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

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant Marie Plecha '16

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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.

Students are often introduced to the Rockefeller Center through one of its many public programs. These public programs focus on variety of topics ranging from government and business to public policy and entrepreneurship to regional and international affairs. Joanne Needham, Coordinator of Public and Special Events, organizes these public programs for the Rockefeller Center, aided by a team of student program assistants who help her coordinate all of these extensively planned events.

Student Program Assistant for Public Programs Marie Plecha '16. Photo by Thanh V. Nguyen.

Marie Plecha '16, Student Program Assistant for Public Programs, works with Joanne Needham to help create speaker schedules, research class visits, and, most importantly, conduct outreach. In the weeks leading up to an event, Marie will help reach out to specific professors, classes, and student organizations that might be interested in the topic. Other forms of promotion that Marie helps with include putting up posters, sending out emails, creating advertisements for the Valley News, and writing posts for the Rockefeller Center's blog. On the day of an event, Marie will help Joanne set up, handle the microphones during question and answer sessions, and assist in the facilitation of the event itself. Public talks often draws crowds of over 50 people.

There are a multitude of tasks to complete for each event, but Marie is diligent is tackling them all. Joanne notes, "What I appreciate about Marie is that she is able to complete different tasks quickly and with an attention to detail." Both of these traits are important for this particular role.

Marie first became involved with the Rockefeller Center through its curriculum. A public policy minor, she attended workshops such as VoxMasters and MLDP during her first year at Dartmouth as well as several public programs, which piqued her interest in this position. She says, "The public program position interested me most because I like becoming engaged in lectures and learning about them. I especially enjoyed the Law Day events because I’m interested in law, am involved in the law journal and would like to attend law school someday." Fortunately for Marie, this position gave her the opportunity to become directly involved with this year’s preparation of the Rockefeller Center's annual Law Day Celebration. Marie wrote an event description for publication online, compiled the speaker schedules, and composed the Valley News advertisements for two-day event.

Marie believes that public programs are essential to the Rockefeller Center because they give students the opportunity to become more intellectually engaged with current events and other public policy and government-related topics. "Rocky provides a forum outside of classes for students to study these topics further through public programs and PoliTALK dinners," she believes. "It’s a wonderful opportunity for discussion."

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

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