The Athena Center for Leadership Studies Presents Fall 2016 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



Presidential Debate Watch and Discussion with Marie Wilson, Erin Vilardi and Dr. Heather Hurwitz


Why has it taken us until 2016 to have a woman candidate for President of the US? Come watch this historic presidential debate. Join in a dynamic discussion on this is momentous occasion, contributing to what it means for women and feminists, and the impact for women leaders of the next generation. The discussion will be led by Marie C. Wilson of the Ms. Foundation and The White House Project, Erin Vilardi of VoteRunLead and Athena Center Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Heather Hurwitz.  The discussion will continue on twitter during the debate @Barnard_Athena.

Dinner will be served.

Date: Monday, September 26, 2016 Time: 7::30pm–10:30pm Location: Diana LL103


Design Thinking and Innovation with Sheida Jafari 

A friendly, interactive crash course in human-centered design. The fundamental goal of the class is to cultivate the creative, synthetic, and divergent thinking that is the hallmark of innovative leadership.

Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: Diana LL104

Sheida Jafari embodies the digital nomad, traveling over 1 million miles in the last years for Adar Partners, a Design Strategy Firm structuring campaigns in the entertainment, media, technology and travel/hospitality sectors.  Jafari credits her practice of Design Thinking and honing of Innovation Processes for a diverse and vital career.  She has provided strategic guidance to Fortune 500 CEOs. designed lifestyle guides for digital agencies, curated immersive spaces, and designed experiences geared towards cultivating self-management and discovery. An external, practical systems builder, Jafari strategizes for companies and initiatives that value joy, human dignity and curiosity. ​


The Power of Diversity in Leadership with Krishan Abeyatunge  

Why can teams of people find better solutions than brilliant individuals working alone? Learn and develop leadership tools that utilize social location to tap into the power of teamwork and community. Students will find that by expressing and then drawing upon the very qualities that make each of us unique, we find novel and nuanced solutions.

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2016 Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: Diana LL104


Who is a Social Entrepreneur and How Will They Change the World? With Tolu Olubunmi 

The fusion of private sector techniques with the passion to solve social problems is what is making a new wave of entrepreneurs the most influential people on the planet. By developing innovative business models that blend traditional capitalism with solutions that address the long-term needs of our planet, they are tackling chronic social problems, ranging from healthcare delivery in sub-Saharan Africa to agricultural transformation in East Asia and public-school funding in the United States. With Tolu Olubunmi

Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: Diana 203


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?

Date: Thursday, October 6, 2016 Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: Diana LL104

LAURA ANNE EDWARDS is an award-winning expert on the premium content eco-system working with Tier1 mobile carriers, film & television studios and digital platforms (Activision, FX Networks, Marvel, Cadillac). She produced the first HD content on Amazon,  and Dilbert  video apps, as well as global summits for the Writer’s Guild and Academy Awards (LMS Reel). Recently, Head of Global Media & Brand Strategy for Unreasonable at Sea, and educational content strategy for XPRIZE.


Resilience in Work and Life: Overcome Obstacles to Your Success with Caroline Ceniza-Levine 

Ideally, you want to be so prepared you don’t need to worry about resilience – you know how to focus, to muster peak performance at will, to maintain your energy. But sometimes you need to be resilient in the moment – to recover from a misstep at a meeting or a shaky start to a presentation. You also need to maintain your resilience in the long-term – market conditions change, your needs and goals become more demanding, you have more obligations vying for your time. Learn strategies to prepare for big events so you perform at your best. Learn how to recover if things do go wrong. Learn how to become more resilient day-to-day to achieve success despite change and challenging conditions.

Date: Thursday, October 13, 2016 Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: Diana LL104


Keeping Your $20s in Your 20s with Galia Gichon 

Are you looking to learn how to make smart financial decisions but don't know how to start?  Come to this two-hour workshop to learn the basics of money management—sound tips and tactics for saving your money and the knowledge, tools, and good habits needed to make educated and responsible financial decisions for your 20s, 30s and beyond!

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: Diana LL104


Discover Your Entrepreneurial Spirit with Nathalie Molina Niño 

Entrepreneurs are people who think out of the box and make their own rules. But where do they begin? Does becoming an entrepreneur require specific expertise, innate skills, gall, or luck? In this workshop we'll introduce the principles, skills and ideas that it takes to be successful in the startup world.  You will learn how to harness entrepreneurial spirit—the ability to be flexible, persistent and adaptable—in every aspect of your life. Spoiler alert: you've already got all the skills you need!

Date: Monday, October 24, 2016 Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: Diana LL103

Nathalie Molina Niño is an impact investor focused on making a catalytic impact on women in the world. A technologist and coder by training, she’s a consummate entrepreneur, and a storyteller at heart, passionate about telling the often untold stories of women change-makers.​


What Does Wall Street Do and How does it Affect Me with Ita Ekpoudom 

Following markets, trading stocks, hedge funds and “financial gurus” that give advice all seem like mysterious workings to the general population. Meanwhile, Wall Street trades on global resources and pensions without the watchful eye of a public who trusts them with such extraordinary power. This session is dedicated to demystifying wall street and providing a basic primer for students so that they may, at least, bear witness to the conversation.

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm Location: Diana 203


Feminist Field Trip to the UN 

On Friday October 28, 2016 from approximately 10:30am-5pm you are invited to travel to the United Nations for a unique off-campus leadership lab and networking opportunity. The excursion is three parts: a tour of the UN, a briefing with the US Mission, and a presentation from UN Women about their work to end gender inequality globally. Participants are expected to listen actively and ask questions, practice networking skills during the trip, and write up a brief reflection after the excursion. Please wear business-casual attire (no jeans or sneakers). Space is limited. Please apply only if you are sure that you can attend. The trip is free and open to all students, except each student is responsible for subway fare. Dr. Heather Hurwitz will lead the trip and travel with the group. Apply here: Application deadline is September 23rd. 

Date: Friday, October 28, 2016 Time: 10:30pm–5:00pm Location: Meeting location will be provided to applicants upon their selection 


Fundraising for Social Good

If you plan to work in a nonprofit, start your own social venture, or be part of the political or financial world then becoming an effective fundraiser is key. In this workshop, you will learn proven fundraising techniques from two seasoned nonprofit fundraising professionals, gain a better understanding of how fundraising skills can improve your organization’s chance of success, and discover how these skills can enhance your success as a leader. You will learn about the ecosystem of support that exists for small-scale social ventures and what it is like to work in the nonprofit and social impact arena.
Please note: Limited space at this workshop. Preference goes to Athena Scholars who are Seniors and then first-come first-served.

Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Time: 6:60pm-8:30pm Location: Mehlor Parlor, Elliot Hall

Tracey is the Executive Director of The Resolution Project, an organization that provides seed-funding, mentorship, and advisory services to undergraduate social entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Resolution, Tracey served as Executive Director of StreetWise Partners, an organization offering unique career mentoring and professional development services to individuals with multiple barriers to employment. There she restructured, refocused, and improved operations to increase effectiveness and deepen impact; improved methods for evaluating organizational effectiveness; revitalized the volunteer base and strengthened volunteer training, support, and leadership opportunities; stabilized and increased funding; and initiated the organization’s first formal strategic planning process in 17 years to guide future direction and decisions.

Victoria Gordon is the Chief of Staff at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Victoria has nearly ten years experience in operations, development, and event management working for organizations including The Resolution Project, Room to Grow, Community Renewal Team and the Wildlife Conservation Society. She has a background in international relations and a passion for working with young people committed to social change and social progress.



 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 by Date HERE.



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