Women's Leadership Center

The Women's Leadership Center (WLC) at Alfred University was established in 2006 and is a part of the Judson Leadership Center. The WLC provides leadership education and skills development for AU's women.

Building on Alfred University's heritage as the first truly co-educational institution in the nation, the Women's Leadership Center offers women the opportunity to explore and fulfill their potential as leaders personally, professionally, and in their communities as they meet the challenges in a complex society.

The WLC provides a broad spectrum of programs and services for AU and the surrounding community. A sampling includes:

Pamela Lavin Bernstein Women of Influence Speaker Series: Each year, the Women’s Leadership Center hosts several high profile speakers to discuss topics related to leadership, women, career strategies, or social/global issues. Our speakers are at the top of their game, and represent all fields of human endeavor. Contact us to find out who is coming this year!

Women’s Leadership Academy: A credit-bearing intensive leadership development experience for selected students. Academy members have special opportunities, such as field trips, conferences, professional mentors, leadership internships, and sponsored research. The Bernstein Leadership Award is available to members of the Women’s Leadership Academy, and provides assistance for students to attend professional conferences or to serve unpaid internships which substantively support career preparation and leadership growth. The Academy is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors, although applications from second-semester first-year students are welcome. Students of any gender identity are welcome to apply! Acceptance to the Academy is selective and includes an interview process.

WLC Research Award: The WLC Research Award is made available to students (undergraduate and graduate level) to pursue academic research on topics related to women’s issues, gender or women’s leadership.

Alpha Kappa Omicron Awards: Made possible through the support of alumnae sisters of AKO, the AKO Leadership Awards recognize two women students for their achievements in personal and campus leadership. The AKO Achievement Award acknowledges excellent academic performance by a sophomore woman; the AKO Social Change Leadership Award honors a junior-level woman for her leadership through a campus organization.

Women in leadership roles confront particular challenges, and The Academy is designed to help students build knowledge, sharpen skills, and expand options in their leadership responsibilities. The Women’s Leadership Academy encourages students to explore theories of leadership, study how gender roles (and rules) affect leadership, and practice leadership in meaningful ways. Membership to the WLA is selective, but students of all gender identities are welcome to apply.

The Women’s Leadership Academy offers these benefits to members:

  • Gain a better understanding of yourself and your skills, interests and goals;
  • Devise a mission statement for your own leadership growth to match your professional and personal goals.
  • Acquire personal and team-based skills that are essential to success in any field.
  • Manage a significant service-leadership project as your capstone experience.
  • Study contemporary and classical leadership theories and clarify your own leadership values.
  • Explore how gender, power, economic status, race, nationality, and other factors create opportunities and challenges for leadership.
  • Participate in field trips or exchange programs with other women’s leadership initiatives at regional colleges and universities
  • Special grants from the Bernstein Leadership Award to attend student leadership conferences, or serve paid leadership internships.
  • Participate in exclusive conversations and events with special guests of the WLC.
  • Build strong relationships with mentors specially matched to your interests and goals.
  • Develop lasting relationships with other Academy students and alumnae.

Requirements of the Academy

Please note that the requirements may be completed throughout your matriculation at Alfred University.

Academic Requirements

"Gender and Leadership" course (2 credits, offered Fall semesters)
"Women's Leadership Academy Practicum" course (2 credits, offered Spring semesters)
Two elective courses as approved by the Women's Leadership Academy Director

Practice-Based Requirements

WLA students will complete a leadership capstone project which takes place during the Spring course (WGST 475).

Apply to the WLA

The WLC is a grateful recipient of a research gift from Ms Sherry Walton ('80, '88) and Mr. Charlie Joyce. The Research in Women's Leadership Endowment at Alfred University is created to provide support for research initiatives at the Women's Leadership Center (WLC). The goal of this endowment is two-fold:

  1. To provide students with hands-on experience with the full spectrum of academic research into women's leadership issues, and
  2. To provide a signature program for women's leadership at Alfred University.

Previous research has included sexual harassment and wage inequity, both of which were sponsored in part by the American Association of University Women.

Future Research topics may include:

  • History of women’s leadership at AU
  • Develop core competencies matrix of women’s leadership
  • Develop a coherent theory of women’s leadership
  • The intersection of creativity, intuition and leadership
  • Inequity in education administration
  • Impact of leadership training on career choice and efficacy
  • How a weak economy impacts family dynamics when women, due to the nature of their employment, assume greater economic leadership
  • Super-girl syndrome
  • Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields and leadership training

Alpha Kappa Omicron was an AU sorority from 1944 to 2003. Its guiding principles: equity, diversity, service and academic excellence. The AKO Leadership Awards are made possible by the generous gifts from the AKO alumnae sisterhood.