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05.27.2020 | SSP News & Releases

Society for Scholarly Publishing Awards Six Members for Outstanding Contributions

May 26, 2020 – Mt. Laurel, NJ – The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) recognized the efforts of six deserving individuals at the 2020 Annual Business Meeting, held virtually on May 20, 2020.

“These volunteers spend extra hours curating and developing content, imagining and launching new products and events, providing oversight of the core functions of SSP, and provide opportunities for career development and engagement,” said Angela Cochran, SSP 2019-2020 President.

“The contributions of our dedicated volunteers are the backbone of this organization,” said Melanie Dolechek, Executive Director of SSP. “These awards represent only a small sense of the gratitude we feel for their contributions toward the Society’s success.”

SSP is proud to congratulate the following members for their time, leadership, and expertise:

Appreciation Award
The SSP Appreciation Award recognizes the work of one or more members whose work has benefited SSP and the scholarly communication field over a short term (under three years). This year, SSP awarded two members whose contributions to the organization have had a substantial impact. 

Jeff Lang, Assistant Director of Platform Development at the American Chemical Society, was recognized for his outstanding job of organizing and growing SSP’s webinar program around timely and relevant topics during his time on the Education Committee.

Gabriel Harp, Senior Manager of Digital Products at The MIT Press, was recognized for his excellent work leading the Philanthropic Funding Task Force, including his role in the development of the SSP Generations Fund.

Emerging Leader Award
This award, established in 2012, recognizes an SSP member, working in the scholarly communication field for ten years or less, who has demonstrated their potential through outstanding service and contribution on an SSP committee or task force and has made innovative contributions to his/her field.

Benjamin Mudrak, Product Manager at the American Chemical Society, was recognized for his leadership of both the Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Education Committee, as well as his work with the Durham Regional Events group and the SSP Mentorship Program.

Simon Holt, Senior Acquisitions Editor at Elsevier, was recognized for his exceptional commitment to bringing essential issues, including accessibility, disability, and inclusion, to the forefront through his work with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and The Scholarly Kitchen.

Distinguished Service Award
This award is given to a member for his or her work over an extended period (more than three years) on behalf of SSP and the field of scholarly communication. 

Byron Laws, Sales Director for the Americas at Nova Techset – Katalyst, was recognized for his extensive participation in SSP through the years, from chairing committees and task forces, serving on the Board of Directors, to leading the Society as its Secretary/Treasurer.

Honorary Lifetime Membership
This award, established in 2020, acknowledges long-term service and dedication to SSP, which has had a profound and lasting impact on our industry, earning these individuals a permanent place on the membership roster of SSP.

Susan Kesner, formerly the Senior Director of Publisher Relations at the Copyright Clearance Center, now retired, was recognized for her immeasurable contributions to the Society through the years, from chairing committees, task forces, and The Scholarly Kitchen Cabinet, to serving on the Board of Directors, to leading the Society as its President.

The Society for Scholarly Publishing congratulates the 2020 SSP award recipients and thanks them for all their work on behalf of SSP as an organization and scholarly publishing as a whole.

“It’s very rewarding to honor and acknowledge the exceptional contributions to SSP from this amazing group of Award winners. The volunteers, like many others, have dedicated substantial amounts of time and energy to SSP. We feel immense gratitude for their contributions that make SSP the wonderful organization it is and has been for many many years,” remarked Adrian Stanley, 2019-2020 Past President and chair of the Nominating and Awards Committee.

A recording of the awards ceremony and remarks is available now in the SSP library.


About the Society for Scholarly Publishing The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), founded in 1978, is a nonprofit organization formed to promote and advance communication among all sectors of the scholarly publication community through networking, information dissemination, and facilitation of new developments in the field. SSP members represent all aspects of scholarly publishing—including publishers, printers, e-products developers, technical service providers, librarians, and editors. SSP members come from a wide range of large and small commercial and nonprofit organizations. They meet at SSP’s annual meetings, educational seminars, and regional events to hear the latest trends from respected colleagues and to discuss common and mutual (and sometimes divergent) goals and viewpoints.

Contact Melanie Dolechek, Executive Director | info@sspnet.org | 303-422-3914

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