"Home Away from Home"

Canvassing HWS Events

The Justice Collaborative Meeting


Justice League Su2018

The Justice Collaborative, from L-R: Julianne Miller, Director Abbe Center for Jewish LifeMichael Amadori, Sustainability Manager, Office of Sustainability; Chad Freeman, Associate Director, Student ActivitiesTremayne Robertston, Deputy Title IX CoordinatorKim Kochin, Associate Director, Student ActivitiesJeremy Wattles , Associate Director, CEESLKatie Flowers, Director, CESSL

The Justice Collaborative is a group on campus that promotes and supports collaboration across departments around areas of shared values and shared concerns connected to social justice, service, diversity, and sustainability. The group also works to promote and support collaboration or connection between students and student leaders around ares of shared values and concerns.

The group met in early June 2018 at the Abbe Center for Jewish Life to begin planning for the 2018-2019 academic year, specifically this fall’s Building Leadership through Community. This event was also

Welcoming Alums Back to Campus, AGAIN!

The HWS campus was bustling with alums to celebrate Reunion Weekend, an annual weekend-long event held in June to connect with “old” friends, fellow alums, and reconnect with the HWS and Geneva community.

This year the activities ranged from a golf outing and hot-air balloon rides, to boat rides on the William Scandling research vessel out on the Lake Seneca and class gatherings to learn about different topics. A number of current HWS students always help out during Reunion weekend, aiding in event planning, overseeing activities, and working as resources for visitors.

HWS alums visited the IC for an open house and reception to reconnect with friends, share stories about the IC, and spend time with one another. The IC was in the midst of a current project–collecting stories and memories from alums. All alums were invited to share memories to contribute to the project.

For more information about Reunion Weekend, check out the event’s page here. To view more photos, check out our online album!

A William Smith shares her feelings about the house and HWS campus during an interview session:

2018 HWS Commencement

The Commencement Ceremony for the Hobart & William Smith Class of 2018 boasted excellent weather conditions and quadrangle full of families celebrating their children’s accomplishments – making it an extra special Mother’s day.

The ceremony featured student speakers Almamy Conde and Quinn Cullum along with the commencement speaker John Grotzinger. Grotzinger, who is the mission leader for NASA’S Mars Science Laboratory, advised the graduating class to embrace challenges and engage with difficult opportunities. President Emeritus Mark Gaeran was also in attendance at the request of the graduating class, and delivered a speech emphasizing HWS’s continued daily impact on his life despite the distance separating him from the colleges. His speech complemented one given by Interim President Patrick A. McGuire who contended that the the impact of this graduating class felt by HWS community will continue in the coming years as meaningful change sparked by the 2018 HWS graduates.

This year the colleges bestowed three honorary degrees, including one to chairman of the board of trustees, Tom Buzzuto ’68 along with degrees for Carolyn Carr McGuire ’78 and Dr. Gary A. Mendez Jr. ’58. After the conclusion of commencement, students gathered on Stern Lawn and at the Intercultural Center with their families for a meal and photos.


Alpha Phi Alpha Gala Dinner

On Saturday, April 21, The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity hosted their Gala Dinner, “The Alpha Awards: A Gala to Benefit March of Dimes” at the Geneva Country Club. The fraternity invited HWS students as their guests to celebrate the fraternity, the HWS community, and benefit March of Dimes. The March of Dimes is a United States nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the first African-American, intercollegiate Greek-lettered fraternity, originally founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University. This past fall, HWS established a chapter on our campus, with an inaugural class of 14 students. To learn more about the fraternity, check out their website here. For a link to all photos from the event click here.
It was wonderful to witness great fellowship among a diverse group of students and especially see participants in a celebration of students’ success. Edith Wormley, Assistant Director of Academic Opportunities and Programs

German Club Celebrate the End of the Year with Food and Merriment

To celebrate the end of the year, the German Club visited a German restaurant in Canandaigua, N.Y. to share conversation and friendship over a delicious dinner. Anna Meinig, Julius G. Blocker ’53 Teaching Fellow, helped organize this event for the group of students. If you’d like to join the German Club, visit their website here for more information about the club and their meeting times.

The Reinblick restaurant in Canandaigua is owned by Gudrun & Gary Clemens, natives of Germany. Their restaurant preserves the German culture through decor and food, and is always welcoming new guests to also engage with the German culture. For more information about Reinblick, check out their website here.

The food was delicious and the conversations about German culture were enlightening. It was great company. Jared Ratzel H’18

I really enjoyed the food and the staff was very accommodating of allergies. The conversation was great, varying between food and the German language. It was a great experience. Daphna Bendull WS’21

It is always nice to hang out with your German teacher and other students from the German club. Alyssa O’Connell 

Food was good and nice hanging out. Liam Crowley H’21

Bocce Tournament!

On Saturday, April 21, the Cultural Italian American Organization (CIAO) organized a Bocce tournament for HWS students on the bocce courts by the Café. The sport of bocce is a part of Italian culture and history, as it was “played around Europe and also in overseas areas that have received Italian migrants, including Australia, North America, and South America.” Bocce was initially played with Italians, but has become more popular with the wider community over time.

Kofa Fest

On April 21, Sankofa, the Black Students’ Union, hosted For the Culture and the Curls: Kofa Festival, featuring Hip-Notiq’s Step Show. The event was hosted on the Stern Lawn and brought beautiful weather to Geneva, as students participated in a silent auction, food vendors, and other activities. Students from the Geneva High School also performed at the event, which was a wonderful coming together of schools and established a connection between the students.

Sankofa also honored four scholarship/grants to four qualified Geneva High School students through the UJIMA College Scholarship Award and UJIMA Grant Award. UJIMA is one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa and means “Collective Work and Responsibility”: To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and solve them together.

For more photos of the event, check out the online album here!

Recognizing Faculty & Staff: Cultural Connections Host a Reception!

The Cultural Connections house is theme house on campus with a mission to promote a shared experience amongst students of various minority groups in America who face different forms of oppression and marginalization. The house is intended to foster a living environment in which ethnic perspectives that have been undervalued in the U.S., and our college community, are equally shared and respected.

This semester, the Cultural Connections house hosted a reception on April 12 at 5 p.m. to recognize the HWS faculty and staff’s support, exemplary mentorship, and attention to the small student community of color. The house honored staff and faculty’s efforts and celebrated their relationships.

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 4.03.10 PMScreen Shot 2018-04-24 at 4.03.17 PM

For more photos of the event, check out the online album here!

Jared Ratzel H’18 Honors Project

Jared Ratzel H’18 studied abroad in Berlin, Germany. At the Norwich University program in Berlin, he had the opportunity to apply his majors in studio art and German studies to examine local art and culture (HWS Colleges). On campus, he is involved with the German Club, which meets at the Intercultural Affairs Center to celebrate the culture of German-speaking Europe and beyond. This year, Jared has been working on his honors project, where he used his two majors and his experience abroad to examine the importance of body language.

With Eine Andere Stille ​I focus on the importance of body language through mediums such as painting, stop-motion animation and illustrative work. The presented imagery, inspired by Queer German Films “Different from the Others” (1919) and “Silent Youth” (2012) embodies moments of connection absent of spoken word, and instead found in bodily gestures. Jared Ratzel H’18

Arts Festival

The Arts Experience Festival is a festival celebrating inclusion and the arts. This is a ten day event hosted by the Collaborative of NY, Inc. and HWS Colleges with a series of workshops and activities. The festival’s mission is “an opportunity for participants, including people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, the college community, and the general public to explore various means of expression through the arts.” All activities are free, wheelchair accessible, and open to all.

