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

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Kalie Mariscano ’17

RLF Kalie Marsicano

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow Kalie Marsicano ’17 studies Government and Spanish at Dartmouth College.

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This series introduces the 2016-2017 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.

The Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program is further developing my leadership skills and I’m learning from the experiences of the other students participating in the program, as well as the faculty and staff leading it. As an aspiring lawyer with a passion for human rights and social justice, I am committed to becoming an effective, understanding, and humble leader. Having many students of diverse identities, skill sets, belief systems, and campus involvements, RLF is an ideal environment to meet and collaborate with students with different leadership roles and styles.

I am most interested in how leaders balance power with their teams and communities. I view task delegation and trusting the team as critical elements of effective leadership. If a leader fails to properly delegate tasks and trust her team, the project lasts only as long as she does since she has failed to create a sustainable model. As a leader, I strive to be extremely collaborative by soliciting feedback from my team before taking drastic actions. However, I often find this practice to be a time-consuming additional step and I wonder how others approach this issue. I am eager to learn how other leaders make decisions in a fair and thoughtful manner while also being mindful of their time and resources.

I would describe my work with Dartmouth’s Panhellenic Council as my most intensive leadership experience. In this role, I served as a liaison between the Panhellenic Council and other campus organizations, oversaw the council itself and guided the research and creation of policy initiatives and campus partnerships that aimed to increase financial inclusivity and gender equity while also reducing sexual violence in the Greek system.

Two pieces that have critically informed my leadership style are Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Bell Hooks’s Teaching to Transgress. Both authors examine the education system as an oppressive structure and suggest ways to combat these imbalances and thereby dismantle structural oppression. I bring this thinking to RLF, promoting a bottom-up approach to leadership that destabilizes systems of power and oppression. Simultaneously, I am gaining an understanding of how others lead, what works for them, and what barriers they have confronted. RLF provides the opportunity to gain structured feedback on my leadership skills in order to improve them through active learning.

Kalie Marsicano ’17 grew up in South Florida and graduated from the University School of NSU. At Dartmouth, Kalie studies Government and Spanish. She works with the Sexuality, Women’s and Gender (SWAG) Center as a student coordinator and with the admissions office as a tour guide and tour guide trainer. Kalie has been involved with the SWAG since her freshman winter, when she first participated in the Vagina Monologues and Voices, and has since gone on to lead the V-Feb committee and co-direct Voices. Kalie is also an active member of the Student a Presidential Committee on Sexual assault, which conducts research and produces policy recommendations to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus. Kalie plans to pursue a career in international relations with a focus on social justice and human rights issues. She will spend her time immediately after Dartmouth gaining work and service experience before continuing to law school.

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

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