17 March 2022 • Faculty Dean Kaenzig Receives PLEN’s National Award for Mentorship

For her significant service in helping to advance young leaders in the nation’s capital, William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig receives PLEN’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award.

For nearly three decades of work to advance and train the next generation of public policy leaders, William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig was honored with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) on Wednesday, March 16 in Washington, D.C. She was joined by nearly 20 alums and current students who have benefited from her leadership.

PLEN Executive Director Dr. Nancy Stalowski says Kaenzig’s significant service deserves recognition. The award is given to a member of the PLEN community who has demonstrated a particularly strong commitment to mentoring the students of PLEN and preparing them for careers in policy leadership over their career. Kaenzig, a member of the PLEN Advisory Council, a past Chair of the Board of Directors for PLEN, of which William Smith College has been an institutional member since 2012.

“Lisa Kaenzig, Ph.D. was chosen to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at PLEN’s 2022 Mentor Awards for her lifelong dedication to PLEN and supporting students. She is a PLEN champion for HWS who has touched and enriched the lives of so many students,” says Stalowski. “Through her leadership, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have created a robust PLEN chapter on campus and funded numerous students to attend PLEN seminars in Washington, D.C. She has also been instrumental in helping PLEN innovate and grow as an organization. Lisa has been a constant within PLEN, first as a PLEN alumna, then board member, and now serving on the PLEN Advisory Council. Therefore, we want to acknowledge her selfless voluntary service to PLEN and her students through this award.”

With headquarters in Washington, D.C., PLEN is the only national organization with the mission to empower, educate and engage women and marginalized gender groups in public policy to promote diverse, inclusive leadership in policy-making positions. As a member campus, William Smith hosts events on campus including weekly breakfasts and self-care nights, and sends students to Washington, D.C. to participate in PLEN seminars.

In addition to serving as William Smith Dean for 18 years, Kaenzig’s administrative and academic experience includes several years working in politics in Washington, D.C.

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 George Washington University and her B.A. in political science from Rutgers University.

Other recipients to receive an array of awards during the PLEN ceremony include: fifth-term U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler and Leadership Development Practitioner Raquel Gonzalez. 

In the photo above, William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig gathers with alums and students following the award ceremony.