Leadership Course

Courses for Spring 2017 will be announced soon. Students chose from these courses in Spring 2016.

Spring 2016 Options

Leadership for Future Healthcare Professionals

Taught by: Sari Edelstein
This course is designed to empower those students who may choose careers in the healthcare industry to be leaders. Because healthcare involves the care of patients, this course will combine using one's leadership skills to advocate for patients who at times cannot speak for themselves and depend on others for ethical, compassionate care. The course will follow with self-examination and influences that form attitudes about vulnerable persons. Students will learn critical thinking regarding values, beliefs, arguments, and evaluation of data with the use of small groups, student panels, posters, and the development of a paper that addresses these issues and insights. 

Late Night Leadership

Taught by: Michelle Kweder
Late Night Leadership will examine the intersection of American late night comedy and social justice leadership. The class will use the often controversial genre of late night television to both understand and critique mainstream leaders and leadership; simultaneously we will study moments of social justice leadership both within and beyond what is depicted on television. We will continually ask difficult questions including how comedy (especially parody) is used to voice and/or silence communities and issues traditionally marginalized in society. 

From Florence Nightingale to Paul Farmer: Inspirational Leaders in Healthcare

Taught by: Eileen McGee
This course will focus on the development of the student in the role of a leader, urging students to make small, practical beginnings in leadership. It will draw upon the work of inspirational leaders in healthcare, both past and present, to introduce undergraduate students to leadership concepts. Emphasis will be placed on providing an understanding of the leader in evolving health care delivery systems. The Boston area is considered by many to be the “medical mecca”. Patients flock to the area to be treated at Boston’s world-class healthcare facilities. Students will draw inspiration from local leaders in healthcare, such as Karen Daly, Paul Farmer, Atul Gawande, and Donald Berwick, who are re-shaping healthcare in the 21st century.

Unlikely leaders -- Ordinary Citizens who Fostered Extraordinary Changes in American Law

Taught by: Kathy Rogers
What do a Florida drifter, an Alabama factory worker, a 23 year-old Virginia laborer and his teenaged bride, and a director of a Planned Parenthood office in Connecticut have in common? They were all plaintiffs in U.S. Supreme Court cases that changed history. These ordinary Americans – three of whom had never attended college -- seized opportunities to fight for equality, justice, and the right to privacy, under daunting circumstances. This section will examine some extraordinary citizens and the issues that brought them to the U.S. Supreme Court chamber.

Leaders in Laughter: Women Comedians in the U.S.

Taught by: Suzanne Leonard
Fighting the perception that women are not “funny,” the female comedians covered in this course illustrate not only that women can be leaders in a male dominated field, but also that their comedy tends to have a critical edge. Surveying celebrated comedians such as Lucille Ball, Lily Tomlin, Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham, and Amy Schumer, we will study how these women use slapstick, caricature, and satire in order to critique American culture. Many of these female comedians have written autobiographically about their lives, and we will read at least one memoir by a contemporary female comedian.

Leading in the Food Industry: from Passion to Productivity

Taught by: Cynthia Ingols
Many women have a passion for food: some love to bake, while others enjoy eating at ethnic restaurants. For many the question becomes: how do I transform my interest in food into a career? In this course, we will explore ways in which women are leaders in the food industry from growers of food products; leaders in food companies; to producers of TV food shows. Join us in this course if you enjoy some aspect of the food industry (yes, liking to eat good food qualifies you) and if you imagine yourself having a career in the world of food. 

How TV Frames America

Taught by: Jim Corcoran
The media theorist George Gerbner has noted, "Those who tell the stories hold the power in society. Today television tells most of the stories to most of the people, most of the time." In this course students will explore the leadership roles storytellers play in our culture. In particular, they will look at the power of television to frame social categories and how those portrayals often lead us to specific views of the culture, society, and individuals. They will examine the stories television has told, and continues to tell, about race, gender, class, and sexuality, and whether these stories shape our identities, as well as our perceptions and misperceptions of different groups within our society, or merely reflect who we are as a people.

Bodies in Action

Taught by: Jyoti Puri
This course focuses on bodies and leadership. How have leaders used their bodies toward social and political ends? How have bodies been central to social change in cases of collective leadership? Revolving around these questions, this course considers a range of examples, from Gandhi’s vision of non-violent resistance to colonial rule to transgender activism and the Black Lives Matter movement. Defining leadership expansively, it looks at leadership in relation to themes including colonialism, racialism, gender, nationalism. The course also offers a series of competencies, such as writing op-eds, organizing events, creating zines and websites, to help students develop leadership skills.

