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


Rocky On Camera - Learn more about what the Rockefeller Center has to offer

Welcome to the Rockefeller Center 24s! We want to introduce you to all the Rocky has to offer. Please check out these videos to learn what Rocky has to offer and take a look at this brochure: PDF iconWelcome Class of 2024  We hope to see you soon and if you have any questions, reach out to us at



Curricular Offerings at the Rockefeller Center

RLF Reflection: Giving Back Through Mentorship

While the Rocky Leadership Fellows embarked on a new term of remote learning and few social interactions, Hi’ilani Hopkins took a moment to remind us about the importance of connection and giving back to our communities. She argues that as Dartmouth students, the fellows have been extremely fortunate to get the mentorship that we have. We should ensure that future leaders, especially those that do not have access to the incredible resources that we do, have an opportunity to learn from us. But mentorship need not be a one-sided venture; Hi’ilani finds mentors often learn just as much from our mentees as they learn from us.

RLF Reflection: Leadership Lessons from Ernest Shackleton

On January 7th, RLF fellow Will Dickerman gave a presentation on the leadership of Ernest Shackleton, a polar explorer who led three expeditions to the Antarctic. Will recounted the Shackleton’s third and last expedition in 1914, when “The Endurance” ship sunk due to violent weather conditions, and Shackleton heroically led the entire crew out of the quandary. Will highlighted a few of Shackleton’s actions. First, Shackleton foresaw the sinking of the ship and preemptively evacuated the ship; second, when the crew drifted on ice to the uninhabited Elephant Island, he bravely led a small portion of the crew to sail to South Georgia, the closest inhabited island, to look for provisions and rescue; third, when his crew arrived at the wrong side of South Georgia, he decided to lead a few men to traverse the island on foot and eventually reached the populated side.


RLF Recap: "Leading in Civil Society"

After beginning winter term with a session focused on the purpose of actively recruiting the next class of Rockefeller Leadership Fellows, this week the 2021 cohort of Fellows returned to routine with a session led by the Rockefeller Center’s own Professor Ron Shaiko. Shaiko discussed the topic of civil leadership with the Fellows and aided the Fellows in directly applying the topic to Dartmouth itself.


RLF Reflection: Cross-field Learning

Neelufar Raja gave a presentation about cross-field learning on January 7th, 2021. Neelufar sees collaboration, creativity, and synthesis as key elements of gaining knowledge across fields. Neelufar identified leaders and polymaths in history as people who exemplify the value of gaining knowledge in a variety of sectors. These polymaths, including well-known figures such as Marie Curie and Charles Darwin, have contributed significantly in multiple fields of study. Neelufar believes that the example of Atul Gawande, a medical physician who was charged with identifying ways to make surgery safer, can be used as a case study for the value of cross-field learning. Gawande drew upon other high risk industries outside medicine and concluded that checklists–a low-tech method that is a mainstay of the aviation industry–were key to ensuring safety. Neelufar emphasized that expertise and knowledge gained in one area can be valuable in another area and added that taking classes at Dartmouth in a variety of areas is a way to put her suggestions into practice.


RLF Reflection: Listening Leadership

On January 7, 2021, Maria Smith-Lopez gave a presentation on listening leadership and the importance of listening as a tool for leadership. I found it compelling because while we hear a lot about the importance of both listening and leadership, we don't often hear about how the two are related. Leaders are often portrayed as big thinkers with a vision, the big talkers who chart the course of the group, people who are listened to, not so much listeners themselves. And yet we also know that good leadership requires strong relationships between leaders and the people they lead. Since listening is one of the most important ways to establish relationships with others it is quite astonishing to see how little it comes up when people talk about 'leadership'. Maria's presentation highlighted the importance of leaders as listeners and how this might strengthen leadership.

RLF Reflection: Leadership Lessons from Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition

On January 7th, Will Dickerman gave a presentation on leadership qualities as displayed by a historical polar explorer Earnest Shackleton on his Antarctic expedition. Shackleton’s ship sunk; he split up the crew; left one group with one of them in-charge, took a smaller group with him and risked his life going to another island on a life-boat. Despite landing on the wrong side of the island, he was not discouraged but after careful consideration he made a judgement call to leave behind some of the injured crew and went on a land expedition. Eventually he managed to get help and went back for his crew leading them all to safety. According to Dickerman, perseverance, good judgement, risk-taking are crucial leadership qualities as exemplified by Shackleton. He believes that through never giving up on things one values, delegating tasks to those best suited to handle them and getting out of one’s comfort zone results in achieving set goals.


Cristina Javens ’23 awarded research grant to study Nelson A. Rockefeller ’30

Cristina Javens ’23, a sophomore planning on majoring in Sociology and minoring in Public Policy, was recently awarded the Undergraduate Research and Advising Sophomore Research Scholarship during the Winter and Spring 2021 terms to study the policy positions of Nelson A. Rockefeller ’30 and “Rockefeller Republicans.”

Cristina started her journey with the Rockefeller Center by taking PBPL 5 “Introduction to Public Policy” and by participating in the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors (D-LAB) program during her first year. Since then, she has taken PBPL 45 (“Introduction to Policy Research”) and recently began working with the Rockefeller Center Director, Professor Jason Barabas, on a series of projects related to the namesake of the Rockefeller Center.

With Professor Barabas serving as her advisor and mentor, Cristina applied for the Undergraduate Research and Advising Sophomore Research Scholarship to work on a project to identify the policy positions of Nelson A. Rockefeller ‘30 and “Rockefeller Republicans” from a variety of sources, such as news stories, biographies, and public opinion polls from the era.

Charles Wheelan pens op-ed calling for a permanent bipartisan caucus

This op-ed was written by Rockefeller Center faculty member Charles Wheelan and Neal Simon, a Maryland business executive and 2018 independent candidate for U.S. Senate. The original article was published on and can be found here.

The future of the American Senate, and perhaps our entire political system, is unfolding before our eyes. This is not happening in Georgia. It’s happening in Washington, where a bipartisan group of U.S. senators are working together to support a Covid-19 relief bill.

RLF Reflection: Leadership Across Cultures

For the asynchronous cohort week of November 13th, Byul “B” Ha gave a detailed presentation on cross-cultural communication. Her presentation, delivered over the internet, began with a series of questions designed to demonstrate to the audience the relevance of cross-cultural communication in an ever-globalized world. Next, B set the scene by defining what “culture” is— “a system of behavior that helps us act in an accepted or familiar way”—and what defines cross-cultural leadership as an independent school of leadership theory.


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