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

Profile

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Dan Propp '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 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.

As far as aspects of leadership, I am interested in how leaders can help individuals and groups reach their full potential. Additionally, I am interested in the capacity of effective leadership to bring about cultural shifts; a good leader can lead a group successfully to a goal, but a great leader can completely change a dialogue.

For me, being a RLF is largely a chance to meet student leaders who I find inspiring. The group consists of a number of fantastically intelligent and charismatic individuals, and I look forward not only to learning from them, but also growing alongside them.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Jonathan Chu ’18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 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.

Two broad aspects of leadership that I am very interested in are strategic decision-making and effective implementation of those decisions.  I believe my interest in these areas comes from my view of the leader in general.  A leader is someone who could be responsible for making decisions when a group of people may not be able to arrive at one.  At the same time, the leader is tasked with finding a way for the group to accomplish some mission that is likely unattainable by a single person.  These substitutions make it critical that the leader is an excellent decision-maker, but good decisions are worthless if they can't be executed effectively.

Class of 2020 First-Year Fellow: Andrew Xiang '20

Andrew Xiang '20 comes from San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Reagan High School as a National Merit Scholar. At Reagan, Andrew was the class president, captain of the debate team, and an all-state musician. Andrew was also an AAU basketball player, youth basketball coach, and officer with the Math Honor Society.

At Dartmouth, Andrew plans to pursue a double major in Government and Economics, with a minor in public policy. He is also a member of the Dartmouth Forensics Union and qualified for the National Debate Championship as a freshman.

As a First-Year Fellow, Andrew interned at the National Disability Institute under the mentorship of Director Michael Morris. He went to Capitol Hill for regular briefings on the status of healthcare legislation, partook in conference calls and policy meetings about advocacy strategy, and summarized the relevant points from these briefings, meetings, and other events into reports.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Sam Colello '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 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.

Communication, compassion, and decision-making skills are three essential aspects of leadership. I believe that communication is the most important element of being a leader because it is the glue that brings everyone together. It ensures that all members of the group are on the same page and it facilitates the collaborative process of completing a task. I admire leaders who are great communicators because it makes the process of achieving a goal smooth and easy to follow. 

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Caroline Berens '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 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.

I am particularly interested in how leaders' personalities translate to their leadership styles, especially introversion, because I consider myself a more quiet and introverted leader. When we think of leaders, we imagine outgoing, charismatic and authoritative extroverts with superb people skills who command attention; conversely, an "introverted leader" sounds almost oxymoronic.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Emma Marsano '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 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.

I’m most interested in the relationship between confidence and empowerment. Ample social science literature indicates that confident leaders’ faith in their own ideas inspires others to support them. What’s more, compliance with one leader’s vision can be an efficient way to run an organization. But a surplus of confidence can cause people in leadership roles to overlook opportunities for input from other sources.

In my own leadership experiences, I’ve struggled to balance the need for a clear vision with the desire to ask my collaborators for their input and empower them to help steer an organization. It can be difficult to request feedback without seeming to doubt one’s own ideas, but I’m also aware of the danger of shutting collaborators down by denying them the opportunity to become more involved.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Jessie Colin '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 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.

First-Year Fellow Mentor: Jennifer Chandler Hauge '82

The First-Year Fellows program is a unique opportunity for first-year students to engage meaningfully in public policy early in their Dartmouth careers. Each year, around 20 students are selected and placed in fellowships with Dartmouth alumni in Washington, D.C., who are willing to take on a significant mentoring role.

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.  

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.

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