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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN

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 Spring 2021

Working Through Team Tensions
February 24, 2021
4:40–6 p.m. EST (virtual)

While it can be uncomfortable, tension is a natural part of working in a team. We will think through the best ways to learn how to surface and work through tensions in healthy ways, and to normalize and even value dissent within your team culture.

Staying Motivated and Moving Your Team/Project Forward
March 10, 2021
4:40–6 p.m. EST (virtual)

As the year progresses it is easy to lose momentum even when there are still deadlines to meet and projects to finish. We will help you and your team think through ways to stay engaged and motivated through those lulls.

Purpose: How Do You Pull Together the Meaning of This Experience
April 14, 2021
4:40–6 p.m. EST (virtual)

What has this experience meant to you? What have you learned about yourself, your work through your internship? We will help you reflect on your experience to be able to articulate how you’ve cultivated meaning out of your experience and how it has impacted your purpose. 

How to Capture and Share the Work You've Been Doing
May 5, 2021
4:40–6 p.m. EST (virtual)

You’re at the end of your year and you are thinking about how you want to describe to others what you have been doing in your internship. Using reflective practices and resume building tools, we will help you think through what you’ve learned, the skills you’ve gained and how to speak to the work you are proud of. 

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.