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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.

Courses, Workshops & Events

Profiles of a few students sitting in a workshop, with one student writing notes
The Wurtele Center for Leadership offers a range of courses, workshops, speaker events and other curricular and co-curricular experiences that offer students an opportunity to grow their capacity to lead collaboratively and equitably, and gain inspiration from collaborative leaders in a variety of fields. WCL programming explores the contours of our Collaborative Leadership Model, creating space for students to reflect on and build their own practice (ME), learn effective ways of engaging in and leading a team (WE), and applying knowledge to work toward positive change (IMPACT).

Engage at Any Level

Students have the option of participating in Wurtele Center programming at any level, from dipping their toe in the water with single events to taking the “deep dive” into courses and cohort programs. While some programming will be transformed or limited during the 2020–21 academic year due to COVID-19, the Wurtele Center encourages students to engage with us at multiple levels.

Integrative Learning & Leadership Events at Smith

Intern Leadership Enrichment Series

Workshop group for the Wurtele Center


The Intern Leadership Enrichment Series is a series of workshops designed to build collaborative leadership skills that students can immediately apply in their campus internship or work-study positions. These monthly sessions will help student interns from a range of campus units learn to build relationships within a professional team, set and pursue goals collaboratively, and design and carry out long-term projects. We will also help participants learn how to capture and communicate their learning and growth through their intern or work experience. While the sessions are geared toward student interns, all curious students are welcome to join these sessions.

Sign Up!

If you’re interested in registering for any of these workshops, watch out for them in the Smith Social Network or on eDigest, and sign up for our mailing list to hear more about them and other offerings from the Wurtele Center.


Schedule for Fall 2020

Creating a User Manual and Setting Goals
September 9, 2020
4:40–6 p.m. EST (virtual)
Get to know your team by sharing who you are, how you work and what you need from others. Once that foundation has been set we will help guide you through setting goals both individually and as a team.

Forging Collaborative Relationships
September 23, 2020
4:40–6 p.m. EST (virtual)
Working with other people can be a challenge. How do you want to communicate effectively with your partner(s)? How might you want to address conflict when it arises? We will help you think through the best ways you can engage with your teammates in times of challenge.

Project Design and Management
October 14, 2020
4:40–6 p.m. EST (virtual)
Work or internship experiences often require you to pursue a major project over time. How can you set yourself up for success when planning a longer-term process? We will focus on helping you think through time management, goal setting and strategic design for your project.

Giving and Receiving Feedback
November 11, 2020
4:40–6 p.m. EST (virtual)
Giving and receiving feedback are essential skills to cultivate in your work. We will help you explore the concept of “Radical Candor” and help you reflect on how you most want to receive feedback, as well as how you deliver it to others.

Collaborative Leadership Labs

Collaborative Leadership Labs are open workshops dedicated to the art of collaboration and working in teams. Topics include how to align your team around a common collaborative culture, how to manage tensions within a team, giving and receiving feedback, collaborative project and process design, and others. These in-person workshops will not be held in the 2020–21 academic year, but keep an eye out for Leadership Learning Modules and other resources we’ll share this year along these lines.

IDP 133: Critical Perspectives on Collaborative Leadership

This 4-credit course will be offered for the first time in spring 2021.

Traditional conceptions of leadership set up leading and working as a team as diametrically opposed; “leaders” are often conceptualized as those who achieve greatness through their own powers of persuasion or individual achievement, while “teams” are often framed as leaderless efforts that move forward by virtue of dispersed contributions to a given project or initiative. This course challenges students to interrogate this perceived dichotomy by viewing theories and histories of leadership and collaboration through a critical lens and exploring alternative ways of imagining change-making as a collaborative leadership act. Through reading, writing, reflection and practice, the class will offer students new perspectives on how they might bring others into collaboration by being knowledgeable about what it means to team (as a verb), intentionally creating a productive team culture, and modeling processes that encourage others to step in and out of the lead. This course is especially useful as a foundation for those students whose future academic (or life!) work is likely to engage them in significant group work.

For the 2020–21 academic year, the Wurtele Center is piloting a new set of programs around cultivating public voice.