as Campus Chair of Contract Enforcement, Sector Captain for Berkeley’s professional schools, and Leader of the Berkeley Law and Organizing Collective.

Hero Ashman, Head Steward

Hero is a first year PhD student in the Sociology Department. She has been a union steward and member of the Organizing Committee since January 2019. She is also a member of the newly-created Equity Committee.

Layne Frechette, Head Steward

Layne a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Chemistry Department at UC Berkeley. He has been an active member of the Berkeley Organizing Committee for a year, and serves as a delegate on the Alameda County Labor Council.

Holly Gildea, Head Steward

Holly is a third year graduate student in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Like many graduate student workers in the UC system, she is part of a graduate group that spans multiple departments for teaching opportunities and research work. Within her graduate group, she advocated to my administration to decrease the financial burden on incoming first years by providing meals for their first weeks.

Nathan Kenshur, Head Steward

Nathan is a second-year undergraduate math tutor at the Student Learning Center at UC Berkeley. He is a co-captain for the tutoring sector at Berkeley. He wants to expand union participation across Berkeley's campus, and particularly among the underrepresented groups of tutors and other undergraduate student-workers.

Sam Kohn, Head Steward

Sam is a 6th-year PhD student in the Physics department and has been a GSI and GSR. He has been a member of UAW 2865 since his first on-boarding session, and has been on our union’s Organizing Committee for two years. He is currently an organizing captain for the math and science departments.

Yvonne Lin, Head Steward

Yvonne is a first-year PhD student in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. In addition to being a departmental steward this past year, she has also helped build union membership by signing up people on walkthroughs, section visits, and onboardings.

Alex Mabanta, Head Steward

Alex (he/him pronouns) is a 1st year in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy PhD program at UC Berkeley. He joined UAW Local 2865 on his first day at Cal. Before graduate school, Alex was a political and labor organizer, mobilizing campaigns led by the South Bay Labor Council. An OSWP candidate, Alex is deeply committed to intersectional justice, particularly to empowering students as the driving force against the anti-labor forces of elected leaders, neoliberal institutions, and corporations, at Berkeley, in D.C., and abroad.

Ali Marzolf, Head Steward

Ali is a first year public policy student at The Goldman School. Prior to entering graduate school Ali worked for Hennepin County in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While at the county, Ali was heavily involved with her AFSCME L34. She was involved in several internal organizing campaigns, worked on an anti-discrimination campaign, and was a member of the Executive Board in a Member-at-Large position for a year and a half. Her policy interests include social safety net programs, labor policy and workers’ rights, and affordable housing.

Valerie McGraw, Head Steward

Valerie is a 2nd year in the Chemistry PhD program at UC Berkeley. She first became involved with UAW 2865 in January of 2018 as a co-captain for the science and math sector in the UCB organizing committee. She helped organize tablings and walkthroughs in science departments, and led the planning for a sector town hall in the Spring. In September 2018, she was elected as a Co-Chair for Berkeley’s Organizing Committee.

Alexa Nicolas, Head Steward

Alexa is a 3rd year PhD Candidate in Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley studying how communities of microbes live together in soil. The microscopic organisms she analyzes can only be studied as a community – evolution has made them so intertwined that you can’t grow them in isolation from one another. At this point, her research is inextricable and drives why she thinks organizing in our workplace, as the UC Student Workers Union, is so powerful: we are most resilient when we build together.

Teri Oehmke, Head Steward

Teri is a 4th year PhD student in Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. She has been involved with the Student-Workers Union since early this semester and is excited to get more involved with the newly-formed Equity Committee.

Diana Ruiz, Head Steward

Diana is a fifth year PhD candidate in the Film and Media department at UC Berkeley, where she is also a UAW2865 Head Steward (OWSP) and the Berkeley representative on the Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Committee.

Joseph Stahl, Head Steward

Joe is a third year PhD candidate in the mathematics department. He’s been a member of UAW 2865 since coming to Berkeley, and has been organizing since the last contract negotiation. He is currently a co-chair on the organizing committee at Berkeley.

Wendy Wang, Head Steward

Wendy is a PhD student of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and an international student from Taiwan. Back in Taiwan, she participated in the LGBTQ movements and the campaign for the legalization of gay marriage in Taiwan. At Berkeley, she started working as a departmental steward and helping the organizational activities in the campus since Fall 2018.

Yueran Zhang, Head Steward

Yueran is a PhD student in the Sociology department and an international student from China. He has been organizing with UAW 2865 since he came to Berkeley last August. Before attending Berkeley, he was a PhD student at Harvard and part of the successful campaign to unionize student workers there. Through these experiences, he developed a commitment to building a militant, diverse and broad-based union which does not merely “represent” the interests of workers of all backgrounds, but gives student workers who are historically marginalized at our university and workplace the confidence to participate and organize themselves.

OSWP Candidates for UCLA Leadership 2019

OSWP ran a full slate of candidates for leadership positions at UCLA, including some of our campus’s most dedicated organizers and leaders. All were elected by acclamation on April 17, 2019.


Yunyi Li, Unit Chair

PhD Student, Cinema & Media Studies


Michael Stenovec, Recording Secretary

PhD Student, Political Science


Matevž Frajnkovič, Head Steward

PhD Student, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Ian Heimbuch, Head Steward

PhD Student, Neuroscience


Brea Hogan, Head Steward

PhD Student, Materials Science and Engineering


Kailah Lee McGee, Head Steward

PhD Student, Urban Schooling


Tony Pahl, Head Steward

PhD Student, Astronomy and Astrophysics

Lydia Roberts, Head Steward

PhD Student, Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures


Wan Yeung, Head Steward

PhD Student, Ethnomusicology