About the Center

Signature Programs

The Global Engagement & Leadership ePortfolio Pilot Project


Check out students' portfolios:

Kenzi Green '13

Marisa Acierno '13

Erika Marin '13

Rebecca Schilling '14


What are you studying? What will you do with that?

When people ask these questions, they are really saying:

Tell me the story of who you are now and who you hope to become.

We want every Smith student to be able to tell that story.

In 2012–13, the Wurtele Center collaborated with colleagues to offer a pilot curriculum designed to help students gain clarity about their experiences and skills, and to talk about what was most important to them. Each student also began to articulate her potential as a globally engaged citizen, a leader and an agent of change.

In March, a senior wrote about how partcipating in the program had helped her to tell her own story during a job interview:

I recently had my first job interview and it went so well that I have made it to their second round. There is definitely a correlation between ePortfolio and the success of the interview. By reflecting I have been able to zone into the experiences that have made the most impact on my life and pick out valuable skills that I have gained.

The WCWL continues to develop and implement ePortfolio work with students in the concentrations, including Museums, Translation Studies, Archives and Book Studies

Here are sample exercises from our curriuclum: An initial note-taking exercise in which students think about a learning experience; an interviewing protocol; writing prompts.

Rachel Simmons, Leadership Development Consultant for the Wurtele Center for Work & Life

Beginning in 2010, the Wurtele Center for Work & Life launched a new student program in leadership development with best-selling author and educator Rachel Simmons called Leadership for Rebels: A Recipe for Courage and Personal Authority. In this four-part workshop, Rachel gives students tools for self-awareness, clear communication and conflict negotiation. The workshop is offered each fall and spring semester, and enrollment is limited. Deadlines for applying to the workshop are listed in the current semester's "Passport," and the application is posted online. In addition to Leadership for Rebels, Rachel has also delivered two major campus-wide talks on topics in young women's leadership; one in fall 2010, and another in fall 2011. For more information about Rachel's work at Smith, please e-mail Jessica Bacal, director of the Wurtele Center for Work & Life, or Ally Einbinder, program coordinator.


The Phoebe Reese Lewis Leadership Program

The Phoebe Reese Lewis Leadership Program is a highly acclaimed, innovative program that provides undergraduate women with hands-on learning experiences and training in practical leadership skills. Any first-, second- or third-year Smith student can apply to the program in the fall of the academic year. Upon successful completion of all elements of the program participants will receive a Phoebe Reese Lewis Leadership Program certificate in addition to their undergraduate degrees.


In keeping with Sophia Smith's wish "that the institution be so conducted, that during all coming time it shall do the most good to the greatest number," the Wurtele Center for Work & Life encourages you to identify your passions within the context of what is important for society, to become a leader who is an agent of change, and to develop the skills necessary to bring others along with you in the pursuit of meaningful goals.


You can get leadership experience at Smith by doing any of these things:

Apply for a leadership position through
Student Affairs

Smith College Student Affairs offers many opportunities for students to act as leaders in the Smith community. You can apply for a role on Judicial Board, in Residence Life or in orientation.

Apply to lead the "Bridge" orientation program

The essence of the Bridge Orientation Program is its examination of cultural diversity. Through a variety of interactive student-led seminars and group activities, participants are encouraged to share their perspectives and hear the voices of their peers to better understand and appreciate their similarities and differences.

Join the Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) is located in room Campus Center 206 and is responsible for making decisions regarding significant areas of non-academic and non-residential life of students. SGA serves "to encourage active cooperation in the work of self-governance; to enact and enforce laws according to the Grant of Powers; and to ensure the representation of the views and perspectives of the student body in the governance of the College." SGA serves you—the students of Smith College! Come and share your ideas, concerns or talent.

Join (or Start!) a Student Club or Organization

All Smith students are members of the Student Government Association, which supports the projects and programs of 100 student organizations catering to students with interests ranging from ethnic dance to community service. You can join—or lead—any of these organizations. You might make your voice heard in the debate society or on the campus radio station, try your hand at ceramics, write editorials for the student newspaper or a poem for the literary magazine—it's entirely up to you.

Get involved in Outdoor Leadership

Do you want to get involved in an outdoor leadership training program? Or maybe you already have skills that you would like to share and help run some fun trips?

E-mail: smithoutdoors@smith.edu

Join the Multifaith Council

The Multifaith Council meets twice a month on Tuesday evenings. If you are interested in joining, contact Maureen Raucher.

E-mail: mraucher@smith.edu

Become a Health Rep

Health Reps are elected by houses and serve as liaisons between Health Services and the residential student body. The major goals of the position are to supply the houses with health promotion information and resources, such as latex products.

Become a Wellness Rep

While the Health Rep serves as an elected liaison between Health Services and the house, a Wellness Rep is not elected. There can be more than one per house, and off-campus students are welcome.

Join the Wellness Committee

The Wellness Committee, led by Emily Nagoski, welcomes new student members. The committee meets on the first Thursday of every month at noon in CC 205. Contact Jan Morris for more information.

E-mail: jmorris@smith.edu

Get involved with the Public Leadership
Education Network (PLEN)

The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is the only national organization whose sole focus is preparing women for leadership in the public policy arena.

Each year, PLEN brings about 250 women students from colleges and universities across the country to Washington, D.C. for a weekend, week, or an entire summer to experience first-hand how public policy is shaped and implemented at the national level.

Students meet with and learn from women leaders making and influencing public policy at the highest levels in the Congress, courts, federal agencies, corporate sector, policy research and advocacy organizations and the news media.

Founded in 1978, PLEN has served thousands of women, of which more than one-third are women of color or from other populations historically under-represented in public policy leadership.

Apply for the Smith Scholars Program

The Smith Scholars Program is designed for highly motivated and talented students who want to spend two to four semesters working on projects of their own devising, freed (in varying degrees) from normal college requirements. A student may apply at any time after the first semester of her sophomore year and must submit a detailed statement of her program, an evaluation of her proposal and her capacity to complete it from those faculty who will advise her and two supporting recommendations from instructors who have taught her in class.

The deadlines for submission of proposals for the Smith Scholars Program are November 15 and April 15 of the student's junior year. The proportion of work to be done in normal courses will be decided jointly by the student, her adviser(s) and the Subcommittee on Honors and Independent Programs. Work done in the program may result in a group of related papers, an original piece of work, such as a play, or some combination of these.

A Smith Scholar may or may not complete a regular departmental major. Further details, guidelines and applications are available from the dean of the senior class.

Apply for the Jean Picker Semester-in-Washington

The Jean Picker Semester-in-Washington Program is a first-semester program open to Smith junior and senior government majors and to other Smith juniors and seniors with appropriate background in the social sciences. It provides students with an opportunity to study processes by which public policy is made and implemented at the national level. Students are normally resident in Washington from the June preceding the semester through December.

Applications for enrollment should be made through the director of the Semester-in-Washington Program no later than November 1 of the preceding year. Enrollment is limited to 12 students, and the program is not mounted for fewer than six.

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