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Workshops, Events & Honoring Leadership

The Wurtele Center for Leadership (WCL) offers a range of workshops, speaker events and other co-curricular experiences that offer students an opportunity to grow their own capacity to lead collaboratively and equitably, and gain inspiration from collaborative leaders in a variety of fields. WCL programming explores the contours of our Collaborative Leadership Model, creating space for students to reflect on and build their own practice (ME), learn effective ways of engaging in and leading a team (WE), and apply their knowledge to work toward positive change (IMPACT).

Engage at Any Level

Students have the option of participating in Wurtele Center programming at any level, from dipping their toe in the water with single events to taking the “deep dive” into courses and cohort or fellowship programs. Below are some introductory opportunities for engagement and skill building.

Integrative Learning & Leadership Events

The C Series

The C Series gathers students, faculty, and staff for a panel conversation, followed by dinner and a hands-on making activity to dive into a leadership-related concept that can often have a wide range of meanings. We toss these terms around, but how can we make sense of it for ourselves in nuanced and complex ways?

  • Burnout
  • Collaboration
  • Boundaries
  • Empathy
  • Activism

So What Does Navigating Conflict Really Mean, Anyway? 

Thursday, November 16, 2023, 5:30–6:30 p.m., Virtual Event

Join the Wurtele Center for Leadership, Toby Davis (Office for Equity and Inclusion), Javier Puente (Prof of Latin America and Latino/a Studies) and Vanessa Nicole Silva-Burgos '24 (SGA President) for an online panel conversation diving into the topic of navigating conflict. Panelists will explore what conflict means to them, their relationships with the concept, as well as tools and strategies we use to manage it, with time at the end for audience Q&A. Open to all Smith community members. We hope you will join us! See Social Network for Zoom link.

Invite the Wurtele Center to Tea

Choose from an existing workshop led by the team at the Wurtele Center or our LEAD Corps student facilitators, working in collaboration with OEI.

From the Wurtele Team:

  • Intentional Gatherings & How to Design Them
  • Designing a Community for Belonging
  • Communication & Conflict

From the LEAD Corps:

  • Allyship
  • Accountability & Repair
  • Microaggressions
  • Calling In & Being Called In​

    Not seeing what you're looking for? Reach out to to design your own workshop!

Impact Awards

The Impact Awards, hosted by the Wurtele Center for Leadership, recognize and honor members of our community who demonstrate the creativity, courage, and collaborative capacity to make positive change at scales both large and small. Honorees lead in diverse ways: some build community; others tackle complex, urgent problems; while still others work to dismantle inequity. The awards honor students, faculty, and staff, for individual contributions or group efforts.

The Impact Awards committee, hosted by the Wurtele Center for Leadership, helps shape the awards and select the award winners each year.

  • Kim Alston, Center for Religious and Spiritual Life Program and Communications Manager; Muslim Student Adviser
  • Annie DelBusto Cohen, Leadership Development Designer, Wurtele Center for Leadership
  • Kathy Guo, Prototyping Studio Manager, Design Thinking Initiative
  • Rachael Hagerstrom, Smith College Social Media Manager
  • Kelsey Hunter, Assistant Athletic Director for Equity, Inclusion and Student-Athlete Well-Being
  • Megan Lyster, Assistant Director, Wurtele Center for Leadership
  • Sahar Mahmood, Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs
  • Stacey Steinbach, Assistant Director for Residential Leadership
  • Bailey Streeter ‘23, House President Association President
  • Julie Thomson, Botanic Garden Communications Coordinator

The Smith College Collaborative Change Maker Award: Ariel Benjamin nominated by Sarah Mitrani

The Sustainable Smith(ie) Award: Shastia Azulay nominated by Emma Schumacher

The Community Engagement Award: Genesis Canazales and Rose Porta, nominated by Denys Candy and Nancy Zigler

The Social Justice, Inclusion and Equity Advocate: Sheher-Bano Ahmed and Vivien Qiao, nominated by Kim Alston and Asli Ali

The Seedling: An Emerging Leader Award: Dayana Caluna, nominated by Caitlyn Lawrence

The Humble Warrior: An Award for Collaborators Who Get Stuff Done: Rachel Hong, nominated by Yewon Park

The Academic Catalyst: An Award for Classroom Leaders: Abi Bowering, nominated by Luca Capogna

The Outstanding House Leader Award: Raina Plevyak, nominated by Brooklyn Quallen

The Community Well-Being Award: Smith Contra Dance, nominated by Micah Walter

The Co-Curricular Mentor/Supervisor of the Year Award: Kelsey Hunter, nominated by Emily Lopez


Nominations are now open. The deadline to submit a nomination is by midnight on Monday, March 18.

Read more about awards, criteria, and eligibility

Nomination Form

You may nominate students, staff, and/or faculty who are current members of the Smith college community (including yourself!). Nominators must also be a current student, staff, or faculty member.

Smith College Collaborative Change Maker Award
This award recognizes a student-led effort and/or student collaboration with a staff or faculty member to work with others to make a positive change in the Smith community.  

The Sustainable Smith(ie) Award
This award recognizes an individual who has blazed a trail/ led an initiative or a group of students that have worked collaboratively to enact meaningful change or move an initiative forward in regards to environmental sustainability.

Community Engagement Award
This award recognizes a long-term or consistent student-led effort to engage the community and have an impact beyond the Smith College campus (this could be local - Northampton and surrounding areas - or national or global).

Social Justice, Inclusion, and Equity Advocate
This award recognizes an individual or group for their demonstrated commitment to issues of social justice, inclusion, and equity at Smith College and/or in the global community.

The Seedling: An Emerging Leader Award
This award honors a student who in the past year has begun to discover and exercise their latent leadership capacities.  

The Humble Warrior: An Award for Collaborators who Get Stuff Done
This award honors a student who demonstrates a superb ability to engage as a central support and implementer of ideas when they are working as part of a group or team. 

The Academic Catalyst: An Award for Classroom Leaders
This award recognizes a student OR student group who have shown up for their peers in a course-related environment (ie. in a shared class experience, with individual faculty as a peer tutor or student pedagogical partner, tutoring through the Jacobson Center or as a Student Academic Advisor [SAA]) and supported them in a tangible way during the academic year.

Outstanding House Leader Award
This award recognizes a student (with or without a formal title or position) who has demonstrated a strong impact on their house community through their leadership in advocacy, work with others, and community building. 

Community Well-Being Award
This award recognizes an individual student, recognized student organization, club or varsity sport, or house community who has shown an impact on the community through highlighting or embodying the power of movement; physical, mental, and/or spiritual health; and wellness.

Co-Curricular Mentor/ Supervisor of the Year
This award recognizes a faculty or staff mentor who has offered meaningful guidance to the co-curricular efforts of an individual student leader or a group of students, including cohorts, athletic teams, student organizations, clubs, and club sports. 

Amplify Program

Each fall, the Wurtele Center for Leadership offers workshops and events that encourage students to develop a public voice as a form of powerful leadership.

Learn About Amplify