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

First-Year Fellow Alumni Mentors are Instrumental to the Program

FYF Mentor

Mentor Jennifer Chandler Hauge ’82, Vice President at the National Council of Nonprofits, with First-Year Fellow Ray Lu '18.

Since 2007, the Rockefeller Center has offered students and alumni a dynamic opportunity to engage with one another through a unique program called First-Year Fellows (FYF). FYF combines coursework, leadership programming, and mentorship.

Over the past decade, more than fifty-five alumni have hosted students at their organizations for the eight-week summer fellowship portion of the program. This connection provides these undergraduates with the opportunity to engage meaningfully in public policy early in their college careers with the additional support of an alumni mentor who is interested in their success. 

Ryan Spector ’19, who worked at the Congressional Research Service with Mary Beth Nikitin ’96 explains, “With Mary Beth as a mentor, it was very easy to expand my professional network, as well as my knowledge and confidence. The common experience of Dartmouth allowed us to bond quickly, as we always had something to discuss, and she was able to expand my professional network by directing me to alumni that she knew.” 

Alumni mentors are similarly impacted by this program. “I loved my time at Dartmouth, and remain grateful to the College for giving me a terrific foundation for a career in national security and public service,” says Michael Breen ’02, Executive Director of the Truman National Security Project and the Center for National Policy. “This program is the perfect win-win: my organization gets some great talent, and the Fellows get a worthwhile and challenging experience early on in their careers. I'm grateful for the opportunity to help support the next generation of service-driven students at Big Green.”

The presence of an alumni mentor ensures that students have an advocate in the workplace: someone who is fully invested in them achieving their highest potential. There is nothing quite like a Dartmouth alumna or alumnus introducing a new generation of Dartmouth students to the professional world.

"I care deeply about Dartmouth's role helping young people feel confident that they can choose a career that will make this world a better place for everyone,” says Jennifer Chandler Hauge ’82, Vice President at the National Council of Nonprofits. “A positive experience as a First-Year Fellow could mean the difference in the major someone chooses, or future off-term experiences. It motivates me to think that the First-Year Fellows program can contribute to the pipeline of future leaders in public service. That's exciting!"

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