Diana Corzen, an LPN at the NYU Student Health Center, is a vice president with the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Technical Staff at NYU. She was interviewed by Sharmaine Griffin, UCATS treasurer and a member of the NYSUT SRP Advisory Committee.
Tell me about your job and why you love what you do.
I am a clinical nurse in an ambulatory school health center. I work with a variety of specialists from endocrinology to sports medicine. Each day is a different mix of the providers I work with and their individual set-ups and needs. It is challenging and every day is a learning experience, because medicine is never stagnant. I love meeting people and trying to impact their everyday lives.
How did you get involved in the union?
I grew up in a union household and have always been in a union. Working at NYU was the first time I had ever encountered an open shop and I was surprised at how resistant some people were 24 years ago to becoming union members.
I can say with confidence, that being consistent, available to talk and to basically explain the facts to people, made it easier to have members join. Then we negotiated and got a closed shop, and now it is more of educating members about their rights and how the contract works for all of us.
Tell me how you make a difference.
I make a difference by showing up and speaking proudly about what UCATS has done for us at NYU.
Being able to point out the improvements in our contracts after each bargaining session and being able to have open dialogue with a supervisor on what is or is not in the contract to protect the member helps to make the difference every day.
What brings you joy outside of work?
I am a member of the New York City Medical Reserve Corps, which tries to fill in for staff and participate in community health and prevention clinics.
I volunteered for contact tracing at NYU and I used to volunteer with the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program. Now my greatest joy is keeping my vegetable garden alive!