Rocky and Me: Mark Daniels '19 Senior Reflection

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

Mark Daniels, originally from Topsfield, MA, is graduating from Dartmouth College with a major in Government and a minor in Public Policy. Mark has spent much of his time at Dartmouth with the Rockefeller Center, taking public policy courses, serving as a First-Year Fellow and participating in a variety of programs such as Dartmouth Attitudes, Leadership and Behaviors (DLAB), Management, Leadership and Development Program (MLDP), and the Policy Research Shop (PRS).

The Public Policy 5 introduction course as well as the First-Year Fellows program first introduced Mark to Rocky. Mark was attracted to the idea of interning in Washington, D.C. alongside alumni and fellow peers and felt that, as a first-year, it was important to gain these experiences. Through the Civics Skills Training component of the Fellows program, Mark learned about different elements of public policy, such as professional communication. He has been able to apply these skills in and out of the classroom even to this date. After his summer as a Fellow, Mark noticed how he became more goal-oriented as a leader and has been able to share what he learned with other students. 

As a Public Policy Minor, Mark completed the Public Policy 85 seminar this past fall, which focused on Colombia. Through this course, Mark was able to not only learn the history of conflict in the region and the peace deal process, but also was able to travel to Colombia to learn first-hand what that experience was like. Mark finds it rewarding to end his minor with a holistic perspective on public policy and the opportunity to meet various leaders in person. 

The professors and staff at Rocky have helped shape Mark’s journey at Dartmouth. Marks looks up to Professor Charles Wheelan as someone who constantly illustrates his passion for what he teaches. Mark was able to connect with Professor Wheelan because of similar policy interests and enjoys how public policy professors are personally invested in what they teach.

Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, has been another role model for Mark. Sadhana played an important role during Mark’s experience with the First Year Fellows program and Civic Skills Training and is someone who has shown Mark the importance of professional communication. Mark sees Sadhana as a mentor because she genuinely cares about the students she works with and is always willing to give advice from her depth of experiences. 

Mark would advise any first-year student the following: “All students should have one experience with Rocky, the skills you gain from the center are important to your experience in college. Take advantage of what Dartmouth has to offer, including resources, funding opportunities and public speakers. Keep a wide lens and take yourself outside of your comfort zone.”

As told to Bethany Malzman '19, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications