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


Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Student: Eric Chen '17

Each academic term at Dartmouth College, four undergraduate students participate in the Dartmouth Oxford-Exchange program, attending the University of Oxford’s Keble College. Through this experience, students become fully immersed in the Oxford community while taking pre-approved courses and living amongst Oxford students. A Computer Science modified with Economics major, Eric Chen ’17 had the opportunity to partake in this program in the spring of 2016.

Eric initially decided to apply to this exchange program because of his interest in both studying abroad and in the history and culture of the University of Oxford. Oxford is comprised of a central university and 36 independent colleges that operate under the British tutorial system. Eric was attracted to this different teaching style, where classes meet infrequently and students spend more one-on-one time with the professors.

Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Student: Joby Bernstein '17

The Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program allows up to four Dartmouth undergraduate students to attend Oxford University’s Keble College each term. These students become fully integrated within the Oxford community, living on campus, participating in co-curricular and social activities, and taking pre-approved courses. Joby Bernstein ’17, an Economics major and Public Policy minor, was one of four Dartmouth students to participate in this program last spring.

Having an interest in economics and government, Joby found this exchange program to be a perfect opportunity to combine his academic passions with his desire to study abroad. According to Joby, "the Keble exchange is unlike any other Dartmouth program, since Oxford is an academic culture shock for an American student.” By leaving the Dartmouth bubble and immersing himself in Oxford, Joby experienced a new college culture, living in a different country and in an environment without Dartmouth’s traditions.

Alex Adams '18 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.

Alex Adams '18, a biology modified with public policy major, participated in MLDP during the spring of her sophomore year. She joined the program because she wanted to learn new skills that would help her to expand her leadership role within the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and the National Society of Black Engineers at Dartmouth.

Alex credits MLDP with encouraging her to take initiative and share her opinion. “MLDP helped me learn that my voice matters. Even if I’m not the ‘leader’ of a group, I can still adopt a leadership role,” says Alex. Recently, Alex used her voice to encourage her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, to be more involved in community service.

Andrew Heo '19: A Place Far From Home

There is no doubt that this opportunity was one of the brightest highlights of my first year at Dartmouth. It was a symbol of the powerful combination of teamwork and conviction for the cause of international peace, as well as a journey that opened my mind to the world of international aid and development.

Over the past few months, I have realized my privilege and power as a student at Dartmouth, an Ivy League institution. My membership gave me ready access to a huge network of the most talented youth of the world and organizations existing to help us realize our potentials.

I believed that as students, we shared an inherent connection with youths around the world. I wanted to have a chance to speak to the students of Syria myself and to educate the students of the U.S. with a different side of the story than what the often derogatory fast news on social media made of the situation. So I submitted my project proposal to the Ivy League Council, and, upon acceptance, was a given a team to work with for the newsletter’s completion.

Jessica Kocan ’18 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Development Program (MLDP) gives students a mix of theory and practical skills presented by accomplished experts who share the secrets to success for all leadership and management endeavors.

Jessica Kocan ’18, an Asian and middle Eastern Studies (AMES) major, participated in MLDP during her sophomore fall of 2015. She elected to get involved with MLDP, because she wanted to improve her leadership skills and to be able to apply them in future internships and career paths. 

Jessica interned in Washington, D.C. this past spring with the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy research institute. During her internship, the skills on how to write professional emails and how to communicate appropriately in a workspace really came in handy. 

"From the start, I felt very comfortable communicating with my supervisor via email," says Jessica, "because during MLDP we spent time actually practicing critical communication skills for establishing professional relationships."

Ho-Chun Herbert Chang '18 attends the NIME international conference in Australia

My excitement to attend NIME 2016 (New Interfaces for Musical Expression), at least for 36 hours prior, was in constant turmoil against turbulence, tight transfers half way across the world, and the significant work attached. Hosted this year between July 10 to 14 in Brisbane Australia, NIME is an annual five-day international conference that brings together researchers, musicians, composers and interested students to discuss new technologies and their musical implementations.

Raphael Hviding '18 Attends the “Active Galactic Nucleus: What’s in a name?” Conference

The “Active Galactic Nucleus: What’s in a name?” Conference was an extremely valuable experience. Being immersed in frontier science for an entire week served as just as much of a challenge as regular class, with the added excitement that much of what I was learning had never been known before. This was only enhanced by the fact that I could then go on to have one on one interactions with many of these brilliant minds to delve deeper into their experience in the field. The amount to which they would express their knowledge and enthusiasm for AGN is a testament to their vast experience in astronomy. From them I learned about theories and extragalactic ideas I had never even heard about, much less understood. I watched them tear down these very same theories in discussions with dozens of scientists, an immense collaboration in an effort to bore down to the physical truth present at the center of the galaxies in our universe. It was, with no understatement, watching science happen. It felt like watching Thompson, Rutherford, and Bohr argue about their models of the atom, except without the hindsight of history there was no way to know who is more right than the others.

Margaret Lane '17 attends the European Southern Observatory Conference

Earlier this summer I attended and presented a poster at an astronomy conference. The conference was hosted at the European Southern Observatory headquarters in Garching, Germany from June 26th to July 1st. This was my first experience participating in a scientific conference; I’m grateful for the opportunity and feel that I can apply what I learned to my work and to my plans for the future. In particular, I appreciated the chance to deepen my understanding of the broad picture of AGN research across different, more specific areas of study. I was also was impressed by the spirit of collaboration evident throughout the conference and the openness to asking difficult and often unanswered questions.

Annelise Brinck-Johnsen '17 attends International Emily Dickinson Society Conference

While attending the International Emily Dickinson Society Conference in Paris, I learned many things. I presented a paper on “Queer Time in Dickinson’s Poetry,” and it turned out that the panel I was on—“Intimations of Time”—was chaired by Martha Nell Smith, a scholar whose work on Dickinson’s Queer Erotics was the foundation for my own take on Dickinson’s poetry. Though this was incredibly daunting, it was also the best possible place for me to present my ideas, and having Professor Smith chairing the question and answer session after our panel made it that much more interesting. Though standing up and presenting a paper in front of scholars who had studied Dickinson for longer than I had been alive was scary, it was nothing compared to the question and answer session. While I had been working on my paper for months, and knew every single word by heart, there was no way to prepare for the questions that would be posed.

Wei Wei Buchsteiner '18 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program specifically created to assist student leaders like Wei Wei Buchsteiner '18. Wei Wei first heard about the program after one of his friends recommended him its Program Officer, Robin Frye, who then reached out to Wei Wei with an invitation to apply.

“I had never really done anything like MLDP before,” says Wei Wei, "but at the time I was looking for guidance on how to better manage a program I was involved with."

Wei Wei works with Thayer on a program to improve science literacy called “Jr. First Lego League”. The program uses Legos to inspire elementary and middle school aged students to study STEM. He joined the project early in its development, and has taken on the role of growing and expanding the program.

The program struggled with consistent mentorship due to differences between the D-plan and the primary education schedule, but Wei Wei recognized that the mentorship aspect of the program was one of its most important features. He worked to make changes in order to improve mentor retention.


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