Professor Mary Kelly of the Education Department is one of the committee members responsible for this amazing event, held in April every year. 2018 marks the 9th Annual Arts Experience, this year with the theme of Transformations.

This year, some of the workshops included, “Creative Movement,” “Digital Transformations,” “House Dance Technique,” “Creating a Book Planter,” and “Art Meditation.” All of these were meant to “cultivate and embrace the spirit of inclusion through participation in the arts, artistic performance and celebration.”


Associate Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, Jeremy Wattles speaks about his experience growing up with his cousin.

LAO Extravaganza!

The Latin American Organization hosted Extravaganza at the Geneva Country Club featuring the theme of Cuba Libre. Members of the LAO club invited all HWS faculty, staff, and students to celebrate Latin American culture and heritage. Extravaganza provides all invitees with the opportunity the build community by spending time with friends and peers, while enjoying delicious food, music, and dance salsa.

Networking Session with Local Alums

Hobart and William Smith College’s Career Services, Institutional Advancement, and the Office of Intercultural Affairs collaborated to host a networking event, Multicultural Networking Prep Session, in order to provide HWS students an opportunity to connect and speak with local alums. Through student requests from the Salisbury Diversity Fellows, STEM Scholars, and members of our cultural clubs, the offices coordinated a reception designed to help prepare students to professionally network at events post-graduation.

Chevanne DeVaney ’95 and Jackie Doyle P’14, P’19 led students through the various aspects of networking from how to prepare, to introductions to follow-ups, and everything in between.

This event took place on Tuesday, April 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room, and was very successful. All students in attendance learned a bit more about professional networking events, and gained a few more alum connections.

LGBTQ and Allies Initiative Meets with Career Services

“The LGBTQ and Allies Initiative group is composed of staff and faculty who are working toward improving the campus culture around LGBTQ issues. The overall goal is to increase support and awareness for the LGBTQ community in hopes of creating a more inclusive environment” (HWS Colleges).

The group meets every semester to discuss different initiatives and goals that will help make HWS a more inclusive and accepting campus. By including faculty and staff members from all different academic departments and offices, the group can reach all areas of campus and all smaller communities within the Colleges. During this meeting in particular, the group met with Career Services to talk about specific services available to LGBTQ students.

For more information about the LGBTQ and Allies group, check out their site here.

Welcoming Admitted Students to HWS

The months of March and April is a busy time for HWS Admissions, as hundreds of high school seniors visit the campus. During their visits, members of the HWS community gather together to show off Geneva and the culture on campus. Visitors have the option to attend classes, visit the dining hall, take a campus tour, meet with students and professors, and speak with admissions counselors.

The IC met with various students during Academic fair event at Bristol Gym. Prior to this event, potential students attended a panel to speak with Marty Corbett of Campus Safety, Dean Lisa Kaenzig to discuss picking first semester classes and FSEMs, Director of Intercultural Affairs Alejandra Molina, Shelle Basilio of Residential Education, Christen Davis from the Center for Teaching and Learning, and Kristen Tobey, about orientation and Student Activities.

It’s always so wonderful to speak with admitted students or applicants about HWS and the great things we have to offer.

To see more photos from the event, check out the online album here.

International Music Festival

One-on-One Friendship and the International Students Association partnered to host an International Music Festival on Friday March 30th at the Bartlett Theatre. Attendees relaxed, listened to music and enjoyed delicious food! Collaborations are wonderful because it shows how truly intersectional we all are!

“One-on-One Friendship is a cross-cultural, Internet-based English learning program intended to facilitate leadership through shared knowledge and collaboration for social justice.  Members are expected to mentor and interact with students in Indonesia weekly through Google Hangouts and attend meetings on Monday nights.”  (https://hws.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/oneononefriendship) For more information check out their organization on HWS Engage!

The International Students Association is a student organization that celebrates international diversity and multiculturalism on campus as well as raises awareness about global issues while allowing international students to share their traditions and heritage with other members of the HWS community. For more information check out their organization on HWS Engage! https://hws.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/HWS-ISA


HWS Welcomes Prospective Students to Campus

Intercultural Affairs participated in this year’s HWS Admissions Open Houses all throughout March. The house and office is always very excited to welcome visitors to campus to show them the beautiful campus, great academics, and tight community. These days are filled of true community building as current HWS students, as well as faculty and staff come together to offer guests a view into the HWS life.

I enjoyed meeting the perspective students and it was fun answering their questions about the events on campus or what things there are to do in Geneva during the weekend! Nagina Ahmadi ‘20


For more information about admissions, check out their website for upcoming events! To look at more photos, check out the online album here.

Caribbean Student Association Annual Masquerade

The Caribbean Student Association (CSA) at HWS recently hosted their Annual Masquerade at the Cracker Factory in Geneva, NY. The Cracker Factory is a renovated industrial building in the Finger Lakes that houses 3Stories, a nonprofit that hosts cultural/arts events. The 2nd floor is divided between a rentable spectacular 6,000sq ft event space and 4,000sq ft of artist studios. 3Stories is a non-profit with 501c3 status is responsible for regular art shows, poetry readings, and other arts events at the Factory.

CSA used the Cracker Factory to their advantage on Saturday, March 31 as they hosted a beautiful event from 5-8 p.m. with live music, delicious dinner, and art pieces to peruse. Although Carnival is celebrated all around the world, Masquerade (or Carnival) is especially important to Caribbean cultures. To celebrate, people dress in beautiful, colorful clothing decorated with sequins, glitter, and feathers to party through the days and nights out on the street. Music is loud and exciting, people are spending time with family and friends, and the spirits are high.

I feel like I got a chance to understand [Caribbean Culture] more through the arts rather than conventional ways. Jedidiah Collins H’18

This experience has opened my eyes to certain views and opinions. Elijah Delgado H’18

For more photos of the event, check out the online album here.

Girl Up Hunger Banquet

Girl Up is a club on the HWS campus whose mission is to create a space where students can organize, create dialogue about issues, exchange ideas, and raise awareness for women’s rights through various fundraisers, social events, and bi-weekly club meetings. Recently, Girl Up teamed up with the HWS EcoReps to host a Hunger Banquet on March 31, 2018 from 1:30-3 p.m.

Hunger Banquets are meant to teach attendees about world hunger and poverty. When guests arrived to the event, they received a card which determined how much food they were given. Each person sitting at every table held a different card, thus given different food proportions. This helped facilitated a discussion about world hunger to raise awareness and promote change.

World hunger is a problem affecting millions of people on a daily basis, and events like the Hunger Banquet are meant to teach people about world hunger and its affects.

For more information about the Girl Up club, check out their website here.

I was reminded of the diversity within each level of income, even though we tend to think of everyone in their respective class as the same. Katie Stiffler, Title IX Prevention and Education Coordinator

Even though my circumstances were by chance, I have the power to learn, advocate and act to help fight against hunger. Jedidiah Collins H’18

This event taught me to understand the perspective of less fortunate people and how my personal actions could have an impact. Constantin Berlin, German Exchange student


Members of Girl Up at HWS: Alyssa Kelly WS’19; Ren Workman WS’18; Tessa Englander WS’21; Gia Kang WS’19; Allie Seminer WS’20

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 3.16.56 PM

For more photos of the event, check out the online album here.

