Page 1

excel collaborate lead In this issue Scholars Program Up and Running


Athena Center Events


Advisory Board and Leadership Council Established


Athena Leadership Lab Takes Shape


Calendar of Upcoming Events


SCHOLARS PROGRAM UP AND RUNNING This fall, the Athena Center for Leadership Studies launched the Athena Scholars Program, which offers rigorous academic study and practical knowledge to help Barnard women excel as leaders. By May, eleven seniors are planning to complete the requirements—five academic courses, a leadership internship and a social action project—to graduate as our first class of Athena Scholars. To date, 15 juniors have declared their intention to participate in the program and interest among sophomores and first year students has been strong. Summer Fellowship Program This spring, we will be selecting our first group of Athena Summer Fellows, ten emerging leaders who will be placed in paid internships with specially selected mentors to learn first-hand about different leadership skills, styles and strategies. Living together on campus, these rising seniors will meet regularly to reflect on their work experiences and will participate in educational and social events with their mentors, interested alumnae, and leaders from across New York City. We have had great interest from the junior class and are confident that we will be able to select a stellar group as the first summer fellowship class. Social Action Projects Also this spring, students taking Prof. Kolbert’s senior seminar will create social action projects that demonstrate their leadership skills in an off-campus setting. The students have thrown themselves into these projects, developing unique ways to contribute to the greater good. Among the planned projects: a college counseling program for high school students; an educational program for women in prison; a socially-responsible business in Thailand. At the end of the semester, students will present their completed projects to the full class and other invited guests. At least three of the most impressive projects will be passed down to next year’s Athena scholars so that the programs can continue. January 2010


Mallika Dutt


Constance Okollet

Women Leading the Way Feb. 3, 2010 2–3:30 p.m. Diana Center

Conversations on Leadership: Women in the Arab World Monday, March 15, 2010 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Climate Wise Women April 8, 2010 6 PM Diana Center

As part of the opening of the new Diana Center, the Athena Center will be sponsoring a forum entitled, “Women Leading the Way.” Featuring two activists who are making significant contributions to their fields: Mallika Dutt, founder and U.S. Director of Breakthrough, an international human rights organization that uses popular culture, media, leadership development and community education to advance equality, justice, and dignity. Through initiatives in India and the United States, Breakthrough addresses critical global issues including violence against women, sexuality and HIV/AIDS, racial justice, and immigrant rights. Jane Golden, Director of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, one of the nation’s largest public arts initiatives. Since its founding, the Mural Arts Program has created over 3000 murals that are an integral part of the civic landscape and a source of inspiration to thousands of residents and visitors, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.”

Based on the success of Women Changing China, the symposium hosted last year in Beijing, Barnard plans to host annual events on women and leadership in different regions of the globe. We will bring together women leaders from a wide range of fields to both inspire young women of the region and to provide an opportunity for the Athena Center to learn about leadership from women in other parts of the world. On Monday, March 15, 2010, Barnard will gather some of the preeminent women of the Arab world for a dialogue on women’s leadership. This day-long event will begin with a keynote address and luncheon, moderated by President Spar, and will end with a VIP reception at the Jumeirah Beach villa of one of our sponsors. In between, we will convene two panels, one focusing on women’s leadership and agency in the workplace; the other on women’s voices in literature and the media. The Athena Center’s director will moderate the leadership panel.

The Athena Center will be hosting “Climate Wise Women” a panel of grassroots activists from across the globe who are speaking out about how climate change has adversely affected their communities. We are the only New York location for this international tour sponsored by Realizing Rights, an NGO run by former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson. Among the panelists are Constance Okollet, a peasant farmer from Eastern Uganda who became an activist after heavy rains destroyed the homes and food supply of her village; Ulamila Kurai Wragg, a veteran journalist who has witnessed first-hand the diverse impacts of climate change in Fiji and the Cook Islands; Sharon Hanshaw, the Executive Director of Coastal Women for Change, which is helping to rebuild Biloxi, Mississippi following the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina; and Ursula Rakova, an activist from the Carteret Islands, South Pacific who is helping to voluntarily relocate 1,700 neighbors, whose islands and food supply are rapidly eroding.

EVENTS continued

Joanna Barsh

Recent Events This past fall, the Athena Center sponsored two other wonderful events. On November 11, the Center partnered with Glamour magazine to welcome members of The Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign, one of the winners of Glamour’s 2009 Women of the Year Award. Hoda Aminian and Azadeh Faramarziha inspired an audience of Barnard and Columbia students as they outlined their courageous efforts fighting for women’s equality in a country now marked by great social upheaval. On Dec. 2, Joanna Barsh, a senior partner at McKinsey & Company and director of the McKinsey Centered Leadership Project, came to campus to discuss her new book, How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life. Met by a large audience of students and alumnae, Ms. Barsh discussed her research on what drives and sustains successful women leaders. She showed a video of women leaders talking about their leadership paths and led the audience through a series of exercises that highlighted her findings.

ADVISORY BOARD & LEADERSHIP COUNCIL ESTABLISHED The Athena Center is proud to announce the creation of a Board of Advisors. Some of the nation’s most prominent women leaders from diverse fields— business, law, journalism, academia, and the non-profit sector—who have agreed to lend their time and expertise to ensure that the Center gets off to a great start. In addition, co-chairs Azita Raji ’83 and Pat Nadosy ’68 have assembled an amazingly dedicated group of Barnard alums, parents, and friends of the college as founding members of the Athena Leadership Council, who will serve as advisors and mentors, and who have pledged financial support for the work of the center. Many thanks to all who have agreed to serve!! These wonderful advisors and council members will meet on March 5, 2010 to learn more about the work of the Center, contribute their ideas, and help spread the word. Both a Faculty Advisory Committee and a Student Advisory Board have also been assembled to ensure that the academic focus of the program remains strong and that it meets student needs.

ATHENA LEADERSHIP LAB TAKES SHAPE Many plans are taking shape to grow the Athena Center into a premier center for women’s leadership. One of our most exciting venture is the creation of the new Athena Leadership Lab offering workshops, seminars and other educational programs to teach women the practical elements of leadership – from the art of negotiation to effective public speaking, from financial literacy to political savvy. The Leadership Lab has been created for women on the path to becoming innovative, global leaders. Whatever her stage of life or circumstance – the current student developing her presentation and negotiation skills, the recent grad starting to climb the career ladder, the woman reentering the work force or changing career directions, the executive looking to improve job performance – the Leadership Lab will be there to help. Through diverse course offerings taught by a distinguished faculty, participants will gain the skills and know-how needed to excel, collaborate and lead in their careers and their communities. By the fall, we will develop an initial set of course offerings and then test them vigorously to see which are most appealing to our students, our alums, and women in the New York area.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS February 3, 2010 2–3:30 PM Women Leading the Way Diana Center March 5, 2010 9 AM–2 PM Advisory Board and Leadership Council Meeting and Luncheon March 15, 2010 Conversations on Leadership: Women in the Arab World Dubai, UAE April 8, 2010 6 PM Climate Wise Women Diana Center



April 9-11, 2010 Student Leadership Retreat at Frost Valley April 13 & 20, 2010 6 PM Social Action Project Presentations May 17, 2010 Graduation of First Class of Athena Scholars June 1, 2010 Athena Summer Fellowships Begin

Athena Newsletter, January '10  

January 2010 Newsletter for the Athena Center for Leadership Studies

Athena Newsletter, January '10  

January 2010 Newsletter for the Athena Center for Leadership Studies