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Athena Center for Leadership Studies

301 Barnard Hall
646-810-3944 (fax)

Director: Kathryn Kolbert
Program Director, Athena Scholars Program: Abigail Sara Lewis

Faculty Advisory Committee: Alexander Cooley (Political Science), Flora S. Davidson (Political Science and Urban Studies), Alan Dye (Economics), Kimberley Johnson (Political Science and Urban Studies), Debra Minkoff (Sociology), Rosalind Rosenberg (History), and David Weiman (Economics)

The Athena Center for Leadership Studies


The Athena Center for Leadership Studies was created to explore how women lead and how gender affects leadership styles and strategies. Its interdisciplinary, innovative undergraduate program, the Athena Scholars Program, combines rigorous academic and experiential study which help students prepare to assume positions of leadership at the highest levels of achievement.

Athena Scholars Program

Barnard students of any major may participate in the Athena Scholars Program; the declaration of intent must be filed by the Spring of sophomore year. Participation in the Athena program does not constitute a major. Rather, completion of the program is typically done in conjunction with the College’s general educational and the student’s major requirements. Students who complete the program receive recognition on their transcripts indicating their standing as an Athena Leadership Scholar. Special opportunities, including fellowships and mentoring, are available to Athena Scholars.

Student Developmental Goals

The Athena Scholars Program aspires to develop leaders who are:

  • Visionary
  • Courageous and resilient
  • Bold and innovative
  • Globally aware and culturally sensitive
  • Determined to make the world a better place

Athena leaders embrace diversity and encourage other women to lead.

Student Learning Outcomes

Athena Scholars Program participants will develop and enhance the above developmental goals through the following learning objectives:

  • Identify and communicate the importance of women’s leadership to an increasingly global, diverse and interconnected world.
  • Think and write critically about gendered institutions, theories, and strategies, and how they affect leadership.
  • Integrate theoretical frameworks on women and leadership with skills learned in the Athena Leadership Lab while completing an internship.
  • Interpret the historical, social, economic and cultural influences that have shaped, and continue to shape, women’s advancement, including (but not limited to) politics, family, business, and social reform.
  • Apply concepts or methods from more than one social science, humanities, or adjacent discipline to analyze gendered leadership styles and strategies.
  • Communicate ideas effectively in writing and oral presentations.
  • Design, execute and present a social action project.