30 May 2024 • Mentorship Kaenzig to Lead Centennial Center

Longtime William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig P’22 tapped to lead the HWS Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Lisa Kaenzig P’22, who has advised and guided students for more than 20 years in the William Smith Dean’s Office, will serve as Dean of Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Director of the Centennial Center beginning July 1.

“I join the entire campus community in thanking Dean Kaenzig for her extraordinary service to students and to the Colleges,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “She has built a team of outstanding professionals in the Dean’s Office who are wholly devoted to making certain that all students have the resources and support they need. She will bring that same passion and determination to her new role, and I look forward to working with her.”

Kaenzig will oversee the Centennial Center’s staff and signature programs. Kayla Eberhardt and Ann Marie Luce will continue to serve as Associate Directors of the Centennial Center. In her new role, Kaenzig will also continue her work as director of the HWS chapter of the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), the only national organization with the sole focus of empowering, educating and engaging women and marginalized gender groups in public policy to promote diverse, inclusive leadership in policy making.

“I am thrilled that President Gearan has asked me to serve in this new role at HWS and I look forward to continuing to work closely with our students as they think through their own models of leadership,” says Kaenzig. “I served on the original steering committee for the Centennial Center and have long admired its mission to help students develop as people and as professionals. To be part of the trajectory of the Centennial Center and to work with Associate Directors Kayla Eberhardt and Ann Marie Luce is an honor.”

Kaenzig has more than 30 years of administrative and academic experience, including several years working in politics in Washington, D.C. and more than two decades serving as a dean at HWS. On the national stage, she is the past Chair of the PLEN Board of Directors. On campus, she founded the HWS First Generation Initiative in 2006; has worked with the Centennial Center on several initiatives; and advised Hai Timiai, the William Smith senior honor society. She was appointed 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. She currently serves on the HWS Committee on Academic Affairs and the Admissions and Retention Committee, and works with the Office of Institutional Advancement.

A frequent invited speaker on issues relating to talent development 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. 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.

Kaenzig earned her Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership from 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.

“As Dean of William Smith, Lisa has been an incredible resource and mentor for students, encouraging them to grow as thoughtful and creative leaders on campus and off,” says Provost and Dean of Faculty Sarah Kirk. “I am grateful for her contributions to HWS, and I know I speak for our campus community when I say how excited I am to see where she steers the fantastic work of the Centennial Center.”