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

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant: Abhilasha Gokulan ’18

16S Student Program Assistant

Abhilasha Gokulan ’18 is a Student Program Assistant for the Management and Leadership Development Program. Photo by Sally Kim '16.

16S Student Program Assistant

A favorite hangout for members of the Class of 2018 First-Year Fellows is Hinman Forum at the Rockefeller Center.

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Abhilasha Gokulan ’18 has been interested in and involved with the Rockefeller Center since before she even matriculated at Dartmouth.

“The first time I ever entered the Rockefeller Center was during Dimensions my senior year of high school,” said Abhi. “Being able to see all of the cool programs at Rocky was actually one of the reasons I chose Dartmouth.”

After coming to Dartmouth from Little Rock, Arkansas, Abhi took a public policy course at the Center her freshman fall and participated in DLAB her freshman winter. Inspired by both encounters, Abhi decided to apply to be a First-Year Fellow and was selected to participate in the program.

The following fall she signed up for the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP). She took on the role of a program ambassador, which turned into a Student Program Assistant position the following term.  

Abhi has now worked for MLDP for two terms. “As the veteran member of my student leadership team, Abhi has really grown into this leadership role by setting a great example to the others and by broadening her impact on the program,” says Robin Frye, Abhi’s supervisor and the MLDP Program Officer. “She has spearheaded the development of a series of well-thought out and intentional dinner activities that have really improved this aspect of the program.”

Her responsibilities include creating, organizing, and conducting the activities around lessons learned in previous weeks’ sessions, as well as those that focus on participants’ Personal Leadership Challenges. “Earlier, we’d see that people would grab food and leave, or they’d just sit with their friends, excluding people who didn’t know anyone,” said Abhi. “This term, we created dinner activities that encourage them to interact and think in a different setting about what they just learned.”

Abhi’s favorite memory from working at the Center was a night she decided to study in Hinman Forum around 9 pm and, when she arrived, found six other First-Year Fellows all there for the same reason. “It was one of those moments where we realized that Rocky really was our home,” said Abhi.

Moving forward, Abhi would like to continue to participate in more Rockefeller programs while also fostering a bond between different classes and programs. This term, Abhi helped organized a social for the new class of First-Year Fellows along with past Class of 2016 and 2017 fellows. “In the past, we didn’t really get a chance to connect with upperclassmen,” said Abhi. “I think that’s something I’d like to help build at Rocky in the future.”

Abhi is an Economics Major, minoring in both Public Policy and Quantitative Social Sciences. Outside of her involvement with the Rockefeller Center, she is on the executive board for First-Year Peer Mentors, a member of the Student Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault, a dancer on Raaz South Asian fusion dance team, sports director for Dartmouth Broadcasting, and a sister in Chi Delta sorority.  

- Written by Nikita Bakhru ’17, Student Program Assistant for Communications and Student Outreach

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