Associate Dean of William Smith Lisa Kaenzig was recently featured as a guest speaker for the “Great Women in and around Seneca Falls” lecture series, serving as one of several women leaders who spoke at The Gould Hotel in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
Kaenzig has more than 25 years of administrative and academic experience, 12 of which have been at the Colleges. Kaenzig also was recently nominated and named Chair of the Board of Directors of the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), the only national organization with the sole focus of preparing college women for leadership in the public policy arena.
“At this exciting time when we have a woman running for president on both the Democrat and Republican sides, and women are breaking so many barriers every day, it is a perfect time to talk about these important issues of women’s equality right in the heart of the women’s movement in Seneca Falls,” says Kaenzig.
Kaenzig’s talk focused on her story growing up, attending a women’s college, and her early career working in women’s political advocacy in Washington, D.C. She also discussed her role as a dean and the strong campus connection to PLEN.
Each year, PLEN brings hundreds of women students from colleges and universities across the country to Washington, D.C., to experience firsthand how public policy is shaped and implemented at the national level. With such experience, these students are better prepared to become the next generation of public policy decision makers. By introducing college women to role models, career paths and skill development before entering the workforce, PLEN’s mission is to increase the number of women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of the public policy process.
The nonpartisan, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., which counts William Smith College among its institutional members, recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.
The Events Manager at the Gould Hotel, Sharon Hoatland, who established the “Great Women” event approached Kaenzig and after discussing her personal stories and experiences, was asked to be one of the featured speakers. “It’s very important to be raised with empowered women, and Lisa is one of them,” Hoatland says.
The speaker series also included a dinner in which a portion of the proceeds were raised for the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls.
Kaenzig earned her Ph.D. in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William and Mary; M.A. in human resource development from George Washington University; and B.A. from Rutgers University.
The first of the “Great Women” series featured journalist Carol Ritter Wright in August. CEO of the National Women’s Hall of Fame Jill Tietjen served as guest speaker earlier this month.