Class of 2019

Students from Exeter Academy Visit Dartmouth

The Rockefeller Center hosted 27 students from Phillip Exeter Academy’s Charles J. Hamm Leadership Program on Wednesday, July 19. Students in the Exeter Summer Program live on campus in Exeter, New Hampshire for five weeks and participate in academic studies, athletics, and personal exploration. Of the 27 students in the Hamm Leadership Program this summer, 12 of the students are international.

The Hamm Leadership Program features excursions across New England to learn about leadership outside of the classroom. While visiting the Rockefeller Center, the students participated in a campus tour, scavenger hunt, and small group discussions. There was also a panel of Dartmouth students who shared their experiences about college life. Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, presented on authenticity and leadership qualities. All activities focused on leadership in action.

Notes from the Field: Celeste Kearney '19

Celeste Kearney ’19 interned in the Office of Presidential Personnel at White House under the Obama Administration for the 2016 Fall term. She received support from the from the Peter McSpadden Public Affairs Fund.  The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

During the fall of 2016, I was an intern in the Office of Presidential Personnel at the White House. Presidential Personnel is tasked with the approximately 4,000 political appointees in the Obama Administration. Presidential Personnel finds qualified candidates, completes background checks, appoints candidates, and, for the past year, provides a series of leadership development events to assist the appointees’ transition from the Administration. Presidential Personnel works closely with the White House liaisons in every federal agency to pass opportunities and information to the appointees.             

Notes from the Field: Danny Li '19

Danny Li '19 interned at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training for the 2017 winter term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

Notes from the Field: Cheron Laughing '19

Cheron Laughing '19 received the support of the Class of 1964 Fund to intern at the Navajo Nation Washington Office (NNWO) for the 2017 winter term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This winter I interned in the Navajo Nation Washington Office (NNWO) which was founded in 1984 to more actively safeguard this unique relationship and pursue the fulfillment of all responsibilities of the historic Treaty of 1868. It serves as a direct advocate of the Navajo Nation, a tribal government entity, with Congress, the White House and federal agencies. Specifically, the NNWO monitors and analyzes congressional legislation, all the while discerning best strategies and practices concerning national policies and budgets that affect all 300,000 enrolled members of the Navajo Nation.

Notes from the Field: Robert He '19

Robert He '19 was funded by the Class of 1964 to intern at the Office of Public Engagement at the White House during the 2016 fall term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

In the fall of 2016, I had the immense privilege of serving as an intern in the Obama Administration at the White House. I served in the Office of Public Engagement, and helped to fulfill the President’s goal of making the White House as open and participatory as possible. In my role, I helped the White House engage with various organizations and stakeholders to further the Administration’s objectives.           

Notes from the Field: Lauren Bishop '19

Lauren Bishop interned at the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence during the 2016 Fall Term with support from Mr. E. John Rosenwald Jr. '52 Public Affairs Fund. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

During the fall of 2016 I had the distinct privilege of interning in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence under President Barack Obama. As an intern in the Hard Mail division of the Mail Analysis team, I read and responded to hundreds of letters a day on behalf of the President in order to address the concerns of the American people. I was also able to give voice to compelling writers by flagging their letters for staff members who would review and then place them in the President’s nightly briefing book. Ten letters a day were chosen, encompassing a range of topics penned by writers throughout America in order to inform the President of the public’s opinion. Furthermore, I coordinated with staff to compose an internal compilation of letters for relevant policy offices and recorded the opinions of the American people during shifts on the White House comment line.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Chris Rowan

Chris Rowan Kouekem ’19 is from New York City, NY and graduated from Democracy Prep Charter School as the highest achieving scholar for Math and Civics. While at Democracy Prep, Chris participated in student government for all four of her high school years. Chris is fluent in French and worked as a teacher intern helping to build a curriculum for high school and middle school teachers that improves the quality of linguistic and cultural education for bilingual students.

As a First-Year Fellow, Chris worked at the DC Prep Charter School under the mentorship of Deborah Hamner ’99. Her primary responsibility was assisting the summer school teachers in preparing for the parent-teacher conference that took place at the end of the summer. The task required a lot of communication with staff and parents. The role afforded Chris many opportunities to put into practice the tips on effective communication and professionalism she and the other Fellows learned during Civic Skills Training in the spring.  

Notes from the Field: Yoga Acharya '19

Yoga Acharya '19 interned with Senator Casey's Foreign Policy and National Security Team during the 2016 summer term with support from the Peter McSpadden Public Affairs Fund. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Claire Rafson

Claire Rafson ’19 hails from Highland Park, Illinois, graduating from Highland Park High School.

Claire spent her First-Year Fellowship interning in the Chambers of Judge John Mott ’81 at the District of Columbia Superior Court. As a Judicial intern, she learned to prepare case briefs, benched memorandum, studied case law, and assisted the Law Clerk during a trial.

“Being able to watch some of DC’s best lawyers in their environment is something I will never forget,” says Claire. “Additionally, being able to ask Judge Mott questions along the way allowed me to understand the proceedings and really expand my knowledge beyond just reading and writing for other cases.”

Following her summer interning at the Superior Court, Claire spent the fall term off campus working as a Field Organizer for the Ohio Democratic Party.

At Dartmouth, Claire is studying History with a minor in Economics. She is a member of SHEBA Dance Troupe, an active participant in the Dartmouth Outing Club, and a student facilitator for the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors program.

After graduating, Claire plans to attend law school.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Ryan Spector

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Ryan Spector ’19 graduated Glenbrook North High School and continues to serve as Glenbrook North Debate Team’s assistant coach.

As a First-Year Fellow, Ryan was placed at the Congressional Research Service with alumnae Mentor, Mary Beth Nikiti ’96 in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division. During the 8-week experience, Ryan was tasked with research and analytic tasks and had the opportunity to work with multiple members of staff.  

His favorite element of the fellowship experience was living with the other students in the program. “Not only were they a support system, but it was incredible to share our experiences with each other,” says Ryan. “The sense of community we were able to construct—through group dinners, outings, and events—ranks as the single most rewarding component of First-Year Fellows.”  

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