Asian International Conversation

This conversation on international Asian students studying in Western universities was led by Nhung Nguyen and Charmaine Chung, President of the Asian Student Union at HWS. The discussion focused on identity, background, and culture, and the experiences Asian students have when attending universities in the United States.

The students also discussed the Yellow aPeril project, a social enterprise that uses self-designed apparel in order to promote social change and advocate for the Asian community. For more information about the project, check out their Facebook page.

For more photos of the event, check out the album here.

HWS Shabbat

The Abbe Center for Jewish Life and HWS Hillel invited all members of the HWS community to celebrate Shabbat together on Friday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Vandervort Room. Shabbat is celebrated by coming together and typically sharing a meal amongst friends and family. All members of the HWS community are invited to this event, regardless of their religious affiliations. Spending dinnertime together promotes community and culture, thus this event has a little something for everyone and cultural barriers are overcome.

For more information about HWS Shabbat, check out HWS’ article here. Additionally, if you’re interested in the Abbe Center for Jewish Life and HWS Hillel, check out their websites as well!



HWS Hillel Board Members:  Back row:  David Reinharz, Hallie Weiss ’18, Sarah Walters ’19 (VP), Tzipora Glaser ’19 (President), Julianne Miller (Advisor), Chelsea Herr ’20, Lauren Pomerantz ’18, Devin Cooper-Vastola ’18, Edie Falk ’21, Grace Martel ’18, Jordannah Schreiber ’18.

For more photos of the event, check out the album here.

ISA’s Henna Night

On Friday, March 9, the International Student Association hosted a henna night and dinner.  Henna is used in many countries such as Africa, Pakistan, India, and the Middle East for holidays and special occasions such as weddings to decorate hands and feet. Over time henna (mendhi) has gained popularity in other countries and has even become popular in the west!

“It was nice to watch my friends cook and enjoy the meal.  There were all kinds of songs playing, from French to Bollywood –even Rap! I taught a few dance moves to those who wanted to learn how to dance to Afghan songs and everyone left the event with some Henna!  Their hands looked spectacular!”— Nagina Ahmadi WS’20

Lyons High School Students Come to Campus

On March 8, students from Lyon’s School District came to visit HWS to spend the day learning about college. This visit was coordinated by Professor James Sutton, Sociology Department in collaboration with community liaison James Schuhler, a member of the Juvenile Justice Task Force of the Finger Lakes & Wayne County Jail’s Initiative for Incarcerated Youth. The Colleges are always honored when students from our local schools come visit. While on campus, the students went on a tour, had lunch with HWS students and our interim Chief Diversity Officer Solomé Rose, and concluded with an afternoon of interactive discussions with some of HWS’ faculty, students, and staff.

“On Thursday, March 8th, a group of 20 local students from the Lyons School District visited the HWs campus to learn more about college.  James Schuler, an intensive family counselor with Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., first had the idea for this event.  Most members of the group that James brought from Lyons are not on traditional paths to college, so James was hoping to expand their horizons.  Dozens of members of the HWS community volunteered their time to bring James’ vision to fruition, and he shared that the results exceeded his expectations.  It was special to see so many people representing a range of roles and statuses on campus come together with a shared sense of purpose. James has raved about how helpful this campus visit was, and he has vowed to keep us posted on the future paths of our new friends from Lyons.” — James E. Sutton, Ph.D. , Associate Professor of Sociology

International Women’s Day 2018

International Women’s Day is celebrated all over the world on March 8 every year. It is “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity” (internationalwomensday.com). At HWS, faculty organized a feminist teach-in on March 6 which consisted of artifacts that depicted women’s contributions to political struggles over the last 100 years in hopes of starting campus wide conversations on the significance of the women’s advancement and struggle today.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On March 8 at noon, students, faculty, and staff marched through town for the Women’s Strike March on International Women’s Day. The International Women’s Strike is a movement in more than 50 countries that is organized “by and for women who have been marginalized and silenced by decades of neoliberalism … working women inside and outside of the home, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, CIS, queer and trans women” (womenstrikeus.org). The march was led through town and concluded at the Finger Lakes Live lounge in Geneva, where students were met by Geneva community members for speeches, conversations, and solidarity.

“I was so inspired by all of the amazing people I marched with last Thursday. I felt overwhelmed with love and empowerment through the speakers, posters, chants, and overall atmosphere. The art featured in Finger Lakes Live was so beautiful and uplifting, and truly served as a reminder as to why I am so proud to be a woman.” –Monika VonBrauchitsch WS’18

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally, International Women’s Day concluded with a collaboration with HWS Girl Up, which focused on the lives of Asian/Asian American women in a conversation titled ” Where Are You From? Reflections by Asian/Asian American Women.”

“The event “So, Where are you from?” was hosted by Girl Up and Intercultural Affairs with the goal of creating a space for Asian/ Asian-American women to share their experiences with folks both with similar and different experiences. We wanted to make a space for honesty and exchange of ideas. This event was incredibly successful due to our nine guest speakers that came in to share with us that were HWS faculty, students, and one Geneva community member. This kind of conversation does not end at this event, however! WS junior, Nhung Nguyen, is working on this type of issue every day with her efforts toward conversation and empowering the Asian community. It was a pleasure to share this experience with my peers and community members and I look forward to having more conversations like this!” –Ren Workman WS’18



Asian Student Union’s Celebration of the Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is the beginning of a year whose months are coordinated by the cycles of the moon, and celebrated all throughout Asia. In 2018, the first day of the Lunar New Year was on Friday, Feb. 16, imitating the year of the Dog. The Dog is the eleventh of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. If you’re born in a Dog year, your lucky numbers are 3, 4, and 9, and lucky colors are red, green, and purple. The zodiac of the Dog deems people born in 2018 communicative, serious, and responsible in work.

On Friday, February 23 HWS students, faculty and staff gathered in the Bartlett Theatre for a semi-formal dinner to celebrate the holiday. The Authentic Asian food was absolutely delicious, and the student performers were incredible to watch. The celebration was a wonderful opportunity for HWS students to learn more about the Lunar New Year, and the Asian culture.

For more photos of the event, click here!


Taste of the World

The Office of Intercultural Affairs, Residential Education and Student Activities collaborated on Taste of the World this past February 25. This event was a sampling of culture though food and drink, and invited HWS students, staff and faculty to donate a dish to represent their culture and family. The importance of coming together through cooking and breaking bread amongst one another was prevalent during this program, especially sharing food that has cultural and community connections. Members of the HWS community gathered together and built community through food, while also taking a much needed break from academic work!

For more photos of the event, click here!

Check out the amazing recipes participants made for the event. Try one at home and let us know what you think! Hope you enjoy 🙂

Black History Month

Staff members gathered to commemorate Black History Month, which takes place during the month of February. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time to recognize the central role of blacks in United States history. The IC believes it’s important to commemorate this month by celebrating and learning about black history and culture.

Lucile Mallard, President of Geneva’s NAACP, was the keynote speaker for this event. She joined the rest of HWS staff at the Buildings and Grounds building to celebrate and speak about Black History Month.

What’s Your Take?


What’s your take on how substance abuse is perceived in your community? On Monday, Feb 19 a group of members from the HWS community gathered for dinner and conversation about this topic. Students investigated how the attitudes surrounding substance abuse in their hometowns and families helped shape their perception of it now. While looking at the cultural implications regarding alcohol and drugs, students came together to discuss and look at the stigmas behind substance abuse. The group also looked into the ways drinking and drug use plays into their social interactions at school, with friends/family and others in the community.

