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 is responsible for ensuring the campus residence halls, apartments, and small/theme houses are safe, well-maintained, and provide an engaging, co-curricular experience which connects residents to HWS and the Geneva community. Shelle coordinates and supervises many of the day-to-day responsibilities with the central office team, professional area staff, and paraprofessional (resident assistant and house manager) students. Shelle is also responsible for the recruitment, selection, development and supervision of the professional area staff on-campus. Shelle manages the residential curriculum and overall programming efforts for the department while working with different offices and faculty on-campus to facilitate outreach to students. Shelle also serves as a facilitator for the Personal Empowerment Course at the Colleges.
Shelle graduated from Niagara University with a bachelor's degree in French and Romance languages and a masterâs degree in secondary education. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and is often seen walking her dog, Molly around campus.