School of Continuing and Professional Studies > Faculty & Staff > Staff Directory > jessica-cook-qurayshi
Jessica began her work with the Center as the Lead Instructor in January 2016 and became the Director of the Center in August 2016. Jessica joined the labor movement as a staff organizer and staff union steward at the
UNITE HERE international from 2006-2009. She then spent 7 years as a leader and steward with the Graduate Employees Organization (IFT-AFT Local 6297) while working as an instructor in Sociology at UIC, where she earned her PhD. She has also worked closely as a volunteer and researcher with multiple Chicago-based worker centers since 2010. Jessica has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her doctoral research focused on the labor movement, worker centers, mass incarceration and criminalization, immigration, citizenship, race and ethnicity, civil society, precarious work, and labor market restructuring. She is a founding board member of
Temp Worker Justice, an advisory committee member of the
Labor Research Action Network (LRAN), and a board member at the
Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT).