My Simmons

Leadership Course

Spring 2022

HON-101-01 Women Writers as Leaders (Honors)

Instructor: Valerie Geary
T/TH 11:00 – 12:20

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.

HON-101-02 Coach Approach to Leadership (Honors)

Instructor: Spela Trefalt
T/TH 12:30 – 1:50

Figuring out what you want to do “when you grow up”? Looking for a meaningful job that you enjoy? Trying to spend time on things that matter to you rather than on things you get sucked in? Coaching can help with all these goals and many more. This course makes central coaching as a partnership between a coach and a coachee in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the coachee to maximize their personal and professional potential. While today many individuals serve as professional coaches or use coaching practices as part of their approach to managing people, coaching is also an approach to leadership with a lowercase l – motivating people to reach valuable goals. We will focus on developing coaching skills through peer coaching, where individuals of equal status support each other’s personal and professional development goals. You will learn how to coach and you will benefit from coaching as well.

HON-101-03 Crusaders, Campaigners, and Con-Artists: Political Leadership on Film and TV (Honors)

Instructor: Rachel Gans-Boriskin
T/TH 12:30 – 1:50

From Academy Award winning/nominated films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Manchurian Candidate, Being There, and Dave to Emmy Award winning television programs like The West Wing, Veep, and House of Cards, tales of politicians and power have long been a staple of American entertainment. These stories, complete with high stakes and intrigue, both reflect and shape how Americans view politics, politicians, and political leadership. In this class, students will view American political media texts from 9 decades, analyzing the depictions, placing them in their historical contexts, and identifying who is and is not represented within them. Students will reflect on the ways in which media depictions of political leadership have helped shape their own views of politics and consider the kinds of depictions that might help build a “more perfect union.”

LDR-101-01 Love Calls Us to the Things of this World

Instructor: Becky Thompson
T 11:00 – 1:50

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 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 oppressions.

LDR-101-02 Redefining Leadership Through Historical Review and Self-Discovery

Instructor: Mikel Satcher
T/TH 11:00 – 12:20

Through a limited review of leadership theory and the leadership practices of contemporary and historical figures–such as Naomi Osaka, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Lewis, Malala Yousafzai, Harvey Milk, Alexandria Osasio-Cortes, Fannie Lou Hamer, Muhammad Ali, Greta Thunberg, Serena Williams, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.–this course will lead students into the self-discovery of their own leadership skills and styles which will be used to redefine leadership for themselves, create strategies for societal change, and assess how their newly discovered understanding of leadership might be applied to real case studies and hypothetical scenarios, some of which include the challenges of collaborative leadership in a community context.

LDR-101-03 African Resistance Movements

Instructor: Jessica Parr
TH 11:00 – 1:50

This course will use literature and film to reflect on resistance to colonization, beginning in the twentieth century. Topics will include anti-colonization movements, such as the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. This course will place a specific focus on Africa, and primarily on African women from the independence movements in the 1960’s onward.

LDR-101-04 Science and Society

Instructor: Matthew Schwartz
T/TH 11:00 – 12:20

This course will analyze the complex social and political issues that accompany scientific discovery. Students will examine leaders with different social identities who are helping to advance science for social good and will critique them based on different models of leadership. Students will also examine leaders who are using science to combat harms done by companies and governments and who are challenging conventional wisdom. Examples include Katherine Johnson, Mae Jemison, Barbara McClintock, Tyrone Hayes, Nguyen Viet Nhan, Mona Hanna-Attisha, and Nina Dudnik, among others.

LDR-101-05 Boston Women Leaders

Instructor: Erin DeCurtis
T/TH 11:00 – 12:20

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.

LDR-101-06 Black Leaders of the 20th Century

Instructor: Lena Zuckerwise
TH 11:00 – 1:50

This course aims to introduce students to the subject of leadership by attending to black politics in the 20th and 21st centuries. Through time, pundits, politicians, intellectuals, and others have often suggested that strong black leaders are the solutions to social and political problems, often associated with the black community. Why are leaders supposedly so central to dealing with these issues? Why are good leaders said to have particular relevance for African Americans, when the same is generally not the case for other populations and political struggles? Together in discussion this semester, we will critically consider this question and many others, exploring the types of leadership black activists have exercised; the lessons black leaders of the past might teach us about leadership today; and the gendered dimensions of black leadership, including the silencing and erasure of black women leaders.

LDR-101-07 Youth Leadership for Social Justice

Instructor: Meghan Doran
TH 3:00 – 5:50

Young people in schools and communities are often viewed at best as empty vessels to be filled and at worst as problems to be dealt with. And yet, time and again young people are at the forefront of movements for social justice, bringing new perspectives and energy to social problems. Drawing on insights from critical youth studies and youth development, this course will explore the promises and challenges of youth leadership, encouraging students to situate themselves as young change-makers.

