Women’s Global Leadership Celebration Meets Smith in the World
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 14:10
Smith hosted its annual Smith in the World conference in combination with the Women’s Global Leadership Celebration. The events, held together for the first time, highlighted the accomplishments of various students and alumnae across the globe.
“[Smith in the World] is part of the larger Women’s Global Leadership Celebration this year,” said Event Coordinator Stacie Hagenbaugh. “I think [it] allows the alumnae and trustees who are back on campus to really see the impact that they have on students and the wonderful work that students do off campus for internships, community experiences and study abroad.”
The experiences presented varied from students who had spent time a few states away – such as Jane Ramsey ’13, who spent two and a half months in Sarasota, Fla., working in a marine laboratory – to those who were whole countries away from home – such as Kayla Clark ’14, who spent a summer in San Pedro, Belize, teaching children about environment preservation.
The College also announced the launch of the $450 million fundraising campaign called “Women for the World: The Campaign for Smith.” The campaign aims to provide a greater financial aid endowment to the college. The combined events brought on an unexpected increase in attendance.
“Last year Smith in the World was hosted on a weekday evening after classes,” said Glendean Hamilton ’13. “Parents and students came out to support their friends, but having this as a part of the larger conference has allowed there to be a larger turnout. My room that I just moderated was standing room only. We were bringing in chairs and even the chairs we were bringing in weren’t enough. It was a phenomenal turnout.”
The students presenting felt the added pressure of having more alumnae at the event.
“On one level, it’s a little intimidating,” said Ramsey. “I don’t know what the people in the room are aware of and what their experiences are. On the other hand, it was really nice to share and to say thank you to people who have possibly contributed to my experience, especially through Praxis.”
The students who came to listen were there for multiple reasons. “It motivated me to take advantage of all the things we have at Smith,” said Annika Amstutz ’13. “And [the experiences they had] impressed me.”
The many alumnae in attendance were also impressed with the student presentations.
“The students are really taking advantage of what the college has to offer,” said Maggie Dufresne-Amatori ’78. “Events like [this one] give me an opportunity to say ‘Wow.’ We have to continue to offer talented young women the same opportunities that I had or that more recent alumnae are still living.”
Although the event was a success, Hagenbaugh said that combining the Global Leadership weekend and Smith in the World would not happen again next year.
“I think that this is a special event designed specifically as part of the college’s campaign,” Hagenbaugh said. “Smith in the World is an annual event. It’s a very powerful experience that allows students to not only hear from other students, but for the community as a whole to understand the powerful learning that happens outside the classroom as well as in it.”
The Smith in the World event continues to grow as a tremendous opportunity for students to share their off-campus experiences with not only Smith alumnae and students, but also members of the Northampton community.
“This absolutely is my favorite [event],” Hagenbaugh said. “I plan a lot of events as director of the Lazarus Center, but this event I think allows the larger community to really hear from students. There’s nothing more powerful than for a student to give that information and that reflection to the community.”