Thursday, December 15, 2011

CUNY SPS Spotlights Robert Daraio MALS Graduate

The SPS Alumni Connect E-Bulletin

The monthly newsletter for SPS Graduates

This month we would like to spotlight, Bob Daraio, an alumnus of the Labor Studies graduate degree program. 

Masters in Labor Studies alumnus Robert Daraio '11 was elected in November to the five-person Board of Trustees for the Village of Ossining, New York, a community of 25,000 people an hour north of New York City. Filling one of two vacant seats, Daraio begins his two-year term on January 1, 2012.
Daraio was one of 15 students in the first graduating class of the MALS program at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute, part of the CUNY School of Professional Studies.
"My experience at Murphy is certainly part and parcel of what prepared me for the job," said Daraio. 
As a Trustee he will work with the Mayor of Ossining to consolidate public service departments—a process that includes renegotiating contracts with the workers' unions.
Daraio began his studies at the Murphy Institute in 2010, after retiring from a 33 year career as a television broadcast engineer. Being active in the three unions that represent workers in the technical fields of the entertainment industry, IATSE, IBEW, and NABET-CWA, showed him how much more there was to learn about labor unions and their history.
"I didn't know nearly enough," he said. "Murphy was exactly what I needed for that." For his Master's thesis Daraio proposed a reorganization of the labor unions representing television workers to respond to the new shape of the industry.
Daraio also learned a lesson in solidarity: his candidacy had the overwhelming support of local unions and the Westchester-Putnam Central labor Body..
"I just can't thank everybody at Murphy enough,"Daraio said. "I know the friends I made there will always be in my life."
Congratulations Bob! 
 BIO:  Bob Daraio is the Recording Secretary for the New York Broadcast Trades Council, an organization made up of unions with collective bargaining agreements with N.Y. broadcast TV stations. Bob represents NABET-CWA Local 16 on the New York City Central Labor Council-AFL-CIO.
Bob is the moderator of Broadcast Union News, a clearing center for information of interest to people working in television, film, print/electronic media, and theater. A place where AEA, AFTRA, IATSE, IBEW, CWA-NABET, DGA, SAG, Newspaper Guild, WGA, and non-represented entertainment industry workers can share information with an eye towards improving wages, benefits, and working conditions for all.

Robert Daraio worked at WPIX as a staff video engineer from June 1999 to May 2010, following a 22-year career as a freelance camera, robotics, video, audio, and videotape technician. His news, sports, and entertainment clients include CBS, NBC, FOX5, TBS, ABC, UPN9, WPIX, WNET, MSG, CNN, CNNfn, HBO, Showtime, MTV, VH1, CTW, NEP, Unitel, MTI, ESPN, and the National Geographic Society.

Bob has been a video assist technician for hundreds of commercials and coordinated video effects for feature films including the Rozie Perez and Patti Lupone independent film, “24 Hour Woman” and “For Love Of The Game” with Kevin Costner for Universal Pictures.

In 2002 the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored Bob for his video and robotic camera work on the Emmy Award winning “The WB11 News At 10”.
As an IATSE Local One stagehand, bob served as a swing props, electrics, and deck sound Tech for the Broadway productions of "She Loves Me" and "Company".

As a trade unionist, Bob has served as an IBEW Local 1212 Shop Steward, and on the NABET Local 15 and IATSE Local 644 and 600 Executive Boards. He served two terms on the New York City Central Labor Council of the AFL/CIO . Bob is one of an elite few who have held elective office in all three of New York’s film, television, and theatrical, technical employee unions.

Bob graduated in the 1st 4-year class in Theatre Technology with a BFA from SUNY Purchase. and did graduate work at NYU in Arts Administration. Recently he graduated on June 7, 2011 with an MA in Labor Studies program from the CUNY Murphy Institute for Worker Education.

Bob spent his summers during college traveling with "The Circus Kingdom", a youth circus program run by Rev. L.David Harris made up of college students from across the U.S.A. that toured throughout the U.S. and Canada. During his senior year at Purchase, Bob founded "The No Elephant Circus". TNEC operated under the Actor's Equity Association Theatre For Young Audience contract from 1977 to 1990, touring an average of 126 cities in 15 States annually.

Bob is a Coast Guard Licensed Master of 50 Ton Vessels with the Sail and Towing Endorsements, a U.S. Coast Guard certified Port Engineer, and a Coast Guard Auxiliary Boat Crew member and Vessel Examiner..

Bob is a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and is a Trustee of the Village of Ossining, New York, where he lives with his wife Gayle, an IATSE Local 764 member working in wardrobe for Broadway, TV, and film. Gayle is currently on the running crew of "Sister Act".

SPS Alumni are doing amazing things all of the time. If you would like to nominate a fellow alum or yourself to feature, please email Kareem Mumford, Marketing and Outreach Associate, at, with the subject line: Alumni Spotlight.

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