Public Policy Minor

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

PBPL 85 Visits the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine

Grey skies; grey buildings. Churches standout: painted lemon yellow and tangerine orange, splashed with gold and pink. They’re bizarre tropical phantasies in land of Soviet phantoms. It’s welcome contrast for travel-weary eyes. Brutalist and bright, these architectural paradoxes blur past our van as we wind our way towards the Embassy.

Winter has arrived in Kiev. Snowflakes drift easily on a dry breeze. A security guard taps ash from a cigarette. He fixates on the windows of our van. I nod hello; he glares back greetings. His green camouflage uniform looks out of place in the grey-and-white checkerboard of Eastern Europe in December.

We get out. Inside the Embassy more security guards size up the group. No electronics, no water, no nonsense. They mean it. Of the fourteen of us, twelve are suspect: goods confiscated and bodies re-scanned. Burgeoning democracy though it may be, in Ukraine, you respect authority.

From Theory to Practice: PBPL 85 Global Policy Leadership

Experiential learning is central to the pedagogical vision of President Hanlon ’77. Public Policy 85: Global Policy Leadership (PBPL 85) perfectly translates that vision into reality for our public policy students every year.

The course begins in the classroom during the fall term, where a select group of students study the history and context of a public policy challenge in a particular country or region. Students are introduced to the process of assessing problems and developing solutions to the challenge, practices important to cultivating civically engaged, global leaders.

The class then travels to the country or region during Dartmouth’s winter interim to conduct field research. Students meet with local policy leaders: politicians, academics, civil society leaders, journalists, business leaders, diplomats, and other in-country experts who help inform their analyses.

Steve Norton Visits PBPL 45 Class

On September 29, 2016, Steve Norton, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, spoke with students in Professor Ron Shaiko's PBPL 45: Introduction to Public Policy Research class. 

Norton discussed the mission of NHCPPS as well as the Center's most recent 2016 publication, "What Is New Hampshire? An Overview of Issues Shaping the Granite State’s Future."  Student groups in the class are analyzing the data presented in this report as well as in similar reports published by the Center since 2011 and are formulating research reports for specific public policy clients in New Hampshire. 

Norton provided students with a broad substantive overview of the New Hampshire public policy agenda in Concord; he also fielded methodological questions regarding data collection and data quality when analyzing state-level policy issues.

Prior to joining NHCPPS as Executive Director in 2005, Steve Norton was Medicaid Director for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. He also worked at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC throughout the decade of the 1990s.

The Public Policy Minor at the Rockefeller Center

The Public Policy Minor prepares students from all majors for careers in a variety of policy-related fields—from politics, policy analysis, and public service to journalism, law, entrepreneurship, advocacy, and work in the non-profit sector.

In each course, students learn to think critically, collaborate in teams, and put theory into practice in and out of the classroom, on and off campus.

Public Policy 5: Introduction to Public Policy offered during winter term is the introductory course and gateway to the Public Policy minor and exposes students to the fundamental building blocks of policymaking.

Public Policy 45: Introduction to Public Policy Research offered during fall term serves as a training ground for prospective applicants wishing to serve in the Rockefeller Public Policy Research Shop.

The experiential learning component of each public policy course offered at the Rockefeller Center prepares students to recognize opportunities, conduct policy research, work with policymakers, and effectively lead policy initiatives.

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.

Students in PBPL 42 Participate in Letterpress Workshop

On Wednesday April 6th, 2016, students from PBPL 42: Ethics and Public Policy joined Amos Kennedy to create posters of their own design for the class.  Kennedy, a renowned letterpress printer, creates political and provocative posters and publications addressing the issues of race, freedom, and equality, some of the central themes of the course.  Students in the course had the opportunity to learn letterpress techniques and discuss ethical issues that the current presidential administration is confronting. 


Spring Term Public Policy Courses

PBPL 26: Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Professor H. Gilbert Welch MD, MPH (10)

Health care in the United States costs more than in other countries, but is it better? Answering this question requires understanding a wide range of subjects, including the pathophysiology of disease, clinical decision making, epidemiology, and public policy. This course provides an introduction to these tools. We will also consider additional questions: Is more screening & early diagnosis the best way to stay healthy?  Does more treatment always help people feel better?  And how has the "Dartmouth School" of health policy contributed to the debate?           Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

The PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership Class Travels to Israel and Jordan

PBPL 85 combines the study of public policy with an experiential learning opportunity abroad. The course begins in the classroom with Professor Charles Wheelan ’88 during the fall term. The topic studied this year was the U.S. strategy for revitalizing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The class then spent the first two weeks in December traveling to Israel and Jordan where they met with local policy leaders: politicians, academics, journalists, business leaders, U.S. diplomats, and other in-country experts who help inform their study of the topic.

“The importance of travel is twofold,” explains Wheelan, “One is this marriage of learning in the classroom and talking to people on the ground; and two, testing your hypotheses and listening to people who have very conflicting points of view.”

PBPL 85 at the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

After a relaxing day spent at the Dead Sea, the class hit the ground running on Monday, December 14th in Amman, Jordan.

We had our first meeting of the day with James Fromson. Fromson works for Mayday Rescue NGO, which trains the Syrian Civil Defense. Fromson has coauthored pieces with one of our previous speakers, Steve Simon, and was able to provide an interesting prospective as an American living in Jordan. After this meeting, we headed on the bus to the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the Foreign Ministry, we had the opportunity to meet with the Director of International Relations and Organizations, Leena AlHadid, and Ibrahim Awawdeh, the Director of the North American Department. Qais Biltaji, the First Secretary to the Private Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and Mohammed Hindawi also joined us. The panel was able to provide insight into Jordan’s relationship with the U.S. and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Once the meeting concluded, we left the Foreign Ministry and went to a nearby sharwma stand for lunch.


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