Leadership is a constant theme and emphasis at CMC. One way CMC emphasizes leadership is through the Athenaeum Speaker Series ( www.cmc.edu/mmca), which enables CMC students to dine with leaders from a wide range of fields every weeknight during the academic year. Recent speakers have included authors, activists, entrepreneurs, scientists, professors, politicians, and more. If you could invite anyone to speak at the Athenaeum, who would you choose and why? Please limit your response to no more than 300 words.
The Parks and Recreation star’s blonde locks and petite stature may be that of the quintessential Hollywood darling, but Amy Poehler is anything but. After becoming the first woman to ever become a full cast member of Saturday Night Live in her first season, she quickly became a fan favorite due to her quick wit and impeccable impersonations. It is undeniable—Poehler is hilarious and would keep the Athenaeum laughing all night long. Most importantly to me, however, is the fact that Poehler hasn’t put her career on hold since her marriage or the birth of her children. Instead, as a working woman, she serves as an inspiration for countless young women hoping to join the male-dominated comedy industry. Additionally, Poehler recently has begun producing Smart Girls at the Party, a web series aimed at girls that encourages them to follow their own unique paths and “change the world by being yourself.” This message may sound cliché and trite, but the videos Poehler stars in really hit home when she interviews young girls on their passions, ranging from robotics to yoga, without a hint of condescension. Poehler recognizes the value in encouraging girls and making sure they know that their passions are valuable. This focus and celebration of their achievements is a refreshing breath of fresh air in our culture that is saturated with gender roles and pretenses. Amy Poehler is a trailblazer for women, a leader in her industry who is unconcerned with traditional hierarchies and more concerned with lifting up others, and whom I would love to hear speak at the Athenaeum.