"Home Away from Home"

Featured Alums 2013

Cecilia Capers c/o 1992

Cecilia Capers, William Smith graduate class of 1992, majored in English with a concentration in theatre and film. After college she worked as an elementary school teacher and then decided to attend Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. As a member of the New York State Bar, she has worked in government, as a lobbyist with a major law firm, staff attorney at one of the largest unions in New York State, and political campaign consultant. Capers writes and speaks frequently about the new age of publishing. She blogs on issues ranging from the arts & entertainment to current events. As a contemporary women’s fiction writer, Capers returned to her literary roots with the debut of To Whom Much Is Given – A Novel in July 2013. Capers is inspired to write about multicultural characters and multi-dimensional women. Her goal is to shine a light on diverse and powerful depictions of African Americans occupying all tiers of society while exploring contemporary issues.

“It is definitely an honor to give back to HWS when HWS continues to influence me.  The writing and political-related work I do definitely developed while I was at HWS in the classroom as well as through extracurricular activities.”

See more of Cecilia’s work on her website: www.CeciliaCapers.com ,on The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cecilia-t-capers/, on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eRM2CpqPHs

EventsByDelvinaDelvina Smith c/o 2009

Delvina Smith, William Smith graduate class of 2009, majored in Anthropology and minored in Peer Education and Human Relations. While she was on campus, she was treasurer of the Caribbean Student Association, was part of the Budget Allocations Committee and was involved with the Jewish Culture House.

Currently, Delvina works for Events Associates, Inc. and manages her own event planning company, EventsByDelvina.

What inspired Delvina to start her own business?

“I always believed you needed two things to start your own business; lots of money and lots of years of experience. What I didn’t realize was that passion, gumption, hard work and a good laugh also come in handy.  I was inspired by the work I currently do day to day for large nonprofits who have event budgets over 100k and want to be able to provide the unparalleled event experience to other companies and people. EventsByDelvina is 100% me, and 100% what I love to do.”

Any advice for HWS students?

“I would say to every student never limit yourself in what you study. I found passion in anthropology and decided to follow my passion and still it led me to my dreams of becoming an event planner. “

Dubary Brea 2008Dubary Brea c/o 2008

Dubary Brea, Hobart class of 2008, majored in International Relations with a double minor in Economics and Latin American Studies. While at HWS, he was elected head of Alumni Relations for the Chi Phi Fraternity. Additionally, he was also a member of Hobart Student Government (HSG), the Latin American Organization (LAO), Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC), he tutored local kids in as part of the America Reads program, and worked for HWS Connects fundraising for the Colleges.

What’s life like post-HWS?

“After HWS, I went to pursue my Master’s in Public Administration from the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) at Cornell University specializing in Government, Politics, and Policy Studies. Since finishing graduate school in 2012, I have been working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  Currently, I am working in the Port Commerce department where I am implementing the Port Authority’s $28 Million Truck Replacement Program, which provides grants and financing to trucking companies and truck owners to help them purchase newer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly trucks. I am also participating in the Leadership Fellows Program which is a fast-track rotational management program for future agency leaders. While in the program, I will be working in a number of different departments and projects to help build a strong foundation of business acumen and knowledge of agency operations.”

How did you get this current position?

“My graduate school informed me of the position, I also did some alumni networking at the agency and then applied on their website. I underwent a rigorous interview process which consisted of multiple rounds, presentations, and assessments which were used to gauge your potential level of success at the agency.”

What prepared you for your current position?

“After HWS, I worked for a non-profit in NYC managing income-tax and job placement assistance programs. During graduate school, I interned at the Congressional Budget Office in DC and worked for the local chamber of commerce in Ithaca which helped provide me with direct high-level project management experience.”

“My future career plans include navigating a successful career path as a civil servant, and maybe one day pursuing elected office. Anything is possible, the sky is the limit.”

Any advice for HWS students?

“Make a concerted effort to network with HWS alumni. This will help you establish relationships with individuals who can serve as mentors and resources for future internship and employment opportunities.”

SFrance2012Shanelle France c/o 2011

Lumelang, batho ba bang (Hello everyone)!

Shanelle France, William Smith graduate class of 2011, majored in Africana Studies and minored in Education and graduated with a NYS dual certification to teach elementary General and Special Education. While a student at HWS, Shanelle was an RA for three years, participated in several cultural club activities, participated in Hip~NotiQs for a year, participated in and led the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Club, taught Sunday School at a church in downtown Geneva, volunteered with the Community Lunch Program, worked as the College Coordinator for Neighbor’s Night, was a member of the Laurels and Hai Timiai and was a proud barista at OPUS.

Currently, Shanelle is living in Lesotho, Africa as an Education Resource Volunteer.

What prepared you for your current position?

“My time as a student at HWS was deeply influential and helped prepare me for life beyond my undergraduate studies: academically, mentally, inter-personally, intra-personally and spiritually. In addition to my collegiate affairs, I tried to take advantage of the endless clubs and campus involvement opportunities. The lessons I learned while at HWS have been challenged, refined and built upon throughout my time here in Lesotho.  It is amazing what opportunities HWS and the greater Geneva community have to offer!  Thinking back on my four years is making me miss everything so dearly, but I absolutely adore my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer; I am fully assured that this is where I am meant to be for where I am in my life right now.”

What is your role like  as a Peace Corps Volunteer?

“As I mentioned before, I am working as a Resource Teacher for the Lesotho College of Education; therefore, my main focus is on capacity building: teaching teachers how to teach.  My responsibilities are multi-faceted in that I act as a site tutor (observing college students who are teaching), hold office hours, teach monthly workshop sessions, but I also visit three schools in my area and teach Life Skills to students and work with the teachers of the schools on anything that that want to improve on.”

Any advice for HWS students?

“I would not trade this experience for the world!  With that said, the only sage advice I can humbly share, is to follow your heart.  Joining the Peace Corps was a dream of mine for almost 10 years before it became a reality.  I have learned to savor life and to appreciate simplicity in such deep and meaningful ways that would not have been possible had I not joined the Peace Corps.  -Khotso le lerato (peace and love)”

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