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

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant: Olivia Bewley ’19

Olivia Bewley '19 is a Government and Anthropology double major.

Olivia Bewley '19 with Joanne Needham, Program Officer for public programs and special events, and fellow Student Program Assistants for Public Programs. 

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Olivia Bewley ’19, a Government and Anthropology double major from Moorestown, New Jersey, is currently serving her fifth term as one of the Rockefeller Center’s Student Program Assistants for Public Programs. Olivia has been involved with the Rockefeller Center since her freshmen year when she started to attend several of Rocky’s programs and events to learn more about public policy.

Olivia began to develop her academic interest in public policy by taking PBPL 5: Introduction to Public Policy with Professor Ron Shaiko her freshmen winter and later by being selected as a First-Year Fellow. Interning in Washington. D.C. her freshmen summer as a Fellow helped further spark her interest in public policy. Coming back to campus after her Fellowship, Olivia began working with Joanne Needham, who is the Program Officer for public programs and special events, and has been in same position ever since.

“What is unique about Rocky’s public programs is that they are not open just to students on campus - they are open to the wider community,” says Olivia. Through her position, she has been able to meet and get to know many members of the Dartmouth and surrounding communities who regularly attend Rocky’s public programs.

“Because speakers have the opportunity to interact with students, in many instances over a Rocky facilitated dinner and even in a one-on-one setting, public programs are an interesting and special part of the Rockefeller Center. Co-sponsored programs also allow students who may not be familiar with Rocky’s co-curricular programs to get to know more about the Center and to become more involved in the future,” remarks Olivia.

The personal level of interaction among speakers and students is a valuable aspect to public programs that Olivia notes as making her job worthwhile.

Expanding Rocky’s outreach through public programs is another important part of Olivia’s position. “One of my goals as a Student Program Assistant for Public Programs is to appeal and market our programs to students outside of the Rockefeller Center, such as what we did with a recent event with Aaron Klein ’98 by reaching out to student groups on campus that are involved in finance, trading and economics,” says Olivia.

Olivia describes her supervisor, Joanne Needham as someone who is understanding and who truly cares about her Student Program Assistants. “Joanne is excellent and always makes an effort to plan out our schedules ahead of time. She connects personally with each student that works for her,” says Olivia. 

Joanne is also grateful to have Olivia on her term. “This is the second year that Olivia has worked with me on public programming, and she continually demonstrates strong organizational skills, attention to deadlines, and willingness to take on more responsibilities. She is a hard worker, driven to excel in all that she does, and committed not only to supporting public programs but also the mission of the Center," says Joanne. 

In the classroom, Olivia has found that she can apply the facilitation skills she has learned through this position when participating in small group discussions as well as apply the knowledge she learned from public lectures to her studies. Olivia has also had the opportunity to sit through class visits by outside speakers, which have opened her mind to new topics in public policy-related fields and has allowed her to see how these speakers demonstrate real-life applications of what students learn in the classroom.

Outside of the Rockefeller Center, Olivia’s academic interests focus on human rights and public policy, specifically how both can be shaped by cultural relativism. She is involved in the leadership of her sorority, Kappa Delta, and participates in campus debate. Olivia has also participated in the Rockefeller Center’s Management and Leadership Program (MLDP) and facilitated various student workshops. 

- Written by Bethany Malzman '19, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications

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