Minimum GPA: 3.00

Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2024


Brigid Beachler

Cornell Affiliations:

Industrial and Labor Relations


Opportunity Description

Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Research Fellowship

Established in 1988 in memory of Harry Van Arsdale, Jr., former business manager of IBEW Local 3 and president of the New York City Labor Council, this paid, full-time fellowship is open to one graduate student or graduating senior in the ILR School. The selected fellow will conduct research related to the history and role of unions in New York City, highlighting the accomplishments and ideals of Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. and their implications for the labor movement today. Qualified candidates must demonstrate an interest and commitment to labor issues, as well as excellent research skills. The internship runs June through August in New York City and is supervised by Jeff Grabelsky.

The fellow is expected to complete research and write a publishable essay on a topic provided each year.  Former topics include: The New York Hotel Trades Council, Public Sector Collective Bargaining in New York, Labor Unions and Community Alliances, and Lessons from the Depression for the "Great Recession."

Each year the selected student works with Mr. Grabelsky and the Van Arsdale Memorial Foundation to develop a research topic of mutual interest.  Last year's project resulted in a report on new organizing in the labor movement including the heightened interest in union representation among young workers in sectors of the economy that have appeared to be impenetrable to unionization.  The successful campaigns at Starbucks and Amazon and REI may portend a surge in union organizing. Research questions included: What strategic shifts are needed to turn these individual victories into major breakthroughs that bring national corporations to the negotiating table?  How can workers build sufficient power to match the enormous bargaining strength these corporate giants enjoy?  And, what role can the established institutions of labor play in supporting this new organizing?

The fellowship is funded by the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. Memorial Association and currently provides a stipend of $8000.