The Athena Scholars’ Program, which has been training select Barnard women for the highest levels of accomplishment during and after their time at Barnard, nurtures young women leaders as they prepare to enter all fields of human endeavor. It has graduated over 150 top leaders since its founding in 2010, attracting a diverse group by major, race, class, national origin, and sexual preference.
This distinguished three-part program, grounded in the most advanced leadership studies research, teaches Scholars the basics of being able to transform the world, mobilize support, and become effective change agents – in college and beyond. Our Scholars have gone on to pursue master’s degrees from top schools in their fields, ranging from public health, to law, to film. Past Scholars have worked in finance, nonprofit, at leading consulting agencies, on Capitol Hill, and started their own businesses, such as the popular beverage company, TIQO.
As Delaney Wing, an alumna of the program, says of her experience, “The Athena program really enabled me to believe in myself and to find my own self-worth. It gave me the tools to access my own talents and to really begin self-evaluating my skills as a leader, as a person, as a peer. It gave me a community of people who wanted to be leaders and going forward, I think having other women who are confident around me will really push me to be successful.”
Anna Dydzuhn, a fellow graduate of the program, puts it, “The biggest thing that I’m going to take away from my experience as an Athena scholar is the ability to look at an idea, something I want to implement that seems impossible, and really feel like I can do it.”
A student who completes all three of the program components – connecting gender and leadership theory through the required classes, learning practical skills through leadership labs, and gaining real-world experience through the practicum – is awarded the designation of Athena Scholar, which appears on her Barnard College transcript.
Athena Scholars benefit from special programming that enriches their college experience. The annual Scholar-Faculty dinners bring Scholars into conversation with distinguished faculty. Athena Scholars receive priority at all of the exciting Athena Center events, such as the Film Festival, TEDx, or Power Talks. Mixers such as the fall Ice Cream Social and the End of Year Party let Scholars bond with their dynamic peers and learn from friendships and connections with talented young women from other backgrounds with diverse interests. This network of gifted, accomplished young women accompanies our Athena Scholars into their post-graduation life, and provides invaluable support and mutual mentoring.