The facilitator of this event was Brittany Broderick, Director of Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention at the Office of Residential Education. Brittany is responsible for education and prevention efforts on campus regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs. This includes meeting with students who have violated student conduct, as well as presenting prevention focused programming in the residence halls and elsewhere on campus. For more information about the work the Office does, check out their website here.

The IC believes conversations like these are important to discuss topics that often are brushed under the rug. This will help erase the stigmas and allow people to feel comfortable when asking or seeking help, or recognizing a problem when there is one.

When students were asked, “Is there anything you learned today that surprised you? Please explain,” the following answered:

I learned about the student experiences and how they were dealing with alcohol problems at home. Justas Valciukas, H’19

Being able to learn about other people’s culture experiences, especially those who came from a different country and how they relate it back. Brandon Harding

Intercultural Affairs, International Student Affairs and the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention collaborated to host a Dinner and Conversation. This program was designed to allow students a safe space to consider and share their experiences, thoughts and beliefs around the topic of alcohol and other drugs from their unique cultural perspectives. The information discussed will be used to inform programming and outreach in the future. Brittany Broderick, Director of Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention, Office of Residential Education

Carnevale di Venezia

On Saturday, Feb. 10, the HWS community celebrated the Carnevale di Venezia, or the Carnival of Venice. This is an 8 day annual festival held in Venice, Italy during the month of February. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, which is forty days before Easter. The festival is well-known in Venice for its tourist attraction, as over 3 million visitors attend every year, and as well as its elaborate costumes and masks.

The celebration at HWS took place in the Bartlett Theatre and featured delicious food, face painting, dancing and invited everybody to make their own masks. Over fun conversation with friends and festive activities, the group learned more about the Italian culture and the traditions of Carnevale.



For more photos of the event, check out the online album here.

Language Conversations at HWS

HWS has a collection of weekly language programs open for all students, regardless of age, major or minor. All four of these Conversation Tables will help students practice speaking other languages, as well as help students learn a new language! HWS, particularly the IC, believes in the importance of learning other languages, as this is a doorway into learning more about a culture. These Conversation Tables are wonderful opportunities to learn something new and make a few new friends in the process!

For more information, please reach out with any questions.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Commemorating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Legacy

On January 22, 2018 HWS hosted a public discussion over dinner in the Faculty Dining room, entitled “GENEVA AND HWS: One Beloved Community: Dinner and Conversation.” This event brought together HWS students, faculty, staff and members of the Geneva community as they engaged in a conversation around ways in which they have worked toward the idea of the beloved community. This discussion highlighted work of local groups who seek to carry on King’s work and continue his legacy. Through conversation and dinner, the different groups found their way to collaborate and share experiences through community.

HWS invited many groups to the event to showcase their dedication to the community and thank them for carrying on King’s work. The groups included the African American Men’s Association, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), the MLK Committee, Tools for Social Change, the Finger Lakes Solidarity Network, Catholic Charities, Geneva Community Compact, LGBT Center of the Finger Lakes, and the Geneva Human Rights Commission.

These groups worked together to promote discussion about the ways in which they’re doing MLK’s work and promoting his goals. For more information about the event, check out the HWS Update.

I look around I see a room full of Geneva’s and the Colleges’ finest — I see two communities in one; two communities that have interwoven their amazing ability to ‘detect’ where the needs of so many lie and address them, always in the name of justice. I believe that if Dr. King were here tonight, he would thank us all for striving to bend the arc of Geneva’s and the Colleges’ moral universe towards justice.
Alejandra Molina, Director of Intercultural Affairs






On Tuesday, January 23 there was an MLK Keynote Address presented by President Gregory J. Vincent H’83 in the Vandervort Room. After welcoming remarks by Chevanne DeVaney, member of the Geneva Martin Luther King Committee, and an introduction by Sadeek Walker, the President of Alpha Phi Alpha, President Vincent discussed free speech in America.

President Vincent’s address, The Contours of Free Speech, provided the audience a historical overview of the First Amendment: what it stands for as well as the implications for freedom of speech on a liberal arts campus such as ours, and our responsibility as an institution of higher learning to engage in this conversation as a community that respects and upholds academic freedom. President Vincent highlighted that we are facing some of the same issues today that we faced in 1968; political divisions, racial and economic social injustices, to name a few. However, he mentions Dr. King’s message that good people should be putting their bodies in motion on behalf others, and that the call for “what are you doing for others?” should be one to move forward with as a beloved community.

This was followed by a question and answers session and a thank you by Alejandra Molina, Director of Intercultural Affairs.




For more photos of the event, check out the online album here.

Women’s March at Seneca Falls



The 2018 Women’s March was held on January 20, 2018, the anniversary of the first Women’s March in 2017. This protest march was held in hundreds of cities, towns and suburbs of the United States, as wells Canada, the UK, Japan and other countries. People gathered to their nearest march to protest Donald Trump’s administration’s policies, specifically regarding “immigration, healthcare and racial divides.”

A group of students from HWS attended the march in Seneca Falls after visiting the IC to create posters for the event. We were proud with HWS’ representation at the event and hope our student body continues to inspire and push for change.



Chinese Language Exchange Shares Culture and Food



Chinese students shared a traditional meal with their language exchange partners during an end-of-semester dinner at the Chaplain’s house on Dec 1. Students studying Chinese who have been matched with native Chinese speakers were introduced to “hot pot”, a communal dining experience popular in East and Southeast Asia.  Diners sat around a large pot of simmering flavored broth into which meats, seafood, vegetables and other delicacies are immersed to quickly cook before dipping in a savory sauce and eating. “It’s especially popular when the weather gets cold, but we actually eat it all year long,” said Natty Lin.  Each part of Asia has its own regional variation of flavors and ingredients, some spicier than others. It is a fun and delicious way for friends to get to know one another better through sharing language, culture and food!

Alpha Phi Alpha Founder’s Day

Monday, Dec. 4 at 7:06 p.m. members of the HWS community gathered at the Bartlett Theatre to celebrate the Alpha Phi Alpha Founder’s Day, presented by Eta Rho Lambda and Upsilon Pi Chapters. The event featured various speakers such as Dr. Weldon Thomas, Eta Rho Lambda, Chaplain Maurice Charles, Dean Montrose Streeter, as well as President Gregory Vincent. Sadeek Walker H’18 is the first President of this chapter.

In Spring of 2014 HWS established the Upsilon Pi chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity on campus. Their motto is “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All,” and they foster the principles of leadership, academic excellence, service and advocacy. Originally founded at Cornell University, Alpha Phi Alpha is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans.





For additional photos, check out the online album here.

Thanksgiving Break at HWS

The IC offered a series of programs for HWS students who stayed on campus for Thanksgiving break in cosponsorship with the Office of the President, Residential Education and Student Activities. The HWS community, and the IC family in particular, prides themselves in providing students with a sense of home. The activities over break encouraged students to take some time away from their academic stressors and focus on friends, the holiday and relaxing. Many events invited both students and faculty/staff to build a relationship regardless of age or grade. There was a great turn out at all of the events, and if you didn’t make it this year, the IC is always hosting programs, so feel free to drop by.

We hope you’re enjoying the holiday season!

