Rocky and Me: Estephanie Aquino ’18 Senior Reflection

In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

When I was deciding between colleges during the spring of my senior year of high school I remember checking out Dartmouth’s website and instantly being drawn to the Rockefeller Center after reading about students only two years older than me being actively involved in the policy-making process, conducting research, and meeting legislators. As a student who was exposed to the intricacies of environmental policy and regulation through my high school’s Energy and Utilities Academy, I knew that I needed to enroll at an institution that could cater to my curiosity and would allow me to be directly involved in the policy-making process.

I have found that the Rockefeller Center has allowed me to gain much more than I initially expected. Aside from the courses I have taken to complete the public policy minor, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the Policy Research Shop. I have testified at the capitol building in Concord regarding potential environmental impacts of regulation on chemicals and I was given the opportunity of a life-time by participating in the PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership course that took 11 other students and me to Liberia to create an economic development roadmap. We met with the U.S ambassadors, members of the Liberian Revenue Authority, educators, and policy makers. It has been rewarding to see my academic interests come into fruition as tangible objectives. Whether you’re interested in human rights, technology, environment, international affairs, or anything in between the Rockefeller Center understands the interdisciplinary nature of policy-making and assists you in the exploration of these interests while teaching you to work cohesively with others that have a different area of specialization.

Throughout my involvement at the Rockefeller Center I have met many outstanding upperclassmen that I have found to be a valuable resource for personal and professional development. Through programs like Rocky’s Management Leadership Development Program, I became connected to a wider community of Dartmouth students that share the same sense of duty and desire to improve their own communities. The Rockefeller Center has been a constant source of inspiration and has proven to be much more than a building where I pursue my academic interests. It has been a community that has connected me to today’s and tomorrow’s leaders. It has further developed my own abilities and confidence in my own abilities. Now as I prepare to graduate from Dartmouth College I hope to continue to be involved in policy and hope that future classes of students continue to discover the opportunities Rocky has to offer and further develop their confidence and leadership potential at the Rockefeller Center.

Estephanie Aquino, Class of 2018, graduates with a double major in Environmental Studies and Government with a minor in Public policy.