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Among the most important jobs of the three William Smith deans is to cultivate the identity and traditions of William Smith College. This is an institution with a magnificent inheritance of educating young women. We celebrate that heritage in rare style. We have fun. Several hundred smart young women in astonishing shoes, applauding each others' many, many accomplishments of creativity and athletics and service and scholarship, gifting each other with greenery and jewelry and chocolate.

Our newest tradition is called "Women Moving Women Up," which includes projects undertaken by our students to support the education and welfare of women outside our campus. High school girls in a study room in Africa have light to read, area women have shelter in a domestic abuse safe house, Geneva kids are invited to campus, little girls are rescued from servitude. We are all, students and deans, immensely proud of this work. And we invite every residence, every team, every club to be part of Women Moving Women Up.

We also work with individual William Smith students. Your four years here are a time of growth, challenge, and adventure. There will be moments when you need information, or a sounding board, or a little support. When that happens, and it will, we are here.

Each class dean is knowledgeable about HWS and experienced in helping students get the most from college. There is not much we haven't already dealt with and we nearly always know who you need to talk to.

  • applying for a prestigious fellowship? Talk with a Dean.
  • struggling with a heavy course load? Talk with a Dean.
  • fallen behind because of illness or a problem at home? Talk with a Dean.
  • need money to attend a scholarly conference? Talk with a Dean.

You can call ext. 3467 for an appointment any time to talk about your questions, your problems, and your hopes.

In addition to individual help, the deans offer programs and events packed with essential information about what you need to know and think about during your four very different William Smith years.

First Years

Your first college Registration for Spring classes can be daunting, which is why you will be so glad you attended The First Year Academic Advising Pizzapalooza, held in November. You will leave with a bellyful of pizza, salad, cookies and indispensable information from faculty and upper class students about how to register successfully.


Your essential task is to declare a major. Your academic adviser will work with you on this important decision, but you will be ahead if you attend the Fall Term Majors/Minors Fair. There you can meet faculty and student representatives of many majors to explore which mesh with your interests and talents. You'll have a chance to ask questions over supper with people from Career Planning and Study Abroad, as well.

During spring term, you are invited to the Sophomore Spring Forward Dinner to celebrate the accomplishments of your class, meet other students in your new major and enjoy the famous Global Buffet dinner.


Your goal this year is to take stock of where you are and where you want your education to take you. We are planning an informative, stimulating evening called, “Where’s the “You?”” Come to talk with seniors who have interned in every field of work. Be introduced to the concept of Ongoing Strategic Course Selection. Enjoy a formal, sit-down "Mock Interview" dinner with alums in your field.


Your work this year, and ours, is to prepare you for the not really so awful as they say, "Real World." The Countdown to Commencement is a series of Senior Suppers, designed to focus in on the particular needs of different majors and minors. You will leave with dozens of networking contacts in hand, and with practical information about how to get your new post-college life up and going.


William Smith Dean's Office
Smith Hall, First Floor
Phone: (315) 781-3467
Hours 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri

Summer Programs

Hobart and William Smith offer three summer programs to students: Maymester, Summer Session, and the Summer Bridge program.

Maymester and Summer Session are open to all students. Maymester allows students to take one course with an HWS faculty member for 3.5 hours, five days a week. During he Summer Session Students can take one or two courses for 2 hours a day per course, five days a week during the period. The Summer Bridge program is a five-week academically-intensive summer residential program for incoming first-year students.

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Catherine Gallouët, Dean of the College

Professor of French and Francophone Studies Catherine Gallouët currently serves as Dean of William Smith College. During a 27-year career at HWS, she has served as the department chair three times, initiated the French study abroad programs, and is an alumna of Bryn Mawr's HERS (Higher Education Resource Services). She has written numerous scholarly publications, a book, articles, book chapters and reviews, and edited three volumes of essays. Gallouët’s recent scholarship focuses on culture and race during the French Enlightenment. Gallouët has been honored with the prestigious 2014-2015 John Readie and Florence B. Kinghorn Global Fellowship, as nominated by HWS colleagues. The fellowship honors outstanding individuals at HWS who have exemplified global citizenship on a continued basis. Born in Vietnam, Gallouët received her doctorate and master's from Rutgers University, her B.A. cum laude from Hope College and her Bacalauréat, with honors, from Académie de Grenoble.

Valerie Gunter, Assistant Dean of the College

Dean Gunter is the dean for the sophomore and junior classes. She is also the William Smith Dean's Office representative to the Committee on Standards and to the Committee on Individual Majors. Dean Gunter assists and supports students and the campus Counseling Center in coordinating the Acquaintance Rape Awareness Workshops each fall. She is also the adviser to the Laurel Society.

Lisa Kaenzig, Associate Dean of the College

Dean Kaenzig is the dean for the first-year class. She invites all first-year students to meet with her to get acquainted and discuss how she can help make the first-year successful and happy for them. Dean Kaenzig also serves on the committee for Global Education, the Steering Committee for Accreditation at HWS, Coordinates the HWS First Generation Initiative and works with the programs of the Centennial Center for Leadership.

Gretchen DeWall, Administrative Assistant

Gretchen is the assistant to the dean of William Smith College and the office supervisor. With her friendly voice and outgoing personality, Gretchen is always willing to help students make appointments to see the deans and assist students and/or parents with questions regarding academic policies.

Sue Parmenter, Secretary

Sue is the secretary to the Deans of William Smith College. With her calm and friendly personality, Sue answers academic policy questions, helps direct the students, and makes appointments with the deans.