Skip Navigation

Wurtele Center for Leadership

Student in a classroom

The Wurtele Center for Leadership strives to help students realize their leadership potential, as well as discover the leadership that exists in everyday life. Through a variety of workshops, intensives, speakers and trainings, the Wurtele Center ensures that all students at Smith have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and in doing so, realize that who they are is who they need to be.


Programs

Phoebe Reese Lewis Leadership Program

An innovative global leadership program, this opportunity is designed to equip students with leadership skills for their work at Smith and beyond.

This five-day program begins on campus, then travels to New York City, where students will practice experiential leadership with performing artist Diana Oh at the Rattlestick Theater, challenge themselves and build confidence at trapeze school, and deepen connections with one another.

Wurtele Fellows Program

This innovative cohort program is focused on developing community and leadership skills through the exploration of leadership theory and practice. This non-credit course will meet once a week for the full year and includes outside requirements. Enrollment is on an application basis. Applications for 2018–19 will open in March 2018.

Leadership Lessons

These sessions require no preregistration and are open to all Smith students, as well as the community. Covering a wide variety of topics, these workshops explore the concept of leadership and build practical skills. See a calendar of this semester’s leadership lesson events.

Failing Well

Failing Well is a set of programs dedicated to the discussion of failure, risk taking and mistakes. A partnership between the Wurtele Center and the Lazarus Center for Career Development, our mission is to increase student resilience by teaching, telling stories, and opening a campus conversation about failure.

What does it mean to fail well?
  • When you can fail well, the world opens up to you. There's no challenge you can't pursue, no risk you can't take, because you know how to get back up when you're knocked down. Your potential for change, for possibility and for success as you define it becomes limitless.
  • 'When you can fail well, your self-worth doesn't ride on your success. You know that you are enough as you are, no matter what—and don't have to lose your sense of self when things don't work out.
  • When you can fail well, you have the courage to ask for help when you need it—and leverage every resource available to get the job done. You have the ability to be vulnerable about your limits and authentic with your peers—and forge powerful networks as a result.
How do I learn to fail well?

Failing well is a skill—a set of skills, actually. Skills are like muscles: the more you flex them, the stronger they get. Our programs will give you the opportunity to start learning and failing well.

Past Failing Well Workshops

To get a sense of some of the topics covered in the Failing Well Program, here are a few past workshops:

  • Self-Promotion for People Who Hate to Brag
  • Communication Norms Beyond the Bubble
  • The Art of Small Talk and Networking
  • Imposter Phenomenon: Why So Many High Acheivers Think They're Frauds
  • How to Quit Overthinking

We welcome students to invite us to do workshops on the following topics:

  • Being brave
  • Conflict negotiation
  • Everyday leadership
  • Failing well
  • Impacting social change
  • Leadership through co-curriculars
  • Leadership types
  • Public speaking
  • Self care
  • Smalltalk
  • Strengths
  • Teambuilding

And more! Contact us.


Speakers

Throughout the year we bring a variety of speakers to campus to help students expand their leadership horizons. 

Past Speakers
  • Jamia Wilson (left), writer, commentator and feminist activist; executive director and publisher of Feminist Press at City University of New York, January 2018
  • Jamie Lee ’11 (center), negotiation and leadership coach with SheNegotiates; specialist in working with self-starters to help them confront the fear of asking so they can own their negotiation prowess, November 2017
  • Tara Mohr (right), author of Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create and Lead and an expert on women’s leadership and well-being, October 2017

Photos of Jamia Wilson, Jamie Lee and Tara Mohr

Leadership Awards

Student Leadership Awards

The Student Leadership Awards, co-hosted by the Office of Student Engagement and the Student Government Association, recognize and honor the contributions that student leaders, student employees, recognized student organizations, club sports and house communities make to student life at Smith and the global community. All nominees must be in good academic and social standing, have made a positive contribution to the Smith community and have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Community Service

