"Home Away from Home"


Daniel Juarez ’15 Returned to Present his Mural at North Street School!

In the Spring of 2019 one of our very own HWS students, Daniel Juarez, finished a mural at Geneva North Street Elementary school that embraced the schools progressive new dual immersion program. The dual immersion program in Geneva is relatively new to the community but has made great headway in literacy and cultural development. It is an initiative that promotes both cultural competence and language enhancement. The mural Daniel created, in collaboration with North Street teacher Katherine Alvarez-Malave, is a way to commemorate this initiative and its 5 year implementation in the Geneva public schools. The programs are offered as either Spanish/English immersion or Mandarin/English immersion starting as early as kindergarten! This past Spring the first class of this program finished elementary school and now the program has extended to 6th grade in the Geneva middle schools! It is quite an accomplishment that deserved to be recognized.

Two weeks ago, Daniel came back to speak about his mural to one of the current 5th grade classes at North Street Elementary. Daniel spoke on the significance of the mural and the ways art, culture, and language not only unite but enhance a more inclusive community. Canieshia Phillips’, a current HWS student finishing her practicum at Geneva Elementary, is the lead teacher for the class that Daniel spoke to and her class was very engaged in the discussion as they went into the details of the mural.

Family Food Night at the IC

Homecoming weekend is a great way to bring families together after a month of students being away from home. However, a lot of our students and their families cannot make it out for family weekend and here at the IC everyone is family. We love our students and the IC is, first and foremost, a home away from home. Family food night was a way to connect with our students and create new family. This year we had a new local Indian restaurant called Flavors cater the event and it was a huge hit and a great way to explore the rich array of options students have when they venture into the community of Geneva. A current senior, Christian Escano, had this to say about the event: “The event was very entertaining. The smell of spices wafted through the room as students and staff shared each others’ cultures and experiences. In the end the curry brought everyone together.”

Gathering for a meal brings out a sense of connection that we tend to lose when we are isolated from one another. Being together, even if for only an hour or so, can be a warm and rejuvenating experience that we want our students to feel as they enter the IC. It doesn’t take much to bring people together and the connections we make here carry with us throughout students’ college experience. We want the IC to be a space for students to grow, to be the best they are, to pursue their dreams, but above all we want the IC to be a place they can call home.

Career Chat with Brandi Ferrara

You’ve heard it before, you even anticipate it, but the question grows louder and truer every year: What are you going to do after you graduate? Where to begin. With the pressure of midterms and ongoing exams students find it harder and harder to balance the demands of the school year with plans for the future. More often than not students feel overwhelmed trying to maintain this balance and sooner than later that dream job can seem unattainable. Don’t let that feeling stop youThe IC wants to dismantle this fear of the future by partnering with Career Services to provide monthly open hours with the director of Career Services herself: Brandi Ferrara. Brandi is an amazing resource and we want more students to utilize her. If there is anything a student needs help with she can answer it or put the student in the direction they need to be in. Because in reality, there are a million ways to start and a million routes to take, and that can be frustrating but with guidance it can be liberating. Brandi comes in once a month to help students with anything career related regardless of what stage the student might be in. She will be here again Wednesday October 16th and Thursday November 7th from 4-5PM to help students with any career related questions. During the last Chat and Chew in September, Brandi spoke with current senior, Christina Rozario WS’20, about applying to jobs near her hometown and Christina had this to say:

“I was already in the IC when Brandi was there and I had just finished speaking with one of my friends about her job search and how hard it was to find something in her field. When I heard this I was terrified. Looking for a job was not even on my radar and I immediately felt behind my peers. When I met with Brandi I voiced my concerns about being away from home and feeling behind and she reassured me that there was time and showed me a lot of ways to network myself in my desired career path and stay near my family. It was a relief to know that I did not have to narrow my options because of my desire to be close to home, and it was even better to know how to navigate these processes on my own.”


Storytelling, Performance and a Sense of Belonging: Dinner and Conversation with Performance Artist Edisa Weeks

Edisa Weeks is a choreographer, educator, curator and founder of DELIRIOUS Dances. Described by the New York Times as having, “a gift for simple but striking visual effects,” her work has been performed in a variety of venues including The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, ETC.

Using personal experiences and goals as source material, Edisa Weeks will engage theater and movement structures to emphasize solidarity, collaboration, empowerment and a sense of belonging. She was a guest in many Africana Politics class and has been visiting them this week; she interacts with students by combining aspects of social justice issues and dance performances.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Writing & Math Advice Every Sunday at IC!

The Writing Fellows and Quantitative Fellows sessions has made a significant impact on students, as they come to improve their math and writing skills. This started as a collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning as we paired up Writing Fellow  Canieshia Phillips ‘20 and the HWS Math Department, Sam Legro ’20 as Quantitative Session Fellow. The IC has the Conference from reserved every Sunday for Quantitative sessions and Writing Fellows, and it available to anyone to come ask questions or just homework help.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Our William Smith Deans Stopped by and Addressed Questions and Concerns!

We are grateful that the William Smith Deans came to IC as part of our Chat and Chew Program. Kelly Payne, Lisa Salter and Liza Kaenzig joined us with donuts and cider as students were able to ask questions; we all learned about the new advising structure of the WS Deans’ Office and the many ways they support and advocate for students.

Christina Rozario WS’20 states, “It was a good eye opener as to what the Dean’s office can do for students on campus. In reality, I never saw my dean in my three years here because they were always busy and I wouldn’t know what to say to them if I went in. The informal setting makes it easier you ask questions I would normally never ask.”

Tai Ling Bey WS’20 reiterated the same sentiment by stating she should  “go into the Dean’s office more and just talk to them.”

The deans were very open to the concerns of the students and after the event they expressed how Chat and Chew was a great way to connect with the students as well, “It was a really great conversation with students at IC — we learned so much from them!  We hope students can see us as their allies at whatever stage they are in of their journey at HWS.  We love to see everyone learn, grow, and find how much HWS has to offer!” said William Smith Deans Lisa Kaenzig, Kelly Payne and Lisa Salter

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fireside Chat with HWS Education Department Professor Suriati Abas

Professor Abas shared with students and colleagues her research on the linguistic landscape of a public university space in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Through powerful imagery and empowering discourse, those in attendance were able to establish meaningful (and at times painful) connections between images and texts displayed at the University of Buenos Aires campus with social justice concerns of the past and the present.

The university has educated 17 Argentine presidents, produced four of the country’s five Nobel Prize laureates, and is responsible for approximately 40% of the country’s research output; it holds great responsibility of educating the youth of Buenos Aires.