The Athena Center for Leadership Studies Presents Spring 2017 Leadership Labs

A low-pressure, high return conversation with leading experts who will sharpen your skills and hone your passions.

The Labs are free and open to all Barnard students.  Based on our AthenaCORE10, they are unique to Barnard and gives students an edge for success.  


Click on the link below to secure your spot! We will send a confirmation email and reminders. 

For more information, contact



Communicating For Impact In The Age Of Digital Storytelling with Barbara Greene

Attention has become a precious currency in an age when many people would prefer not to read books, engage in critical thinking or focus on anything longer than a SnapChat video. How can anyone capture hearts and minds in a world increasingly driven by internet memes? And, surely, these same memes wouldn’t be welcome in most business settings.

The answer is as old as the history of mankind: Storytelling.

This interactive workshop examines the 6 fundamental building blocks of dynamic communication and demonstrates how people can use them to influence other people in a meaningful way. Students will be able to take away communication tips, techniques and strategies they can put into action immediately. And, they will learn that stories are the emotional adhesive that binds people together. Words arranged in familiar patterns strike an emotional chord and inspire collective action, even in the most formal business setting. We will look at several persuasive communicators and the kinds of stories they tell. Students also will learn how to craft a narrative that compels audiences to pay attention, see content in a new light and take purposeful action.

Do you have the stories you need to communicate with impact? Come and find out!

Date: Monday, January 30, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: 504 Diana


Determining What’s Next: Carving A Clear Path To Achieving Your Goals with Alexis Sclamberg   

College students are often confronted with the nagging question, “what are you doing after graduation?” This lab will help you formulate a plan of action that will leave you clear and excited about your next moves. Discover concrete steps to access your intuition, conceptualize and actualize goals, uncover buried possibilities, make thoughtful decisions, and identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Using visualization, intention setting, laser coaching, and engaging personal and group work, you will leave feeling confident about making your goals a reality.

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: LL104 Diana

Alexis is a personal growth writer, speaker and the co-founder of Borrowed Wisdom, a company that offers online programs to inspire and empower individuals to manifest a life they love. A former lawyer, Alexis has been called the “manifestation master of her generation” and is known for taking the woo-woo out of the law of attraction and breaking down complex scientific facts into simple tools for manifestation. She is at work on her first book, Love Magnet, and is the co-creator and host of the Borrowed Wisdom interview series. Alexis contributes personal essays to publications including Cosmopolitan, Forbes, and The Huffington Post, and has been featured on the radio, including NPR. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


Innovative Tools For Social Impact with Garance Choko

This workshop is designed for students who are dedicated to bring about ethical social change domestically and abroad.

During this intensive hands-on session, students will learn how to apply cutting-edge design and systems thinking tools such as participatory design, power mapping and rapid prototyping, to expose complex social realities and appropriately define social impact. Using ongoing development projects as case studies, students will map the interrelated factors that perpetuate social and economic inequality and develop a series of pathways that could positively and sustainably impact targeted communities. 

This workshop positions students as practitioners, providing them with tangible techniques to becoming responsible change makers. 

Garance is a social entrepreneur, international system builder and innovation strategist currently residing in New York City. She is the founder of Coda, a global network of grassroots problem solvers exchanging how-tos across continents. Born and raised in Paris, France, she started her career as a concert pianist at the age of 3. Later, when she moved to the United States to continue her performance studies, she pursued her passion for political theory and design practices. She has designed organizational structures, national and local health care systems, educational programs, impact evaluations and poverty relief strategies for institutions, corporations and governments in Africa, Europe, the United States and the Caribbean. She earned a Master of Public Administration from Cornell University.

Date: Monday, February 6, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: 504 Diana


Make Your Money Work For You: Investing For College Students with Galia Gichon

Want to successfully tackle your financial future? Then, this is the lab for you! It’s not too early to start thinking about how to grow your money - even if you don’t have any saved.  Does investing seem intimidating? It doesn’t have to be. Investments are the fuel we need to retire, buy a home and understand how our economy works and delaying financial literacy can cost you. It takes courage to learn about investing and mutual funds - especially if it is not your major nor planned line of work. This lab will leave you prepared to make smart decisions that can have significant impact on your wallet regardless of what career you choose.

Galia is an independent personal financial expert with over 18 years' experience in financial services, including nearly 10 years on Wall Street and an MBA in Finance. She is the Founder of “Down to Earth Finance” which offers individual sessions and seminars to address personal financial needs and concerns and the author of My Money Matters, a boxed set of financial cards with money affirmations, instant money tips and workbooks. In addition to being a Leadership Lab instructor, Galia has spoken at Pennsylvania, Texas, and Massachusetts Governors’ Conferences for Women, and is a frequent speaker at Freelancers Union. Before starting her own company, Galia worked at Bear Stearns, Nomura Securities, and Institutional Investor.

Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: 504 Diana


Talking About Yourself: Telling Your Own Leadership Story In A Strategic Way with Barbara Greene

A world of opportunity is open to those who are able to articulate an authentic vision of leadership. Yet many people – even those who speak comfortably on some of life’s most challenging topics – find it difficult to talk about what makes them authentically poised for leadership. Deeply intelligent people often struggle even to define their own value proposition.

