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Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
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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, speaking and art. Through events, workshops and one-on-one coaching and feedback, you’ll develop a piece that you’re proud to share with the world. The program culminates with a chance to submit your work to the Amplify Competition.

Fall 2020 Events

Amplify programming will include three virtual events this fall, where guest speakers and panelists will discuss key questions related to Public Voice. All Amplify events include a talk or discussion, followed by a 30-minute “Amplify Lounge” session, in which students can “mingle” virtually with guest speakers and ask questions in a less formal setting. Watch eDigest and the Smith Social Network for information on how to attend!

Amplify Panel: “Developing and Owning Your Public Voice”

Thursday, September 24, 8–9 p.m. EST

How can we know when and how to speak up publicly about issues that matter to us? We’ll be joined by Tanisha C. Ford (The Graduate Center, CUNY), scholar, writer and public speaker on the intersections of fashion, politics and social justice; and Tuck Woodstock, journalist and co-producer of the Gender Reveal podcast that amplifies the stories of trans and non-binary folks. Ford and Woodstock will reflect on how they decided to share their voice publicly, how they conquer self-doubt and the role of “expertise” in asserting a public voice.

Amplify Speaker: “The Public Voice ‘Tax’: An Evening Shereen Marisol Meraji"

Thursday, October 29, 8-8:45 p.m. EST

Join Shereen Marisol Meraji, the award-winning co-producer of the NPR podcast Code Switch (tagline: Race. In Your Face.), as she shares her experience as a journalist and engages in a conversation with Smith faculty members Carrie Baker, Samuel Ng, and Liz Pryor on the intersections of race, identity, and public voice.

Amplify Panel: “Public Voice Across Media: Speaking Out Against Climate Change”

Thursday, November 19, 7:30-9 p.m. EST

Join us for a conversation with three individuals speaking out about climate change, but through different media and from different professional standpoints. The panel will include artist Eve Mosher, who creates large-scale, interactive public projects examining the human relationship to the environment; Leah Stokes, assistant professor of political science and environmental studies at UCSB and frequent contributor to national news media; and Audrea Lim, a journalist who writes for several publications, including authoring the “Taking Heat” series for The Nation, which explores issues of climate justice.

Amplify-Affiliated Fall Courses

LOG 100 Valid and Invalid Reasoning: What Follows from What?
Jay Garfield, Theresa Helke, and Melissa Yates

ECON 150 Introductory Microeconomics
Paul Newlin

PSY 218 Cognitive Psychology
Maryjane Wraga

PHI 100 Thinking About Thinking
Theresa Helke and Jeff Ramsey

SPN 220 Contemporary Cultures in the Spanish Speaking World
Adrian Gras-Velazquez

IDP 146 Critical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship
Fadia Nordtveit

EDC 232 The American Middle and High School
Carol Berner

FYS 155 Housing In/Justice and Tiny House Dreams
Evangeline Heiliger

See the Smith Course Search for more information.


Additional Courses:

These fall courses also include a significant unit, assignment or other thematic element in cultivating public voice:

FYS 19 Red Devil and Pink Ribbons: Representations and Refutations of Cancer
Evangeline M. Heiliger

MTH 353 Calderwood Seminar on Applied Algebraic Combinatorics and Mathematical Biology  
Julianna S. Tymoczko

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

HST 273 Fake News in American History
Jordan Taylor

FYS 158 The History of the American Present
Jordan Taylor

AMS 351 Journalism as Feminist Practice 
Susan C. Faludi

One-to-One Coaching

Are you actively working on a public writing, public speaking or public art assignment for a class and looking for some coaching or direct feedback? Do you feel strongly about an issue and want to learn how best to speak out about it? Are you planning to submit a piece to the Amplify competition and want some feedback on your work?

Reach Out

Erin Cohn at the Wurtele Center ( would be happy to schedule some time with you and help connect you to resources. Join the Wurtele Center mailing list to receive alerts about open coaching sessions this fall.



Amplify Information Session

The Wurtele Center motto for its new Amplify program is: “There’s never been a better time to have your voice heard.” Want to learn more about this exciting new program? Watch this information session (viewers can access this presentation on Zoom using their Smith login).

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 an event to honor their efforts toward raising their voices to bring about positive change. The Amplify Competition specifically 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 course work.

Students may enter submissions in three categories: Public Speaking, Public Writing, and Public Art. In the 2020–21 academic year, submissions are published on a consolidated Amplify gallery website

Read more about the competition in an article in The Gate.



Submissions will be entered to compete for prizes in each of the three categories, plus a “People’s Choice” Award. Prize winners will be announced in early March in a virtual announcement event.

  • First Place (one each for Speaking, Writing, and Art): $1,000
  • Second Place (one each for Speaking, Writing, and Art): $500
  • People’s Choice: $250

Learn about criteria, key dates and deadlines, coaching opportunities and how to enter the competition.