The X Factor

Taught by: Stephanie Walker
This course will explore the concepts of social identity, personal leadership styles, and agency in the context of health issues that are either unique to women or of special importance to women. These women’s health issues will be explored with a focus on the identification of scientifically sound research and recognition of the improper reporting or use of research in marketing strategies, preparation as an advocate of a healthy lifestyle and appropriate health care through informed choice, and awareness of the role health plays in the lives of all women.

Black Leaders and Leadership in Recent History

Taught by: Lena Zuckerwise
This course is designed to introduce students to issues of leaders and leadership with a focus on the recent history of Black politics in the US, including the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter. We will explore the work of leaders, such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, and the leadership of those whose contributions often go under-appreciated, including Ella Baker and Bayard Rustin. Together we will consider differences between leaders and leadership; Black leadership in the past and present; and the question of why some social movements are said to need leaders, while others do not.

Poets, Prophets, and Priests

Taught by: Bonnie-Jean Casey
“Poets, Prophets, and Priests” will explore leadership styles by examining the role distinct religious leaders have played in building traditions, orchestrating social movements, and galvanizing people. Readings will draw from a broad range of religious traditions including Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism and Christianity. We will also explore the relationship between a leader's private life and public persona. Students in this course will develop their leadership skills and become familiar with some basic tenets of different religions. This course will foster interfaith and cross-cultural communication, which is an integral part of leadership development in our increasingly globalized world.

Overcoming Oppression through the Spirit of Resistance: Mohandas Gandhi, the Women and Men of India and Their Struggle against Unjust Power

Taught by: Steve Ortega
This course will examine the leadership strategies of well-known figures such as Mohandas Gandhi, and those less known such as Sarojini Naidu and Bimrao Ramji Ambedkar. The class will look to understand the ways in which these individuals and other Indians struggled against British colonialism and other forms of repression. Special emphasis will be placed on the influence that Indian resistance strategies had on individuals such as Martin Luther King and other peace activists. Discussion, readings and other activities will center on the ways in which people seeking justice and equality can upset social hierarchies and can challenge unjust authority and asymmetrical forms of power.

How to Lead Quietly in a World that Celebrates Extroversion

Taught by: Mary Shapiro
When asked to name leaders, very likely we’ll list extroverts: Martin Luther King, Jr., Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey. Indeed, leadership is often defined by extroverted traits: outgoing, gregarious, forceful. So where does that leave those of us introverts who don't want to lead while standing in the spotlight? How can we use our strengths to lead in alternative, yet equally powerful, ways? From quiet leader role models (such as Rosa Parks and Emma Watson), through skills work (presenting, writing, blogging) and project work, you’ll develop your leadership capacity to share your ideas, be heard, and inspire people to action. 

International Woman in Film: A Leadership Model

Taught by: Judy Richland
This course will examine the films of a series of accomplished international women filmmakers and study how they successfully produced their films. In an industry dominated by men, international women filmmakers have proven to be leaders in cinema primarily because they employed a series of core leadership principles. As part of our course we will study these core leadership principles so that students may assess how the filmmakers utilized them. The film process involves a unique leadership model that relies heavily on the collaboration of highly skilled creative professionals. Students study the films produced by filmmakers, the nature of the film process, and they will actually be able to meet filmmakers first-hand when they help to organize film screenings at Simmons during the Spring semester. 

From Abigail Adams to Elizabeth Warren: Women Step Forward to Get Things Done

Taught by: Melanie Kimball
This course examines how, from colonial times to the present day, traditional forms of leadership have not been available to women, particularly in the past. Historically, American women, without the same opportunities as men, still have led in important ways. From First Lady Abigail Adams, to Sojourner Truth, who led people out of slavery, to pioneers in social work and public health, to Elizabeth Warren, first female Senator of Massachusetts, students will investigate famous and lesser-known women leaders and their impact on American society.

Voices of Leadership

Taught by: Lisa Smith-Mcqueenie
We define ourselves using multiple identities. This course will explore identity development and the ways in which individuals move within and among their group memberships in our complex society (where some identities are more valued than others) and the implications of their own leadership potential and development. We will examine how multiple identities intersect to create unique experiences and contribute to our ability to engage with one another in an effort to create a better world as majority and minority leaders, when it is “popular” and under challenging circumstances. Students will learn how both gender and leadership are socially constructed and they will have the opportunity to “find their voice”, challenging themselves intellectually and personally.

Boston Women Leaders

Taught by: Erin DeCurtis
 This course will explore women leaders in Boston from Boston’s founding to present day. The course will identify trends common to these women leaders as well as the unique and authentic leadership practices that successful women leaders in Boston enacted that contributed to the social, economic, political and personal successes they achieved. Students will use lessons learned to develop their own leadership philosophy. The course will include interviews with current women leaders in Boston from business, nonprofit and government sectors.