Haruki Murakami, a great teller of stories, once said: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Come join us for a fun-filled session and find out why!

This interactive workshop will help students get more comfortable telling their own stories of leadership. In an age where controlling your own leadership narrative is a critical pathway to success, being able to identify the distinctive elements of that narrative is a valuable first step.

During this session, each student will begin to examine the unique bundle of qualities and skills that she possesses. We will call that bundle The Value Proposition That Opens The Pathway (VPOP). Students will learn a three-step process for articulating their own VPOP so that they can articulate it with confidence on the way to success. They also will learn how to develop a new vocabulary for describing themselves, and in the process, begin to craft a leadership narrative that compels the audiences they care about to embrace and act upon it.  

Who knows? What starts with sharing a VPOP may end up changing the world.

Date: Monday, February 13, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: 504 Diana


Changing The Face Of Leadership: Lessons From Women Who Are Rewriting The Rules with Cora Neumann

A critical look into how adaptive learning makes them some of the best leaders of our time. This will include a review of success and failure stories from female CEOs, politicians (secretaries of state, heads of state, first ladies), and creatives that illuminate how leadership is changing for the better.

For nearly 20 years, Cora has collaborated with local and national leaders in over 40 countries on strategies and programs to improve the lives of women and families. Cora is founder of the Global First Ladies Alliance, and served as a senior advisor under Secretary Clinton at the U.S. Department of State. She has worked for RAND Corporation, the Bush Institute,, the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Health Organization, and United Nations. Cora holds a doctorate in international development from the University of Oxford UK, and an MPH in global public health from Columbia University. She sits on numerous advisory committees, including the Institute for Global Engagement, Asian University for Women, WIE Africa, the Millennial Trains Project and Advanced Development for Africa.

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: 504 Diana


Work Smarter Not Harder with Laura Anne Edwards

Tips from the trenches on how to make the absolute most out of every job you ever have – even the pretty awful ones! What unexpected things can you learn? What relationships really matter? (Hint: it’s not just your boss!) What is the most important thing in THIS job? Is it money? Is it skills? Is it titles and SEO building? What are the unique power and perils of being a young woman in the workforce?

Laura is an award winning produce with deep expertise in production, technology and social enterprises. After many years in film and television both as a studio and indie producer, Laura’s had the opportunity to brand and launch cable networks, put on massive live events, serve on non-profit boards, go all in on some fin-tech startups (such as Airbank, 1Zone, Crowdfunder,) and be involved with a series of media first such as debuting hidef trailers on Amazon, and broadcasting the first live video game competition in the US. She’s passionate about digital and financial literacy for women and currently is participating in the first class of the TED Residency Program in NYC.

Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: 504 Diana


Getting in the Game: Finding Your Place in Civic Leadership with Erin Vilardi

Running for office is a great way to make an impact but can often feel overwhelming. So let's talk about the many ways you can shape your leadership and build your civic resume. Now more than ever, it is essential that women have a strong voice in the political arena. This lab will provide concrete ways to play a part in today's political discourse as well as how to pave the way for a future political office.  As young citizens, it is vital to become knowledgeable of how the system works, find meaningful ways to become active players, and advocate for ourselves and our communities.

Erin is the Founder and Director of VoteRunLead, a national organization leveraging technology and training to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. She first launched VRL as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, establishing the largest national political training program readying women for public office and civic life, training over 15,000 women. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for a range of clients, including the Yahoo! Business and Human Rights division and Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she co-developed the Athena CORE10©.

Date: Monday, February 27, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: 409 Barnard


Negotiating Your Worth with Caroline Ceniza-Levine

In this interactive workshop, recruiter, career coach, and Barnard alum Caroline Ceniza-Levine will cover:

·         the different components of a job offer

·         a 3-step process for negotiating

·         strategies for preparing for a salary negotiation

·         common mistakes to avoid

Through small group and partner exercises, participants will practice negotiating skills and get tips on how to continue developing these skills in the future. Bring your questions -- there will be ample time for Q&A!

Caroline is a career and business expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart®. Caroline has coached executives from Amazon, American Express, Condé Nast, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, Tesla and other leading firms. Prior to launching SixFigureStart® in 2008, Caroline spent 15 years in strategy consulting, executive search and HR. Caroline has been a repeat guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC and Fox Business and has been quoted in BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, MORE, Newsweek, NPR, Real Simple, and Success Magazine. Caroline is a career columnist for, and and formerly wrote for CNBC, and Portfolio. She is the author of 3 books: “Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career” (2015, Forbes); “Six Steps To Job Search Success” (2011, Flat World Knowledge); and “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” (2010, Two Harbors Press). Caroline is a Barnard College alumna and adjunct assistant professor at Columbia SIPA. A classically trained pianist at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, Caroline stays active in the arts, performing stand-up comedy. 

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2017  Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: 504 Diana




 Barnard College students can register for up to four (4) workshops a semester by clicking the workshop title/link.

This will take you to Eventbrite, an online registration system.

We recommend registering for Eventbrite for easy usage.

View Past Workshops HERE



Main Column 2 Copy