Meet our new Executive Director, Jessica Beard

By Jory Segal, 07.24.17

The WVMFT, AFT 6554 Executive Board is thrilled to welcome our new Executive Director, Jessica Beard.  Jessica is from Boulder Creek and has a PhD in Literature from UC Santa Cruz.  Her area of expertise is 19th Century American Literature with an emphasis on poetry.  Jessica’s dissertation was centered on Emily Dickinson’s manuscripts.

Jessica has taught as an adjunct faculty member at a number of Bay Area colleges.  She became in interested in unions when she became active in her union at the San Francisco Art Institute, while she was an adjunct professor of humanities.  She has a lot of experience working as an organizer for California Federation of Teachers.

Jessica likes to collect records and volunteers as a DJ at different venues.  She has over a 1000 records in her collection.  She also co-facilitates the San Francisco Poster Syndicate.  The syndicate is composed of art students who design and hand screen print posters.  The group has been together since the beginning of 2015, and was organized as part of the contract campaign for adjunct faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute.  They have been very active with political efforts since the Presidential election.  They painted a mural on Clarion Alley in San Francisco, the second most visited art space in San Francisco.   (It is located in the Mission District.)  They produced over a 1000 posters that were distributed during the Women’s March and the Presidential inauguration protest.  She is alsoa sports fan who loves to watch B-Ball, (basketball & baseball).  She is also actively involved with continuing her study of 19th Century American Literature, as well as academic labor issues. She currently serves as an Advisory Editor for the new journal out of CU Boulder,  Academic Labor: Research and Artistry.

Jessica wanted to become an executive director to make use of her organizing skills and broaden her expertise in union work.  She is hoping to address faculty issues and grievances during the next contract campaign, and also to increase faculty engagement in the process.  “There will be a lot of changes happening in this Union, in the near future, and it is exciting to be a part of it.”