This award recognizes the effort of a student, recognized student organization, athletic team, club sport, house community or a non-credit class in the development of an ongoing or one-time community service project or program. Consideration for recognition is based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of participation in program development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of service activities.
  • Evidence of effective use of available resources, including financial, human, and logistical resources.
  • Evidence of impact of service on meeting local or global community needs.
  • Verification from service agency where service was provided (letter of recommendation or contact information)
Outstanding House President

This award recognizes an elected student house president who has demonstrated excellence in their contribution to the Smith community through their leadership of a house community. Consideration for recognition is based on the following criteria:

  • Mentors the community and fosters the development of positive relationships within the house
  • Makes significant contributions to their house community through program development and activities in collaboration with the members of their house.
  • Ensures that the house community has met requirements and expectations of the college and is in good social standing
Community Service

This award recognizes the effort of a student, recognized student organization, athletic team, club sport, house community, or a non-credit class in the development of an ongoing or one-time community service project or program.

Consideration for recognition is based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of participation in program development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of service activities.
  • Evidence of effective use of available resources, including financial, human, and logistical resources.
  • Evidence of impact of service on meeting local or global community needs.
  • Verification from service agency where service was provided (letter of recommendation or contact information)
Outstanding House President

This award recognizes an elected student house president who has demonstrated excellence in their contribution to the Smith community through their leadership of a house community.

Consideration for recognition is based on the following criteria:

  • Mentors the community and fosters the development of positive relationships within the house
  • Makes significant contributions to their house community through program development and activities in collaboration with the members of their house.
  • Ensures that the house community has met requirements and expectations of the college and is in good social standing
Outstanding Student Employee

This award recognizes a student employee for their contributions to the Smith College community through their initiative, consistency, reliability and commitment to professionalism.

Consideration for recognition is based on the following criteria:

  • Holds an ongoing student employee position at Smith College. (Spot job employees will not be considered.)
  • Takes initiative and sets an example for student co-workers.
  • Demonstrates consistent professionalism and care for work environment.
  • Exhibits creativity and reliability in the work place.
Outstanding Student Leader

This award recognizes an outstanding student leader who has demonstrated excellence in academic growth and achievement, as well as excellence in global engagement and contribution to the Smith community through their leadership and participation in campus activities.

Consideration for recognition is based on the following criteria:

  • Holds a significant leadership position on campus in a recognized student organization, club sport, athletic team, house community or student employment position.
  • Makes significant contributions to the Smith campus community upholding and advancing the mission and vision of the college.
  • Demonstrates the ability to prepare, motivate and impact other student leaders.
  • Evidence of a positive image and presense in the Smith and global community.
  • Have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Faculty & Staff Leadership Awards

The Faculty & Staff Leadership Awards recognize and honor the contributions that faculty and staff advisers make to student life at Smith and the global community. All nominees must have made a positive contribution to the Smith community and have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Adviser of the Year

This award recognizes a faculty or staff adviser who advises recognized student organization or a coach for a recognized club sport. This person embodies the ideals of working with a dedicated group of students. Please note: This is NOT for academic advisers. Consideration for recognition is based on the following criteria:

  • Serves as an adviser to a recognized student organization or coach to a recognized club sport, and has done so for a minimum of one full semester.
  • Displays commitment to furthering the goals of the organization or club sport by giving excellent guidance and advice.
  • Plays an active role in the organization through participation in meetings, events and organization efforts.
Supervisor of the Year

This award recognizes a faculty or staff supervisor who oversees a student employee or employees on campus. This person embodies the ideals of working with students in an employment setting, valuing the work a student does outside of the classroom to complement their academic pursuits. Consideration for recognition is based on the following criteria:

  • Serves as a supervisor to student employees in an on campus office or department and has done so for a minimum of one full semester.
  • Displays commitment to furthering the professional development of students through meaningful work experiences.

 

Contact

Wurtele Center for Leadership
Clark Hall
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: 413-585-4937
Email: wurtelecenter@smith.edu

Senior Leadership Coordinator:
Ana Devlin Gauthier

Leadership Development Specialist:
Rachel Simmons