"Home Away from Home"

Author Archive

Pablo Modesto H’09 Pays Geneva a Visit!

Pablo Modesto H’19 visited Geneva and HWS for two classmates’ wedding. However, during his few days visiting the area, Pablo spent some time downtown exploring the new additions to the Geneva community.

While an HWS student, Pablo studied critical social studies dialogues and Latin American media, while also involved with the Colleges’ radio station WEOS-FM as a DJ. He interned at K-Rock Radio Station in New York City.

My third visit back to Geneva since graduating in ‘09 was for Victor and Jenna’s wedding (both are class of HWS ‘08). Wedding happened at St. John’s chapel on campus, and was full of HWS alums, Geneva locals, and friends alike. All family. Walking the streets of Geneva after all the festivities I found myself very nostalgic. I lived a 4 year sliver of the ongoing and ever evolving legacy that is HWS and Geneva. This city and this university gave me a lot of what I define as myself and my community. The mural where I found Professor Molina in front of, is of Geneva in a time past. It was painted by Pultinas in 2010. The photos we took are of our wonderful present. I will always live with HWS as part of me. I will always consider Geneva home away from home. Pablo Modesto, H’19

Reunion Weekend at IC


The Classes of 2013 visited the IC for a reception on the Friday afternoon of Reunion Weekend to celebrate their 5 years after graduating HWS. Over delicious food and great conversation, the group of alums had the opportunity to reconnect with one another, while visiting the IC house they used to call “home.”

The HEOP program welcomed this group of students back, as they were all HEOP students. The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is an HWS Academic Opportunity Program designed to support students who present an alternate academic profile and who demonstrate high potential to compete successfully in an academically competitive environment.

It feels so good to be back here! This was my home for four years where we created amazing memories and building strong friendships, where these friends are now my family. Kelly Smith, WS’13

My life at HWS would have been very different if the IC did not exist. The community here helped me me into the woman I am today. The IC was my survival, my happiness, and my peace. Thank you for the love. Tatianna Echevarria, WS’13

IC’s Artists in Residence

Jedidiah Collins H’18 and Daniel Juarez H’15 are both spending their summers in beautiful Geneva working on art projects while enjoying the HWS campus.

Jedidiah has been working on touching up the IC’s “memento” brick wall. Through his careful artistic restoration of the bricks, the IC will constantly be reminded of our students and wonderful visitors passing through. With Jedidiah’s help, all of these memories and names will lifetime and carry on the stories of so many amazing people.

Daniel is working on the sketch of a mural he will be painting in Geneva’s West Street School. This sketch represents the dual immersion program of Mandarin and Spanish languages, and the mural will depict images of famous bicultural or bilingual artists, activists, and advocates. Daniel hopes to finish up the mural before the end of the school year this June.

The students at West Street School have been learning Mandarin Chinese in a dual-language immersion program, beginning in 2014. Through this style of learning, members of the school district believe students will become familiar with another language, ultimately enhancing their skills, while learning about a new culture.


For more information about this initiative, check out this article by the Daily Messenger.

Reunion Weekend!

Every year we receive hundreds of alumni and families who come back to visit and reminisce of times when they were in college. This year the HEOP class of 2013 came back for their 5th reunion and the office of HEOP held a reception in their honor.


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We love reconnecting with alums to see where they are, what their adventures have been and future plans. Part of this weekend we also take the opportunity to hear from alums about what times were like when they were students here. We host a Story Sharing Project on Saturday of Reunion Weekend, where alums are interviewed by current students and offer up wisdom for incoming students but also perspective and comparison of what times were like when they were HWS students. Amazing information is always shared and we are always astounded about the experiences, reflections, and moments of growth and challenge our students/alumni go through.


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Saying Goodbye to Our Seniors!

Commencement time is always bitter sweet as we see our seniors off to bigger and better ventures while at the same time missing them around campus. On Saturday, staff from the IC attended the Posse 2 graduation ceremony. It was great to hear all of the accomplishments, the dear memories, and all of the sentiments that were expressed both of the graduates and of the support the graduates have had on campus.

Posse 2 Graduation Ceremony S2018

Afterward, the First Generation Initiative celebrated first generation graduates. 10 students were honored during the ceremony and family and friends were given the chance to say words of appreciation.

First Gen. Graduation Ceremony S2018

Saturday evening before Commencement, we hosted a dinner at the Intercultural Affairs Center which received over 24 graduating seniors and their families. It was great to meet everyone and see another part of our students’ lives.

On Sunday after Commencement, we hosted a farewell luncheon to say good bye to students and welcome a good number of graduates with their families. We wish all of our graduates best wishes, good luck and we hope to see them back someday at their home away from home!

IC’s Remodeling Plans!

In the 2016-2017 academic year, the Intercultural Affairs Center underwent an external review which looked at programming and spacial use by the office and campus community. From this review it was reaffirmed that the Center is due for some updates. Since then, both students and alumni who are affiliated with the house have participated in surveys and focus groups providing feedback of areas they feel should be renovated and areas which are integral to the environment and functioning of the Center. Additionally, the office has begun conversations with Chris Button, Buildings and Grounds, as well architects from SWBR firm to conceptualize a timeline for design, fundraising and building of an expanded IC. Look forward to additional updates coming soon!


Interim President McGuire at IC!

Interim President Pat McGuire has been having listening forums with students, faculty, and staff around campus to become better informed about where the campus and climate are during a time of transition. Interim President McGuire came to the IC to engage in conversations with students who frequent the space to hear about their concerns and recommendations for the transition period the Colleges are in and where they imagine it going.


Tolulope Arasanyin ’21 sat with Interim President McGuire to chat about diversity and inclusion on this campus and steps to move that further.