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

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant: Arati Gangadharan ’18

Arati Gangadharan ’18 helped brainstorm new ideas for MLDP as a Student Program Assistant last spring. 

Arati Gangadharan ’18 and Program Officer Robin Frye speak with MLDP students on the importance of community values in leadership at an off-campus session. 

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Arati Gangadharan ’18 first became involved with the Rockefeller Center through her participation in the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) and the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) during her sophomore winter and fall.

“RGLP was one of the most phenomenal parts of my Dartmouth experience,” said Arati. “I am interested in global health initiatives and the program gave me a way to grow in terms of my global mindedness. “

Following her completion of RLGP, Arati began working for the Rockefeller Center as a Student Program Assistant for MLDP during her sophomore spring. She hoped to enhance her interpersonal skills and become more approachable in initial encounters through her interactions with MLDP participants. She cites her work as a student assistant, such as when she has to speak and motivate program participants, as playing a key role in her ability to speak more effectively to large audiences. 

She describes her supervisor and MLDP Program Officer Robin Frye as a helpful and understanding person who gives her student coordinators “room to grow and improve in a secure space.”

Arati’s primary responsibilities as a program assistant included general administrative duties and managing the program roster and attendance. Arati along with the other team of student assistants analyze the feedback from past MLDP sessions and brainstorm ways to improve the program for the upcoming term, including mixing up the sessions to tailor to both students who desire to refine their interpersonal skills or cultivate personal growth.

"Arati is extremely thoughtful in her contributions in MLDP. While we worked as a team this summer to create an intentional dinner activity schedule, she offered a lot of great ideas that tied back to the overall mission of the program. Arati is an excellent representative for MLDP," remarks Robin Frye, Program Officer and Arati's supervsior. "She brings a light and fun air to the program, at the same time, she pushes participants to think deeper about the concepts. While implementing the dinner activities during the program last spring, I was very impressed with the way she could motivate and engage the participants with her gregarious personality."

One of the improvements that she helped implement was the off campus sessions that demonstrate that “leadership is applicable in all domains, not just in a corporate setting.” For example, Arati assisted in the organization of the off campus session at LISTEN, a local non-profit, where students were able to speak to community members and see how “strong leadership correlates with community values.”

Throughout her two terms as a Student Program Assistant, Arati enjoyed attending the MLDP sessions because the sessions reinforce the ideas and information that she learned while first participating in MLDP.

Arati is a Neuroscience Major, minoring in both Public Policy and Chemistry. In addition to her involvement with the Rockefeller Center, she is also the director of the Dartmouth Coalition for Global Health, a writer for Dartmouth Standpoints, a summer captain on Raaz South Asian fusion dance team, a Teacher’s Assistant for laboratory organic chemistry, and a sister in Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Submitted by Rachel Favors '18, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications

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