I really feel like I share similar beliefs about engaging with others. I found people who appreciate the voices of others. William Ortlieb H’19

I became more social… I feel more at home. Giselle Miranda WS’21


Students enjoy brunch with President Vincent and Professor Alejandra Molina



Koshare Weekend

The Koshare Dance Collective is a dance club that has been in effect for over 65 years at HWS. Every year the collective aspires to produce a concert that is directed, choreographed, and danced by the students of the Colleges. The stage is continually brightened with diverse student choreography and dancers of varying levels of experience.

This year, the collective performed at two different shows at the Smith Opera House in downtown Geneva. Hundreds of students, faculty/staff, Geneva residents and friends/family of the performers attend to watch the show. This occurs once a year, and students are always welcomed to dance or choreograph a dance of any genre and ability level in the performance.





For more photos and videos of the event, check out the album here.

HWS’ LGBTQ and Allies Initiative

“The LGBTQ & Allies group is composed of faculty and staff who are working toward improving the campus culture around LGBTQ issues. The goal is to increase support and awareness for the LGBTQ community in hopes of creating a more inclusive environment.” For more information, visit the LGBTQ & Allies’ website.

“During 2016-2017, a steering committee of faculty, staff, and students established the Colleges’ LGBTQ+ Resource Center. The Center actively promotes academic and personal growth for the HWS LGBTQ community. In addition, it also plans and coordinates campus-wide programs and services to enhance the community’s understanding and appreciation of LGBTQ people, themes, and needs. A space designed for social gatherings, meetings, as well as providing tangible resources, the new center is located in deCordova Hall and is staffed by a LGBTQ Post-Undergraduate Fellow, two student advocates, and is supervised by the Division of Campus Life.” For more information visit the Resource’s website.

The LGBTQ & Allies group meets often to discuss different initiatives and plans to encourage inclusivity on campus. Shelly Lear, Counseling Center; Maurice Charles, Spiritual engagement; Katie Stiffler, Title IX; Molly Schamel, Counseling Center; Alejandra Molina, Intercultural Affairs; Darline Polanco Wattles, Intercultural Affairs; Jennifer Nace, Library; and Lester Gomez H’18 were all in attendance.

Past Updates:
Spring 2017
Fall 2016



This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Facciamo la pasta!

The Italian Conversation Table invited students to attend a session to learn how to make traditional homemade pasta in the Hirshson Ballroom. The Italian Conversation Table is a great way to learn about the Italy, as well as their food – a significant aspect of their history and culture.







Founder’s Day

Founder’s Day is one of the oldest traditions at HWS, celebrates the establishment of William Smith College, its students, graduates and their achievements. Founder’s Day brings together students, faculty, staff and alums every November in a series of events.

HWS welcomed Chrysa Chin WS’84 to campus as this year’s keynote guest. Chin is the executive vice president for strategic engagement and development for the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). She presented at the Founder’s Day celebrations, where she also was awarded the Alumna Achievement Award, the William Smith Alumnae Association’s highest honor. For more information about Chrysa Chin, read HWS Update’s article.

Other Founder’s Day celebration events include a showcase of remarkable alumnae, a Compliment Board, a Scavenger Hunt, green decor all over campus and a William Smith Photo Booth.



Buddhist Meditation



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ven. Tenzin Yignyen was ordained as a monk by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, and later entered Namgyal Monastery in India in 1969. After completing the studies of the monastery, including the monastic rituals and philosophical studies. In 1985 he received the “Master of Sutra and Tantra,” the monastery’s degree and equivalent to a Ph.D.

Tenzin has worked at HWS since 1998. In addition to teaching and advising students, he hosts a weekly Buddhist Mediation session at the IC. Members of the HWS community are always welcome to attend to unwind and meditate on the week ahead.

“Meditation is habituation our mental state with constructive, realistic and beneficial attitudes and emotions to reduce our worry, anxiety, stress and depression that we experience in our daily fast pace college life. It is also very powerful mental exercise to develop focus, patience, mindfulness and peace.” Venerable Tenzin Yignyen


Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the West African diaspora in the Americans. The celebration honors African American culture and celebrates family, community and culture. Kwanzaa has seven core principles, including Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

Kwanzaa has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical backgrounds.

At HWS, members of the community celebrated the holiday on Nov. 11, 2017 in the Vandervort Room. Sankofa presented the event, and the theme was to explore the intersections of identities through love and recognition. The Keynote speaker and performer was Shea Diamond.





From Swastika to Jim Crow

The Abbe Center for Jewish Life and Intercultural Affairs cosponsored a film screening and panel discussion of “From Swastika to Jim Crow” on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Geneva Room.

The documentary, produced in 2000, explores the intolerances felt by Jewish intellectuals and scholars who escaped Nazi Germany and immigrated to the U.S. After confronted with anti-Semitism at major universities, many secured positions at traditional Black colleges in the segregated South. This is a story of two cultures, each sharing a burden of oppression and brought together by the tragic circumstances of war.

The panelists included in the discussion after the film include Professor of Religious Studies, Michael Dobkowski, and Assistant Professor of History, Janette Gayle.

“‘From Swastika to Jim Crow’ explores the similarities between Nazi anti-Semitism and racism in the Jim Crow South in the 1930s and how these two diverse communities, German-Jewish professors and African American students, found common cause in the struggle against prejudice and created bonds of community, mentorship, learning and dialogue. It is a hopeful film, particularly given the current divisive political climate in Europe and the United States—-a rise in global anti-Semitism, a resurgence of populist nationalism, and xenophobia, Neo-Nazi groups and white supremacists and violence. It shows that in solidarity it is possible to break through barriers and confront evil and prejudice. The spirit and ethos of the film were carried over in a meaningful and open fashion during an engaging conversation between the panelists and audience participants. I was so heartened that difficult issues could be discussed in a respectful and honest way. I was also reminded that when we are able to create an environment of dialogical teaching in our classrooms, extended to the public square, we empower not only our students but ourselves, providing new avenues for engagement. I was very moved and encouraged by the evening.” Professor of Religious Studies, Michael Dobkowski



For more photos of the event, check out the online album here.

Festival of Nations

The Festival of Nations took place on Nov. 4 from 1-4 p.m. in the North Street Elementary School. This is the 11th annual Festival to celebrate the diverse cultures in the Geneva community.

This event is coordinated by the Geneva City School District, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Finger Lakes Community College, and invites schools, local artists, musicians, business owners, community resources and non-profit agencies.

This year, Kiara Gardiner, a student at Finger Lakes Community College and 2017 graduate of Geneva High School, used this as an opportunity to collect food to send to Puerto Rico as they recover from Hurricane Maria.

The event is always filled with food, dance, art and crafts, inviting all attendees to learn and celebrate different cultures, while also showcasing their own history.





Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and people of Mexican ancestry living in other places. This multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to celebrate, commemorate and pray for family and friends who have died.

The HWS community celebrated this event on Nov. 3 from 8-9:30 p.m. in the Fisher Center. The Introduction to Chicana Feminism and Visual Culture (Woman Studies 150), taught by Professor Michelle Martin-Baron, put together altars to remember family and friends who have passed.

Professor Michelle Martin-Baron joined the HWS faculty in 2012 and teaches a range of courses on gender, sexuality, and feminism in relation to the arts, memory, and identity. For more information on her work, check out her website.



For more photos of the event, check out the online album here.

President Vincent’s Inauguration

Hobart and William Smith Colleges celebrated President Vincent’s Inauguration during an installation ceremony on Friday, Oct. 27 at Trinity Church in Geneva. HWS students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Members of the HWS Board of Trustees congregated at the church for the event. The ceremony began with a processional, followed by readings, music, President Vincent’s inaugural address, and a concluding benediction. This event marked a transition in leadership, and will be forever remembered as an important part of HWS’ history.







