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August E. Brunsman IV, Executive Director
[august DOT brunsman AT secularstudents DOT org]

August Brunsman is the executive director of the Secular Student Alliance.  He has served in that position since 2001, and started getting paid for it in 2004. He also worked as a programmer for the Institute for Humanist Studies from 2001 to 2004. In 1997 he co-founded Students for Freethought at the Ohio State University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2001 majoring in psychology and minoring in mathematics and cognitive science.

He served as the Secretary of the Board of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio from 2009 through 2013. He has volunteered in a number of roles for Camp Quest since 1999.  August served as the Secretary of the Board of the Secular Coalition for America from 2006 through 2012.   He is a member of the Humanist Society and performs nontheistic weddings, naming ceremonies, and memorial services as a humanist celebrant.  His hobbies include cycling, painting, drawing, gardening, cooking, and programming.

Neil Wehneman, Development Director
[neil DOT wehneman AT secularstudents DOT org]

Neil Wehneman has served as the Development Director of the Secular Student Alliance since early 2013.

Prior to joining the Secular Student Alliance, Neil litigated commercial disputes, conducted intellectual property transactions, and drafted scientific expert witness testimony.  Neil maintains an Indiana law license (Good Standing, Inactive) as well as admission to the United States Patent Bar.  In addition, Neil holds degrees in Information Systems (cum laude from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business) and law (summa cum laude from Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law).

Raised fundamentalist Christian, Neil was active in Campus Crusade for Christ at Ohio State.  Following law school, Neil solicited book recommendations from his atheist and fundamentalist friends so he could critically re-examine the faith of his childhood.  After considering the best arguments the leading sides had to offer, he abandoned Christianity as not only unproven but affirmatively contrary to the evidence.

An avid board gamer, Neil previously served as the Assistant Director of the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund, a leading gaming charity.

Jessica Kirsner, Development Manager
[jessica DOT kirsner AT secularstudents DOT org]

Jessica grew up in a religious suburb of Houston, Texas, one of a handfull of students that was not Christian She was raised in a reform Jewish household in which questioning and reason were valued, and her interest in science blossomed. While making the transition from high school to college, she began to avidly read books on secularism and atheism, andbegan to consider herself an atheist.

Jessica graduated from the University of Miami in 2012 with a BA in biology and a minor in political science. She was active with an SSA affiliate at UM, SHAARKS. She loves sports, particulary anything University of Miami related, the Houston Rockets, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Houston Texans.

Kate Donovan, Social Media Contractor
[kate DOT donovan AT secularstudents DOT org]

Kate Donovan is the Social Media Contractor for the Secular Student Alliance. She was the president of Northwestern's Secular Student Alliance and the 2013 SSA Communications Intern, as well as an intern for Foundation Beyond Belief. She's pursuing a degree in human development and psychological services and intends to become a therapist. When she's not picking out couches for her future office, Kate likes bad puns, reading psychometrics research, and knitting. 

Kate Donovan

Joe McNally, Administrative Assistant
[joe DOT mcnally At secularstudents DOT org]

Joe McNally is the Administrative Assistant for the Secular Student Alliance.  He was historian, newsletter coordinator, and president of Students For Freethought at The Ohio State University (now SSA at Ohio State).  He studied Computer and Information Science and Management and Information Systems.  He sings in a church choir, plays kickball with the Columbus Curling Club, and is a big fan of the Buckeyes, Browns, and Blue Jackets.


Campus Organizing Team

Lyz Liddell, Director of Campus Organizing
[lyz DOT liddell AT secularstudents DOT org]

Lyz Liddell is the Director of Campus Organizing for the Secular Student Alliance, coordinating the campus organizing team to deliver the SSA's services and resources to affiliate groups and individual students. She leads development of new resources and helps build relationships with other organizations to promote acceptance of secular students.

Lyz was the volunteer editor-in-chief of the SSA's eMpirical from 2006-2009, joining the SSA staff full-time in 2008. She volunteers with her local off-campus organization, the Humanist Community of Central Ohio, and serves in an advisory role to several national secular organizations.  When not herding cats, she takes part in a wide spectrum of activities ranging from cycling to classical music.

