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

Class of 2017

Dartmouth Oxford-Exchange Student: Anwita Mahajan '17

Through the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program, undergraduate students are able to spend a term living and studying at the University of Oxford’s Keble College. As a fully integrated member of the Oxford community, these students take courses in the British tutorial system that relate to their major and course of study at Dartmouth. Anwita Mahajan ’17, an Economics major, participated in this exchange term during the winter of 2017.

As one of the few off-campus exchange programs offered by the Economics department, Anwita was immediately drawn to the exchange opportunity at Oxford. Not only was studying abroad one of Anwita’s goals for her undergraduate career, she found this exchange program as the perfect way to balance the chance to travel with the chance to experience student life at such a prestigious university as Oxford.

Rocky and Me: Ke Zhao '17 Senior Reflection

In our Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

Rocky and Me: Nikita Bakhru '17 Senior Reflection

In our Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

While at Dartmouth, I was fortunate to receive an interdisciplinary education, exploring classes in departments and ultimately deciding to major in Government. Outside of class, I spent much of my time choreographing, dancing, and performing with Raaz, Dartmouth’s South Asian fusion dance team, which I became captain of during my senior year. I have also served as Director of Parent Alumni Relations for my sorority, Alpha Phi, and as a member of women leadership organizations, such as Women in Science and Women in Business.

How Leaders Add Value to Organizations

On February 23rd, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program welcomed Harry Sheehy, the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Dartmouth, in a session titled “Contemporary Leadership Competencies.” The son of two Williams graduates, Mr. Sheehy himself graduated from William College in 1975, after which he played eight years of basketball with Athletes-in-Action. He later became the head coach of the Williams Men’s Basketball team, followed by an appointment to the Williams Director of Athletics position, where he led the school to 17 Division III National Championships. Education, Mr. Sheehy believes, is of utmost importance, particularly in the realm of athletics, something that served as a great motivation for his move to Dartmouth. Sports themselves might be insignificant, “Except for the fact that they’re not,” Mr. Sheehy stated, “There’s more to life than sports, but there’s more to sports than sports.” Athletics are an opportunity to develop leadership, create a vision, and empower members to carry out that vision.

Notes from the Field: Victoria Chi '17

Victoria Chi '17 interned at the policy office of the Center for Global Health at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2016 Summer Term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

Over the summer of 2016, I interned at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the government agency that works to protect the health of Americans and of populations worldwide. Within CDC, I was in the policy office of the Center for Global Health (CGH), the center responsible for reducing the global burden of disease, strengthening the health capacity of developing countries, and preventing, detecting, and responding to disease threats across the globe. 

Emergent Leadership for Life

Kate Hilton ’99, a senior faculty member at ReThink Health, spoke to the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows on February 9, 2017. Kate is an expert in issues such as designing organizing efforts, teaching leadership skills, and strategizing with multi-stakeholder teams to take collective action.

Kate’s session began with a reading of her father’s high school graduation speech, as well as his eulogy. The two readings, although far apart in time, displayed the importance of consistency. Her father’s high school speech was focused on tolerance and the pursuit of vocational mastery. These themes were also clear in his eulogy, as his fellow doctors saw that his care for both patients and other doctors alike knew no bounds.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Alisa White '17

This series introduces the 2016-2017 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

Beyond Dartmouth, leadership can determine whether or not you make it out of the wilderness before dark or destroy a common resource. On my ENVS FSP this fall, we faced both of these situations: the latter while working with a community in rural Namibia. We spent three days in a community conservancy helping pick up trash along their riverbed and fielding community input for a waste management plan. We witnessed how limited leadership and lack of institutions for waste management led to degradation of the natural environment. In RLF, I hope to reflect on my leadership experiences to prepare myself to be a leader in the fields of sustainability and natural resource management.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Carter Sullivan ’17

This series introduces the 2016-2017 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

While at Dartmouth, I have come to realize that there are multiple styles of leadership and that my methods can be just as effective as someone else’s if I use them correctly. I am most interested in a leader’s ability to get people to “buy in” to their ideas. It is always extremely impressive to observe a leader who can come up with an idea, present it effectively, and gain the support of the team who also believes in the idea. When a leader can accomplish this, projects are more sustainable as the people involved do not need to be constantly pressured to execute because in believing in the idea, they put the pressure on themselves. Not only is this ability a powerful leadership tool, it is also an extremely important tool for affecting change.

Leading People and Delivering Results

In his session “Leading People and Delivering Results,” Dr. David Ager facilitated discussion over a Harvard Business School case study. The case focused on whether a senior management director at Morgan Stanley, Paul Nasr, should promote his star revenue producer, Rob Parson. Parson has been extremely successful in generating revenue for the firm, but has an aggressive personality that strongly conflicts with Morgan Stanley’s team-oriented culture. The session began with Dr. Ager encouraging fellows to brainstorm reasons for why Parson should be promoted. Fellows debated the impact of Parson’s qualifications and behaviors, and analyzed the potential pros and cons of promotion. Specifically, fellows argued whether Nasr should put greater weight on Parson’s revenue production or his leadership capabilities. At the beginning, discussion focused primarily on Parson’s behavior. However, after further discussion, the debate started to center on whether Nasr had succeeded as a manager.

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant: Asha Wills ‘17

Asha initially became involved with the Rockefeller Center her sophomore year by participating in the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) and in the Create Your Path program. These programs caused her to think about how she could align her academic and career interests with her personal goals. Asha next enrolled in the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) because of her mentor, who served as a student program assistant for RGLP at the same. Asha reflects that being a participant in RGLP was an “incredible experience where I met people I otherwise wouldn't have met.”

In her junior year, Asha completed an exchange program in Copenhagen, Denmark and volunteered in Peru through Dartmouth’s Center for Service, where she was constantly thinking about the principles she learned in RGLP. She kept in contact with Vincent Mack, the program officer for RGLP, and when she returned to campus, she joined the Rockefeller Center student staff as a student program assistant for RGLP.


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