For more information about the Inauguration, check out HWS’ website.

Italian Pastry Program

Alessandra Bottacin, Italian Fulbright Teaching Fellow, coordinated the Italian Pastry Program through the Italian Conversation Table this past Oct. 24 from 3-4 p.m. This program invited HWS students to participate in baking, and learn a bit more about the Italian culture and its pastry delicacies. The pastries made at this event are called pasticcini di pastadi mandorle, or almond pasticcini. HWS is so grateful for our Fulbright Teaching Fellows, especially with incredible cultural opportunities such as these.

The other Fulbright Teaching Fellows on campus are Meghann Fedon, French Fulbright Teaching Fellow, and Augar Khoshaba, Arabic Teaching Fellow.




Speaker on Racial Disparities

Professor James Sutton of the sociology department and Intercultural Affairs collaborated to bring James Schuler to campus to discuss “Racial Disparities in the criminal justice system, education, prison and ‘at risk’ children.” This event occurred on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Vandervort Room and was open for the public to attend. Discussions regarding the impact of racial disparities is important and often not talked about. After years in and out of jail, James Schuler is currently employed with Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., as an Intensive Case Manager and a member of the “Juvenile Justice Task Force of the Finger Lakes” and speaks out against what he went through. It is important to hear voice of those who can speak to our students from their own experiences, and James Schuler is a perfect example of this.

“Positioning his testimonial in the context of the educational and prison systems, Mr. Schuler brought to HWS a powerful (and empowering) indictment of the impact racial disparities have had on young man of color who, like himself, are incarcerated and who feel their  Community gave up on them too soon.” Director of Intercultural Affairs and Professor of Latin-American Studies, Alejandra Molina




LAO’s Heritage Dinner

The Latin American Organization hosted their annual Heritage Dinner in the Vandervort room on Oct. 14 from 5 – 8 p.m. The theme for the dinner this year was “Mexican Renaissance,” where the Mexican culture was celebrated through arts, history and dance. LAO invited all HWS students, staff and faculty to join in on the festivities, and sold tickets to students for $5 and non-students/faculty for $10. Through ticket sales and additional fundraising, LAO helped raise money to support Mexico’s earthquake victims and Puerto Rico’s victims of Hurricane Maria. HWS is committed to the global community, and LAO exemplified this through their success.







If you’d like to see more photos, check out the online album!

CSA’s Trip to the Tropics

The Caribbean Student Association hosted their annual Trip to the Tropics this past Oct. 21 at 4:30 p.m. in the Vandervort Room. This year’s theme was “Reggae Night.” The club invited the HWS community to participate in a celebration of the Caribbean culture and identity through dancing, presentations, good food and good company. CSA raised money for the island of Dominica for Hurricane relief efforts.




For additional photos, check out the online album here.

Arabic Snack Making Program

Augar Khoshaba, Arabic Fulbright Teaching Fellow, organized an Arabic Snack Making Program to teach students how to make hummus, Baba Ghannoush, and other delicious Arabic appetizers at the Arabic Table. Food is incredibly important when overcoming cultural barriers and making food together promotes community and friendship.

This took place in the Hirshon Ballroom from 4-6 p.m. on Oct. 16. For more information about the Arabic department and the Arabic Table meetings, check out the HWS website.





Asian Student Union’s Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, and is celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. Please in mainland China typically enjoy one day off on the festival which is usually connected with the weekend. On the festival day, family members gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes, and express strong yearnings toward family members and friends who live afar.

A group of HWS students gathered together with the Asian Student’s Union to celebrate the festival on campus this year at the Chaplain’s house.




LGBTQ and Allies Meeting

The LGBTQ and Allies met at the new LGBTQ Resource Center on campus on Oct. 4. The group discussed different ways they can address inclusivity on campus to promote safety, awareness and support for the LGBTQ+ community.

The Resource Center just recently opened this year and is located in deCordova Hall. This center is staffed by a LGBTQ Post-Undergraduate Fellow, two student advocates, and is supervised by the Division of Campus Life. This space actively promotes academic and personal growth for the HWS LGBTQ community and plans and coordinates campus-wide programs and services to enhance the community’s understanding and appreciation of LGBTQ people, themes, and needs.




HWS Impact

HWS Impact is designed as a platform for students to engage in the collective exploration of our campus culture through the exchange of stories, ideas and experiences.

On Monday, October 2, 2017, students gathered in the Bartlett Theatre to listen to five students’ stories. Kahiya McDaniels WS’19, Bartholomew Lahiff H’20, Alexia Sereti WS’19, Donovan Hayden H’19, and Tolulope Arasanyin WS’21 all contributed as student storytellers. This event provided students with the ability to explore their own narrative, share their complex humanity and come together as a community to explore how we an dispel the single stories that are perpetuated on our own campus.




Arabic Dance Program

Augar Khoshaba, Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant in Arabic hosted an Arabic Table at the Hirshson Ballroom. The theme of this program was Arabic Dance, where the group spent some time learning about the wedding traditions and culture in Arab countries, followed by Arabic dance lessons and music.

Opportunities to learn about different cultures and their traditions is important in expanding your knowledge about people across the world. We’re so lucky to have opportunities like this on campus, and hope students will take advantage of these events to learn more about other cultures.







Homecoming & Family Weekend

Homecoming & Family Weekend is always an exciting time for families and friends to visit the Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ campus to spend time with HWS students, faculty and staff. The Colleges find importance in having students show their family and friends what their lives on campus are like, so we put together a weekend’s worth of events to showcase the HWS community. Some of the events which IC was a part of included:

Snack and Share
The IC hosted a Snack and Share for students to show their guests the Intercultural Affairs Office and everything it has to offer. We love to invite parents to our center during this busy weekend and remind them that we strive to be a “home away from home” for students.

HWS Parent Fair
The HWS Parent Fair takes place on the Quad, and is a good way for families to learn about the different offices and departments at the Colleges and seek information.

CGASJ Luncheon with Alums
The CGASJ Luncheon with Alums provided HWS student leaders in the cultural, global awareness and social justice clubs with the opportunity to meet with alums who were also a part of those same clubs as students to learn more about their experiences and expertise. In this program, mentoring was key along with talking about how those leadership skills transfer in life after HWS. The Colleges loves their close-knit community and alum network, thus opportunities like these are always perfect for students to connect with other people also from the HWS circle.




This slideshow requires JavaScript.




Justus Bey H’90 speaks about the clubs he was involved with during his time at HWS at the Luncheon with Alums.

Building Leadership through Community

Building Community Through Leadership brought student leaders together to encourage them to form connections and build partnerships in new ways – with clubs and people they might not have collaborated with in the past. HWS believes it’s important to come together as student leaders to collaborate ideas and brainstorm different programs together while getting to know each other. This event took place in the Bartlett Theatre in  Coxe Hall on September 14.
“The Building Community Through Leadership event offered student leaders from very different clubs the opportunity to network and discuss collaborations.  We often find that our very engaged students are so busy that they may not know their counterparts in other clubs.  We hope events like this begin to foster alliances and understanding across interests and connect people who may have very different backgrounds around similar goals.” – Jeremy Wattles, Associate Director of the Community Engagement and Service Learning Office




This slideshow requires JavaScript.

