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.
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.
AMS 351 Creative Nonfiction Writing Through Photography
Russell G. Rymer
ENG 118 The Art of the Steal: Remixing, Originality and Identity
Jonathan M. Ruseski
ENG 118 Colloquium in Writing: Liberating the Future
ENG 136 Journalism: Principles and Practice
Naila F. Moreira
ENV 311 Interpreting and Communicating Environmental Information
FYS 144 Science and Society
Michael Joseph Barresi
JNX 150 The Journalistic Impulse
Julio Alves, Naila F. Moreira
SWG 377 Feminist Public Writing: Calderwood Seminar
Carrie N. Baker
ARS 263 Video and Time-Based Digital Media
Lucretia Ann Knapp
FYS 129 Tierra y Vida: Land and the Ecological Imagination in U.S. Latino/a Literature
GER 300 Topics in German Culture and Society - German in Real Time
LSS 260 Visual Storytelling: Graphics, Data and Design
Reid W. Bertone-Johnson
SPN 230: Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Culture and Society - Climate Voices
SPN 236 Podcasting: Storytelling and New Production in the Spanish-Speaking World
Adrian A. Gras-Velazquez
SPN 375 Seminar: ARTivism: Staging Political Memories
ARS 376 Printmaking: Color, Texture and Scale
BIO 368 Understanding Climate Change Through Plant Biology and the Arts
How Can I Stay Informed About All Things Amplify?
The best way to get involved in Amplify this fall is to get plugged into our newsletter, where you will see a section called "The Amp" that will share regular information about Amplify programming and how to get support for your work.
Want to get plugged in?
To get plugged into the Amp, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “I want to get plugged into the Amp!”
- Watch for Amplify-specific emails and follow the #SmithAmp hashtag on Instagram for Amplify news and opportunities.
- 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 email@example.com.
- If you’re preparing a piece for the Amplify Competition, join us for skill building and feedback workshops during J-term.
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