Story by Beth LeValley
In fall 2014, the leadership concentration will add a new class, “Many Women, Many Leaders.”
After mulling over the idea of creating a class on women leaders for some time, student Allie Quinn created the curriculum and syllabus as an independent study project.
Professor Jennifer Harvey of the religion department took interest in the class and will be teaching it in the fall.
“I think students will gain an appreciation for diverse kinds of leadership. I talk a lot about structures in my classes now, and these social structures make women leadership challenging. The goal is to get both men and women to develop strategies to help take down these structures,” Harvey said.
Harvey’s focus is on Christian ethics and how that leads to racism, classism and sexism and the different responses that challenge those structures.
In this class, Harvey will take those ideas and use a woman’s perspective to discuss the structures of power, class and expertise.
While Harvey has never taught a leadership course before, she is willing to accept the challenge.
“I’m excited to expand my own knowledge on not only women’s studies, but also on leadership. I’ve got five months to learn about leadership and get the class ready,” Harvey said.
In preparation for this class, both Quinn and Harvey have done extensive research.
The class will include TED Talks, books and articles about women leaders in society for a basis of discussions.
“Since I’m a student myself, I know that people learn different ways and interpret different messages from the same source. I didn’t want to have students just reading out of a textbook,”Quinn said.
Because Quinn plans to go to law school next year, she will not be in the class, but she hopes to make several visits back to see how it’s going.
“If I were younger, I would want to take the class,” Quinn said. “It’s two of my passions combined together, and it’s definitely unique to Drake.”
Throughout this experience, Quinn has been able to see different perspectives of creating a class.
“Drake is open to student initiatives, and you’re able to affect your own education. I’m able to tailor my own education and experience and share my ideas with people,” Quinn said. “It was cool to experience what professors do, too. I’m not planning on teaching at all, but I’m very interested in the process.”
Raquel Rivera, president of the Student Leadership Advisory Board, commends the women’s leadership class and hopes it will bring more people to the leadership concentration.
“The goal of this class is to reach a new audience and explore the leaders of our society. We learn a lot about the tactics of leadership, but we have never had a class focusing on the leaders,” Rivera said. “It empowers women and it will start to broaden their thought process.”
Students interested in the class can sign up for it during registration.
The course is an upper-level cross with the leadership concentration and women’s studies.
There are no prerequisites. The course is listed as LEAD 199 or WS 145 and will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3:15 p.m.