LGBTQ+ Resource Center Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

On September 4, 2017, Hobart and William Smith Colleges officially opened the new on-campus LGBTQ+ Resource Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in de Cordova Hall. This event brought together students, faculty, staff, alums and friends of the Colleges, and featured a keynote address by Savas Abadsidis ’96, the managing editor for Retrograde Communications.

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center located on the first floor of deCordova Hall offers a safe, physical space for students and organizations to meet and find campus and community resources.




Speakers during the ribbon-cutting ceremony included: President Vincent, Kim Wilson Vincent, Savas Abadsidis, WS Dean Lisa Kaenzig, and Michelle Martin-Baron. Members of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center committee include Assistant VP for Campus Life Brandon Barile, Katie Stiffler (Title IX & Compliance Programs), Assistant Professor Michelle Martin-Baron, Christine Lucht (Residential Education), Valerie Cuellar ’20, Josue Cuevas ’20 and Lester Gamez ’19.




This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here is a glimpse of the ribbon cutting ceremony:




For more information on the resources HWS has to offer for the LGBTQ+ community, check out their website here.

HWS Club Expo

The first Friday of the Fall semester, HWS student leaders showcase their club on the Quad to inform and invite others to join. This is the perfect opportunity to see what HWS has to offer, meet new people, and join a new club. Every club sets up a table to have students walk around, introduce themselves and share contact information for future club meetings.





This year’s Convocation was a memorable one, as it was first in the tenure of President Gregory J. Vincent ’83. All students, faculty and staff were invited to join the gathering on the Stern Lawn where they listened to the traditional procession of bagpipes and international flags. This event allowed attendees to envision the promising year ahead and hear from keynote speaker, NPR’s Laura Sydell ’83 who received the prestigious William Smith Alumna Achievement Award during the ceremony.







International Student Orientation & Breakfast

All of the HWS International Students were encouraged to attend a Student Orientation and breakfast on the Scandling Patio. HWS wants to welcome all of our international students and note how they bring the world to our campus. The HWS community values all different cultures and is thankful for our global engagement each and every day.




HEOP Summer Institute Closing Banquet Summer 2017

The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is funded by the New York State Department of Education and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. HEOP is regarded as one of the most successful academic access and support programs of its type in the nation based upon student achievement and graduation rates according to the Teagel Foundation.

When a student is accepted into HWS through the Academic Opportunity Programs office, that student will attend a five-week intensive academic summer program, required for all first time enrolling Academic Opportunity Program students. This intensive program includes courses in College Writing, Geoscience, Humanities, Film Analysis and Study Skills for College Success. In addition, individual counseling sessions are scheduled to assist students in making the transition to the college environment. The Summer Institute sets the foundation for making the successful transition into HWS through academic preparation in essential skills necessary for college success, and building identity and community as new college students. In addition to learning administrative processes, students receive in-depth orientations to learn about the many services available on campus.








HWS Summer Academy 2017




This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The HWS Summer Academy is a yearly summer opportunity for Geneva High School juniors and seniors to engage in college academic work and activities for a period of two weeks. Students are guided by college student mentors, receive instruction and mentorship from professors and staff, and get to learn more about the college application process, college study strategies and college search process. The curriculum has expanded to include classes in architecture, computer programming, psychology, chemistry, sociology, environmental studies, social justice and dance. All in all the program seeks to prepare students for the networking, presentation, study skills, and application process expected for college applicants/students. The program is possible thanks to the generosity of the Wyckoff Family Foundation. It has been a huge success and has substantial support from HWS.

The Summer Academy is an academic program that combines lectures, discussions projects, presentation, field trips and workshops. It was started 13 years ago by Professor Boyer and has segued to new different ways, and this year we had 20 rising juniors and seniors who may have some kind of barriers…and this is an exposure program to college that says yes you can go and there is a way and you should be in college”
– Shayne Feinberg, Program Coordinator at the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning




Hobart and William Smith Colleges   Alumni Reunion of 2017 – Farewell to President Gearan and Mary Gearan




This slideshow requires JavaScript.

President Gearan’s accomplishments, in partnership with the HWS community, are too many to mention in one blog post. But as the office of Intercultural Affairs we would like to thank President Gearan for his dedicated support for inclusive excellence on campus as well as a noticeable increase in diversity across many identities and backgrounds. Under his leadership  the Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established with the mission to ensure adequate resources and attention is available to promote and sustain a diverse campus. Moreover, President Gearan led an effort to establish a Culture of Respect on campus which will continue to encourage a campus climate where prejudice and hate are not acceptable and where leadership is encouraged to counter them with the support of the colleges. “From class, to race, to sexuality – underneath all of these challenges to building a sense of community is the imperative for greater respect.” His Inclusive Excellence vision included creating “a learning community that is guided by the principles of equity, social justice, cultural competence, and engaged citizenship.” And so among the numerous other accomplishments of President Gearan, he prioritized and took to heart the need for inclusivity and communicating the benefits of diversity and respect. We thank both President Gearan and Mrs. Gearan for their personal involvement with HWS students as well as students in the Geneva school district. We wish the Gearan family the best in their future life. We will miss them! You can view videos of their final farewell during Alumni weekend below!












Hobart and William Smith Colleges   Commencement 2017




This slideshow requires JavaScript.










President Bill Clinton took the time during his commencement speech to address the Class of 2017 as political agents who have growing civic responsibilities on their shoulders. He spoke to the importance and accompanying benefits of diversity and inclusivity, and addressed the current divisive climate of our country. Bill Clinton asked the Class of 2017 and their friends and family “Do you believe constant combat works better to produce prosperity, harmony, peace — or are diverse networks of people working together more likely to produce those good ends?” His message was followed up by speeches of student representatives of HWS, Sydney Gomez WS’17 and Matthew Skinner H’17. Both spoke to the need of being better and more authentic listeners, being more empathetic of others unlike ourselves, and of the open doors students had available during their time here at the colleges. Together these speeches spoke to the importance of collectivity, supporting one another during times of need, and being more receptive and aware of diverse inclusivity. A great awesome note on which for Class of 2017 to say goodbye!

Below is a link to the IC’s full photo collection of Commencement 2017!

Commencement 2017 https://goo.gl/photos/epE8CVao42QenMtLA

IC Commencement 2017 Lunch and Dinner https://goo.gl/photos/bVpMSZcVx5S538Hz6

Girl Up & PeaceAction NY’s Hunger Banquet

On Sunday, April 30, Girl Up and PeaceAction NY hosted a Hunger Banquet for HWS. The Oxfam Hunger Banquet is a memorable, interactive event that brings hunger and poverty issues to life. The clubs were happy to see many students attending this event to learn more about the poverty issues worldwide. To learn more or donate to this foundation, check our their website here! If you would like to see additional photos and videos check out their album!







8th Annual The Arts Experience

Every year the Finger Lakes, Inc. and HWS Colleges are pleased to present The 8th Annual Arts Experience: A Festival Celebrating Inclusion & the Arts. This year, the theme was Planting Seeds. This took place from April 3 – April 7, and the Gala was on Thursday, April 6 in the Vandervort Room in the Scandling Center. This was an art exhibit featuring local artists and participatory dancing with Cadence Whittier. HWS Studio Arts Collective students provided opportunities to create art from found materials. The William Smith College A Capella group, Three Miles Lost performed, as well as the Youth Voice Band.










