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For Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff gathered for a Wurtele Center workshop group portrait

While much of the Wurtele Center for Leadership’s programming is geared toward students, we nevertheless strive to live into our mission to equip all members of the Smith community with the creativity, courage and collaborative capacity to lead positive change. We believe strongly that in order to build these skills in our students, we need to engage as learners ourselves as we seek to model collaborative leadership. We also hope to serve as a resource to faculty and staff members who are interested in exploring new ways of building collaborative leadership skills in their students. Below are some ways our center engages with faculty and staff.

The Art of Leading Teams Lunch Series

Join the Wurtele Center for Leadership for this facilitated monthly series of conversations about what it means to work collaboratively in a team at Smith College. Open to all faculty and staff, regardless of title or position. Some sessions will be held virtually, while others will be in-person with lunch provided for attendees who RSVP.

See a pdf of the schedule, or click on the tabs below. Sign up for email related to the Art of Leading Teams on this Google form.


Tuesday, September 20

12:15–1:30 p.m., Virtual Meeting 

Do Less: Making Choices in a Culture of Productivity

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the elements of our work, as we add new projects, courses, and commitments. In a culture that emphasizes productivity, what would it look like to do LESS instead of more? What does “productivity” even mean and how might redefining it help us make choices on where to focus our energies?


Tuesday, October 25

12:15–1:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room (lunch available at noon)

Design for Belonging: Creating Inclusive Work Cultures and Classrooms

Explore what it means to prioritize belonging on your work team, in your department, or in your classroom, and practice designing interventions in the form of rituals, structures, roles, and/or spaces in order to better create it.


Tuesday, November 22

12:15–1:30 p.m., Neison Browsing Room (lunch available at noon)

Intentional Meeting Design

Discuss what can be made possible when we intentionally design meetings, and gain some tips and tools for creating collaborative and inclusive meeting structures.


Tuesday, January 17

12:15–1:30 p.m., Virtual Meeting

Hybrid Teams: How to Collaborate When We're Not All Together All the TIme

What does our shift to increasingly hybrid work shift how we work together, carry out collaborative projects, and maintain a sense of connection as a team? Learn from colleagues how they are navigating this new work mode and gain some tools for flexible hybrid collaboration.


Tuesday, February 21

12:15–1:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room (lunch available at noon)

Managing Up: How to Lead If You're Not in Charge

For those who are not in managerial positions, it can often feel like there is little opportunity to have an influence. Likewise, team leaders themselves frequently feel like their hands are tied in terms of their ability to make change at a larger scale. Join this conversation to discuss strategies for sharing feedback and having an impact within your team and up the hierarchies of power.


Tuesday, March 21

12:15–1:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room (lunch available at noon)

Fostering a Culture of Risk-Taking on Your Team

"Risk" means different things to different people. How might we actively encourage one another to take risks and try new things? We’ll explore the structural and cultural barriers that get in the way of risk-taking, and work together on developing ways to circumvent those barriers and shift our team cultures towards risk-taking.


Tuesday, April 18

12:15–1:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room (lunch available at noon)

The ALT Unconference

An "unconference" is a gathering at which the agenda is set by the attendees in the moment of gathering. Join us for lunch and conversation around topics that you bring to the table, related to questions of team cultures, collaboration, and leadership at the college and/or in your classroom.

“Thank you all so much for facilitating this amazing series! I often was on the fence about joining because I was ‘so busy with everything else,’ but every session I was able to join gave me new tools and connections across campus, and I left so glad I carved out this time for professional and personal development.” —Art of Leading Teams 2020–21 Participant

Student Pedagogical Partners

The Wurtele Center designs and facilitates a series of workshops for students participating in the Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning’s Student Pedagogical Partner program. The workshops provide students with a space in which to reflect as a cohort on their experience as a pedagogical partner and to explore what leadership looks like in this specific context. Past workshop topics include:

  • Owning your Role and Challenging Imposter Phenomenon
  • Tools for Facilitating Discussions, Navigating Classroom Dynamics, and Intentional Design of Learning Experiences
  • The Science of How People Learn
  • Reflections on the Pedagogical Partner Experience

“Thank you so much for your support and guidance during this past semester with the Pedagogical Partnership. Our monthly sessions were such a joy to attend, and I always felt inspired talking to you and the group. The time was perfectly divided between reflecting, writing, sharing, and discussing. Additionally, all of the tools you used in the meetings (as simple as the great icebreakers) were very engaging and useful.”—2020-21 Student Pedagogical Partner

Ways to Partner with the Wurtele Center

The Wurtele Center for Leadership is available for consultation, collaboration, and support for any faculty members whose courses (or other modes of students engagement) are actively team- or group-oriented, and who are interested in exploring how they might work more intentionally with students to develop their collaborative skills in order to lead projects and initiatives forward. Our curricular engagement with faculty has ranged from individual consultation and curricular co-design to guest teaching arrangements to resource sharing.

For more information, please contact the Wurtele Center Assistant Director, Megan Lyster, and/or check out the Resources page of our website.

The Wurtele Center for Leadership also collaborates widely with a range of campus partners to support the collaborative leadership development of students and staff through co-curricular or work experiences. This includes:

  • Ongoing training and development partnerships with student leaders in Residential Life, House Leadership and Student Affairs
  • Support of student club and organization leaders
  • Collaboration with other centers on campus to develop programs, talks and workshops
  • A monthly student intern leadership enrichment series open to student interns and work-study students across campus
  • Assistance with meeting design, retreat design and facilitation of team engagement for other units on campus

If you are interested in collaborating with the Wurtele Center in these or other ways, please reach out!