Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Emma Marsano '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 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.

I’m most interested in the relationship between confidence and empowerment. Ample social science literature indicates that confident leaders’ faith in their own ideas inspires others to support them. What’s more, compliance with one leader’s vision can be an efficient way to run an organization. But a surplus of confidence can cause people in leadership roles to overlook opportunities for input from other sources.

In my own leadership experiences, I’ve struggled to balance the need for a clear vision with the desire to ask my collaborators for their input and empower them to help steer an organization. It can be difficult to request feedback without seeming to doubt one’s own ideas, but I’m also aware of the danger of shutting collaborators down by denying them the opportunity to become more involved.

Emma Marsano ’18 grew up in Menlo Park, CA and graduated from Crystal Springs Uplands School. At Dartmouth, Emma is a Cognitive Science major and an English minor, interested in the intersections of language use, human cognition, and critical theory. She is the founder of the Dartmouth Political Times, the senior Editor in Chief of the Dartmouth Law Journal, and the Director of Communications & Marketing for The Dartmouth, in addition to serving as the Director of Engagement & Promotion for Movement Against Violence. After graduation, Emma plans to engage with social inequities including but not limited to mass incarceration, income inequality, and voter repression, beginning in the nonprofit sector with an eye toward pursuing a law degree in the future.

Edited by Alexandrea Keith '20, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications