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

Civic Skills Training

The Class of 2020 First-Year Fellows in D.C.

The Class of 2020 First-Year Fellows arrived in Washington, D.C. this week and are currently participating in the Civic Skills Training (CST) component of the program. The Fellows have already completed four on-campus training sessions during the spring term and will now spend an additional five days of training in Washington, D.C. before their fellowships begin on Monday.

The CST curriculum covers everything from public speaking, networking, and advocacy writing to project management, team work, and professionalism and is designed to prepare the students for a successful internship experience and beyond. The week includes classroom sessions facilitated by Deputy Director Sadhana Hall and Program Officer Sam Williamson, workshops hosted by area alumni, and excursions around the city to familiarize the students with Capitol Hill and the surrounding area.

The First-Year Fellows arrive in Washington, DC

The Class of 2019 First-Year Fellows arrived in Washington, DC this week to begin the summer internship portion of the program. During their first week in the nation's capitol, they continue Civic Skills Training (CST), which is designed to provide the First-Year Fellows with the skills necessary to excel in their placement internships and beyond. 

The CST curriculum covers everything from team work, collaboration, public speaking, networking, advocacy writing, project management, and professionalism. The sessions build cumulatively in order to provide a comprehensive and coherent picture of the public and nonprofit sectors, as well as individual management and leadership development.


First-Year Fellows Recap: Teamwork with Melissa Herman

For the third session of Civic Skills Training, the First-Year Fellows learned about teamwork between roommates. The fellows sat with other flatmates they would be living with in WISH Woodley Park, Washington DC to learn about what would make a great team and the situations in which the group dynamic may be affected.

First-Year Fellows Recap: Etiquette Dinner with Robert Shutt

During the second session of Civic Skills Training, the First-Year Fellows learned the etiquette of networking and business dinners. With occasional background information on the history of certain etiquettes, Shutt guided the fellows through the dinner and answered questions that fellows had on dining etiquette.

CST Recap: Effective Teamwork and Peer Mentoring Kick-Off

The final on-campus Civic Skills Training session featured a workshop on Teamwork led by Assistant Athletics Director for Leadership Steven Spaulding. During the session, we brainstormed and discussed attributes of a successful team or group, such as sharing a common overall mission. 

Dividing ourselves into four smaller groups, we completed the team-building exercise of “untangling the human knot,” after which we analyzed our strengths and weaknesses in the activity and other forms of group work. Each group then composed and presented a team “mission statement” outlining the specific characteristics it strives to embody as a unit. 

The session concluded with a group analysis of how to respond to certain difficult situations in a workplace setting. In our smaller teams and then as a large group, we discussed appropriate reactions to scenarios such as inappropriate jokes or sexual harassment.

Senior Profile: Madeline Sims '12

"As I look to next year and beyond, I know that my Rocky experiences – along with classroom learning, research positions, and other extracurricular activities – have provided me with a solid foundation upon which to excel both personally and professionally."

Alumni Profile: Michael Randall '12

My decision to attend Dartmouth was motivated by two primary reasons: Dartmouth’s strong sense of community and its sterling academic reputation. Dartmouth provides the ideal fusion of a small liberal arts college and a large research university. I was excited by the potential to engage in scholarly research directly with professors on the cutting edge of their fields. Those same professors – not graduate TAs – also share their expertise in the courses they teach. I was also impressed by the variety of co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities available at Dartmouth, including those offered through the Rockefeller Center.

2012 CST Participants meet on campus for networking session

The 2012 Civic Skills Training Participants, including this year's First Year Fellows class, attended a dinner session on Sunday May 20th.

Keneisha Grayson, the creator of "The Art of Applying" admissions consulting, first presented a networking session titled "The Power of Ask."

A graduate of Pomona College and Harvard Business School, Grayson is self-employed and works full time running "The Art of Applying." Grayson has extensive background in both the private and public sectors working for private companies such as Nestle USA and the Sylvan Learning Center and non-profit organizations such as the River City Youth Foundation and CollegeBound. Grayson is also a writer who focuses on issues of self-help, dating, lifestyle and career advice.

Participants of the 2012 Civic Skills Training Program were then able to discuss the themes from Grayson's presentation with members of the Class of 2013 who were recently selected as the next class of Rockefeller Leadership Fellows.

Prepare for Upcoming Internships By Attending Training in Washington, DC This June - Application Deadline for CST is Thursday, 4/26

We receive consistent feedback from our internship supervisors that students are well-prepared and ready to be a productive member of their internship host organization for 8 - 10 weeks.  Participating in skills-building workshops and trainings offered on campus are ways to build that capacity, and specific programs that the Rockefeller Center offers and recommends as you prepare for internships include our Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) and our Civic Skills Training (CST).  Civic Skills Training is offered in June, and only available to first-year students.  This year, we will be in DC from June 11-15th.  Read more about CST here.

Rosalie Hughes '07 publishes essay in Dartmouth Medicine Magazine

Rosalie Hughes '07 is featured in the winter issue of Dartmouth Medicine Magazine for her essay titled "Heartbreak."

Rosalie Hughes '07 is pictured with a chart her group created during Civic Skills Training to illustrate the connections between their internship organizations. (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

In 2005, Hughes participated in the Rockefeller Center's Civic Skills Training program before a Rockefeller Center funded internship in Ambato, Ecuador where she worked for an organization dedicated to educating and serving at-risk children. In keeping with her civic skills training, she initiated an after-school knitting program at the school run by the organization. Since graduation, Hughes has worked abroad including in Nepal, East Africa and currently in Tunisia.


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