Student Advisory Board
The CRSL Student Advisory Board ("Ad Board") consists of up to twelve students who advise Center staff on programming and events in service of a cooperative, collaborative model of spiritual engagement between the Center and student leaders and other campus stakeholders, as well as the wider community. The Ad Board will serve as an interfaith body, helping to accomplish the task of making the religious and spiritual offerings of the Center congruent to student needs and hopes. In addition, the Ad Board will have a focus on the Center’s “Reflect, Rejuvenate, Resist” mission, wherein the Center plays the role on campus to make spirituality at the heart of how we address world events and social justice issues, and promotes dialogue and action based in contemplative, prayerful practice.The Ad Board will also help the Center liason between student religious org leaders, and attend, participate in, and provide leadership to Center programs wherever possible, in particular the Interfaith Alliance.
The Ad Board:
a) advises the Center in its leadership role in ethical reflection, supporting spiritual flourishing and engaging religious diversity in the college;
b) supports student activism to address ethical issues affecting the community and the wider world, via vigils and other faith-based action; and
c) helps gauge the needs of the student community in responding to world and community events and advises the Center in taking prayerful action grounded in contemplative practice and dialogue.
In addition, each year the group will specify its own goals based on student interest and community needs.
Tuesdays, 12:10 p.m.
Bodman Lounge, Helen Hills Hills Chapel
Maya Bonner '18
Maya is a member of the class of 2018, majoring in Sociology. She joined the Student Advisory Board because she thinks that the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life does a lot of influential work on campus that should be amplified. She hopes to continue working with children and teenagers post-graduation and put her education minor to use.
Su'di Abdirahman '18
Su'di is a member of the class of 2018 and is a Government major with a focus in International Politics. She is on the Student Advisory Board because security, well-being, and happiness are extremely important to her and they are things which she wishes everyone in this world to have. Su’di believes that religion comes in different forms and differences are held between traditions, but that these differences should not divide people from coming together to learn from and appreciate one other. She thinks that society has made many rules and while some are understandable, others just divide us. She sees social justice and empowerment as important to make living in this world enjoyable for all. Acknowledgement and understanding of the different forms of religious beliefs along with social justice for all have motivated Su’di’s involvement in the Student Advisory Board. Su’di plans to continue her advocacy for children's rights and pursue her passion for Islam.
Tucker Barker '18
Tucker is a member of the class of 2018, majoring in American Studies. They are primarily involved with the Student Advisory Board because faith and faith-based community organizing has been a huge part of how they were raised and they want to participate in those connections happening in the Smith Community. They believe that religious community can be a place for radical organizing and like supporting the work that the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life does in this area. Upon graduation, Tucker hopes to return to their hometown of New Orleans, get a dog, work with people they love, and eventually end up in divinity school to become a Unitarian Universalist minister.
Libby Chafe '19
Libby is member of the class of 2019 and majoring in English. She is involved with the Student Advisory Board because she is deeply interested in the connection between social justice and faith. Libby thinks that spirituality is often neglected at Smith and hopes to help create programs that support fellow students ethically and spiritually. She hopes that this will create a campus environment that is more accepting and supportive for students from any faith or spiritual background. Libby plans on being an English teacher at either the Middle or High School level, and spend her life talking about books with children.
Yacine Fall ’21
Yacine is from Harlem, New York. She is an active member of different clubs and groups on campus like Al-Iman and Student Government. She is very passionate about social change on campus and in the world.
Kimraj Jordan '19
Kimraj is a member of the class of 2019, majoring in both Religion and Psychology. She is deeply invested in encouraging conversation across boundaries, particularly religious and racial lines. Her life-long goal is to participate in these dialogues as well as understand how to make them more healing, hopeful, and helpful.
After Smith, her goal is to earn a PhD (in Psychology or Religion; she’s still figuring it out) and become a professor. Her scholarship will focus on multi-faith and interracial interactions. Further, she plans to continue to be involved in interfaith work outside the ivory tower and in her community throughout her life.
Salma Khan '18
Salma Khan is a member of the class of 2018 and is majoring in Biology and Anthropology and minoring in Chemistry. As a Muslim American, she finds the intersectionality of social justice and spirituality an important pillar of her faith. Her passion to use religious space to combat oppression (in the community and globally at large) on a secular campus has led her to serve on the the Center of Religious and Spiritual Life’s Advisory Board. She is currently helping lead the Interfaith Alliance, is a researcher in the CWZ lab, a community health organizer (CHO) on campus, and has served as the co-president of Al-Iman. Salma hopes one day to work in public health and play with lots of babies and cats.
Mia Loyd '19
Mia is a member of the class of 2019 and is majoring in Music. She comes from a Unitarian Universalist background and the intersection of spirituality and social justice action is very important to her. Mia is involved with the Student Advisory Board because she agrees with the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life's mission of creating community and space for interfaith dialogue. Mia is unsure about where she will go in the future but would love to be making and performing music.
Whitney Mutalemwa '20
Whitney is a member of the Class of 2020, majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. During her first year at Smith she was involved in a number of student positions that involved decision-making but none of them revolved around her Christian faith. It took some time before she was able to find a community that had similar beliefs to hers, and so to help first year students find a loving community, she became a CRSL Student Advisory Board member. She hopes that by connecting first years to religious community, they can transition into college life as well as maintain and grow in their spiritual beliefs. At Smith, she hopes to see religion and spirituality play a larger role in addressing the microaggressions that are being experienced by minorities on campus as well as to heal broken Smithies who have been damaged by the world’s problems. She will continue to be a strong advocate for destigmatizing religion on campus up until she graduates.
Leah Parker-Bernstein '18
Leah is a member of the class of 2018, and a Study of Women and Gender major and Environmental Science and Policy minor. Leah is deeply interested and invested in interfaith and multi-faith organizing, and has largely done this work through the Smith College Jewish Community (SCJC), where she's served as President, Interfaith Liaison, and Treasurer. Leah is deeply invested in doing radical organizing and social justice work with Jewish values at the center. The Advisory Board at the Chapel is an incredible space to connect with other folks who are similarly moved to take action informed by spirituality. Looking forward, Leah intends on exploring other avenues through which to do interfaith and Jewishly-informed organizing.
Join the Board
Students who are interested in interfaith leadership, community service and social justice combined with spirituality would be best suited for a position on the on the Center for Religious & Spiritual Life Advisory Board. Everyone is encouraged to apply, whether your spirituality is mainstream or nontraditional. For more information, contact Matilda Cantwell.