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Amplify is an initiative that offers you an opportunity to gain the skills, coaching and platform you need to share your knowledge and perspectives with a public audience. It’s a forum where you can take what you’re learning in an academic setting and use it to develop a public voice by experimenting with different media, including public writing, public speaking, multimedia and public art. Through events, workshops and one-on-one coaching and feedback, you’ll develop work that you’re proud to share with the world. The program culminates with a chance to submit your work to the Amplify Competition.

Amplify Opportunities

Fall 2023 Amplify Events and Workshops

During the fall 2023 semester, the Wurtele Center for Leadership will feature public events that are meant to offer food for thought and inspiration around the development of a public voice through various media. We’ll invite practitioners from both inside and outside of the Smith community to discuss how they amplify their voices through their work in different media and contexts, and provide some opportunities for hands-on practice.

Find these events on the Smith Social Network for location and registration information.

Guerrilla Girls

Public Talk: Creative Complaining with the Guerrilla Girls
Monday, October 2
7–8 p.m.

The Guerrilla Girls are anonymous artist activists who use disruptive headlines, outrageous visuals and killer statistics to expose gender and ethnic bias and corruption in art, film, politics and pop culture. Since 1985, they have done hundreds of projects (street posters, banners, actions, books, and videos) all over the world. 

Campus Workshop: Aestheticize Ur Activism  
Tuesday, October 3
4–6 p.m.

Create and develop your own activist project with the Guerrilla Girls! They’ll guide you through the working principles behind their own campaigns and help participants brainstorm and shape their own campaign. You’ll leave with a framework to put into action. Participation limited to 30, registration required.

Spoken Word Poetry Lunchtime Workshop with Asia Samson

Friday, October 27
12:15–1:15 p.m.

Sponsored by the Boutelle-Day Poetry Center, the Wurtele Center for Leadership, and the Jandon Center for Community Engagement. More details to be announced soon!

Fierce + Fearless: A Public Speaking Workshop with Nathalie Ais ’10

Thursday, November 9
6–7:30 p.m.

Develop your public speaking prowess in a brave, supportive, fun space. We’ll address our public speaking challenges, define what public speaking confidence looks like and how to build it, and face fear in the face and still do the thing anyway. Because that’s what being fierce and fearless is about. In this interactive workshop, you’ll have a chance to share, try out, play and present, all facilitated by a Smith alum public speaking coach. You in? Space is limited to the first 20 spots. Dinner will be provided.

Convince Me! How to Write and Deliver a Persuasive Talk with Susan Daniels

Tuesday, January 9
4:30–6 p.m.

The ability to write and speak persuasively is an essential life skill. Whether you are preparing for a presentation, applying for a job or running for public office, you need to be persuasive and compelling. Through learning and practicing how to structure and deliver a persuasive speech, this 90-minute workshop with professional presentation coach, Susan Daniels, will prepare you to master the art and craft of persuasion.  

Amplify Information Sessions

Have questions about Amplify programming or the Amplify Competition? Join us for an info session to learn more.

Public Art Competition Information Session

Wednesday, September 20
12:15–1:15 p.m.
Campus Center 102

Drop in anytime during the hour to learn more about the Amplify Public Art call for proposals, get your questions answered, and grab some pizza.

General Amplify Competition Informatio Session

Wednesday, December 6
12:15–1:15 p.m.
Campus Center 103/104

Come and learn more about the Amplify Competition. A brief presentation followed by Q&A. Also: Pizza!

There are several fall courses that include a significant unit, assignment or other thematic element in cultivating public voice. See the Smith Course Search for more information on any of these offerings.

Public Writing

AMS 351 Creative Nonfiction Writing through Photography 
Russell G. Rymer

ENV 311 Interpreting and Communicating Environmental Information     
Matthew Ghazarian

PSY 312 Calderwood Seminar on Psychology in the Public Square     
MJ Wraga

WRT 118 The Art of the Steal: Remixing, Originality and Identity     
Jonathan M Ruseski

WRT 136 Journalism: Principles and Practice     
Naila F. Moreira


ARS 162 Introduction to Digital Media     
Lucretia Ann Knapp

ARS 263 Video and Time-Based Digital Media     
John Slepian

ENG 289 Writing and Making Comics
Yona Harvey

FYS 114 Ordaining Women in America     
David Howlett 

FYS 144 Science and Society     
Michael Joseph Barresi

LSS 260 Visual Storytelling: Graphics, Data and Design     
Reid W. Bertone-Johnson

SPN 236 Podcasting: Storytelling and New Production in the Spanish-Speaking World    
Adrian A. Gras-Velázquez

SWG 150 Introduction to the Study of Women and Gender
Kelly P. Anderson

Public Art 

ARS 205 Posters, Zines and Prints in Public     
Lindsey Clark-Ryan

ARS 205 Drawing Social Justice     
Alexis A. Callender

ARS 274 Projects in Installation     
Lynne M. Yamamoto

ARS 372 Printmaking, Mark-Making, Image-Making, World-Making     
Lindsey Clark-Ryan

BIO 368 Seminar: Understanding Climate Change through Plant Biology and the Arts     
Jess Gersony

How Can I Stay Informed About All Things Amplify?

Send an email to and ask to get signed up for our weekly newsletter, where you will find all of the information you need to know about Amplify as the program unfolds this year.

Get Involved

  • Watch for Amplify-related events and workshops in the Wurtele Center newsletter.
  • Keep an eye on the Smith Social Network to RSVP for Amplify events.
  • Explore the recordings from Amplify events from prior years in our Amplify Resources page to get inspiration and practical tips.
  • If you're taking a public voice-oriented course and are looking for coaching and feedback, reach out to us at
  • If you’re preparing a piece for the Amplify Competition, join us for skill building and feedback workshops during J-term.

Amplify Competition

Submit a Piece to the Amplify Competition

The Amplify Competition is an opportunity for Smith College students to share their knowledge, stories and perspectives in a public forum and a set of events designed to honor their efforts towards raising their voices to bring about positive change. The competition seeks to amplify students’ voices as they speak out about the issues that matter to them. The competition is open to all Smith students, and entries can be drawn from assignments completed for a course taken for credit, or a piece developed outside of a student’s coursework. Learn more about the competition in an article in The Gate.


Students may enter submissions in four categories: Public Speaking, Public Writing, Public Art and Multimedia. All submissions will be published on a consolidated Amplify website, which will be accessible only within the Smith College community. Submissions will be entered to compete for prizes in each of the four categories plus a “People’s Choice” Award. Prize winners will be announced in early March at an event on campus (with the exception of Public Art, which will be announced in early December).

  • Public Art
    Three proposals selected; each receives a $500 artist honorarium 
  • Public Writing
    First Place: $750
    Second Place: $375
  • Multimedia
    First Place: $750
    Second Place: $375
  • Public Speaking
    Best TED-style Talk: $750
    Best Spoken Word Poem: $750
  • People’s Choice: $200 to an entry from any category