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

First-Year Fellows

Rocky and Me: Sam Libby ’17 Senior Reflection

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

The Rockefeller Center is the reason I came to Dartmouth College. During the 2012 election, I realized that the esoteric policy world in Washington affects me directly, and I wanted my college experience to prepare me to make a meaningful impact in that space. When I visited Dartmouth for the first time during Dimensions, I was choosing between Dartmouth and one other university, and while the open houses and barbeques that I attended were fun, they did not speak to my intellectual interests. On a whim, and at the urging of my mother, I attended the Rockefeller Center’s Open House, where I met Professor Ron Shaiko and learned about the public policy programs. I committed to Dartmouth immediately afterward in one of the best decisions of my life. Here's why I'm so grateful to Rocky for helping me make that fateful choice:

Class of 2017 Public Policy Minors

The Rockefeller Center is proud to announce that twenty-nine members of the Class of 2017 have completed their degree requirements with a minor in public policy.

Intentionally flexible and broad in scope, a minor in public policy prepares students for both public and private sector careers in a variety of policy-related fields, such as health, energy, international relations, social justice, the domestic economy, poverty, gender issues, urban development, law, journalism, education, or the environment.

Ten of the Class of 2017 policy minor graduates were also First-Year Fellows and four were Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Most participated in the Policy Research Shop and had the opportunity to testify on their findings before New Hampshire and Vermont government officials.  

Brianna Ager, ECON

Rocky and Me: Joby Bernstein '17 Senior Reflection

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

Freshman trips was the first time I heard about the Rockefeller Center. My trip leader, Nick Shallow ’16, was a First-Year Fellow and involved with the Policy Research Shop. By the time I finished hiking that week, I was convinced that I needed to get involved with Rocky. I began by auditing PBPL 5: Introduction to Public Policy with Professor Shaiko during my freshman winter. At that point, I did not know if I wanted to be a First-Year Fellow or much about the course content. It only took me two weeks though to realize that public policy was for me and that I wanted to be part of the FYF program.

Rocky's Open House Welcomes the Class of 2020!

The Rockefeller Center staff, along with student leaders from the Classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019, welcomed the Class of 2020 at the Center's Open House on Thursday, September 8th from 9:00-10:00 am.

During the Open House, the First Years learned all about the amazing opportunities that await them: the Public Policy minor, the Policy Research Shop, distinguished visitors to campus, student-led projects, and a broad range of internship, training and leadership development opportunities.

As with each new class of students, the Center hopes that they make "Rocky" a big part of their Dartmouth experience, where they can find a home, mentors, and peers who are engaged with public policy. The Rockefeller Center has a specially designed First-Year Fellows program for the Class of 2020 that begins by taking Public Policy 5 in the winter term of 2017. Public Policy 5 is the introductory course in the Public Policy minor, which allows a student to customize an interdisciplinary plan of study around any public policy area, such as health, education, the environment, leadership, law, poverty, or urban issues.

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant: Jimmy Fair '18

Jimmy Fair ’18 considers the Rockefeller Center to be his “second home” at Dartmouth. Jimmy first became involved with the Rockefeller Center by taking PBPL 5: Introduction to Public Policy with Professor Ron Shaiko during his freshman winter. His involvement continued during his first year with participation the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors Program (D-LAB), the Rockefeller Peer Mentoring Program (RPMP), and selection into the First-Year Fellows program.

During his sophomore year he participated in the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP), and also began working for the Rockefeller Center as a Student Program Assistant for the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP).

As a program assistant, Jimmy’s main responsibilities were to send out vital communications with participants and head up the reflection and evaluation process. He spent the majority of his work time each week analyzing questionnaires and other forms of feedback in order to customize the program to student needs and attain the preset leadership objectives for the term.

Rocky Hosts Students from Phillip Exeter Academy

On Wednesday, July 20, the Rockefeller Center facilitated a visit to Dartmouth’s campus for 26 students in Phillip Exeter Academy’s Charles J. Hamm Leadership Program. The students from the program came from across the globe, including countries such as Venezuela and Australia.

The Leadership Program is a selective part of Exeter Summer School where Exeter provides students with the opportunity to live on campus and take classes for five weeks in the summer. In the program, students are submerged in a learning environment designed to foster reflection upon what enables effective leadership and to develop their own leadership abilities through academic coursework, study of leadership theory, examination of the lives of historical leaders, group excursions across New England, and practical team-based projects.

Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant Audrey Zheng ’18, who planned the visit along with other Rockefeller Center staff, said that the purpose of the Exeter visit to Dartmouth was to both introduce high school students to our campus as well as to give the students “a sneak peek at what active engagement in leadership learning looks like in college.”

The Rockefeller Center's Annual Student and Alumni Reception

On Thursday, June 16, 2016, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center hosted its annual Student and Alumni Reception in Washington, DC. Each year the occasion provides an opportunity for the Center’s First-Year Fellows, newly arrived to the city and ready to embark on their 8-week summer internships, to meet and network with their Dartmouth Alumni mentors.

“The First-Year Fellows program is a great example of the partnership between the Rockefeller Center and Dartmouth alumni, who find many ways to contribute to the education of each successive cohort of Dartmouth students,” noted the Center’s Director, Professor Andrew Samwick, during his brief remarks at the reception.

In addition to those involved with the First-Year Fellows program, the reception is open to all current Dartmouth students interning in DC during the summer and area alumni with a connection to the Center.

This year the reception took place at American University's School of International Service at the invitation of Lou Goodman '64, Emeritus Dean and Professor of International Relations at American University and a Rockefeller Center Board of Visitor.

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant: Abhilasha Gokulan ’18

Abhilasha Gokulan ’18 has been interested in and involved with the Rockefeller Center since before she even matriculated at Dartmouth.

“The first time I ever entered the Rockefeller Center was during Dimensions my senior year of high school,” said Abhi. “Being able to see all of the cool programs at Rocky was actually one of the reasons I chose Dartmouth.”

After coming to Dartmouth from Little Rock, Arkansas, Abhi took a public policy course at the Center her freshman fall and participated in DLAB her freshman winter. Inspired by both encounters, Abhi decided to apply to be a First-Year Fellow and was selected to participate in the program.

The following fall she signed up for the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP). She took on the role of a program ambassador, which turned into a Student Program Assistant position the following term.  

Young Voters in the NH Primary

“Part of the reason I chose to come to college in New Hampshire was to be able to participate in democracy through the primaries and, being a swing state, we’ve had so much access to political candidates from both parties,” Rockefeller Center First-Year Fellow Charlotte Blatt ’18 tells the BBC in a video about the New Hampshire primary and what young voters like Blatt and her fellow Dartmouth students are looking for in the candidates.

Read the full story and watch the video, published 2/4/16 by the BBC.

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