Increasing Students' Intercultural Leadership Competencies

The Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) was first piloted in the 2012 spring term to develop the leadership competencies of students during intercultural experiences, both academic and professional, while at Dartmouth and beyond. RGLP begins each term on campus with weekly sessions. There is a culminating fieldwork excursion during its seventh week that helps students experience cultural diversity firsthand.

During the 2016 Winter term, 24 RGLP participants, along with the Center’s Deputy Director Sadhana Hall and Program Officer Vincent Mack, traveled to New York City for the off-campus portion of the program, organized in large part with the hands-on involvement of two Center Board of Visitors, Robert Tichio ’99 and Maya Wiley ’86, who work in the city.

“We have a unique opportunity to engage this generation of up-and-coming leaders to make a difference in the communities where they work and serve,” said Robert Tichio, Partner and Managing Director of Riverstone Holdings, who moderated a panel discussion of three fellow alumni on “Diversity in the Public and Private Workplace: Advancing Understandings of Race, Gender and LGBT Identities.”

In addition to the opening panel discussion, students visited the Bowery Mission to receive a firsthand perspective of NYC poverty and its policy implications. They toured Chinatown to catalyze discussion around immigrant communities. They spent time at the Whitney Museum, exploring the intersection of culture and art. Finally, students visited the Islamic Society of Mid-Manhattan, which initiated discourse surrounding the Muslim American cultural experience and the contentious nature of Park 51, otherwise known as the Ground Zero mosque.

Students frequently comment that the program fosters some of the most honest and open conversation with peers that they have had while at Dartmouth.

“The experience was challenging and meaningful, and included some of the best hours of education I've had during my four years at Dartmouth,” recalled RGLP Participant Mary Decker ’16.

“In our troubled world, a program like this becomes all the more crucial,” says Sadhana Hall. “Students need to graduate with a deep understanding of what it means to show respect to cultural backgrounds different from their own, what it means to have a ‘leadership presence,’ and how to use words that engage others and build community, harmony, and peace.”

To date, RGLP has impacted more than 200 students in this way. Even more will be able to participate in coming years due to the recent expansion of being offered all three terms–fall, winter, and spring.