WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans
WS Deans


The William Smith Dean’s Office is the keeper of William Smith College’s rich traditions, and the main source of academic support and encouragement for William Smith students. We are a community of intelligent and talented young women joining together to celebrate each other’s many accomplishments, and to support each other. We celebrate and foster the creativity, scholarship, service, leadership, and athleticism of William Smith women, and we work hard to ensure that every William Smith woman receives the guidance she needs to succeed academically.

William Smith’s intention in founding a women’s college was to provide an educational opportunity that would allow women to live an “abundant life”. The WS Deans coordinate a four year experience that supports his goal.

Through all the adventures and challenges you face, the William Smith Deans are here when you need information, support, or guidance. You can call 315-781-3467 for an appointment any time. The ways in which we support women students can be divided into three areas:

  1. Academic
    • We support the academic mission of the institution as a first priority in students’ lives. The Deans provide students with academic counseling, advising, problem-solving, and recognition. Additionally, because we see how academic policies impact student lives, we advise faculty and administrative bodies regarding the creating and change of academic policies.
  2. Leadership
    • We promote the development of leadership in various ways. We provide opportunities for students to serve successfully in leadership positions and to understand group dynamics and democratic processes. We believe that since leadership has historically been a male/masculine reality, the importance of supporting separate leadership development opportunities specific for women is paramount.
  3. Institutional and Personal Identity
    • We attempt to provide an experience that will allow women to become more self-aware and to understand and define themselves as members of the WS community, the Geneva community and the world. Maintaining WS College traditions serves to connect students to the past, present and future of the College. The traditions encourage students to understand WS College in a historical perspective. This sense of connection to the past promotes connection to the College in the present, thus supporting retention of women, and supports alumnae connection to the College post-graduation.


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


Lisa Kaenzig, Dean of the College


Dean Kaenzig has over 25 years of administrative and academic experience, including several years working in politics in Washington, D.C. and more than 14 years as a dean at the Colleges. She is the adviser to the sophomore and junior honor society, the Laurel Society. She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), of which William Smith College is an institutional member. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., PLEN is the only national organization with the sole focus of preparing college women for leadership in the public policy arena. Through introducing college women to role models, career paths, and skills trainings before they enter the workforce, PLEN’s mission is to increase the number of women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of the public policy process. Dean Kaenzig earned her Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership from the College of William and Mary, her M.A. in Human Resource Development from the George Washington University and her B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University. She is a frequent speaker on issues relating to the development of women and girls, the gifted and talented population, and the best ways to serve introverted learners.

Valerie Gunter, Assistant Dean of the College


Dean Gunter is the dean for the sophomore and senior classes. She is the William Smith Dean’s Office representative to the Committee on Standards and to the Committee on Individual Majors, as well as a member of the Health Professions Committee. She is also the adviser to the senior honor society, Hai Timiai, as well as the Stewardson Society. Dean Gunter holds a B.S. degree in biology from Syracuse University.

Gretchen DeWall, Administrative Assistant


Gretchen is the assistant to the deans 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.

Student Assistants



Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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