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


American Capitalism after the Volcker Shock of 1980

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, University of Chicago history professor and economic historian Jonathan Levy spoke at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center. His talk, titled “Instability and Inequality: American Capitalism after the Volcker Shock of 1980,” touched on the importance of the United States Federal Reserve in global economic policymaking, the links between inequality and the Great Recession, and the roots of contemporary economic transformations.

Levy said that in his field, economic history, “the action is back in history departments” after a temporary migration to economics departments in the 1970s and 1980s. “Especially since 2008 and the Great Recession, historians have become more interested in economic questions than they were in the past.”

Class of 2019 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

Front Row (left to right): Rajiv Ramaiah, Maria Jose Auil, Charlotte Blatt, Samuel Colello, Abhilasha Gokulan, Alyssa Heinze, Kristen Virkler, Dale Li, Raunak Bhojwani

2nd Row (left to right): Gricelda Ramos, Christopher Huberty, Lucia Pierson, Jonathan Chu, Emma Marsano, Carolyn McShea, Jessica Colin, Arati Gangadharan, Zoe Snow, Kaina Chen

3rd Row (left to right): Matthew Sindelar, Akanksha Wasan, Marley Peters, Julian Marcu, Caroline Berens, Jarrett Taylor 

*Fellows not pictured: Daniel Propp

Notes From the Field: Nikhita Hingorani '21

Nikhita Hingorani '21 interned for Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) during the 2018 Summer Term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern for Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Representative of the 7th Congressional District of my home state of Alabama, in both her Washington, DC office and Montgomery district office.

Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors

Each winter term for six consecutive Monday evenings, over 100 first-year students, along with about two dozen student facilitators, gather to discuss their values and how those impact their potential goals for the future at and beyond Dartmouth. These students are bonded together by the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors (D-LAB) program, a student-facilitated leadership development program specifically designed for first-year students, sponsored by the Rockefeller Center and the Office of Student Life.

Over the course of six weekly sessions, students meet in small groups and have the opportunity to bond with peers from across campus and connect with their upper-class facilitators through reflective and interactive activities. The conversations that take place broaden students’ understanding of themselves, their fellow classmates, and the Dartmouth experience itself.


Cindy Zhu '20 interned at the US Securities and Exchange Commission during the 2018 fall term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This fall, I interned at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with the Student Honors Program in New York, New York. I worked under the Division of Enforcement in the Market Abuse Unit (MAU), which plays an essential role in the SEC’s goal to maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets for both Wall Street and Main Street. The Market Abuse Unit was created in 2010 as a platform to study traders, their decision-making, and how private information can flow between them. By hiring ex-traders, former FBI agents, and quantitative analysts, the MAU sought to harness the knowledge and experience of members of the industry to more effectively understand market manipulation. As a result, this “trader-based” approach has been instrumental in detecting illicit stock market activity.

Brooks Family Lecture: Bringing America Together

On Jan. 29, Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, delivered the Brooks Family Lecture for the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. His talk was titled “Bringing America Together.” Brooks has served as the president of the think tank since January 1, 2009. Before joining AEI, Dr. Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship. Prior to his work in academia and public policy, he spent 12 years as a classical musician in the United States and Spain. Additionally, Brooks is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and the bestselling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise.   

Class of 2021 First-Year Fellow: Justin Kramer

As a First-Year Fellow, Justin Kramer ’21 interned at the National Disability Institute under the mentorship of Michael Morris P’08 & ’14. The following is an excerpt from his final report.

This summer, I got the opportunity to spend my summer working at the National Disability Institute (NDI). Despite its far-reaching name, NDI focuses on financial empowerment and wellness, economic self-sufficiency, and employment for people with disabilities in effort to mitigate the massive, crippling additional costs of having a disability. Having done more of the hands-on work with disability in the past at a disability baseball program, I was excited to look at disability through the lens of policy. My expectations were greatly exceeded.

Notes From the Field: John Kilcommons '19

John Kilcommons '19 interned at the Law Division within the Cook County Circuit Court during the 2018 summer term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

The Law Division within the Cook County Circuit Court is responsible for taking civil cases that claimed money damages exceeding $50,000 or more. Within my courtroom, my judge, the Honorable Lorna Propes, oversaw multiple trials and even more pre-trial settlement hearings. As an officer of the court, Judge Propes acted as a facilitator of justice according to the laws of Cook County. As a clerk within her court, I was responsible for the intake and production of legal documents spanning from pre-trial motions such as discovery, motions in limone, as well as post-trial motions such as appeals. I coordinated with many lawyers in redistributing many of these legal documents.

Deeds Not Words: Taking Action to Make Change

On Friday, January 25, 2019, Wendy Davis spoke with students in an afternoon session “Deeds Not Words: Taking Action to Make Change.” Wendy Davis is the founding director of Deeds Not Words, a non-profit that seeks to empower and activate the voices of young women in public and political discourse. She is a former Texas State Senator, 2014 Texas Democratic Gubernatorial nominee, frequent public speaker and author. Davis gained national prominence in 2013 when she strapped on a pair of pink sneakers and held a 13-hour filibuster to protect women’s reproductive freedoms in Texas. Her fight ultimately led to a successful and landmark decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, strengthening the landscape for abortion rights throughout the country.

Class of 2021 First-Year Fellow: Jolie Kemp

As a First-Year Fellow, Jolie Kemp ’21 interned at the Truman National Security Project under the mentorship of Michael Breen ’02. The following is an excerpt from her final report.

I interned at the Truman National Security Project, a nationwide membership of policy experts, veterans, and academics committed to addressing the national security concerns of today. Truman connects over 1,700 members across the country with 16 different chapters, each of which facilitates conversations around and develops concrete solutions to pressing security issues. The organization also aids its members by offering specific messaging and soundbites regarding current political events, trainings on topics from the military to op-ed writing, and an annual conference in D.C. that connects the entire community. Truman is currently working hard to shape the future of issues such as family separation and the Muslim immigration ban.


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