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

Rocky and Me: Tyler Stoff '15 Senior Profile

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The Rockefeller Center encourages its outgoing seniors to reflect on their experiences at Dartmouth as part of a series called Rocky and Me.

With the intimacy of a liberal arts college and the opportunities of a large university, Dartmouth was a clear choice for me from the start of my college search. I have had the privilege of engaging in a wide variety of arts and sciences during my time in Hanover, and the Rockefeller Center somehow came to inextricably entwine itself in my four years every step of the way.

Tyler Stoff '15 involved himself with the Rockefeller Center from October of his first year on campus. Photo by Thanh V. Nguyen.


I first heard about the Rockefeller Center during my college interview. I had mentioned an interest in government and public policy, and the alumni interviewer recommended the Rockefeller Center as a good place to start. I didn’t give much thought to it, however, until a few weeks after moving in my freshman year.

In October of 2011, the Rockefeller Center hosted a Presidential Primary Debate, and it solicited volunteers from the student body to assist with this immense undertaking. Barely recognizing the significance of my role in a presidential debate to come but eager to participate, I signed up. The Center assigned me to serve as an aide to the leading candidate at the time, serving as something of a liaison between the campaign and the college. I was overjoyed. I ultimately spent several days with the presidential campaign before watching it in person. The experience gave me a quick lesson in professionalism, presidential politics, and the media circus.

The Rockefeller Center next entered my life at the end of my sophomore year, when I registered for a class on polling. Through this class, I had the opportunity to write several questions for the Rockefeller Center’s annual State of the State Poll, a survey of New Hampshire voters. My first paid position with the Center came as I phone banked for the poll as well. Few people I called enjoyed being interrupted during their dinner, but I gained a lot of knowledge on how polling figures are generated if not also an ounce of humility.

Tyler Stoff '15 mentors underclassmen through the Rockefeller Peer Mentoring Program, above. Photo by Hung Nguyen '18.


In my junior year, I took on a regular position with the Rockefeller Center as I began work as the Student Program Assistant for Communications and Student Outreach. Through this position, which would last through graduation, I edited the Rockefeller Center’s daily blog and crafted its regular "This Week at Rocky" email, which highlights new opportunities for students. Special projects saw me writing for the annual newsletter and re-writing the Center’s communications style guide to meet its modern needs. A thousand first-year writing seminars could not have given me the writing and editing skills that this position bestowed with demanding release schedules and exacting co-workers.

My last year at Dartmouth saw my participation with the Rockefeller Center explode. I completed the Center’s Management and Leadership Development Program and its Rockefeller Global Leadership Program. These programs allowed me to formalize the leadership training I had been receiving over my previous three years at Dartmouth. I also conducted a PDF iconvariety (PDF) of PDF iconresearch (PDF) PDF iconprojects (PDF) for policymakers through the Center’s Class of 1964 Policy Research Shop. Producing results for policymakers beyond academia allowed me a level of influence on the public discourse I never thought possible and taught me a level of professionalism I treasure highly.

I can scarcely believe how much value the Rockefeller Center has added to my time at Dartmouth. I may not have believed it at the time, but four years ago my interviewer knew something that I would come to learn very well. The Rockefeller Center gave me the tools and experience I needed to succeed.

This piece was written by Tyler Stoff '15. Originally from Long Island, Tyler studied Government at Dartmouth. He has been involved with the Rockefeller Center since his freshman year, when he served as an aide to the candidates at the 2012 Presidential Primary Debate. While at Dartmouth, Tyler has helped direct Dartmouth Model United Nations’ annual conference, coordinating simulations to help students learn more about diplomacy and global affairs. He also served on the executive boards of the Dartmouth Physics Society and Dartmouth Gender-Inclusive Greek Council and worked as an Operations & Marketing Strategist for The Dartmouth daily newspaper. Tyler contributed regularly to several campus publications including The Dartmouth Business Journal, The Dartmouth Independent, and World Outlook: An Undergraduate Journal of International Affairs.

 

 

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