Lisa Kaenzig has been named Dean of William Smith College, an appointment to which she brings more than 25 years of experience, an announcement met with a standing ovation from the student body at the traditional Moving Up Day on April 28.
“It is the dream of my lifetime to serve in a role that allows me to help women develop their potential,” says Kaenzig, who joined William Smith as the assistant dean in 2003 and has served as associate dean since 2009. “I have the honor of watching students transform into the most amazing versions of themselves that I always knew they could be.”
As associate dean, Kaenzig has advised first-year and junior William Smith students. Her dedication to the HWS community is exhibited further in her role as adviser to the Laurel Society, an honor society for sophomores and juniors. The Laurel Society is the sponsor for the Leadership League of Women (LLOW) program, a collaboration with female-identified leaders at Geneva High School. She 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.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Dean Kaenzig’s expertise and passion,” says Gearan, who made the announcement. “Since her arrival on campus, she has been an integral part of the HWS and Geneva community, helping thousands of William Smith students adjust to college life, to excel while here, and then to graduate to lead lives of consequence.”
On the national stage, Kaenzig is 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. More than 130 William Smith students have attended PLEN seminars in D.C. and many students attend regular meetings of the on-campus PLEN leadership chapter.
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.
Prior to joining the Colleges, Kaenzig served in leadership roles at numerous non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C., including the Women’s Information Network, the National Governors Association and the Women’s Campaign Fund.
In addition to a B.A. in political science from Douglass College at Rutgers University, Kaenzig holds a master’s in human resource development from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William and Mary.
Kaenzig succeeds Catherine Gallouet, who has served as Dean of William Smith since 2014. Gallouet returns to the French and Francophone department as a member of the faculty.