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The Amplify Competition is an opportunity for Smith College students to share their knowledge, stories and perspectives in a public forum and raise their voices to bring about positive change. The competition specifically seeks to amplify students’ voices as they draw attention to the issues that matter to them. It is open to all current Smith students, and entries can be drawn from assignments completed for a course taken for credit in the past year, or a piece developed outside of a student’s course work.

Amplify Competition 2022 Project Gallery

Don’t forget to cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award!


Students may enter submissions in four categories: Public Speaking, Public Writing, Multimedia, and Public Art. Students submitting to the Public Speaking Category will deliver their submission at a public event at the end of J-term. Students participating in the Public Art portion of the competition will respond to our Amplify Call for Proposals to compete for a grant to complete a specific project. 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 at the Amplify Awards Event on March 9, 2022, 7–8 p.m.


The categories of Public Speaking, Public Writing and Multimedia will be judged by a panel of three judges, made up of a combination of current Smith faculty or staff, alumnae and local practitioners.

The judging panel for Public Art will include members from the same categories, but be comprised of five members, one of which will be part of the Smith College facilities team who can assess feasibility of installation within the Wurtele Center’s space.

General Submission Guidelines

  • Students may submit one entry per category.  Students may not submit the same entry to multiple categories, however.  Therefore, in any given competition year, an individual student may submit up to four distinct entries in the four categories of the Amplify competition.
  • Students may submit entries that are collaboratively created. The entry should be submitted only once; be sure to enter all co-creators’ names in the submission form. Should the entry be chosen for a prize or grant, that prize or grant will be split between the co-creators.
  • Students may win only one individual prize or grant in a given competition year.
  • Entries may be, but are not required to be, assignments completed for a Smith College course.
  • Entries may be in languages other than English. Please note that the Wurtele Center for Leadership will publish both the original submission and an English translation on the Amplify website.
  • Entries do not need to have been published. However, judges will be looking for pieces that hold promise for future publication; see criteria above.
  • Competition administrators will review all submissions and reserve the right to reject unsuitable submissions or recategorize submissions as appropriate. Submissions will be rejected if they do not meet the submission criteria or if they advance hateful or discriminatory positions. Students whose submissions have been recategorized will be notified prior to publication of the Amplify Competition Website. If you are uncertain about whether your submission meets the criteria or unclear on which category to submit to, please reach out to Erin Cohn ( in advance of the deadline.

Amplify Competition Prizes

Depending on the number and quality of submissions, judges may choose not to award all prizes for all categories.

First Place:

one each for Speaking, Writing and Multimedia

Second Place:

one each for Speaking, Writing and Multimedia

Public Art Grant: up to $850

for the project grant, plus a $150 honorarium, awarded to a single entry

People’s Choice: $200

to an entry from any category that receives the most website votes

Important Dates

Be on the lookout for sessions and events during these months where you can workshop your piece and get feedback.
September 20, 2021 Competition opens for Public Art proposals
November 19, 2021 Registration deadline for Public Speaking category
January 3, 2022 Competition opens for Public Writing, Multimedia categories
January 5, 2022, noon–1 p.m. Virtual Information Session: Do you have a piece you want to dust off to submit?
January 21, 2022 Writing, Art, and Multimedia submissions due by midnight, ET
January 30, 2022, 3–5 p.m. Speaking category event
February 7, 2022 Amplify gallery website goes live, People’s Choice Award voting opens
March 9, 2022, 7–8 p.m. Amplify Award Ceremony

Amplify Competition 2022 Judges


Yasmin Chin Eisenhauer ’94, Executive Director, Amherst Cinema

Oliver Haug ’20, Social Media Editor and Podcast Producer, Ms. Magazine

Andrew Maurer, Interactive Media Coordinator, Imaging Center, Smith College


Public Art

Tiara Ebony Austin ’18, Programs Associate, The Laundromat Project

Britte Geijer ’13, Project Manager, David Netto Design

Dana Liebsohn, Alice Pratt Brown Professor of Art, Smith College

Charlene Shang Miller, Educator for Academic Programs, Smith College Museum of Art

Scott Richards, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management and Grounds, Smith College

Public Speaking

Vanessa Cerillo, Senior Director of Marketing, Communications and Events, New England Public Media

Robbie Dunning ’11, Poet and Deputy Director of Operations at Movement Voter Project

Denise Materre ’74, Vice President of Alumnae Relations, Smith College

Public Writing

Sara Eddy, Assistant Director, Jacobson Center, Smith College

Brooke Hauser, Journalist for The Boston Globe and former Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Hampshire Gazette

Marcela Rodrigues-Sherley ’20, Stabile Investigative Fellow at Columbia University School of Journalism

Past Amplify Competition Submissions

Want to see last year’s submissions?

Public Speaking Submissions


Students were given the opportunity to submit work in a variety of forms, ranging from TED-style talks to spoken word poetry to podcast episodes.


Public Writing Submissions


Students were given the opportunity to submit pieces in a variety of forms, ranging from op-eds to longer form articles to zines or other creative works.


Public Art Submissions


Students were given the opportunity to submit work in a variety of media, ranging from public mural or sculpture to performance art to creative arts-oriented public engagement projects.