The Centennial Center


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

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 in 2009. In addition to her associate dean role, Susan is responsible for the Centennial Center's vision, strategic direction and leadership curriculum. Under her leadership, the Centennial Center 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 and her commitment to providing opportunities that require leaders to think critically about their core beliefs, values and goals is reflected in the Centennial Center'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. In addition to her day-to-day leadership within the Centennial Center, Forbes is an instructor, advisor and content developer for Centennial Center 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
Assistant Director of Leadership Programs

Kaylyn O'Brien '12 directs the Centennial Center’s HWS Leads program and serves as an instructor for the Public Speaking and Leadership Theory I Readers College courses. She also oversees the Leadership Institute, Youth Leadership College and administers the Centennial Center Fellowships. Additionally, Kaylyn serves as a content developer for Centennial Center programs and oversees social media marketing and campus outreach for the office.

Kaylyn has a B.A. in Public Policy and Critical Social Studies from William Smith College. She also earned a master of arts in Philosophy and Public Affairs from University College Dublin, Ireland.


Ed Bizari
Margiloff Family Entrepreneurial Fellow

Bizari is an entrepreneur based in the Rochester, N.Y.-area who has more than 30 years of experience at all levels of the business sector, ranging from startups to multibillion-dollar international corporations. As the 2017-18 Margiloff Fellow, Bizari’s responsibilities include advising students and supporting their projects, designing new programs, facilitating workshops and coordinating large- and small-scale entrepreneurial events on and off campus. In addition, Bizari will manage the Entrepreneurial Leader-in-Residence program, bringing to campus speakers with entrepreneurial expertise, particularly HWS alumni, alumnae and parents.

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603 South Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-4550

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Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.