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

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Joshua Cox '16

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This series introduces the 2015-2016 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

My interest in the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program stems from a desire to cultivate a skill set that I have had both success and failure with throughout my life. Over the past ten years, I have had the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through my experience in the United States Marine Corps, as well as through an outdoor company that leads trips of inexperienced individuals down potentially high-risk whitewater rapids. However, my most meaningful experiences come from my time in the military. As a squad leader of a 4-man weapons specialty team with Lima Co., 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, I successfully worked with numerous leaders to integrate my assault squad into larger platoon and company-level missions (20-40 men).

I believe that specifically dedicated an allocated time for an entire academic year to focus on leadership skills is an unparalleled value that will benefit me throughout my life. If I had to specify which aspects of leadership interest me more than others, I would choose two: leading by example, and motivating others around me to do their best. My fascination stems from the legendary stories of ancient Greek generals leading their troops from the front, inspiring men through their courageous actions. While leadership has changed since ancient times, habits such as being the first one working on a project, or taking initiative to thoroughly understand a concept or problem are seemingly small details that have disproportionately large impacts on how others conduct themselves. This leads to my second aspect of leadership that interests me, which is motivation. Motivating not just through inspiring words, but also through actions to bring up the people around you and to raise the standards that they set for themselves.

I hope to carry these useful skills into a future professional career as a medical doctor, specifically in emergency medicine. Being a doctor in the emergency room puts a premium on leadership skill, since the lead surgeon is managing a team of healthcare workers in a very demanding high-stress environment, while working to preserve the ultimate good, which is human life. If chosen for the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program, I believe my experience in the workforce will offer a unique perspective that will benefit other RLF fellows. I look forward to the opportunity to expand upon and cultivate the more focused leadership experience I received in the Marine Corps and, to a lesser extent, as a whitewater raft guide.

Joshua Cox ’15 graduated from Pleasant Valley High School in Brodheadsville, Pa. After graduation he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Joshua operated as Infantry Assaultman in 3rd Battalion 6th Marines and was deployed twice, once to Iraq and a second to Afghanistan. Joshua received an honorable discharge from the Marines and received many awards including a Presidential Unit Citation. Currently at Dartmouth, Joshua majors in Biology, is the treasurer of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Veterans Association and plays on the Dartmouth Football Rugby Club. At the beginning of Junior year Joshua was selected to be James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar research assistant and has continued honors thesis research in a cellular biology lab. After graduation he plans on spending a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina to further his Spanish before applying to medical school and pursing a career in medicine.

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