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

Recap

Students' Reflections on Ivy Policy Conference

The triumph of the Ivy Conference is not the keynote speakers, not the carefully planned tracks, not even the beauty of Columbia's New York campus: it is the minute interactions between students from different colleges. For this I am intensely grateful. Few other events or organizations could make these interactions possible not just possible, but easy. It could be an intense as a heated debate about the appropriate response to administrative inaction or as sublime as a conversation struck up in an elevator that leads to a lasting friendship--these are the heart of the ivy conference and the reason I'm drawn to eat it each year. The effect of these interactions in aggregate is to get a better perspective on our common problems and to come up with common solutions.

Empowering Young Women in the Upper Valley

We learned so much through planning Sister to Sister 2017 and it was an invaluable experience for all involved. First, we learned about the various logistics involved with planning a conference of this size and magnitude. The key to the success of the conference was starting to prepare very early on by noting what was and was not successful from Sister to Sister 2016. Link Up has already began to talk about Sister to Sister 2018, which will be essential to making next year's conference even more successful than this year’s.

Further, it was so important that we were able to receive input from so many different people involved with the conference. We sent out surveys to the facilitators asking for feedback and we used the 2016 feedback to improve this year’s conference. Additionally, all of the Link Up executives edited the schedule for the conference. All of this collaboration ensured the program was reviewed from a variety of perspectives and therefore we could do our best to cover all important topics for middle school girls.

Jimmy Fair '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.

Jimmy Fair ’18, an economics major and public policy minor, embraced the co-curricular programs offered at the Rockefeller Center shortly after matriculating and never looked back. During his first year, Jimmy was selected to be part of the Class of 2018 First-Year Fellows and participated in Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors (DLAB) and the Rockefeller Peer Mentoring Program (RPMP). As a Sophomore he both participated and worked as a student program assistant for the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program and the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI).

Self-Expression Through Capoeira

During last week’s Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) we had the opportunity to practice Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.

Our Capoeira instructor, Fabio “Fua” Nascimiento began our session by teaching us a Brazilian song. We learned each lyric and emphasized each tone. Next, Fua taught us how to play several Brazilian instruments, and we combined our singing with music. As Fua noticed our hesitation to sing loudly, he taught us a valuable lesson. Fua explained that his culture has no word for “awkward” and the feeling does not exist in his culture. As Fua’s energy brightened the room, I noticed I was no longer scared to sing amongst my group. Rather, Fua encouraged me to embrace Capoeira and not care about how I appeared to other people.

Psychological Phenomena in the Workplace

Dr. Morris, Chief Officer of Diversity and Multiculturalism and Title IX Coordinator at Keene State College, led a Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) session on perspective. Although it seemed rather cloak-and-dagger at first, the opening activity on the placement of chairs was refreshing in how literal it was and set the tone for the rest of the session. Dr. Morris' training in clinical psychology and experience in pedagogy are some of the qualities I hope to embody in my own career - the fact that she is a black woman from Louisiana was affirming to me in a way that perhaps it may not have been for many of the other RGLP members. 

The activity we did where we had to answer questions about each other without speaking to each other was yet another almost blatantly obvious lesson in cultural assumptions and stereotyping. It was viscerally uncomfortable for many of us, which is interesting considering the fact that we make assumptions about each other on a daily basis without necessarily being aware of it. It sparked a productive conversation that we all seemed invested in.

Financial Investments for Justice

Having been elected as the Chief Executive Officer of Smart Woman Securities’ Dartmouth Chapter for the academic year 2017-2018, I was given the opportunity to embark on a field trip to meet with and learn directly from Mr. Warren Buffett in Omaha, NE hosted by Smart Woman Securities National. Ever since my sophomore fall, I have been an active Research Analyst, and then Investment Board Member in Smart Woman Securities – a national organization that exclusively educates women on evaluating businesses and pitching stocks. Although I had participated in panels talks such as the “100 Women in Hedge Fund” hosted by Morgan Stanley and went on Corporate Treks to meet with asset managers like Fidelity and Eaton Vance, my excitement about this coming trip to meet Mr. Warren Buffett was unequaled.

An Introduction to Global Leadership with Dr. Gama Perruci

Dr. Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Leadership Center at Marietta College, facilitated one of the most engaging, entertaining, and eye-opening lectures I've ever been a part of.

From the very start, we were parts of the complex puzzle of cultural competency that he was putting together. Dr. Perruci explained concepts using us as role-playing examples, which made the lessons more real.

Our simulation of a welcome ceremony on a small island made me think outside of the box and confront my cultural biases. This ritual, which we thought to be somewhat odd - and almost demeaning - in many ways, actually reflected ideals such as female empowerment and respect.

Dr. Perucci showed us our cultural biases and how they can "contaminate" our world view, thus holding us back from becoming true global citizens. While the lecture itself was incredibly informative, I found the lessons learned useful in every day interactions with my friends. I have many friends from different backgrounds and this lecture gave me a little more insight into why they may approach certain "norms" in the ways that they do. 

The Next Generation of Global Health

GlobeMed’s 5th Annual Benefit Dinner was a great opportunity for me to get more involved and learn all the details that go into planning a large event. I learned a lot about collaboration, the importance of goal-setting, and the ability to see the bigger picture even when it can seem a distant and daunting task. Funding from the Rockefeller Center was absolutely critical in allowing us to put on an event that both looked and felt like it was high quality. Without funding, it would have been difficult to secure enough food for everyone, and we would not have been able to decorate the space so that it felt like a legitimate and exciting event to students who walked by -- they were intrigued and interested in learning about our organization and global health because we made it such a welcoming space.

Students Discuss Impact of Vietnam War with Professor Miller

On February 2nd, 2017, Professor Edward Miller joined the Thought Project Living Learning Community for dinner to discuss the Vietnam War. Professor Miller spoke about his recent trip to Vietnam with former Secretary of State John Kerry. A Vietnam War veteran, Kerry was decorated with a silver star for his service. In the fall of 2016, Kerry visited Vietnam, and he relied on Professor Miller to guide him through the territory with World War II-era maps. It was fascinating to hear Professor Miller discuss his interactions with John Kerry, which were never one-on-one. “The Secretary of State doesn’t go anywhere alone,” Miller explained. While in Vietnam, Kerry happened to meet one of the Viet Cong soldiers who was on the opposing side of the ambush. “The meeting,” Miller explained, “was the perfect symbol of reconciliation between the US and Vietnam.” The two governments now have now become closely aligned: the ideology of communism has died out in Vietnam completely. Vietnam sends the sixth largest proportion of all foreign university students in the United States.

Lessons for Future Advocacy

The lessons that the 2017 UN Winter Youth Assembly offered me were truly remarkable. Never before have I been in the presence of so many passionate, motivated peers from around the world who have already begun to impact tangible change in their communities.

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