Grace DiBartolo and Edison Fraser became the first two IAM members to earn master’s degrees through a partnership with SUNY Empire State College. The school’s graduation ceremonies took place June 7 at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
DiBartolo is a Lead Customer Service Representative at United Airlines and serves as the grievance committee secretary and trustee at IAM Local 914 in Newark, NJ.
“I am very excited. It’s been a long time and I’ve worked very hard,” said DiBartolo. “I dropped out of school over thirty years ago but it’s always been a dream of mine to go back to school.”
Fraser currently serves as a Grand Lodge Representative for the Transportation Territory and initiated into Baltimore IAM Local 846 as a Customer Service Agent for Southwest Airlines.
“I believe this is a wonderful program that the IAM has put together,” said Fraser. “As a leader, if I’m doing higher education, I’m going to encourage all my members to do the same.”
Watch a short video of DiBartolo and Fraser on their graduation day.
The SUNY Empire State College Labor Union Partnership Program gives IAM members a practical and affordable opportunity to earn associate, bachelors and master’s degrees.
“It reflects a really remarkable amount of hard work and dedication on their part,” said William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center Director Chris Wagoner. “ And we’re really proud and excited that this partnership has come to fruition in this way.”
Click here to get information on the program.