Leadership Course


Rise Up! Student Activism Through The Years

Taught by: Susan Antonelli
College students have long been known for their activism on college campuses across the country and the globe. College student movements have affected social change for decades, a practice that continues today. College student activism can be big and loud and look like sit in's, walk outs and large protests. It can also happen one-on-one in residence halls, classrooms and quiet hallway conversations. This course will explore the many ways student activists can affect change across college campuses by looking at some of the movements on the Simmons campus and beyond.

Black Women Activists

Taught by: Jessica Parr
This course traces the leadership of Black women from their role in abolitionism in the late eighteenth century, up through the modern day. We will consider how the work of Black women leaders affected social change, looking at women such as Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Ella Baker, Ida B Wells, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Bell Hooks, Audre Lorde, and contemporary leaders like Bree Newsom, Laverne Cox, and Wendy Mock.

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World: Leaders for Social Justice

Taught by: Becky Thompson
The course title comes from a poem by Richard Wilbur that speaks to love for the earth and humanity that is nurtured by a deepening sense of justice and wholeness. This course focuses on several social justice seekers whose work is helping to heal the world. In the face of massive human displacement, environmental degradation, and violence, these leaders offer forms of spiritual activism that are based on expanding one's consciousness to move us beyond dogmatism, arrogance and greed. Spiritual activism insists on social justice while encouraging us to embrace what it means to be fully human. The course will make room for several contemplative practices—yoga, meditation, free writing, conocimiento, dance, mindfulness, deep listening and talking circles—as we journey together to help create a world free of racism, xenophobia, sexism, and other oppression.

Narratives of Ordinary S/Heroes

Taught by: Dawna Thomas
This course examines the narratives of ordinary people who emerge in our history as leaders. Students travel through history examining concepts of public policy, women's and gender studies, and community organizing and activism. Course materials are centered on the migrant workers' struggle to unionize and fight for equality, civil rights movement for racial and gender equality, and the contemporary struggle for girls' education across the globe. These narratives present theories that introduce students to ideas that relate to race, gender, and class.

Black Leaders and Leadership in Recent History

Taught by: Lena Zuckerwise
Why do so many thinkers, politicians, pundits, and activists claim that Black communities and social movements are in need of leaders, when the same is almost never said of other minority groups? Why is leadership seen as the solution to many social and political problems commonly associated with Black Americans? What role does leadership have in the Black political tradition itself? What is the difference between leaders and leadership? Together in discussion, students will consider these questions over the course of the semester, focusing in particular on the changing status of leadership from the Civil Rights Movement to #BlackLivesMatter today.

Health Care and Your Leadership

Taught by: John Lowe
Diabetes, obesity, heart attack, migraines----your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and geographic location will all affect your entire health care experience; your diagnosis, the types of drugs you will be prescribed and how professionals will behave towards you. This course will examine the current state of health care in the US, the disparities that Obamacare was intended to remedy, and the fundamental social dynamics such as gendered roles (think male doctors, female nurses) that hold the status quo in place. Students also will begin developing some of the key leadership competencies needed by health care professionals, as defined by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership, which includes team leadership and participation, understanding the dynamics and culture of the organization in which you work, self-confidence, analytic thinking and relationship building.

Science Advocacy: Leading Change With and Against the Tide

Taught by: Cherie Ramirez
Climate change. Engineered crops. Distrust of vaccines. How do you connect with a diverse audience to lead positive social change – especially with existing skepticism and sometimes hostility to, scientific ideas? In this course, students will have an opportunity to learn about, experiment with, and practice using tools to share scientific evidence with a variety of audiences through spoken and written media, including visual arts, editorials, policy briefs and news stories. This course is appropriate for students of any major who have an interest and passion for science and who have a desire to promote positive change through science.

Leading Quietly

Taught by: Mary Shapiro
When asked to name leaders, very likely we 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? Together we'll broaden the definition of leadership by looking at quiet leader role models (such as Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Emma Watson) and you'll discover how you've already led but may just have not labeled it ‘leading'. You'll build skills to get your ideas heard; to negotiate conditions that enable you to make your best contributions in teams, clubs and the classroom; and to manage the perceptions of others so that they see: yes-- leadership can be done quietly!

Brave New Words: Reading and Writing for Environmental Justice

Taught by: Lauren Rizzuto
In a time of accelerating climate crisis, our world needs leaders for environmental justice. My proposed Leadership Course asks students to take up this mantle. We will ask, what is the role of the humanities in addressing environmental issues and in forming possible solutions? To answer, students will turn to the writings of classic and contemporary thinkers, like William Apess, Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Wangari Maathai, and Louise Erdrich. Just as others have used the written word to advance social change of real, observable consequence, students will practice leading others, through their words, to environmental activism in the Simmons and greater Boston community.

