The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences


Joshua Schiefelbein ’14 on Management and Leadership

During my four years at Dartmouth, I spent over half of my undergraduate career serving as a student program assistant for the Management & Leadership Development Program. Now that I’m four years removed from my senior year and can reflect on my time working on the program, it’s safe to say I learned many valuable lessons from both the weekly speakers we had and from the day-to-day logistics required for a successful term.

The program advertises itself as an undergraduate experience designed to help expose students to the skills that employers seek. At the time, when I myself was enrolled in the program, I couldn’t connect the dots between the knowledge I acquired and the real world. I did my best to remember the concepts that had been introduced, but more specifically, I paid attention to how the material was delivered, tucking the knowledge into the back of my mind in case I needed it for a rainy day. I didn’t realize it the time, but my experience as a student and a facilitator of MLDP greatly shaped my professional life and laid the seeds that would form the roots of my academic and personal interests.

Ashley Dotson ’18 on Management and Leadership

One of the goals of the Rockefeller Center’s Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is to prepare students to succeed in their leadership roles on campus and beyond. A participant in Spring 2016’s MLDP program, Ashley Dotson ’18 looks back on her experience as one that helped shape her confidence in networking and working in a team environment.

“One of the biggest skills I learned came from networking-focused sessions, such as one on how to negotiate. I learned how to carry a conversation and how to invest in a mutual connection,” says Ashley. Because of these sessions, Ashley has found it to easier to navigate the process of applying for graduate school and making connections with faculty and professors.

As a student studying architecture, Ashley participated in a summer program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Architecture where she met a variety of Harvard faculty and Dartmouth alumni.

How Leaders Use Storytelling and Exemplify Integrity

This week, I had the privilege of introducing Sadhana Hall, the Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, at our Rocky Leadership Fellows session. During my introduction, I told my peers that not only is Sadhana very accomplished, but she is also one of the most open and genuine people I’ve encountered during my life. Sadhana welcomes people into the deepest parts of her own life so willingly that it’s easy to feel connected and cared for and to want to share everything on your mind, as well.

The Importance of Understanding Your Own Leadership Strengths

On September 14th, Jay Davis ’90, the coordinator for the First Year Student Enrichment Program and the King Scholars Program, shared valuable words of wisdom with respect to the flexibility and thoughtful reflection necessary to create cohesive group environments with the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Davis spoke from a number of previous experiences working within a range of group and leadership setting, and engaging students in an interactive discussion on how our own leadership styles and tendencies affect how we are able to work with one another to achieve goals we collectively establish.

He began the session by having each student share with the group a characteristic they find essential to exemplary leadership. Students provided a range of attributes, from humility to constructive communication. He, then, had us consider a time we found another person’s leadership challenging, alluding to the idea that conflicting leadership styles can impede group cohesion and effectiveness.

Exploring Social Justice with the CHANGE Initiative

I had the opportunity to attend a training program for new CHANGE Leaders that took place between July 22 and July 27 in Quincy, Massachusetts. The CHANGE Initiative is a program run by Oxfam America, an international, non-profit organization that fights to end social injustices around the world using a rights-based approach. This initiative empowers college students from all around the country to be leaders on their respective campuses and promote Oxfam's mission in a variety of ways. The 2017 cohort of CHANGE Leaders comprised of 36 students from 36 different universities in the U.S. and a variety of backgrounds and experiences. 

Class of 2018 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

Front Row (left to right): Rajiv Ramaiah, Maria Jose Auil, Charlotte Blatt, Samuel Colello, Abhilasha Gokulan, Alyssa Heinze, Kristen Virkler, Dale Li, Raunak Bhojwani

2nd Row (left to right): Gricelda Ramos, Christopher Huberty, Lucia Pierson, Jonathan Chu, Emma Marsano, Carolyn McShea, Jessica Colin, Arati Gangadharan, Zoe Snow, Kaina Chen

3rd Row (left to right): Matthew Sindelar, Akanksha Wasan, Marley Peters, Daniel Propp, Caroline Berens, Jarrett Taylor 

Class of 2017 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

Front Row (left to right): Asaf Zilberfarb, Brendan Barth, Meghana Mishra, Taylor Ng, Morgan Sandhu, Sarah Han, Nicole Castillo, Kevin Donahoe, and Deep Singh 

2nd Row (left to right): Shivam Chadha, Mary Sieredzinski, Regan Plekenpol, Alisa White, Shaun Sengupta, Julia Marino, Priya Ramaiah, Kalie Marsicano, and Jonathan Busam

3rd Row (left to right): Carter Sullivan, Benjamin Rutan, Terence Hughes, Cedar Farwell, Alexander Chivers, Arun Ponshunmugam (withdrew), Chileta Dim, and Devyn Greenberg

Notes from the Field: Annie Phifer '20

Annie Phifer '20 interned with the American Enterprise Institute for the Summer 2017 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

During the summer of 2017, I had the exciting opportunity to intern in the editorials and publications department at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, DC. AEI is a public policy think tank dedicated to free enterprise, open debate, intellectual freedom, and the defense of human dignity. AEI’s scholars produce an outpouring of research on a wide variety of subjects; the editorial department’s job is to maintain AEI’s credibility by ensuring this work meets the highest editorial standards before public release. As an intern in this department, I edited and proofread online publications, reports, event materials, biographies, summaries, blog posts, and other projects. I also meticulously fact checked event materials and researched scholars, experts, and speakers for AEI reports. Most notably, I catalogued over 1300 works by AEI’s scholars to create an internal master publication database that could be accessed online.

Ugandan Dance Troupe Tabu Flo Brings the Dartmouth Community Together

When we hatched the idea of bringing Ugandan dance troupe Tabu Flo to Dartmouth to debut a dance-theater piece weaving themes of power, representation, and voice, we did not anticipate how much their presence would impact our campus. Their twelve days here were marked by testimony after testimony—from students, faculty, community members, and many others—about their ability to inspire critical reflection on our world through the art of dance. This was encapsulated in their performance of “The Speech”, which painted an evocative picture of state-run systems that afford some people the ability to speak and withhold that opportunity from others. In the piece, Tabu Flo combined passionate expression with nuanced symbolism, using costume and choreography (without uttering a word) to highlight how different institutional actors participate in this exercise of power.

Security Vulnerabilities in Modern Voting

Thanks to the Rockefeller Center, I had the opportunity to attend the DEFCON security conference this past July. Started in 1992, DEFCON now draws roughly 20,000 attendees each year. Notable speakers this year include Gary Kasparov, Elie Bursztein, and Matt Suiche. In addition to the main stage talks, DEFCON also features smaller venues within the conference center – known as ‘villages’ – dedicated to specific topics, such as hardware, networking, social engineering, and biohacking.

The newest village at DEFCON was the Voting Machine village. The objective of the village was simple: to alert the American public about security vulnerabilities in modern voting machines. Instead of focusing on what may or may not have happened during the 2016 election, we made it our mission to understand today’s voting technology and help ensure that future elections cannot be hacked.


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences