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

Staff Profile: Joanne Needham

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"The reputation of the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth as a place of learning and inspiration drew me to Dartmouth College"
Joanne Needham - Coordinator of Public and Special Events
What was your most rewarding collegiate experience as an undergraduate or graduate?
Actually there are two:

Learning the value of volunteering. Each semester starting as a freshman, we were encouraged to volunteer at one of the many agencies, organizations, or schools in the area surrounding the university. I started by volunteering at an after-school program, and have volunteered within my community ever since.

While my major in college was mathematics, the core curriculum at the liberal arts college required that I take classes in philosophy and religion, courses that I probably would not have taken if they were not part of the core curriculum. I found the "Religion 101: Religions of the World" class to be one of the most interesting courses that I took during my four years. Having been brought up Catholic, it was truly enlightening to learn the history, rites, and cultures of various religions, and I believe that this experience made me a wiser and more tolerant person, looking beyond religious "stereotypes," and initiating my global perspective and thirst to learn more about the "far reaches of the world."

Why did you choose to work at Dartmouth College, and/or what do you currently most enjoy about your position and/or field of interest?

The reputation of the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth as a place of learning and inspiration drew me to Dartmouth College. As the former director of an international global health conference, I was interested in carrying on my work planning and implementing programming similar to the public programming that I am currently doing at the Rockefeller Center. I thoroughly enjoy the interaction with a wide variety of speakers – all knowledgeable and inspiring – and making the student, faculty and public engagements happen.

What is your most important message to pass on to students?

Be kind.

What hobby fuels you?
Attending performing and visual arts. I cannot sing but love to hear others sing. I cannot act but love to watch others act. I cannot play an instrument but love to hear others play. I cannot paint but love to view paintings. I can sculpt somewhat (having taken sculpture courses in college) and love to view (and if allowed, touch) other's sculptures. Music, theatre and art fill my soul.

What is one life experience or aspect about yourself that students do not know?
I was the captain of my high school cheerleading squad. In this capacity, I learned a lot about the football and basketball! But I also learned about leading a group and performing in public, both valuable life skills. Also, we were the first cheerleading squad around to wear running shoes (instead of goofy saddle shoes) as part of our uniform!

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