Women Leading Women Toward Education Across the Globe

Taught by: Kristin Nelson
In this course, students will reflect on and plan their own educational paths as they think about developing themselves as leaders. They will do this work as they examine the paths and obstacles to educating women across the globe and study the leadership of such contemporary women as Michelle Bachelet, Malala Yousafzai, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Julia Gillard, Erna Solberg and so many more.

Environmental Leadership in the 21st Century

Taught by: Zinnia Mukherjee
Rising global temperature, marine pollution, depletion of freshwater sources and extinction of endangered species will be some of the major global challenges of the 21st century. Yet, appropriate actions toward environmental protection are often delayed because of lack of effective environmental leadership. This course will explore the role of environmental leadership at various levels in tackling major environmental challenges of the 21st century. Specifically, we will ask: what role can individuals and families play in providing community leadership to generate better environmental outcomes? Can students provide leadership in turning their college campuses greener? Can countries lead each other to adopt greener practices?

We Could Be Heroes!

Taught by: Kat Michael
In this course we will examine the correlations between superheroes and leadership in an effort to question how we view leaders. This examination will then be applied to how we view ourselves as leaders and how this leadership can be built upon by exploring theoretical leadership models as well as social justice rhetoric. By utilizing media analysis of comic books and film, individual reflection, and small/large group discussions you will be able to individually craft your own understanding of superhero leadership and how you personally situate in that understanding. By the end of class, you should be able to articulate your own personal strengths and values of leadership, ultimately viewing yourself as your own brand of superhero.

When Should We Follow? When Should We Refuse?

Taught by: Diane Grossman
When we think of history and politics, we often think in terms of ‘leaders.' Who won a battle? Who was president at the time? Who led the civil rights movement? These are typical questions that seem to presuppose that we know what and who leaders are, and that we prize the concept of leadership. Even Simmons has "branded" itself on the idea that we help to create the next generation of leaders. But, more recently, there has been a new discussion about "followership." Perhaps we can't all be leaders. Perhaps we don't want to be leaders. But, except for the most isolated hermit, everyone will—inevitably—find themselves in a group where they follow. Typically, following has had a negative connotation, and in this course we will certainly examine—through theory and dramatic real-life cases—the downside of following. But how does one become a principled follower? Or, as some put it, a "courageous follower"? Are people naturally leaders or followers? Can we teach appropriate obedience as well as disobedience? These are the sorts of questions we will be asking in this course. Looking at these issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective, we will use philosophy, history, social psychology, anthropology, and media to try to better understand the dynamics of groups and of followers specifically. In addition, the most recent presidential election raised new questions and concepts of leadership that we will study in this class. We will also ask what role race, class, and gender, among other aspects of identity, play in these processes.

Women Writers As Leaders

Taught by: Valerie Geary
In this literature-based course we will explore the power of the pen as it pertains to some of the earliest leaders in the feminist movement: the courageous writers who tossed aside societal and conventional norms, often at great personal cost, in order to have their voices heard. We will span generations and geography in order to survey a vast array of writing themes, styles, and genres particular to the experiences of women in the world around them as they strive to inspire, cultivate, and lead social change. We will discuss several different genres, including fiction, poetry, essays, and memoir, among others.

Leadership and Health: Making The Connections

Taught by: Jodi Delibertis
Leadership is essential to transforming health and healthcare in the 21st century. And leaders play a vital role in the role in promoting (or harming) the health of their followers. Starting from the premise that both health and leadership are socially determined, this course will explore the multiple connections between the two concepts. Using a variety of leadership models, we will examine historical notions of leadership and health and interrogate leadership in practice by looking at various leaders in recent history. Student will also focus on their own personal development in the role of a leader.

Boston Women Leaders

Taught by: Erin Decurtis
This course will explore women leaders in Boston. The course will identify trends common to these women leaders as well as the unique 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.

Who's Holding The Megaphone?

Taught by: Ellen Davidson
This course will give first year students the opportunity to investigate intersecting historical and current social justice movements based on their own interests. We will explore the benefits and challenges of collaborative leadership and more authoritarian leadership. We will consider the dynamics of working for your own rights versus working for the rights of others. We will consider the role of demographics in these groups in terms of overall membership and emergent leadership. We will consider the dynamics of working for your own rights versus working for the rights of others.

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.

Inspirational Leaders in Healthcare: From Florence Nightingale to Paul Farmer

Taught by: Laura Rossi
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.