LDR-101-08 Women with Words: Leadership through Writing

Instructor: Valerie Geary
T/TH 12:30 – 1:50

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.

LDR-101-09, LDR-101-10 Black Abolitionism: Then and Now

Instructor: Fiona Maurissette
W 11:00 – 1:50 (LDR-101-09)
TH 11:00 – 1:50 (LDR-101-10)

This course examines the various ways Black abolitionists shaped the American anti-slavery movement and how their rhetorical and embodied tactics influence prison abolitionists today. We will look closely at racial solidarity within the anti-slavery movement to better understand how to create inclusive activist spaces. In addition, we will identify key leadership strategies from the anti-slavery movement that students believe can help change our contemporary socio-political landscape.

LDR-101-11, LDR-101-12 The Call of Leaders

Instructor: Rich Canedo
T/TH 11:00 – 12:30 (LDR-101-11)
T/TH 12:30 – 1:50 (LDR-101-12)

Anyone can make a call for action — but why should anyone follow that call? Indeed, the one requirement for any leader is to have followers. What, however, is their relationship? These three entities — leaders, followers, and their relationship — are the focus of this course as seen through a series of case studies. From Native American sachem Ninagret, to abolitionist John Brown, from birth control advocate Margaret Sanger to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and others, leaders have always struggled not only with opposition, but with what call their supporters might follow. Students will have the chance in this course to pursue their own interests in seeking understanding of the complicated relationship among leaders, their calls, and their followers.

LDR-101-13, LDR-101-14 Leadership Through Storytelling

Instructor: Farooz Rather
T/TH 11:00 – 12:30 (LDR-101-13)
T/TH 12:30 – 1:50 (LDR-101-14)

This course is designed to help students sharpen their writing and reading skills in a way so that they could be used as effective tools for leadership. We’ll read a diverse selection of literary texts that stir significant social debate. Our focus is the writing strategies that the authors of these texts use to persuade their audiences into believing their (and often suppressed) side of the story. We’ll also probe the personal lives of these authors. And having learnt how they employ personal narratives to reflect on their social identity, and to state their position about a public debate, we’ll pen our own opinion pieces. Our goal is to use our voice and storytelling skills to lead our audience into thoughtful reflection and, hopefully, action. Throughout the course—and especially in the team project—we will reflect on our own leadership skills and capabilities, including how our leadership is framed by social projections and conditions related to our identities. One of the many questions we’ll raise and attempt to answer is: Is writing a particularly effective tool of leadership/representation for those belonging to groups that have been silenced by the society and whose voices have not been heard?

LDR-101-15 Healthcare Leaders

Instructor: Todd Herrmann
T 11:00 – 1:50

Students exploring a career in some aspect of the healthcare system — whether in the delivery of services, public health, research, advocacy, or management — are encouraged to consider this course section. We will study a variety of contemporary health care leaders and the principles that have guided their career paths. Students will have the opportunity to examine and discuss issues of interest facing the health care sector. Students will assess their leadership readiness using a health career competency model along multiple dimensions that address teamwork, self-confidence, and achievement orientation.

LDR-101-16 Leadership Through Crisis

Instructor: Rong Tang
TH 11:00 – 1:50

This Leadership Course focuses on developing students’ leadership skills when facing a crisis, whether social, public health, or financial.  Leadership Through Crisis examines how various styles and approaches of leadership are enacted during a crisis, and encourages students to reflect on how they think of themselves as leaders. The course enables students to develop skills of team leadership and new leadership models when facing crises and challenges. 

LDR-101-17 Breaking the Status Quo: Leadership that Defies Norms

Instructor: Julia Hvoslef
T 11:00 – 1:50

This course examines leadership development through the Leadership for Liberation framework. Utilizing the lived experiences of historical and contemporary intersectional feminist figures, such as Rigoberta Menchu, Jody Williams, Angela Davis and more, we will explore and come to understand how we can use our varying identities to become agents of social change in our communities, and redefine how we perceive and experience leadership. We will analyze how race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and other identities impact leadership and the spaces through which we navigate on a daily basis.

LDR-101-18 Strengths-Based Conflict Resolution

Instructor: Renique Kersh
T/W 6:00 – 7:20 PM

Effective leaders must leverage their strengths to manage conflict. Understanding and applying your skills in conflict situations will impact how you engage with peers and team members. Whether you are on the executive board of a student organization, a Resident Assistant or a peer leader, your ability to manage conflict directly impacts your ability to positively influence others. This course will be highly engaging incorporating multiple scenarios and case studies that require students to put themselves in the role of leader and team member. Scenarios will be based on topics such as roommate conflicts, leading difficult and disjointed teams and navigating conflicts that occur based on competing priorities. Students who take this course may also have an opportunity to become part of a future peer mediator program.