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The Centennial Center for Leadership


Susan M. Pliner, Ed.D.
Director of Centennial Center for Leadership

Susan came to the Colleges in 2006 as Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and was asked to assume director responsibilities at the Centennial Center for Leadership in 2009. In addition to her associate dean role, Susan is responsible for the CCL's vision, strategic direction and leadership curriculum. Under her leadership, the CCL has experienced rapid growth and established itself as an integral part of campus with the long-term goals of providing sustainable programming to the surrounding Geneva community. Prior to HWS, Susan was the Associate Director of the Weissman Center for Leadership at Mount Holyoke College, where she also ran a leadership program for young women in high school. Susan's expertise in teaching and learning, social justice education, social identify development and instructional design has fostered an innovative atmosphere at the Centennial Center for Leadership and her commitment to providing opportunities that require leaders to think critically about their core beliefs, values and goals is reflected in the CCL's program offerings.

Susan has a B.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education, a M.Ed. in Special Education, a CAGS in Social Justice Education, and an Ed.D. in Human Development. She teaches as an assistant professor and teaches courses in the Education Program and Social Justice Education Program.


Amy Forbes, Ed.D.
Associate Director

Amy arrived to HWS in July 2011 as the associate director for the Centennial Center for Leadership. In addition to her day-to-day leadership within the CCL, Forbes is an instructor, advisor and content developer for CCL programs.

Forbes has a B.A. in English from Salisbury University. She also earned a master’s of science in education with a concentration in College Student Personnel from Bucknell University and has completed a doctorate in education with a focus in Educational Leadership and Policies Studies. Prior to her associate director role, she spent ten years working in college athletics as a women's soccer coach, an academic counselor and educational program developer for student-athletes. Her specialty areas include leadership development, leadership instruction, college student learning and development, and entrepreneurial leadership.


Kaylyn O’Brien '12
Coordinator of Leadership Programs

Kaylyn O'Brien '12 graduated from William Smith College in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in critical social theory and public policy, and a minor in philosophy. While a student at the Colleges, Kaylyn served as president of William Smith Congress, completed the HWS Leads Certificate Program, wrote for the Office of Communications, and worked as the CCL summer intern. Kaylyn recently completed a master's degree in philosophy and public affairs from the University College Dublin. Her primary focus is steering programming such as Leadership Institute and Leadership Café as well as overseeing a new student bystander intervention consulting program. She will also coordinate community outreach, direct social media marketing and serve as an instructor for the Public Speaking and Leadership Theory I Readers Colleges courses.


Solomé Rose
Program Manager, Global and Community Leadership Programs

Solomé Rose is the CCL’s Program Manager for Global and Community Leadership Programs. She is responsible for developing the center’s global leadership portfolio, which includes overseeing the Beyond Borders program. She is also responsible for the center’s community leadership work, ensuring students have local opportunities to employ their leadership learning. Solomé completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, majoring in Foreign Affairs and African American studies in 2008. She has a background working in global health and international development. Prior to arriving at the Colleges, she worked with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Washington DC coordinating the foundation’s HIV programs in India and Malawi. Solomé has a master’s degree in Public Policy from George Mason University.

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603 South Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-4550
E-Mail: Leadership@hws.edu