THE WILLIAM SMITH DEAN'S OFFICE
Lisa Kaenzig, Dean of the College
Dean Lisa 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 serving as a dean at the Colleges. On the national stage, she is the immediate past 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. PLEN’s mission is to increase the number of women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of the public policy process.
Dean Kaenzig also serves as the adviser to Hai Timiai, the William Smith senior honor society, and as adviser to the Laurel Society, William Smith’s sophomore/junior honor society. The Laurel Society is the sponsor of the Leadership League of Women (LLOW) program, a collaboration between William Smith College student leaders and the female-identified leaders of Geneva High School.
Dean Kaenzig also founded and coordinated the HWS First Generation Initiative from 2006 – 2014, and has worked with the Centennial Center for Leadership on several initiatives. She was appointed by President Mark D. Gearan to serve in leadership roles on several HWS initiatives including the HWS Middle States Accreditation Steering Committee, the President’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence and the Strategic Diversity Plan Committee.
A frequent invited speaker on issues relating to gifted and introverted learners, Kaenzig’s acclaimed research on the topic, “Introversion: The often forgotten factor affecting the gifted,” is cited as one of the most influential references in the field. Kaenzig has appeared on NPR and the BBC’s podcast “The Why Factor” to discuss her research on introversion. In the local community, Kaenzig served as the founding president of the Music Boosters of Geneva and on the board of the Geneva Theatre Guild.
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.
Kelly Payne, Assistant Dean
Kelly Payne joins the William Smith Dean’s Office committed to helping open doors for William Smith students. She will be working with the Classes of 2022 and 2024. While she is new to the Colleges, Dean Payne has more than 10 years of experience in higher education, serving in both administrative and instructional roles. In addition to teaching first-year seminars in the humanities, surveys of American and African American literature, and professional development courses, she co-taught a study abroad course in Belgium and the Netherlands on political dissidence in the literature of the low countries. In all of these roles, Dean Payne works hard to support students by fostering an inclusive and socially just learning environment. Dean Payne is a proud first-generation college graduate and is the first person in her family to earn a doctorate degree. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a graduate certificate in Nineteenth Century Studies, and a B.A. in English from Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana). Her research interests include nineteenth-century American literature and reform as well as topics relating to the history of higher education and civil rights protest. She also has published on first-generation students and use of the student confessional narratives as a tool for promoting academic awareness and success.
Lisa Salter, Assistant Dean
Lisa Salter is assistant dean of William Smith College, working with the Classes of 2021 and 2023. As assistant dean she is fully invested in fostering students' academic success. She has had a broad range of experiences at the Colleges over the last ten years. Dean Salter has worked with students as a visiting faculty member in the psychology and religious studies departments, the FSEM program and study abroad terms, and as a part-time member of the William Smith Athletics coaching staff and the HWS Counseling Center Office.
Dean Salter holds a Ph.D. in ethics from the University of Chicago, a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) from the School of Social Work, University at Buffalo, a M.A. in economics from Duke University, and a B.A. in economics from the College of William and Mary.
Gretchen DeWall, Assistant to the Dean
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 by answering questions or directing them to the best resource.