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Tee Rogers is Outstanding!

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Every year, the national Secular Student Alliance hears about the amazing things our students, affiliate groups, Secular Safe Zone Allies, and advisors are doing. When we hear of an individual or group doing something especially awesome, we give out an Award for Outstanding Activism for their exemplary work.

Today, we're spotlighting Tee Rogers, Administrative Coordinator of the Division of Administration and Finance at the University of Central Florida, for her work on the institutional implementation of our Secular Safe Zone at UCF. This has earned her an Award for Outstanding Activism.

SSZUCFNot only has Tee has taken a great deal of initiative to make the program a staple part of UCF's diversity training, she has also developed her own training materials, website, and resources specific to her university, a number of which are being incorporated into our national program.

Tee has successfully trained Allies that are now in several different departments across the campus. There are more Secular Safe Zone Allies at the University of Central Florida than in any other single state! She's made it into her own special program called Secular and Religious Minority Awareness, which regularly hosts faculty workshops via the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. 

We are so proud of the work you are doing for secular students in your community! Thank you, Tee, and we are thrilled to present you with an Award for Outstanding Activism. 

Openly Secular Day 2015 Recap!

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April 23rd was the first ever Openly Secular Day! It's a celebration of secular people opening up about their secular worldview, and an opportunity for theistic allies to show their support for secular friends and family. Why have an Openly Secular Day? When people know a secular person, they are much more likely to hold favorable views of people who identify as atheist, agnostic, humanist, or secular, so this is a day to help others understand our values and how we think.

Openly Secular Day is part of a joint effort between the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, the Secular Coalition for America, the Secular Student Alliance, and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. Many of our affiliate groups participated in Openly Secular Day by hosting their own local events, but even more individuals participated by attending events, creating videos, posting on social media, and much more! Did you participate in Openly Secular Day this year? Tell us how it went

The Secular Student Alliance at the University of Central Florida was the flagship event for the first Openly Secular Day, and despite the weather working against them, had a really great event! Not only did they host amazing speakers such as Hemant Mehta of Friendly Atheist, Greta Christina of Freethought Blogs, Chris Kluwe, a former NFL punter for the Minnesota Vikings, and Will Gervais, an evolutionary and cultural psychologist, they also had amazing shirts printed up for attendees. Around 175 people came throughout the day to celebrate being openly secular on campus!

UCF

SSAUCF's event was covered in local and national media, including the Columbus Dispatch and the Orlando SentinelGreat work, SSAUCF, for all you do and for putting together a fantastic first Openly Secular Day event on your campus!

Secular Start Up: May Monthly Update!

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Secular Start Up is the finest (and only) official video advice series from the Secular Student Alliance, put on by our Communications Associate, Kelley Freeman, and our Regional Program Manager, Gordon Maples. It originally started in August of 2013, when neither of them even lived in the same state.

May Day, May Day, it's the May Monthly Update! This month, Gordon and Kelley cover our Leadership Travel Aid crowd fundraiser, things you can do with your group over the summer, the National Day of Reason, staying in touch as alumni, our Annual Conference, how to start planning for the fall, and more! 

Announcing our Summer 2015 Interns!

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We want to welcome our 2015 summer interns to the staff! They won't be starting until June, but we extend our congratulations to Nick Farr and Ambra Prescott

NickNick Farr will be our Graphic Design Intern this summer. He is currently a senior at Berea College, where he is majoring in Technology and Applied Design with a minor in Computer Science. Nick helped establish the Secular Students of Berea College a year and a half ago, and has also provided the graphic design for this group. 

"I would love to do professional design work for the people, organizations, and numerous other things in this world that I care about. I feel that from this internship, I would have a great start in getting closer to that goal," Nick said of his expectations about working with the Secular Student Alliance this summer.

ambraAmbra Prescott will be our Writing Intern this summer. She is currently a sophomore at Bowling Green State University, where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. Ambra is also President of the Secular Student Alliance at BGSU, where her main goals for her affiliate group include providing a safe space for secular students, advocacy, and service. 

When asked why she was interested in working for the SSA, Ambra stated, "My greatest satisfaction has always been found when I am helping people. I want a career that enables me to do that while being openly secular. Nothing would make me happier than to continue helping others in the secular community, and I would love to work with an organization specifically to help secular people."

Together, Nick and Ambra will be revising our Group Running Guide. Since July 2014, we have sent out 77 Group Running Guides, and we're looking forward to improving it so that we can continue to offer high quality advice to our student leaders.

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