Nick Stancato, Affiliate Program Manager
[nick DOT stancato AT secularstudents DOT org]

Nick Stancato started at the SSA as an intern and has held several positions on his way to his current position. His focus is on service/resource delivery and development for SSA affiliate groups.

Nick ran the SSA at Ohio State for 2 years before stepping down. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a major in History as well as minors in Classics and Religious Studies. He loves studying world mythologies and is an avid Roman history enthusiast. He enjoys video gaming in his off time.

Andy Cheadle, High School Specialist
[andy DOT cheadle AT secularstudents DOT org]

Andy Cheadle is a campus organizer and the high school specialist for the Secular Student Alliance. Although he dabbled in religion throughout his youth, he always felt there was something wrong with faith. He has finished coursework in psychology at Wright State University, where he lead Freethought WSU for two years. He enjoys the works of H.P. Lovecraft, reading about the theory of mind and philosophy, is an avid video and board gamer, and even has a couple atheist-inspired tattoos.

Sam Jackson, Group Starting Specialist
[sam DOT jackson AT secularstudents DOT org]

Samuel Jackson is the Group Starting Specialist at the SSA. He is also a gratuate of the Ohio State University with a BA in Philosophy. Samuel was raised in a fairly religious Christian household before deciding to pursue a more secular spirituality. Ironically, in an effort to know god, he ultimately discovered the word is essentially nonsensical.

Gordon Maples, Regional Program Manager
[gordon DOT maples AT secularstudents DOT org]

Gordon Maples is the Secular Student Alliance’s Regional Program Manager, and former Regional Campus Organizer for the Southeast. He is additionally a former President of the University of Alabama SSA affiliate (the Crimson Secular Student Alliance), and founded the Southeastern Collegiate Atheist Alliance while in school in order to network with fellow secular student leaders from throughout the southeastern US.

Originally from Alabama, Gordon is passionately dedicated to improving the situation and standing for atheists and nontheists in the United States.


Ellen Lundgren, Texas Regional Campus Organizer
[ellen DOT lundgren AT secularstudents DOT org]

Ellen Lundgren is the Texas Regional Campus Organizer. In the past she was a design intern for the SSA in summer 2012 redesigning the 4th edition of the Group Running Guide.

She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in spring 2013 after leading the Grand Valley Secular Alliance for two years and volunteering for Center for Inquiry Michigan. Ellen also runs
SkepticFreethought.com, a student blogging network, as well as her own side ventures in the arts including commissioned drawings, sewing, crochet, photography and more.


Jessika Griffin, Mideast Regional Campus Organizer
[jessika DOT griffin AT secularstudents DOT org]

Jessika Griffin is the Regional Campus Organizer for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. She is a former President ('12-'13) and Outreach Director ('11-'12) for the Indiana University Bloomington student group, Secular Alliance at Indiana University. She is a graduate of 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 human & animal rights. 


Cara Zelaya, Southeast Regional Campus Organizer
[cara DOT zelaya AT secularstudents DOT org]

Cara Zelaya is the Regional Campus Organizer for Albama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. 

She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in the fall of 2013 after being an active member of the Secular Student Alliance at UCF. Cara also worked as Social Media Coordiantor for the Florida Humanist Association.  


Dan Pemberton, Regional Campus Organizer
[dan DOT pemberton AT secularstudents DOT org]

Dan Pemberton is the Regional Campus Organizer for California & Nevada.  He was President of the Secular Student Alliance at Sacramento State University, and has volunteered with Camp Quest West.

Dan's passion is for everyone to become a better critical thinker, no matter what his or her religion is.


Amber Scott, Campus Organizing Assistant
[amber DOT scott AT secularstudents DOT org]

Amber Scott is the Campus Organizing Assistant for the Secular Student Alliance, providing administrative support to the Campus Organizing Team. She previously served as an SSA intern during the summer of 2009, and entered the role of Campus Organizing Assistant in February 2014. In her spare time Amber enjoys bicycling, crafting, and practicing trapeze.

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