Pride’s Gayla Dinner

On Friday, April 14, the PRIDE club hosted their annual Gayla Dinner at the Barlett Theatre to bring together members of the HWS community and recognize the work of Pride over the past year. This dinner is an exciting occasion for all those involved, and provides HWS students and faculty to gather together at year’s end. Samantha Vega, a drag queen based out of Rochester, hosted the event and performed for all the attendees.

Pride’s prizes were Oscar themed and IC received the best production design award. The IC was honored to receive an award at the event and will treasure all the memories made at this fabulous annual gathering.







HipNotiQ’s Step Show

On Saturday, April 15, the HipNotiQ’s hosted their Step Show. The Hip-NotiQ’s is an organization and team devoted to creating a positive energy on campus by merging the arts of dance and step to create unique routines and performances.

In stepping, the body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds though a combination of footsteps, claps and the spoken word. Stepping is based on a long and rich tradition in African-based communities that use movement, words and sounds to communicate allegiance to a group.

If you’re interested in joining the team, check out their website.







Sankofa’s Charity Ball




Sankofa, the HWS Black Student Union, recently hosted its annual Charity Ball which raised over $2,000 and awarded scholarships to Geneva High School students. The theme of this year’s Charity Ball was “Black Diamonds” to represent the strength, beauty and uniqueness of the Black diaspora. The Ball took place Saturday, March 26 at the Geneva Ramada Lakefront. German Veras H’17 MC’ed the event.

Award-winning artist, writer, performer, educator, and activist Dominique Christina served as keynote speaker. Christina holds four national titles in the three years she has been competing in slam poetry. The Charity Ball also featured a dinner, live performances, dancing and a silent auction.

For more photos of the event, click here! To read more, click here!

Scholar’s Day at HWS

Intercultural Affair’s Director Alejandra Molina and Pamela Icyeza welcomed students and families who attended the Academic Department and Campus Resource Fair on Saturday, April 8. HWS encourages all admitted students to visit campus where they’ll be introduced to the Colleges through the eyes of our students. Students gain a better understanding of life at HWS is actually like. Visiting students and families have the opportunity to attend various panels, meet with faculty and staff members, participate in full campus tours, residence hall hours and visual arts tours.

To read more, click here! For more photos, click here!

“Saturday was a lot of fun! It’s always great speaking to potential students and exposing them to the many different student run clubs and through this, showing them the importance of the IC to the student population!” Pamela Icyeza




International Student Association’s Annual Dinner




ISA hosted their annual dinner on March 31 at the Ramada on the Geneva lakefront. HWS students and faculty attended for a night filled with music, dancing and fun. There were impressive performers, a delicious buffet style dinner, and various speakers.

For students interested in participating in events with international students, you can attend this Friday’s International Café at the Chaplain’s house. For more information on how HWS supports their international students, check out our website.

For more photos of the event, click here.

Banning Refugees Program




Activist, Speaker and author of Bosnian Immigrants visited Hobart and William Smith this past Friday, March 24 to speak about her book, as well as the topic of immigration and refugees. These conversations are important to have, especially during our current political situation. It’s crucial to listen to other perspectives and become informed on every aspect of the situation.

This event was hosted by the One-on-One Friendship Club, a service club that relies on a video calling platform to connect young Indonesians to youth in other cultures to promote peace, non-violence and social justice. Their mission is to promote social justice and to provide a network for working collaboratively among individuals of diverse cultures as well as furthering our understanding of world cultures, uniting cultural differences, enhancing leadership skills, and creating a discourse that addresses issues revolving around social justice. They do this by skyping with students in Indonesia weekly in order to help teach them English as well as creating and holding events that discuss cross-cultural issues and how to address and go about working with people of different backgrounds positively and productively. The club meets every Monday at 7pm in the Demearest reading room on the first floor for anyone interested in attending.

One on One Friendship was proud to host Aisa Purak as our speaker on Friday. Our club promotes cross-cultural engagement and conversations as we help teach students in Indonesia English. We believe that having serious conversations about cross-cultural issues and being able to understand and accept those of different backgrounds is extremely important. Asia Purak, a Bosnian refugee, was able to tell us about her own experiences as a refugee and how that has impacted her. Everyone there got to understand how impactful it is to be torn away from one’s own country and, as being a Muslim, Purak was able to tell us why religious differences in this country, especially coming from refugees, is crucial to creating acceptance of others. We were so glad to have hosted her at HWS and hope to continue promoting cross-cultural friendly dialogues! Carly Kelly WS, Co-Founder of One-on-One Friendship Club




CSA’s Masquerade Ball




Every year, the Caribbean Student’s Association on campus hosts their annual Masquerade Ball and invites the HWS community to participate in celebrating the caribbean culture, enjoy traditional food and dance, and spend time with friends. The event this year took place at the Belhurst Castle on Saturday, March 25 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The theme this year is “Whine ‘N Dine,” which references the Caribbean dance from called whining. Various live performances included FuturPointe from Rochester, NY, and the Brazilian dance group Samba Novo from NYC.

All proceeds from the event were donated to a CSA Scholarship Fund at the Center for Global Education that provides assistance to students who are studying abroad.

Students can become involved with CSA by attending weekly meetings hosted at the IC on Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. For additional photos from the event check out this link Masquerade Ball 2017 Photos







Hillel HWS Shabbat

Shabbat, or the Jewish Sabbath, is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles and reciting a blessing. Shabbat observance traditionally entails three festive meals: in the evening, in the early afternoon and late in the afternoon. The evening meal typically begins with a blessing called kiddish and another blessing recited over two loaves of challah bread.




“HWShabbat 2017 was a huge success!  The theme of the event – and the reason we changed the name from Shabbat 250 to HWShabbat – was community, and the evening allowed us to come together as a community and to celebrate the idea of community.  The Jewish community on campus enjoyed sharing our Shabbat traditions with friends and colleagues from other faith traditions, and everyone learned about the idea of Shabbat – the idea of taking time away from our to-do lists and schedules to do something that feeds our souls.  We honored President Gearan for his service to the Jewish community, and presented him with a gift engraved with the Jewish teaching “L’dor vaDor,” which means “From Generation to Generation.”  This is an idea in Judaism that we have an obligation to plant for future generations just as prior generations planted for us.  President Gearan’s work in starting the Abbe Center exemplifies this teaching, and we were thrilled to be able to honor him.” Julianne Miller, Director, Abbe Center for Jewish Life and Hillel Adviser

See more photos of the Shabbat dinner here.

For more information on the Jewish life at HWS, visit their website here!

William Smith Walkout




On March 8th, otherwise known as International Women’s Day, an International Women’s Strike took place in locations all throughout the world. Women in various international locations participated in a strike in the form of walk-outs, protests, occupations & blockades. The women of Geneva, New York and other neighboring cities joined this action towards change by assembling at noon in front of Congressman Tom Reed’s Geneva office. Strikes were open to all ages and genders to have people stand in solidarity for women.

William Smith also participated in a Walkout where HWS students met outside the Performing Arts Center at 11:30 to walk downtown and protest at Tom Reed’s. This was a call for collaboration to support the Geneva Women’s Assembly.

At least 200 students gathered in front of the PAC to walk downtown in solidarity to Tom Reed’s office. By one o’clock several hundred people had gathered on the sidewalk. Students and individuals alike stood up in front of the crowd and spoke on why they strike; varying from immigration to violence against women to reproductive rights. In that moment, we found that we are stronger together. And together we have the opportunity to voice our opinions and stand together in solidarity. Brittany MacLeod WS’17




This slideshow requires JavaScript.

International Women’s Day