Meet SSN's New Staff Members

As the Scholars Strategy Network continues to grow, we are thrilled to welcome five new team members to our national staff. Please join us in celebrating these outstanding individuals who better allow us to serve our members as we have greater capacity to train scholars, help them connect with policymakers, and assist in communicating their work.

We are pleased to introduce you to the following new SSN staff members.

Policy Associate

Olivia joined the policy team at SSN as the Policy Associate in October of 2022, several years after working as SSN’s Policy Intern while in college. As the Policy Associate, she is the team’s generalist and is responsible for connecting a broad range of scholars and their research to civic organizations and policy makers at the local, state, and federal levels across the United States. Prior to this role, Olivia worked on campaigns electing Democrats in six states across the country, starting in New Hampshire on the presidential campaign of Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Digital Communications Associate
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As the Digital Communications Associate at the Scholars Strategy Network, Kim manages SSN’s website and social media channels, and tracks key metrics across SSN’s platforms. She supports the creation of content such as SSN’s newsletters and No Jargon podcast. Prior to this role, Kim worked as a Science & Technology Communications Intern at Radiant Earth Foundation where she communicated to data scientists and policymakers in the Earth observation space through social media, newsletters, and multimedia content.

Salesforce Administrator and IT Manager

Rich is a Certified Salesforce Administrator with 20 years of experience managing enterprise B2C, B2B, CMS, LMS, fundraising, and event ticket SaaS platforms for non-profits and social enterprises. In his work at SSN, Rich collaborates with the Chapters & Membership, Policy, Communications and Trainings teams on data integrity, process streamlining, and staff training in SaaS platforms. Previous experience includes 15 years of senior management as a technology director and publisher, web developer, network technician, commercial photographer, and graphic designer.

Trainings Associate
Shannon Kelly Headshot

Shannon Kelly is the Trainings Associate at the Scholars Strategy Network. Alongside the rest of the Trainings team, she helps scholars learn how to engage with policymakers and the media, develops and leads SSN trainings, and studies how to improve the use of research in public policy. Prior to joining SSN, Shannon was a policy fellow for the Research-to-Policy Collaboration where she worked with researchers to communicate research findings to congressional offices. Shannon received her PhD in Brain, Behavior, and Quantitative Science from the University of Kansas in 2022.

Health Policy Associate

Marlene Mercado joined SSN in October 2022. She is responsible for connecting a broad range of health and justice scholars and their research to civic organizations and policy makers at the local, state and federal levels across the US. Before this role, she served as an Instructor in Chicana/o/x Studies at UC Davis while she completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies. In this role, she worked with a diverse student population teaching courses such as US/Mexico Border Relations and Chicana/x Politics and Policy.