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Announcing New SSA Regional Campus Organizers

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Our Regional Program has been so successful in its first year that we're adding three new Regional Campus Organizers to start this July.  This exciting growth means that we'll be able to provide hands-on, in-person support for more of our affiliate base, including our first regional support on the West Coast!  Please help us welcome our new Regional Campus Organizing staff members.

David Fitzgerald, Northern California Region

Headshot for David Fitzgerald, NorCal RCODavid Fitzgerald has been called "one of the busiest atheist activists in the Bay Area." In addition to serving on the boards of directors for San Francisco Atheists and Center For Inquiry-SF, he is also the Director/Co-Founder of both the world's first Atheist Film Festival and Evolutionpalooza!, San Francisco's oldest annual Darwin Day celebration. He and Greta Christina are co-founders of Godless Perverts Story Hour.  In addition, he is a writer and historical researcher, author of NAILED: Ten Christian Myths that Show Jesus Never Existed at All and The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion. (Secretly, he is also a fiction writer under the name Kilt Kilpatrick). He lectures around the country at universities, churches and national secular events, and is a member of the SSA Speakers Bureau.

David will be the Regional Campus Organizer for the Northern California Region.


Jessika Griffin, Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky Region

headshot for Jessika Griffin, IL-IN-KY RCOJessika Griffin is a former President ('12-'13) and Outreach Director ('11-'12) for the Indiana University Bloomington student group, Secular Alliance at Indiana University. This May, she will graduate from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington with a BS in Public Management. Jessika was raised in a somewhat Catholic household and experienced a few years of Catholic school, but never fully accepted religion and spirituality. She has a passion for helping secular students and also enjoys learning about urban planning, bicycle commuting, sustainable farming, and public health.

Jessika will be the Regional Campus Organizer for the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky Region.


Ellen Lundgren, Texas Region

Headshot for Ellen Lundgren, Texas RCOEllen Lundgren plans to graduate this spring from Grand Valley State University in west Michigan with a BFA in Visual Studies and writing minor.  She has been a member of the SSA affiliate group on her campus for three years, and was in a leadership role for half that time.  She was also a graphic design intern at the national SSA during the summer of 2012.  Ellen has attended over half a dozen secular conferences and is passionate about using her skills and creativity to serve the secular movement.  In her free time, Ellen does a lot of crafting, crochet, drawing, and recently picked up sewing.  She loves going new places and traveling in general.

Ellen will be the Regional Campus Organizer for the Texas Region.  She will be replacing our outgoing RCO Kevin Butler, who is headed into the Teach For America program this summer.

Announcing the SSA's 2013 Summer Interns

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We're proud to announce the Secular Student Alliance's Summer Interns for 2013!  They are:

Tori Rehr - Resource Development

Tori is a junior majoring in in Psychology and minoring in Spanish and Gender Studies at Juniata College. She studied in Quito, Ecuador during the 2012-13 academic year, where she interned at Timmy Global Health and worked as a translator during medical brigades. She previously worked as research assistant to the Psychology Department at Juniata, investigating cognitive effects of language learning and the political implications of multiculturiasm.

Tori began to develop her interest in secular issues during high school. She worked in resource development at the Juniata College Office of Student Activities, and is excited to apply this knowledge to secular advocacy. Tori is also active in the interfaith movement and looks forward to working at the Secular Student Alliance this summer!


Kate Donovan - Communications

Kate is a rising senior at Northwestern double majoring in psychological services and psychology. At some point she'd like to make people sit on couches and tell her about their feelings, but right now she writes in different places around the internet. Kate was raised believing alternative medicine worked, and now spends her time making skeptical faces at it. She is the outgoing president of Northwestern's SSA, served as Foundation Beyond Belief's Communications and Marketing intern, and is on the Secular Woman speakers bureau.


Liz Dudek - Graphic Design

Liz Dudek grew up as a devout Christian around the area of Dallas, TX. It wasn't until she found the Secular Students at Collin College that she felt comfortable exploring her doubts and skepticism, and eventually she came out as an atheist in early 2011. Since then, she has been the webmaster and Public Relations Coordinator for SSCC, and the Publicity Director for the 2013 North Texas Secular Convention. Now that she has her Associate of Science, she plans to attend the University of North Texas and major in either Public Relations or International Relations and she is currently working on a certificate in Graphic Design. Her goal is to work for a nonprofit organization in the future.

Is Debating About Religion Worth It? By Greta Christina (Presented by Secular Students and Skeptics Society)

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In March 2013, Secular Students and Skeptics Society at University of Colorado was able to host Greta Christina thanks to the Speakers Bureau from the national SSA. This article summarizes the experiences of that event for the group.

On March 6, 2013, our group had Greta Christina come talk on our campus about the importance of debating with theists. The highlights of her talk included forums which might be more suited for debate, suitable topics that would be worth discussing and how to pick and choose the people that might be worth debating with. She also talked about several examples from her own experiences and the lessons that she learned from those past experiences. Finally, she emphasized why it is important to have debates about religion and, even if it’s not your particular forte, not stifle those who do debate others on religion. 

On the topic of forums, she stressed the importance of publicity; making sure that debates are in a public forum for others to have access to. She made a note that the people who are often more influenced by a debate are not those participating, but those who are on the sidelines watching.

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