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

Management and Leadership Development Program

Community Leaders Share Leadership Lessons

This article was written by Ed Fox, General Manager of the Co-Op Food Stores and originally appeared in The Cooperator on February 28, 2017. Click here to read it on The Cooperator.

Since starting at the co-op last fall, I’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of leadership throughout our organization. Some people lead with strong, bold voices. Others are quiet and stoic and lead by example. In short, there are many ways to lead. And your co-op is so well-known for leadership that the best and brightest visit us to learn by our example.

Archer Chapin ’19 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program that prepares students to succeed in all of their management and leadership endeavors.

Archer Chapin ’19, an engineering major, signed up for the MLDP program during his sophomore year, because he wanted to improve his communication and management skills and apply these skills to his engineering education.

This past November, Archer attended the SPARK Entrepreneurship Conference at Harvard Business School to learn more about the entrepreneurial process. The conference reinforced skills learned through MLDP and presented the opportunity to use them. Prior to MLDP, Archer was wary of networking, because for him it carried a utilitarian, even disingenuous connotation. Yet Kate Hilton’s MLDP session, “Authentic Exchanges: The Science & Art of Building Relationships,” showed that “networking” should be rephrased as “relationship-building”. “I now see that relationship-building opens up the possibility of a two-way endeavor, rather than networking’s seemingly one-way exchange,” said Archer.

Young Jang ’19 on Management and Leadership

Young Jang ’19, reflects on his participation in the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) during the 2016 fall term.

I joined MLDP due to a friend’s recommendation, and I learned numerous important skills and aspects about being an efficient and dependable leader.

The most important thing that I learned is that true leadership does not exist in a vacuum. While I learned many skills and tips on becoming an efficient leader, none of it matters until I actually put it to use in everyday life.

I realized this truth during an MLDP session with Steven Spaulding, Assistant Athletics Director for Leadership. Spaulding covered the essentials of team communication through a formal presentation. During the presentation, I smugly thought to myself, “I know all of this.” However, when I had to put my team communication skills to the test in an outdoor activity, I failed miserably. Once I stepped outside, I defaulted to my “normal” behavior, and I stopped thinking and acting like a leader.

Leadership Requires Confidence and Innovation

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) begins the term with opportunities for participants to get to know each other. Casual Thursday, an on-campus improv group, set the tone for a learning environment that rewards individuals for pushing the boundaries of their comfort zones in order to grow as individuals. One of the activities introduced by Casual Thursday was called Freeze.

"This activity was a really fun and innovative way to get that message across," according to Sarah Gupta '19, "and to remind us that many things we're proud of are the things that challenge us the most."

"It was a way for me to step a little out of my comfort zone and to think creatively on my feet," says Akiirayi Ademoyo '18. "Although, it was a silly game, it conveyed leadership qualities such as confidence and innovation. It was also a great bonding experience with my fellow MLDP peers because it was quite an engaging game.”

Deputy Director Sadhana Hall concluded the session with an interactive exercise that explored the program’s personal leadership challenge and how to craft SMART goals to achieve the challenge.

The Management and Leadership Development Program Rewards Excellence

Each session, participants from our Management and Leadership Development Program nominated their peers for excellence. When nominating, students are asked to explain why their nominees made their experience in MLDP excellent and/or how their nominees provide an excellent example of leadership in the program. At the end of the term, students must have perfect attendance and be nominated at least nine times to pass MLDP with excellence. Students who pass MLDP with snowflake excellence are those who had the top three amount of nominations. Below are the collaborated comments about those who completed the Management and Leadership Development Program with excellence in Fall 2016. Congratulations to you all!

Christine Dong '19 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program that prepares students to succeed in all of their management and leadership endeavors.

Christine Dong '19, an economics and English major, participated in the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes & Behaviors Program (D-LAB), a program for first year students, which discusses leadership at Dartmouth. She then joined MLDP in the fall of her sophomore year to build upon the skills that she acquired in D-LAB. MLDP proved to be the perfect vehicle for Christine's continued learning experience.

During the program, Christine was especially inspired during the session facilitated by Jennifer Sargent, J.D. and visiting Associate Professor of Writing. Sargent discussed different styles of leadership and the fact that both introverts and extroverts can be leaders. An introvert herself, Christine had always viewed leaders as extroverted. Sargent's session, titled "Using Your Strengths for Effective Professional Communication" helped Christine understand that introverts have valuable leadership strengths, such as being good at listening to others and self-reflection.  

Alex Adams '18 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program that prepares students to succeed in all of their management and leadership endeavors.

Alex Adams '18, a biology modified with public policy major, participated in MLDP during the spring of her sophomore year. She joined the program because she wanted to learn new skills that would help her to expand her leadership role within the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and the National Society of Black Engineers at Dartmouth.

Alex credits MLDP with encouraging her to take initiative and share her opinion. “MLDP helped me learn that my voice matters. Even if I’m not the ‘leader’ of a group, I can still adopt a leadership role,” says Alex. Recently, Alex used her voice to encourage her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, to be more involved in community service.

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant: Arati Gangadharan ’18

Arati Gangadharan ’18 first became involved with the Rockefeller Center through her participation in the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) and the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) during her sophomore winter and fall.

“RGLP was one of the most phenomenal parts of my Dartmouth experience,” said Arati. “I am interested in global health initiatives and the program gave me a way to grow in terms of my global mindedness. “

Following her completion of RLGP, Arati began working for the Rockefeller Center as a Student Program Assistant for MLDP during her sophomore spring. She hoped to enhance her interpersonal skills and become more approachable in initial encounters through her interactions with MLDP participants. She cites her work as a student assistant, such as when she has to speak and motivate program participants, as playing a key role in her ability to speak more effectively to large audiences. 

She describes her supervisor and MLDP Program Officer Robin Frye as a helpful and understanding person who gives her student coordinators “room to grow and improve in a secure space.”

Noah Manning '17 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program that teaches students theoretical and practical skills through presentations with experts and professors. Each student has the opportunity to go off campus to meet with someone in the Upper Valley community and see leadership in action.

Noah Manning ’17, a Biology major, participated in MLDP in the spring of his junior year. He became involved with the program because he wanted to improve his leadership abilities as he took on new responsibilities in campus organizations. The off campus experience Noah attended was at LISTEN, a nonprofit that uses the proceeds from a chain of thrift stores to support programs for the poor. During this session, the executive director LISTEN spoke about how if clients do not have trust in the non-profits that serve them, then the non-profits cannot serve them well. Trust is the foundation of a good working relationship. Clients need to know that your priority is to serve them and their needs first and foremost.

Jessica Kocan ’18 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Development Program (MLDP) gives students a mix of theory and practical skills presented by accomplished experts who share the secrets to success for all leadership and management endeavors.

Jessica Kocan ’18, an Asian and middle Eastern Studies (AMES) major, participated in MLDP during her sophomore fall of 2015. She elected to get involved with MLDP, because she wanted to improve her leadership skills and to be able to apply them in future internships and career paths. 

Jessica interned in Washington, D.C. this past spring with the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy research institute. During her internship, the skills on how to write professional emails and how to communicate appropriately in a workspace really came in handy. 

"From the start, I felt very comfortable communicating with my supervisor via email," says Jessica, "because during MLDP we spent time actually practicing critical communication skills for establishing professional relationships."


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