"Home Away from Home"


Welcoming Summer Institute’s Students… in PERSON!

Intercultural Affairs’ Director Alejandra Molina and Intercultural Affairs and LGBT+ Resource Center’s Associate Director E Tejada were thrilled to welcome this year’s Summer Institute students.

The Summer Institute sponsored Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Education Opportunity Grant Program, is a five-week intensive academic summer program required for all first-time enrolling Opportunity Program students.  IC welcomed and re-instated its support for a successful transition into HWS for this year’s SI students and for those of many years to come!  Our congratulations to the HEOP Director, Renee Grant, and Associate Director Edith Wormley for a successful Summer Institute that guarantees the success of its students.

Our Collaborative Meetings went Zoom!

As part of her campus and community involvement, Director Molina participated in meetings with members of the Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice Committee, the Service Learning Advisory Committee, and the Geneva 2030 Attendance Subcommittee. meetings during the academic year.  Despite the challenges sent the campus (and the Geneva) community’s way by the COVID-19 pandemic, these important committees continued their hard work via Zoom.  IC is very grateful to our colleagues who have, for many years, continued to help the Colleges and the Geneva community in their commitment to equity, social justice, civic engagement, and the educational advancement of Geneva’s students.

Ana Pichardo’s 08’s Omni Cultural TV Fest Welcomed our Students

Let’s hear what Ana Pichardo ’08 has to say about the festival and our students’ participation (Shayna Riggins ’22, Amanda Baum ’20, and Andrew Guedea ’22.)

“HWS was an amazing experience as it expanded my mind and helped me to strive for excellence.  As an undergraduate, I majored in Media and Society with a minor in Spanish.  After graduating I had the opportunity to work in various film festivals throughout New York City such as Tribeca Film Festival.  Currently, I work for the Omni Cultural TV Fest as a producer where I am responsible to seek sponsorship and partnerships for the festival.  As a result of Covid, we decided to have the festival virtually by using an interactive avatar platform rather than in person or via zoom. Our 2nd annual  Omni Cultural TV Fest in Partnership with the National Association of Television Producers (NATPE)  was held on December 8, 2020, and it was a huge success. The Omni Cultural TV Fest is a platform for independent producers to showcase their content and connect directly with buyers. I was compelled to share this experience with the younger generation as they are very connected to technology and it was a great platform for students to learn. I invited HWS students to volunteer while taking the time to network with industry professionals.  Some of the students were successful in exchanging contact information with industry professionals from Discovery, Oscars, A &E, Viacom, and GreenLight women.  It was a great opportunity for the students to learn about the function and benefits of an indie TV festival while having an interactive avatar experience.”  

Acing your Zoom Interview, Courtesy of Director Brandi Ferrara, Career Services

Career services very own Brandi Ferrara returned once again for her regularly scheduled “Acing Your Zoom Interview” series wherein student have the opportunity to learnt eh ins and outs of being a spectacular candidate, both on line and offline!

This week Mitchell Spring ’24 & Ashley Aronson ’24 got the opportunity to work intimately with Mrs. Ferrara to practice the process of post-pandemic interviews, being that the chat was set up as a Zoom interview!

Professor Ricky Price Raised our Awareness on Covid19 and the Politics of Race and Health Care

During this semester’s Fireside Chat program, Professor Ricky Price, whose research focuses on the history of HIV and AIDS policy and activism, ‘virtually’ discussed the relationship between race and COVID-19, and shed a critical light on a health system whose racial disparities have exacerbated the harm that social structures and policies cause to the health of Black communities.

Visiting Professor Ricky Price has been an honor and delight on campus, along with his academic work he is liaison to HWS Votes as well as being an active and participating member of Community Education for Transformation, a local collective of community members and academics who work to develop healthy and progressive discourse between the colleges and the community.

Remembering African American History on a Friday Afternoon @ Scandling

For a third year, Intercultural Affairs participated in the Office of Student Activities’ Fun Friday program.  Students were challenged (in a fun way) to learn about key events and contributions connected to the history of African Americans in our country.  The program was facilitated by Associate Director Renee Grant and, as Sheila Uria ’21 shared with us: “Fun Friday wasn’t just a great opportunity for students to connect with the IC, but it also fostered a space in which students learned about African-American history through fun trivia games. Those who came to the table learned something new that day!”

Posse 7 Stopped at IC during their Campus Scavenger Hunt!

On Friday, October 16, Posse 7 students stopped by IC to find ‘clues’ as part of their fun campus scavenger hunt.  We are wondering if they were able to find messages such us “Molina and Rene Grant challenge YOU to a game of pool”? Or perhaps “you will be invited to a virtual cup of coffee?”   Students paid a visit to Elizabeth Blackwell and gathered at the Blackwell library.  We like to think that the clue they followed after IC was: “Go find the famous doctor who startled her male peers when she showed up to start her academic work at HWS? –she will show you the path to success (and a quiet study space on campus). 

Thank you Posse 7 and Thank you Intercultural Affairs!

My Journey Back to Geneva: Shanelle France ’11 Shared Her Personal and Professional Experiences with Us!

Shanelle France ’11, Peace Corps volunteer and current Geneva Middle Educator joined students in a virtual conversation to talk about her time here at the colleges, adventures and lessons abroad, and her experiences working all along the East Coast as an educator and school administrator!

Students were eager to hear about Shanelle’s decisions to become an educator and what she learned from all of her experiences both as a William Smith Heron and onward!

Thank you so much for joining us Ms. France and for future programming, stay tuned for more Alum Connections!

To learn more about Shanelle, check out these HWS News articles!


On Resumes, Cover Letters and Students’ Career Paths!

IC was honored to “virtually” host Brandi Ferrara, director of the Salisbury Center for Career Services, for our first monthly career chat during which guidelines and advice were provided for creating (and updating) resumes and cover letters.  Director Ferrara also shared information on internship & job opportunities on campus and in the community. 

We were joined by first-year students Alexis McNair  and Olivia Mikesell and Alexis McNair who, at the end of the chat, commented “I felt the points that were covered were very relevant … I have a better understanding of the resources and options that are available as I continue my career plans at HWS.”

Keep an eye out for more events with our amazing special guest Brandi Ferrara!

Student Caucus (Virtually) Met Again!

Edie Falk ’21 (she/hers) – Hillel, Sophie Snyder ’23 (they/them) – Pride, James Anderson ’23 (he/his) – Pride, & Director Renee Grant

Associate Director Renee Grant has continued the Student Caucus meetings as part of IC’s efforts to provide a (now virtual) venue for conversation and collaboration.  It is our hope that due to the negative impact that COVID19 has had on ‘live’ programs and initiatives, student leaders connected to our Center are able to join these conversations (1st and 3rd Sunday of the Month @ 5:30 pm) that we hope will help students address a sense of isolation that living on a pandemic campus may promote.