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Alumni Spotlight: Stephanie Guttormson


This is part of our new Alumni Spotlight series, where we highlight alumni of our affiliate groups and the awesome things they have been doing since they graduated. Are you a Secular Student Alliance alum? Tell us how you've been doing! We'd love to spotlight you!

StephanieOur first alumna for our Alumni Spotlight is Stephanie Guttormson. Stephanie is an alumna of Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she ran the Metro State Atheists, an award winning student group. While at Metro State, she studied linguistics and mathematics and graduated in 2011. While under her leadership, the Metro State Atheists developed widely successful unique events such Food for Freethought and The Pseudoscience Fair. She also brought in nationally recognized writers to speak at her campus.

Stephanie joined the staff of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science as their Operations Manager in March of 2013, where she works on projects such as Openly Secular alongside many Secular Student Alliance staffers. She's even joined our Speaker's Bureau and runs her own YouTube channel called Thinking Stephtically.

2015 Board Election Results


The highest governing body of the Secular Student Alliance is its Board of Directors.  We are excited to announce that Matthew Bulger, Richard Stravinsky, and Jennifer Ibrahim were elected to four-year terms. Miri Mogilevsky was elected to a two-year term in one of the two student and recent student seats. Sarah Henry was elected to a one-year term in the other student and recent student seat. Additionally, Harry Shaughnessy, Alex DiBranco, and Evan Clark were re-elected to two-year terms, and Nancy Martin was re-elected to a one-year term.

Secular Student Movement Update 3/19/2015


Every week, the SSA prepares a summary of what the secular student movement is doing. To hear this update and news from the secular movement, tune into the SCA's National Secular Movement Update every Thursday at 12PM ET.

Presented by Kelley Freeman, Communications Associate at the Secular Student Alliance

This week at the Secular Student Alliance, we are thrilled to announce and unveil our new Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Strategic Priorities! This is the culmination of several months of tireless work from our staff and board. To take a look, please visit our statement where you'll also be able to co-sign in support.

This past weekend, several of our affiliate groups held regional conferences. There was Freethought Festival in Madison, WI hosted by Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at UW-Madison, as well as SASHAcon hosted by SASHA at the University of Missouri. Another affiliate group, the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics at the University of Kansas, will be hosting ReasonFest the weekend of April 18th, 2015. Great work to all groups involved in planning conferences! It's a lot of work, but it's also a testament to the kinds of awesome things students can put together.

We also want to congratulate our friends at the Freedom From Religion Foundation! White Oak High School in Texas had been reading Bible verses every morning during morning announcements, but FFRF filed a complaint to the school district on behalf of a student. The school district decided to follow the Constitution and has decided to cut scriptures from morning announcements. Great work, FFRF!

Executive Corner Piece: The Rise of the Nones is an Opportunity, Not a Victory


August E. Brunsman IV is the Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance. This essay is part of a series we called our Executive Corner Pieces. These are generally published the second Tuesday of each month and give you a little insight to the thoughts of our Executive Director. 

augSince the 1930s the percentage of Americans claiming no religious identification has risen from around 5% to over 16%. These folks without a religious identification are called “Nones.” A 2013 study focusing only on college undergraduates found that 33% of them had no religious identity and that 28% identified as “secular” (as opposed to “religious,” or “spiritual”).

And it is certainly the case that the “secular movement” is building momentum. At the Secular Student Alliance, 2014 was our most active year in our fifteen-year history, with our students holding more debates, featuring more speakers, and educating their communities more than ever before, and we are so proud of them! We are clearly reaching more students than ever.

I’m not satisfied.

I want us making connections with the millions of students who don’t resonate with religion. I want to hand them all a model and a vision for what it looks like to be joyfully, passionately, and intentionally secular. I want them to tell me what they want and need and how we can make the Secular Student Alliance better and our movement more useful.


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