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

MLDP Spring 2021 Excellence

MLDP Excellence 21S

Top Row: Taylor Hickey (‘23), Jasmine Oh (‘21), Angus Gruner (‘23), Seria Zara (‘23), Eric Hryniewicz (‘23), Olivia Barcelou (Community Member)

Middle Row: Ally Tannenbaum (‘22), Warren Coleman (‘22), Ana Sumbo (‘22), Vanessa Haggans (‘23), Zahni Khin (‘23)

Bottom Row: Thomas Brown (‘23), Arie Isedenu (‘22), Sofia Maeztu (Thayer), Anahita Kodali (‘23), Joshua Freitag (‘23), Grace Boyd (‘23)

Article Type 

Each term, the Management Leadership Development Program provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their leadership experience and build the skills to be more effective leaders. At each session, participants are asked to nominate their peers for excellence. When nominating, students are asked to explain why their nominees made their experience in MLDP more beneficial and how their nominees provided an excellent example of leadership during the program. At the end of the term, students must have perfect attendance and be nominated multiple times, by multiple peers to complete the program with excellence. Below are the collaborated comments about those who completed the Management and Leadership Development Program with excellence in Spring 2021. We thank them for their effort and commitment to the program. Congratulations!

Olivia Barcelou (Community Member): Olivia consistently showed a solid commitment to the MLDP program with her timeliness, curious engagement, and active leadership in the main session and the small group discussion. Her warm energy created a comfortable environment and eased her peers into conversation. She reflected thoughtfully and thoroughly in her weekly assignments. It was such a pleasure to have Olivia as a participant this term.

Grace Boyd '23: This term, Grace made real progress on her Personal Leadership Challenge and public speaking goals. Grace began the term by commenting that she was uncomfortable speaking in larger groups and wanted to work on her communication skills. Grace's peers validated her progress: they appreciated how she kept conversations in breakout rooms going, was kind and encouraging, and led the discussions as an example of elegance. We were so impressed by her commitment to self-improvement.

Thomas Brown '23: Thomas was a pleasure to have in MLDP because of his servant leadership style. Thomas was always committed to the group: he perfectly balanced speaking up in quiet moments with giving others the space to speak. He perfected the art of "calling-in, rather than calling out." Thomas's peers appreciated his active listening and thoughtful commentary, as well as his generally calming presence.

Warren Coleman '22: As an excellent example of humble and quiet leadership, Warren made a point to engage week after week within the main sessions actively, especially when interacting with the speakers. The MLDP Staff appreciates the initiative and extra steps he took with using his available resources. His peers appreciated how he provided helpful feedback during breakout rooms, and he participated consistently within cohort discussions.

Josh Freitag '23: Josh showed up to the small group discussions every week with a friendly smile and remained committed to leading his peers in dialogue any chance he could. He was communicative, social and showed an impressive level of commitment to the program. He also demonstrated genuine concern and care for his peers, who described him as "motivated, but friendly and supportive."

Angus Gruner '23: Angus was an exemplary participant of MLDP this term. Aside from the initiative and ability to help guide conversations among his peers, Angus wrote insightful reflections that were a pleasure to read week after week. From the very first session of the program, they appreciated how vulnerable he was with the group. His fellow peers were also grateful for his caring and helpful personality. He positively influenced them by sharing advice and constructive feedback. Tied with Anahita, he received the most nominations this term.

Vanessa Haggans '23: Vanessa's friendliness, enthusiasm, and thoughtful spirit were refreshing to her fellow participants in MLDP this term. There wasn't a moment where Vanessa wasn't encouraging her peers or offering support to them as their Personal Leadership Challenges progressed. Her peers acknowledge how supportive she was, highlighting the initiative she took to facilitate and push discussions forward within breakout rooms.

Taylor Hickey '23: Taylor's peers could not stop commenting on her welcoming and comforting presence. Her vulnerability in both small and large groups made others feel equally comfortable participating. In particular, she embraced the improv cohort discussion and helped her peers lean in. Thank you, Taylor, for always leading by example.

Eric Hryniewicz '23: Eric balanced a busy work schedule with the MLDP commitments very well. He offered great perspectives in the weekly small group discussions. In particular, Eric wasn't afraid to ask questions or push the conversation deeper when needed. His insightful and honest participation in the program was noticed and appreciated by the MLDP staff and his peers.

Arie Isedenu '22: Arie's peers put it perfectly: she has incredible interpersonal skills. She was an active listener in the larger groups. Her infectious energy and enthusiasm in the small group discussions brought out the best in her peers. Arie came to each session with a genuine desire to help and motivate her peers. We thank her for her time, energy, and care.

Zahni Khin '23: We were so lucky to have Zahni and his incredible energy in MLDP this term. Zahni's peers commented on how his openness and honesty made them all feel more comfortable. They also appreciated how he always initiated conversations to keep the conversation going. In one peer's own words, "Zahni engages and works well with others." We couldn't agree more!

Anahita Kodali '23: Anahita was an outstanding participant this term. She was consistently insightful in her reflections and presented them with poise and confidence. Her peers specifically appreciated her nuanced understanding of different perspectives. We were impressed by Anahita's consistent participation in the large group sessions, creating a productive dynamic. Tied with Angus, she received the most nominations this term.

Sofia Maetzu (Thayer): Sofia was a pleasure to have in MLDP this term because of her attentive listening skills and openness. Sofia brought insightfulness to her cohort discussions, which transformed the conversations. Her fellow peers were able to reflect profoundly and leave with new insights. Finally, The MLDP Staff appreciated Sofia's efforts while going above and beyond to address her Personal Leadership Challenge.

Ana Sumbo '22: Ana was a joy to have in MLDP this term. She filled spaces with her warmth, openness, commitment, and "extra-mile mindset" that benefitted her small group cohort and the larger MLDP group. Ana's honesty and vulnerability set the tone. They propelled discussions, allowing her fellow participants to feel more comfortable in opening up to each other. Her peers appreciated how invested she was in the program and noted her attentiveness in the breakout rooms and her positive engagement with the speakers.

Allie Tannenbaum '22: From her well-written and deep reflections to her thoughtful comments in group discussions, Ally was an exemplary MLDP participant. She treated each assignment as an opportunity to dig wholly into the material. Her peers commented on her active listening and consideration -- she was a consistently welcoming and a kind presence in the small group discussions and the speaker sessions.

Seria Zara '23: No one is more committed to self-improvement than Seria. What makes her so unique is that she is just as interested in helping others on their journeys to self-betterment. Her peers commented that Seria's willingness to be vulnerable encouraged them to open up about their own experiences. Through hard work and a commitment to overcome challenges, Seria showed up to each session with a bright smile and easy conversation -- her energy was contagious.

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