"Home Away from Home"

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  • Scarlett Ellen Katie y yo Marzo 2016
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Come One, Come All!


MLK Scholarship Dinner At HWS

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The annual MLK Scholarship dinner was hosted at HWS by the Martin Luther King Committee of Geneva. Many members from the Geneva community were on hand to commemorate the scholarship recipients. Some 10 students received scholarships of $1000 to $2,5000 towards their education. Moreover, these students were mentored by members of the committee as well. Jordan Meyers, alumna of William Smith College and former MLK scholarship recipient,  was the commencement speaker for the event. She delivered a message of drive, perseverance, and grit. Chanelling part of MLK’s message from his “I Have a Dream” speech, Jordan shared her personal dreams for society moving forward. The scholarship recipients were filled with excitement and emotion, and those there celebrating with them were also thrilled to be part of the event. Till next year!

The IC Welcomes the Families of the Class of 2016


The Intercultural Affairs House (The IC) had the pleasure of welcoming students from the graduating class of 2016 and their families during commencement weekend. It was a fun-filled time with students sharing their monumental accomplishments with family and friends. We came together for dinner the day before graduation and lunch once it was all over.  Our time was spent sharing stories, playing games (Pool), doing interviews, and bumping to the music provided by yours truly,”DJ BNASTY”.  Professor Molina and Mr. Burruto were on hand to welcome everyone. It was obvious that everyone had a great time. I am personally infinitely grateful to have a homey space on campus in which families of the IC family can come together and chill. Everyone seemed comfortable and filled! We as students use the space for many things throughout our four years here at HWS, and getting to share that space with family was obviously an immense pleasure for all. Much love to all of my friends confidently heading into the real world! Congratulations once again Class of 2016!!!! Stay on the look out for the Picassa link to all the photos taken during commencement!

~Life at the IC~


Michael Ortiz H’16 came to say goodbye to his mentors at the Intercultural Affairs House before joining the rest of his class this Sunday for commencement.

Students enjoy pizza night at the IC after a long day of working in preparation of commencement among other things.
“Having something to eat after finals was an amazing way to end the semester! Pizza and friends – there is nothing in the world that can beat that! Emits Mendoza-Gaspar H’17.”

Encounters With Our Alums

Kelly Smith WS ’13 met up with the director of Intercultural Affairs House, Professor Alejandra Molina, at the theater production eclipsed. Eclipse tells the story of five extraordinary women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia. It’s a stirring tale of hope, humor and resilience – and the only new play by a woman on Broadway this season. Also starring Pascale Armand (The Trip to Bountiful ), Akosua Busia (The Color Purple, film), Zainab Jah (“Law & Order: SVU”) and Saycon Sengloh (Motown ).IMG_7591

Our Students Abroad: Shafiullah Shirzai H’17

I arrived in Bremen, Germany on the 1st of March 2016 to study abroad for one semester at Universität Bremen. Leaving the comfort of my home and college was something definitely hard for me as it is for any individual. Being able to communicate in a foreign language other than that of your own, getting around the city and also making new friends can be really nerve-racking.

As my classes started and I got busy with school, I felt more and more uptight and concerned about this whole situation. I felt home sick and missed my family more than ever. Therefore, I started taking long walks around the city, and in the parks to be able to fight off this strange feeling that I had never felt before. I also got in touch with my family and in the end my uncle came to visit me for three weeks and we traveled around Europe for most of his stay.

Studying abroad can be tough at times. It can really change your opinion on traveling and living alone for a couple of months. Although times can be really hard, it is these challenges that shapes up your mental strength as an individual. Being able to overcome daily life problems in a new country is not an easy task, but in the end, with the support of your family, friends and professors from back home it is totally worth making the decision to get lost and experience a whole new side of the globe for a while. Therefore, despite all the challenges I have faced and the numerous one to be faced in the future, I am proud of choosing to come and study abroad in Germany.

Just Neighbors Initiative

Scarlett Ellen Katie y yo Marzo 2016

Scarlett Emerson, Ellen Wayne, Executive Director of  Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes, Katie Flowers, Director of The Center for Community Engagement and  Service-Learning, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Alejandra Molina, Director and Faculty Adviser of the Intercultural Affairs at Hobart and William Smith Colleges recently met at Beef and Brew in downtown Geneva to plan the initiative’s last annual breakfast, to be held at HWS on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

The Geneva Just Neighbors Initiative developed out of issues raised in a forum that was part of a conference on Poverty and Homelessness sponsored by Hobart and William Smith Colleges on October 2010.  Participants in the forum expressed the desire to address further issues pertaining to housing.  Working with Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes (CCFL), the Intercultural Affairs Department at HWS invited forum participants to meet at HWS on January 24, 2011.

At that initial meeting, CCFL presented pieces of a module on housing that is part of a program called “Just Neighbors” that stimulates conversation and provides a framework for serious discussion about issues relating to poverty facing our communities.   Agencies at the meeting included CCFL, Geneva Housing Authority, the Geneva office of the Ontario Department of Social Services, Legal Assistance of Western NY, the Geneva Human Rights Commission and the offices of Intercultural Affairs (IC) and Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning (CCESL) of HWS.

The JN Planning Group is confident that, over the five years, more citizens of Geneva—as well as HWS students— have become aware and concerned about the great impact of housing instability and homelessness on the lives of all residents of the Geneva community.


~Daily Life at IC~

Benny Calderon ’17, Tucker Gumkowski ’16 and Kelly Kenlon ’18 took advantage of the study space provided by the Intercultural Affairs to work on their final project for their class “Influences, Meaning and Representations in Education” taught by Associate Professor of Education, Paul Kehle.

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Students Attend PLEN Conference

“On October 1-3, 2015, I attended the Women, Business, and Policy seminar sponsored by the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) in Washington, D.C. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in college so far. PLEN is ‘the only national organization with the sole focus of preparing college women for leadership in the public policy arena.’ At my seminar, I learned a lot of important skills from learning how to network to resume review, and my favorite workshop, salary negotiation. I love every minute of it. Not only did I get to learn how to better prepare myself for my future career field, I also received the opportunity to navigate the beautiful city of Washington, D.C. I want to work in the non-profit sector in the future, so learning what my resume should look like and ways in which I can negotiate my salary was very helpful. The most memorable moment at my Women, Business, and Policy seminar was when I met our keynote speaker, the acclaimed Laura J. Lane. Mrs. Lane is the President of Global Public Affairs at UPS. She spoke to us about her experience as an US Ambassador in Rwanda. It was such an inspiring story. One thing I will never forget is when she stated, ‘Lead with principle and passion; You don’t have to know it all, learn as much as you can, and allow other people to help you.’ Prior to coming to PLEN, I used to believed that in order to be the best leader you to know everything and be the best at what you do. But after Laura Lane’s speech I learned the importance of reaching out for help and advocating for myself.’ In the end,  PLEN was an amazing experience and I will definitely be attending another seminar in the future.” Niame Traore WS ’18

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Dinner at Arabic Restaurant

“It was great to celebrate the end of the academic year with my students at Sultan restaurant in Rochester New York.  They were able to add the connection to Arabic culture through food and conversation with their classmates.  After a year as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, I will miss the campus community as a whole and my students in particular.” Hiba Amro, HWS Fulbright Teaching Assistant 

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