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06.03.2021 | SSP News & Releases

SSP Recognizes Eight Members for Outstanding Contributions

June 2, 2021 – Mt. Laurel, NJ – The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) recognized the efforts of eight deserving individuals at the 2021 Annual Business Meeting, held virtually on May 27, 2021, during the society’s 43rd Annual Meeting.

“The good work of SSP and the future of our industry lies in the hands of individuals like those recognized by SSP. We are very fortunate to have them among our membership,” said Nominations and Awards Committee Chair, and SSP Past President, Angela Cochran. “All of the 2021 SSP Award recipients have made an indelible mark on SSP and the scholarly communication industry.”   

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 four members whose contributions to the organization have had a substantial impact. 

Sophie Reisz has shown tremendous leadership in serving as an organizer of the SSP New Directions Seminar. She has lead the team to ensure that this is yet another “must attend” industry event. New Directions was already operating in a hybrid status, allowing the transition to virtual to be an easier lift. Still, Sophie was engaging and professional in playing emcee for the 2020 event garnering many compliments for the interactive and engaging nature of the event.

Randy Townsend and Damita Snow, co-chairs of the DEI committee, had the task of transitioning this group from a task force to a committee. We also want to acknowledge that 2020 was a very difficult year for all involved in DEI activities. Randy and Damita were instrumental in crafting the SSP Anti-Racism statement that followed the murder of George Floyd. They worked closely with board members Rebecca McLeod and Miranda Walker in ensuring that SSP was responsive to the events unfolding in the nation while setting the right tone. Randy and Damita lead the DEI committee in efforts to seize the moment of national reckoning to educate and create a safe space for SSP members to reflect and act. They also provided great assistance to the board, SSP committees, and TSK in how to appropriately respond or not respond to criticism of the stance SSP had taken.

Julia Kostova was the lead for the Generations Fund committee. After having to scrap the plans for an in-person launch of the fund, Julia worked with SSP staff and the committee to reimagine what could be done. She brought new ideas as well as connections to the group and was extremely helpful in making this first year of fundraising success.

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 their field.

Kelly Denzer was an SSP Fellow and immediately joined the Career Development committee, eventually becoming the co-chair of that committee. Having been a Fellow, Kelly was the ideal person to manage the Fellowship program, adding new perspectives to what SSP offers this group. She worked very closely with past president Adrian Stanley on organizing the SSP Leadership Academy, benefitting the SSP Fellows. Letters in support of Kelly’s nominations describe her as a forward-thinking and innovative leader. She is not afraid to try new things and build consensus in moving forward. Kelly is really just getting going and represents a diversity in our members being someone who transitioned to scholarly librarianship after working for several years in a different industry. Outside of SSP, Kelly has been awarded the scholarship to attend NISO as well as served on several key task forces at Davidson College include the Library of the Future task force.

Sabby Kaur served on the International Strategy Task Force with past president Rick Anderson and also joined the DEI Committee. She was unanimously selected as the third co-chair of the DEI committee. Sabby organized and moderated a session titled “Changing Workplace Culture through Bystander Training,” now available as part of the Professional Development Series in the SSP catalog. Sabby has provided a different perspective to the SSP DEI committee by eliciting feedback from her colleagues in the UK. Outside of her stellar performance at SSP, she has been recognized by her employer, Emerald Publishing, with several awards as well as received the London Book Fair Trailblazer Award that recognizes leadership among those under 30. All of the letters in support of Sabby recognize her as a rising star in the industry with a passion for scholarly publishing.

Distinguished Service Award

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

Cason Lynley is being honored for her long-time contributions to SSP. She has served on the Education Committee, the DEI committee, as a mentor, and notably is finishing up her 4th year as a co-chair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee. Cason is always extremely thoughtful and thorough in all that she does. 2020 was an extraordinary year as co-chair of the AMPC with having the ups and downs of the pandemic. She worked with staff, the committee, and the board to repurpose much of the content already gathered and reviewed. Cason was asked to serve a fourth year in hopes that she would see the fruits of her labor at the 2021 meeting; however, the ongoing pandemic had other plans. Not being one to shy away from a challenge, Cason has worked with the committee and her co-chairs to make sure that SSP has the best (and hopefully only) 100% virtual meeting this spring.

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.

Jean Shipman has been a tireless volunteer for many years with SSP. She has served as a mentor to many (officially and unofficially). After a long career of service to the industry and SSP, Jean retired recently and is being honored with this lifetime membership.

The Society for Scholarly Publishing congratulates the 2021 award recipients and thanks them for all their work on behalf of SSP as an organization and scholarly publishing as a whole.

“SSP’s volunteers never cease to amaze me. These dedicated and talented individuals contribute countless hours to ensuring the SSP community thrives,” said Melanie Dolechek, Executive Director of SSP. “Congratulations to the 2021 award winners and thank you for your service and contributions to SSP.”


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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