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

Caitlin Keenan instrumental in developing the Rockefeller Alumni Mentoring Program

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For the past year, the Rockefeller Center has been establishing a range of new programs, including a peer mentoring program. Rockefeller's mentoring program is structured in two parts: the Rockefeller Peer Mentoring Program and the Rockefeller Alumni Mentoring Program.

The Rockefeller Peer Mentoring Program provides the most recent class of First-Year Fellows and Civic Skills Training participants with student mentors pulled from the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows and select upperclassmen who can provide guidance and answer questions that will help sophomores plan the final three years of their Dartmouth experience. 

On the other end of the spectrum is the Rockefeller Alumni Mentoring Program (RAMP) which matches graduated seniors with recent alumni that graduated from Dartmouth at least 3 to 5 years prior. In its first year of existence, RAMP has matched 13 members of the Class of 2013 with Dartmouth alumni that have graduated on or after 2008 but before 2011. Another 12 alumni mentors have volunteered their services as subject experts and additional resources.

"The rationale was that alumni were far enough out that they had experiences they could share but were young enough they could relate to someone who had just come from Dartmouth," Caitlin Keenan '12 elaborated.

Caitlin has been instrumental in establishing RAMP. While on a recruiting trip for her company, Caitlin was discussing with Rockefeller's Deputy Director Sadhana Hall about the difficulties she had experienced while transitioning into the post-graduate world. Based on conversations with other alumni Sadhana had maintained connections with, Sadhana agreed that this was a frequently expressed sentiment. Together, they both developed the concept of an alumni mentoring program which would eventually evolve into RAMP.

Caitlin credits Dartmouth for doing a lot to ease students during the transition from high school to college. However, she felt there wasn't enough preparation for life after Dartmouth. 

"I actually wasn't involved with Rocky at all during my time at Dartmouth," Caitlin explained. "I was talking to Sadhana about different groups of students we could target because I knew she was an impactful person on campus. I was casually talking to her about how crazy the transition is from college to real life. It had been really overwhelming and I kind of struggled with it but no one ever really talks about it."

Everyone who is currently in the pilot version of RAMP expressed interest, but the mentor pairs have varying levels of engagement from being minimally engaged to highly engaged. Caitlin estimates that half the mentoring pairs have established great connections with one another. For now, Caitlin's plan for RAMP is to continue building the program's infrastructure to add personal value by creating opportunities for monthly interactions like Webinars or in-person get-togethers, much of which will occur during the upcoming summer.

Caitlin is a San Diego native who graduated from Dartmouth with a major in human biology and a minor in environmental studies. In Hanover, Caitlin competed with varsity swim team, volunteered as a DREAM mentor, was selected for Tucker’s CCESP to Nicaragua, and served as social chair for Kappa Kappa Gamma. Her greatest senior year memories were interning at the Tucker Foundation and canoeing from Dartmouth to the Long Island Sound with Ledyard’s Seniors to the Sea. Caitlin currently works as a Management Fellow at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Chicago. As Caitlin previously indicated, she was never involved with the Rockefeller Center while at Dartmouth, but became a part of the Rockefeller Center family as an alum.

The Rockefeller Center would like to thank Caitlin for her dedicated work in establishing RAMP.

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