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

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant Alisa White ’17

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In this series, the Rockefeller Center features our Student Program Assistants, student staff who contribute significantly to the success of the Center’s events, programs, and activities.

Dartmouth can sometimes be a daunting place, but there are so many resources at the Rockefeller Center that are aimed to help students achieve their academic and professional goals. Among these resources are the Rockefeller Center’s peer mentoring programs, which help provide students with an extensive network of alumni and opportunities in the world of leadership and public policy both on and off campus. After participating in the Rockefeller Peer Mentoring Program (RPMP) herself, Alisa White ’17 is now one of the Student Program Assistants that is helping to reshape the program.


Student Program Assistant for RPMP Alisa White '17. Photo by Abigail Chen '17.

An economics major and public policy minor, Alisa first became involved with the Center when she took the Public Policy 5 course her freshman winter. She went on to become a First Year Fellow (FYF), interning at the U.S. Department of Energy.

After she was accepted to FYF, Alisa joined the Rocky Peer Mentoring program. Her love for mentoring and enthusiasm to give back to Rocky encouraged her to become a Student Assistant for the program herself.

“If you have goals and thoughts on how to achieve them, Rocky can really help you,” she says. She believes that mentorship is especially important at Dartmouth, at which a liberal arts education may not offer students a straightforward track to take. She adds, “Pursuing public policy can be pretty nebulous and intimidating for a freshman, so I see this as a really valuable program.”

Alisa helps to answer questions and draft emails to students, as well as generate ideas for outreach to garner interest for the program. However, another reason why she became a Student Assistant is because she saw a lot of potential for improvements within the program. Working with Sam Williamson, the Program Coordinator for RPMP, and Alex Rubin ’15, another Student Assistant who was coincidentally her own mentor, Alisa has helped to restructure the program. This year, they centralized the mentor-mentee meetings to a single location with open mentoring hours, adding themes and workshops (such as a LinkedIn profile editing and course selection workshop). Although the RPMP student assistants have made much progress to improve the program so far, they are always striving to figure out what works best for Dartmouth students.

Sam Williamson commented, “Alias has given some excellent ideas and provided some great content for this program, which is still in its pilot phase, so there’s still a lot of room to improve.”

In addition to mentoring, Alisa believes that the best part about working at Rocky are the staff and other student assistants. She says, “It’s a great work environment in which people communicate well with each other across different programs.”

Having already spent so much time at Rocky as a freshman, becoming a student assistant seemed like a perfect transition for Alisa to gain additional work experience while giving back to a place that has provided her with so many opportunities.

-Written by Courtney Wong '15, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant 


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