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New Hires, Roles at the Association of University Presses

New York, NY, and Washington, DC—The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) is pleased to announce staff additions and transitions in its Central Office, strengthening its ability to serve its members.

Lauren Ashton joined AUPresses as Virtual Events Coordinator earlier this month. This new position recognizes the vital role that virtual events now play in professional development and community engagement in many fields, including scholarly publishing. Ashton will facilitate the development and delivery of the Association’s webinars, hangouts, and Annual Meeting. She comes to AUPresses from the American Cancer Society where she was responsible for educational conferences, fundraising events, and regional administration.

Darshna Patel joined AUPresses in the role of Administrative Coordinator in February. She will manage the Association database and support member services and projects, such as the cooperative advertising program and the University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries bibliography project. She comes to AUPresses from WebMD/Vitals, where she maintained a consolidated database of member profiles and supported member marketing and sales efforts.

In addition, AUPresses has reconfigured other staff roles to meet strategic opportunities and support talented professionals in advancing their careers.

Kim Miller has been named Director of Operations. She has worked for the Association since 2005, at first supporting a wide range of member and marketing services, then serving as AUPresses Business Manager since 2017. Most recently she has been instrumental in reducing accounts receivable and securing two Payroll Protection Program loans for the Association during the pandemic as well as payment forgiveness of both loans. This new role recognizes her expanded duties as office manager, business manager, and human resources manager, encompassing diverse administrative responsibilities.

AUPresses Communications Program Manager since 2018, Kate Kolendo has been named Membership and Program Communication Manager, reflecting her increased responsibilities in the development and management of UP Commons, the AUPresses website, and membership and marketing communications. Prior to joining AUPresses, she served for nearly a decade as project manager and PROSE Award administrator for the Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers.

“We welcome Darshna and Lauren to our team, and congratulate Kim and Kate on their career progression. The Association and staff is fortunate to have such talented colleagues,” said Executive Director Peter Berkery. “Together, we look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our member presses and supporting the advancement of mission-driven scholarly publishing.”

All staff can be reached using the following email address formula: [first initial][last name], or find additional contact details here.


April 17, 2022—Unfortunately, Lauren Ashton tendered her resignation as Virtual Events Coordinator.

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Me edistämme kansainvälisesti niiden kustantamojen asemaa, joiden missiona on taata akateeminen huippuosaaminen ja vaalia tietoa.

— AUPresses Mission Statement in Finnish