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Amplify Program

Two students smiling, arms around each other's shoulders

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.

Fall 2022 Amplify Events and Workshops

During the fall 2022 semester, the Wurtele Center for Leadership will feature public events, both in person and virtual, 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.

Amplify Information Session 

Tuesday, September 13
4:15-5:15p.m., Campus Center 205

Come for PIZZA and an opportunity to find out about all of the ways you can develop your public voice through Amplify programming and support!

Amplify Community Poster Making Party: Postering for Climate Action

Friday, September 30
4:30-6:30p.m., Davis Ballroom

Join the Wurtele Center, CEEDS, and the Design Thinking Initiative for a community poster making party. We'll explore the public art of postering and teach wheat pasting techniques. Participants will create posters around themes of climate action and collectively paste to community panels. Come dressed to make a mess. All students, staff, and faculty are welcome! RSVP on the Smith Social Network.

Reception for "Love Letters," Emily Drennan's ('23) winning Public Art Project

Monday, October 3
5:00-6:00p.m., Wurtele Center for Leadership (146 Elm Street)

Come and celebrate the installation of Emily Drennan's ('23) public art project, "Love Letters." Drennan's project proposal won in the Public Art category of last year's Amplify Competition. A series of three banners, the project seeks to create a sense of curiosity and belonging in the Wurtele Center's space. RSVP on the Smith Social Network.

Finding A Voice Through Popular Culture: An Evening with Aisha Harris

Monday, October 17, 7–8:00 p.m., Location TBD (this event will be hybrid, with virtual attendance options - see Smith Social Network for more information)

Join us for a moderated conversation with Aisha Harris, co-host of NPR's "Pop Culture Happy Hour" podcast and writer for Slate and the New York Times. Harris will speak about her journey towards practicing a public voice, the joys and challenges of entering into public discourse, and how research informs her work as a critic of popular culture. Co-sponsored by the Journalism Concentration as part of the Inside Journalism: Free Press and Democracy series.

An Improviser's Guide to Amplifying Your Authentic Voice

Featuring Pam Victor ('88), President and Founder of Happier Valley Comedy
Thursday, November 10
4:30-6:00p.m., Location TBA

The world needs to hear what you have to say. (Yes, you!) Join the Wurtele Center for Leadership for a public speaking workshop with professional improviser Pam Victor (’88). Pam will share how to harness the power of improv to quiet the inner critic, so you can amplify your authentic voice to share your passions with the world, take beneficial risks to lead to big change, and navigate life with a “Yes, and…” mindset.

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.

  • First Place (one each for Speaking, Writing, and Multimedia): $750
  • Second Place (one each for Speaking, Writing, and Multimedia): $375
  • Amplify Public Art Competition: $500 honorarium (fabrication costs will also be covered)
  • People’s Choice: $200