The FGI Team is composed of dedicated faculty, staff, and students who work directly with the Initiative to provide resources, plan events, and offer support to the community of first generation students and their families as well as first generation faculty, staff, and alumni/ae at HWS.
Director, Christine de Denus
Christine de Denus is the Director of the First Generation Initiative, and a Associate Professor of Chemistry at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She has been at the Colleges since 1999 and has immersed herself in the community. She is an organometallic chemist who finds herself teaching introductory, organic, inorganic, structural analysis, and forensic chemistry as well as first-year seminar courses on a regualar basis. In addition to her teaching duties she has spent time as the Associate Dean of Faculty and Associate Provost where her primary duties included curriculum design, development, and review; academic facilities and equipment planning; faculty hiring and development; development and review of academic programs; implementation of new digital pedagogies and initiatives across the curriculum; course scheduling, enrollment, and classroom management/design; oversight and fiscal management of various grants, endowments, and budgets; and directing a vibrant undergraduate summer research program. She is also involved in efforts surrounding Title IX and Bystander trainings, Division III athletics, and LGBTQ education and policy changes. Her personal interests include cooking, reading, biking, home repair, and supporting the musical and athletic pursuits of her two daughters.
Assistant Director, Shelle Basilio-Murray
Shelle serves as the Associate Vice President for Campus Life. Shelle has worked at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 2013 and is responsible for working with the Counseling and Hubb Health Centers, International Student Success, managing the Campus Life crisis response, working with students who need additional supports and resources and managing the medical leave process. Shelle also serves as a member for the First Generation Initiative team, works closely with our Posse Scholars program and manages the Empowerment Institute. Shelle works closely with faculty to provide Living Learning Community experiences to first-year students and is currently co-chairing the First Year Impact Committee. Shelle graduated from Niagara University and holds a Master of Science in Education.