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

Senior Profile: Claire Groden '14

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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. 


Photo by Thanh V. Nguyen

“I first wandered into Rocky one November night during my freshman fall as a rookie reporter for the campus newspaper, The Dartmouth. The College Democrats had put together a small rally for Annie Kuster, and I shyly tagged along to document the event. I remember being so impressed that this group of students were coolly and professionally dealing with Kuster, staking their small claim in the landscape of New Hampshire politics. I liked that Rocky wasn’t just a place for learning, but also for getting involved.” --Clair Groden '14

I ended up participating in Rocky’s First-Year Fellows Program the summer after my freshman year, which matched me and a group of freshmen with internships in Washington. I was placed with Conservation International, a non-profit organization that gave me ample opportunity to research and write about the intersection between policy and the environment. Rocky smoothed the path for us, since a first internship is difficult to land. We were also given housing, professional training, and the loving mentorship of Rocky’s Deputy Director, Sadhana Hall. As a nervous 18-year-old who had never heard of Craigslist or worked in an office, the hand-holding that Rocky gave me as a First-Year Fellow was absolutely essential. The fellowship program gave me the confidence and work experience to later find my own internships and operate in the professional world without embarrassing myself.

I continued to be involved with Rocky after my freshman year, attending lectures and meals with visiting speakers and participating in the Management and Leadership Development Program. As a managing editor at The Dartmouth, I also closely followed Rocky’s events and political involvements so that relevant stories would appear in the campus paper. Generally, participating in Rocky’s events and programs has helped me to constantly think about politics and public service on a national scale. It’s easy to get caught in the Dartmouth bubble of academics and campus life, but Rocky served as a reminder to me that politics even reach into our far-flung New Hampshire town. My participation in Rocky programs has developed my sense of civic duty, as I am a participant in the public sphere as a voter and a journalist.

Claire is graduating this June from Dartmouth with a double major in Government and Asian Studies. She will spend the summer as a fellow at the Wall Street Journal before joining The New Republic this August as a researcher-reporter. At Dartmouth, Claire was the Evening and Day Managing Editor of The Dartmouth, the College’s daily independent student newspaper. She interned at NPR, PBS, and Time Magazine during her undergraduate career. Claire also studied Chinese at Dartmouth and spent a term at Beijing Normal University.

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