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Hopkins, Wesley and Haven houses seen from the campus center lawn

The Garden neighborhood is the most eclectic area of campus. It has the oldest house on campus (Sessions) and several pairs of houses that operate as unified communities. Garden houses are close-knit communities with strong social traditions including Sessions Halloween.

Garden houses range in size from 14 to 108 students and embody a variety of architectural styles.

Area Director

Motion-blurred photo of a student riding a bike on campus


Dawn Doucette-Kaplan

Garden Neighborhood Area Director

Dawn has lived in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. Although this is her first year at Smith, she has worked at six other colleges or universities. Dawn’s bachelor’s degree in business administration is from Husson University, and her three master’s degrees—in business, education and religion—are from Sacred Heart University. 

Professional Interests

Most recently, I was a resident director at UMass Dartmouth, doing similar work. Before that, I was an academic coach at Dean College, director of student outreach at Regis College, director of volunteer programs and service learning as well as assistant director of graduate admissions at Sacred Heart University, and resident director and student activities assistant director at Lyndon State College. I've loved every minute of working in higher education. Residential life allows me to work directly with students and be a part of their growth—helping them to become their authentic selves—which is why I returned to working as a resident/area director a few years back.

Personal Interests

When not at work, I am with my family. My two children keep me and my partner very busy. We are at local fields watching them play field hockey, soccer, softball or baseball games or watching them in dance studio/performances. As a former college student athlete, I enjoy friendly competition—and you will see me burning off some energy at the gym. I also enjoy attending the theater and finding some great vegan-friendly places to eat.

My Two Favorite Places on Campus
I have only been on campus a short time, so TBA!