Lynn Boza elected to 2nd term as AFO president
Lynn Boza, a part-time counselor and instructor at HFC, was recently elected for a second term as president of the HFC Adjunct Faculty Organization (AFO). Her 2-year term begins Jan. 1, 2021.
“I am grateful for the faith the members of the AFO have in me,” said Boza, of Farmington Hills. “I hope I will continue to earn that trust.”
A native of Dearborn, Boza graduated from Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights. She is a three-time alumna of Wayne State University in Detroit, earning her bachelor’s degree in secondary education/social studies, her master’s degree in guidance and counseling, and her Ph.D. in education/instructional technology. Boza is also a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC).
For 30 years, Boza worked for the State of Michigan Vocational Rehabilitation Services Agency until her retirement in 2007. There, she held a number of positions, ranging from counselor to administrator. She came to HFC in 2008. In her current position, she reports to HFC Associate Dean of Counseling Dr. Ibrahim Atallah.
“I always wanted to be an HFC employee”
“I always wanted to be an HFC employee. HFC has a good reputation. I respect the College. I applied for full-time positions many times,” she said. “After I retired from the state, a friend (Jan Jameson) and a former supervisor from the state (Ed Suchyta) both worked in the counseling office at the College. They told me about the position, I interviewed with Diane Green, and I was hired.”
For Boza, the best part of working at HFC is the opportunity to work with students who are first-time college students and helping them get a firm foothold as they get their start in higher education, whether they are recent high school graduates or adult students.
“The students welcome our help and have come to rely on our help. That’s a very rewarding experience. That ability to help students navigate the system and enroll in classes that are going to benefit them or to balance their class schedule against outside forces (working, parenting) and to see them succeed,” said Boza. “What I also enjoy about my job is the nature of the staff – the positive relationships we have among the staff people and among ourselves.”
Coal miner’s granddaughter
Boza comes from a family of union people. Boza’s grandfather moved to Vanderbilt, MI in the 1930s. A former coal miner, her grandfather owned a dairy farm, where her father grew up. Her father attended Ferris State University and returned to the farm once his mother became ill.
Afterwards, Boza’s father moved to the Detroit area. He first worked as a machinist at an auto supplier, then secured a job as a tool-and-die maker at the General Motors (GM) Fleetwood plant in southwest Detroit. The United Auto Workers (UAW) provided good wages with regular raises and benefits, which grew with each contract. Although Boza’s family lived through several strikes and layoffs, her father never longed for the farm. He paid for Boza’s education at Wayne State – the education he wanted so badly for himself.
“The UAW organized state workers in the mid-1980s and, of course, I signed on,” recalled Boza. “I only needed representation once, and I was happy that it was there. In the late 1980s, I married my late husband, Michael, who was a Teamster. We enjoyed a great life.”
Founding member of the AFO
After the passing of her husband, Boza got involved with the AFO. In fact, she's a founding member. She eventually became the secretary for two years, then the vice president for two years. She replaced Mary Beck as president, finishing out Beck’s term, and then was later elected for a full term.
“When (now-retired adjunct professor) Glenn O’Kray approached me about AFO membership, I was quick to sign on,” said Boza. “As a founding member of the AFO, I believe that standing together we can achieve more than we can standing alone.”
The AFO negotiated its contract from 2017-21 for adjuncts, providing a 3 percent increase/year in wages, increase in professional development funds, and provisions for adjunct employees and their families to receive tuition reimbursement at HFC.
“In the last year, we obtained a stipend for the extra week of work we all put in. We also advocated for adjunct faculty to receive their fifth paycheck in May – even if their classes were postponed – before they completed their classes. All of those adjuncts completed teaching their classes during the summer. That was a big thing,” explained Boza. “During this pandemic, teaching and non-teaching adjuncts have been treated in the same manner. For example: Counselors and advisors in the Welcome Center – those folks were able to go online and provide services just as teachers were able to teach online. They were not treated differently and were compensated the same way. This shows the value of staying united as brothers and sisters in our work for wage, working conditions, and benefit gains through collective bargaining."