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



Sophia Swanson '23 interned at Human Rights First (HRF) during the 2021 winter term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.


Mia Seymour '23 interned at the Brookings Institution during the 2021 winter term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This winter, I was a research intern in the Economic Studies Department in the Center on Regulation and Markets at the Brookings Institution. I worked under the supervision of Aaron Klein, a Dartmouth graduate and Senior Fellow. In my role, I was able to work closely with Aaron and his research assistants (RAs), collaborating both on research and the writing process. I assisted on a report on Covid-19’s impact on the Hispanic workforce, an op-ed on overdraft fees in small banks, and updating a book chapter on the Chinese digital payments system. Further, I was responsible for attending and covering events to provide succinct summaries and notes for Aaron and/or his colleagues. Finally, I helped with day-to-day tasks, such as organizing conferences, updating contact lists, and maintaining certain files and records. 

Disaster Capitalism: The Business of Disaster—Niki Franco

The Dartmouth Student Union and the Afro-American Society commemorated Earth Day by organizing a teach-in with community organizer and cultural worker Niki Franco. Niki talked to us about “disaster capitalism” or the business of disaster, defining it as the phenomenon of using a situation of crisis to pursue monetary gain by making large-scale changes that may be otherwise opposed. She traced the concept back to the colonization of the Americas and related it to Naomi Klein’s concept of the “shock doctrine,” explaining it through example case-studies of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and sea-level rise in Miami.

Hosting this teach-in on Zoom on Earth Day, the broadly defined category of disaster including environmental disasters, but also pandemics and wars, formed a very pertinent structure to orient discussion around. Through case-studies, Niki emphasized how cities were doing very little to protect their residents against disaster, investing instead in militarization and tax-breaks for the wealthy, while also standing ready to implement privatization and other unpopular “reforms” during a period of crisis. 

South by Southwest (SXSW) 2021’s Virtual Conference

Written by Cindy Yuan '22

Connection 101: Leading with Intention

In today's world of COVID and remote learning, Connection 101 believes that the practices of effective leadership and psychological safety are more important than ever. By equipping students with the tools and knowledge to lead with intentionality in the face of uncertainty, the virtual workshop Connection 101: Leading with Intention sought to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders.

RLF Reflection: Empowering Your Team

On April 9th, Megan Cornell gave a presentation on using empowerment to maximize group potential. Megan explains that oftentimes, expectations shape performance and using empowerment as a tool can drastically improve outcomes both on an individual and team level. She believes that as a leader, it is important to build trust and be present as a leader so that you can effectively empower your team and produce the best outcomes for everyone involved. She provides six concrete ways that we can implement empowerment in our teams, including: sharing information, creating clear goals, creating an atmosphere where you can learn from mistakes, celebrating successes/failures, supporting a learning environment, and letting teams take on power and responsibility.

Oren Cass Discusses the Future of Conservatism with the Rockefeller Center

On Wednesday, April 14th, 2021, Oren Cass, the Executive Director of American Compass, met with Dartmouth students and community members for the Rockefeller Center’s second Rocky Watch event of the spring term. Rocky Watch is a weekly series of live broadcasts hosted by the Rockefeller Center to create a common space for community discussion and intellectual engagement in this time of remote learning.

Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live

On April 8, 2021, Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Yale University joined members of the Dartmouth community for another installment of “Rocky Watch”. The discussion was moderated by Jason Barabas ’93, Director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center.

RLF Reflection: Crisis Leadership

On the 8th of April, Arun Maganti, a member of the synchronous RLF cohort gave a presentation on leadership strategies to manage a crisis. According to Arun, there are 3 models that allow to classify a crisis. The situational crisis communication theory classifies crisis based on how they are communicated (i.e. as an accident or a predictable crisis). The response theory classifies crisis based on how leaders react to the crisis (i.e. to deny it or diminish its gravity). Lastly, chaos theory states that it is not possible to predict how a crisis unfolds and, for this reason, crisis can’t be classified.

Dissecting the State of Student Debt: What’s the Path Forward?

On March 3, 2021, Dr. Mark W. Huddleston, President Emeritus of the University of New Hampshire, presented the 2021 Perkins Bass Distinguished Lecture, titled “The Burden of Student Debt: Dimensions, Complexities, and Options.” In a discussion hosted by Professor Charles Wheelan ’88, Huddleston shared his own findings on the trends and implications of student debt in the United States, as well as his perspective on today’s discourse surrounding potential solutions to this complex issue.


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