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


Notes from the Field: Robert He '19

Robert He '19 was funded by the Class of 1964 to intern at the Office of Public Engagement at the White House during the 2016 fall term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

In the fall of 2016, I had the immense privilege of serving as an intern in the Obama Administration at the White House. I served in the Office of Public Engagement, and helped to fulfill the President’s goal of making the White House as open and participatory as possible. In my role, I helped the White House engage with various organizations and stakeholders to further the Administration’s objectives.           

Notes from the Field: Noah Goldstein '18

Noah Goldstein '18 interned at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the 2016 Fall Term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report

During the fall of 2016 I worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce – Trade Administration & Commercial Services in the U.S. Embassy at London as an international trade assistant. The organization is the trade branch of the government and, as this one was based in the UK, was responsible for encouraging U.S. exports to the UK. Through the Obama administration’s SelectUSA policy, the organization also has the added responsibility of encouraging FDI, or foreign direct investment, from the UK going into the US. Thus, any UK companies looking to set up an office in the U.S. can go to Commercial Services to receive support. Commercial Services acts as a middle man between interested US companies and actors in the markets in the UK, often coordinating meetings between the two. For example, firms trying to sell a product in the UK are often able to get in a room of around 30 potential clients/distributors and pitch their product, thanks to the efforts of my office.

Notes from the Field: Lauren Bishop '19

Lauren Bishop interned at the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence during the 2016 Fall Term with support from Mr. E. John Rosenwald Jr. '52 Public Affairs Fund. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

During the fall of 2016 I had the distinct privilege of interning in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence under President Barack Obama. As an intern in the Hard Mail division of the Mail Analysis team, I read and responded to hundreds of letters a day on behalf of the President in order to address the concerns of the American people. I was also able to give voice to compelling writers by flagging their letters for staff members who would review and then place them in the President’s nightly briefing book. Ten letters a day were chosen, encompassing a range of topics penned by writers throughout America in order to inform the President of the public’s opinion. Furthermore, I coordinated with staff to compose an internal compilation of letters for relevant policy offices and recorded the opinions of the American people during shifts on the White House comment line.

Archer Chapin ’19 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program that prepares students to succeed in all of their management and leadership endeavors.

Archer Chapin ’19, an engineering major, signed up for the MLDP program during his sophomore year, because he wanted to improve his communication and management skills and apply these skills to his engineering education.

This past November, Archer attended the SPARK Entrepreneurship Conference at Harvard Business School to learn more about the entrepreneurial process. The conference reinforced skills learned through MLDP and presented the opportunity to use them. Prior to MLDP, Archer was wary of networking, because for him it carried a utilitarian, even disingenuous connotation. Yet Kate Hilton’s MLDP session, “Authentic Exchanges: The Science & Art of Building Relationships,” showed that “networking” should be rephrased as “relationship-building”. “I now see that relationship-building opens up the possibility of a two-way endeavor, rather than networking’s seemingly one-way exchange,” said Archer.

Young Jang ’19 on Management and Leadership

Young Jang ’19, reflects on his participation in the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) during the 2016 fall term.

I joined MLDP due to a friend’s recommendation, and I learned numerous important skills and aspects about being an efficient and dependable leader.

The most important thing that I learned is that true leadership does not exist in a vacuum. While I learned many skills and tips on becoming an efficient leader, none of it matters until I actually put it to use in everyday life.

I realized this truth during an MLDP session with Steven Spaulding, Assistant Athletics Director for Leadership. Spaulding covered the essentials of team communication through a formal presentation. During the presentation, I smugly thought to myself, “I know all of this.” However, when I had to put my team communication skills to the test in an outdoor activity, I failed miserably. Once I stepped outside, I defaulted to my “normal” behavior, and I stopped thinking and acting like a leader.

Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Student: David Tramonte ’18

Through the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program, up to four Dartmouth undergraduates can attend University of Oxford’s Keble College each term. As a fully integrated member of the Oxford community, students take courses in the British tutorial system that can count towards their major. David Tramonte ’18, a Government major and Public Policy minor, participated in this program in the fall of 2016.

David has been involved with the Rockefeller Center as a First-Year Fellow and as both a participant and Student Program Assistant for the Management and Leadership Development Program. This is where he first became aware of the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program. It specifically interested him because of the dynamic history and scholarly atmosphere Oxford affords its students. The exchange provided David his first study abroad experience.

Research Prospects at Earth Science Conference

Attending the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco was an extremely valuable experience for me. I was given the opportunity to present the Earth Sciences research that I had been conducting as a Sophomore Scholar; I was presenting evidence of the impact of a 2011 Chilean volcanic eruption on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide. The meeting was the largest gathering of earth and planetary scientists in the world, with over 25,000 scientists present. It was marvellous to see the wide variety of scientific research being conducted, and also witnessing the importance of fine details within the fields. I presented in the first poster session of the conference, alongside other ice scientists, and it was valuable to hear feedback on my research and to discuss the work with more experienced scientists.

The Power to Make Change

The driving theme of the Ivy Leadership Summit (ILS) was Impetus, and the events and speakers were meticulously planned to reflect that. The experience has truly convinced me that as students, we have the power to make a change now. Speakers such as Heather Anderson, Senior VP of Programs at Global Health Corps, emphasized that this conference was a catalyst. We did not have to wait to gain experience if we had an idea. We should find some resources and work to implement our visions now. I loved meeting peers who had the same passions that I did for the work needing to be done in the field of Global Health. ILS was an incredible opportunity to expose myself to the different opportunities in Global Health. It took a broad interest of mine and gave me the chance to meet leaders in the field. I now have more direction in what I want to explore career wise. I especially loved two key speakers and the advice they shared.

Henry Blodget:

Education Reform at Ivy Council Conference

The main purpose for this conference at Yale of the Ivy Council was impetus: the initiative one needs to do something magnificent. While at the conference, there was a heterogeneous mix of influential keynote speakers from various careers who spoke with us passionately about determination and drive in their respective fields. Then, I had the chance to obtain a more specialized experience at the conference by choosing a certain career sector to contemplate; I chose the education section. There were many opportunities in breakout sessions to converse with leaders in this sector. From what they have said about their beliefs and opinions on education in general, there seems to be a common thread amongst their thoughts: the education system has been quite static in their progress for decades. As well-established schools become more prosperous, others in the inner-cities and abroad become more financially and academically detached. I saw this first hand, as I interned at a charter school in Bronx, NY during my winter break in freshman year: Kids were not attending classes, teachers felt indifferent, and the school’s ratings steadily declined.

Making a Difference at Ivy Summit

The Ivy Summit was a valuable experience because it provided the opportunity for empowered students from Ivy League institutions along with Stanford and MIT to meet and share their ideas for change and partner together. The conference instilled the message in each attendee that we can make a difference today and that the world needs us to put an effort into changing the systems that aren’t working. The panels and sessions I attended varied from advice on how to bring my ideas to fruition, how to make policy useful by thinking of who it is impacting and taking my irrelevant experiences out of the equation, the responsibility of being resilient that is accepted in positions of leadership, to how to fail forwards. The speakers I had the pleasure of listening to and interacting with included the CEO of Business Insider, the CEO of Teach for America, and the Ambassador for initiatives of Asian American and Pacific Islanders, but also fellow undergraduate students who had ideas ranging from how to educate women in Afghanistan who cannot leave their houses to attend school to how to bring a greater variety of language courses to their own institution.


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