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


Intercultural Communications

One of the greatest opportunities that my Dartmouth education has offered me thus far (and offers to all who are receptive) is an academic context through which to better understand and examine the role that privilege plays in my life. Prior to Dartmouth I was lucky enough to have a family that instilled in me a sense of gratitude, a feeling that is inextricably intertwined with an awareness of privilege. However this was a sort of pre-theoretical feeling of privilege that I truly needed guidance in examining further. Our session with Dr. Anya was just another example of Dartmouth’s efficacy in helping students to better understand what it means to have privilege, where it comes from, and at whose expense we are in possession of it.

In her explication of social “praxis”, Dr. Anya illustrated the methods by which we can effectively apply the theory that we have been exposed to. Recognizing the need for application is essential, for, while it is invaluable to continue to learn about what it means to have privilege and live with privilege, it is not enough to stop there.

Leadership for Others

Prior to the fourth session of D-LAB, participants were asked to rank the top ten values they believed to be the most important to Dartmouth, as well as the values they believed were perceived as important to the College from an outsider perspective. At the beginning of the session participants in groups wrote the top five values that they personally believed to be the most important to the College on Post-It notes, which were then placed on a large poster board. Participants were asked to group the Post-Its by similarity; values that had been chosen the most included knowledge, community, and tradition.

Student Lunch with Jake Tapper '91

Dartmouth students gathered at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center on Friday, February 5, 2016 for lunch with Jake Tapper ’91. Today, Jake Tapper is an anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent at CNN, hosts The Lead, and moderated the CNN Republican Debate on Dec 16, 2015. As a student, he was a cartoonist for The Dartmouth and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

When asked to reflect upon his time at Dartmouth compared to now, he acknowledged the conservative nature of Dartmouth while he attended, and is glad to see the direction of inclusivity the College has taken. Mr. Tapper commented on the attention he received from his undergraduate professors, and loves that the strong emphasis on students has remained constant. At Dartmouth, he made lifelong friends and was able to pursue many of his interests because of the small class size.

He had friendly advice for Dartmouth students, saying “don’t sweat it if you don’t know what you want to do right now.” Mr. Tapper’s own journey to journalism was one fraught with divergence, but he reminded students to keep searching until they find an occupation they love.

Dartmouth Students Size Up Potential Presidents

Exerpted from Bill Platt's original article published in Dartmouth Now on Feb 4, 2016.

Every four years, Dartmouth students get an early look at the field of Republican and Democratic candidates for president in the run-up to the New Hampshire primary.  Election season offers the College community an unparalleled opportunity to participate in retail politics and serves as an extension of the classroom, says Professor Ronald Shaiko.

This video offers a quick look at the Upper Valley political events leading up to the Feb. 9 New Hamsphire primary vote.

Managing Performance and Conveying Feedback

The RLF session on February 4, 2016 was led by David Ager, Senior Fellow in Executive Education at Harvard Business School. The session focused on the Rob Parson Morgan Stanley case study. The premise was that Morgan Stanley had introduced a new performance management system in order to transform its culture to a One-Firm firm. In the case, Paul Nasr, a senior management director has to decide whether or not to promote Rob Parson to the Managing Director position. The case included a range of exhibits related to Rob Parson’s performance. Rob was a strong revenue producer – helping to bring Morgan Stanley’s market share from 12.2% from 2%. The downside was Rob’s interpersonal skills – he was described as aggressive and tended to work individually instead of cooperatively.

Leadership with Others

The third session of D-LAB shifted the focus from reflecting on one’s own values to the values of our friends and peers, and if and how the people we spend the most time with influence our own values.   

Prior to the session, participants were asked to have a close friend  at Dartmouth select five values that they thought best described the participant . This led to a conversation of whether the values participants selected for themselves matched the ones their friend selected. Subsequently, the conversation diverged to talking about  the fact that context can play a role in this assessment.   For example, a teammate will likely select different values for the participant than a classmate. 

Our small groups then pondered the question: Do you share the same values as your friends? Each group discussed how friends impact our individual values and if there is a difference between high school and college friends. Many participants offered that college friends come from a variety of backgrounds, which makes their experience and viewpoints different from their own.      

Being an Effective Team Player

On February 3, 2016, MLDP welcomed another one of our own, Steven Spaulding, the Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership. Spaulding shared his insights on leading teams. Before one can lead a team, one first needs to understand what it means to be a good teammate.

Shortly after, students were put to the test in a little competitive outdoor activity of building a fire. The teams were further challenged when some members were then not allowed use of their eyes or voice. In order to achieve the activity’s goal, team members had to use concepts they have been practicing in MLDP, like communication and recognizing others’ strengths and weaknesses. Great teams not only believe in these values and concepts, they have the discipline to actually execute the activities. 

After the session Andrew Blackwell ’18 said, “Today I learned the true value of trust and communication within a team.”

Submitted by Mary Sieredzinski ’17, MLDP Student Program Assistant

Working From Outside of Your Comfort Zone

On February 1, 2016, Mestre Marquinho Coreba, professional Capoeirista and teacher at Capoeira Gerais Boston, facilitated a RGLP session in which students were introduced to capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.

 During the Portuguese colonial period of the 16th century, African slaves invented capoeira as a way to camouflage the practice of martial arts in the form of dance in the hopes of rebelling against slaveholders. Capoeira developed into a combination of fighting, dance, music and acrobatics and represented not only a method of covertly practicing martial arts, but also a method of passing on culture and resisting oppression. Over the past few centuries to the modern day, Capoeira has evolved from a prohibited, marginalized mode of expression to an integral part of Brazilian culture.

Because I had never done capoeira before, the activities of the entire session were new to me. However, it was very fun to dive in and experience firsthand how the moves we learned, from the basic ginga to the aú cartwheel, correlated directly with the rich history and cultural traditions Brazil.

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant Yoon Kim '16

In this series, the Rockefeller Center features our Student Program Assistants, student staff who contribute significantly to the success of the Center’s events, programs, and activities.

Yoon Kim ’16 began working for the Rockefeller Center during 14F under Joanne Needham’s supervision as a Student Program Assistant for Public Programs.  Yoon had always known about Rocky programs, but had never interacted with the Center until she began working.  “If I were a freshman, I would definitely get more involved in other Rocky programs such as First-Year Fellows and the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program,” Yoon said.  While working with Public Programs, she designed a few posters, and the following term was asked if she would be interested in doing graphic design for the Center’s broader communications. 

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Visits PBPL 5: Intro to Public Policy Class

On Friday morning, January 29, 2016, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) visited the Public Policy 5 class of Professor Ron Shaiko at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center.  Senator Ayotte spoke to the class of approximately 100 students about how she is working with her colleagues in the Senate to adopt more evidence-based processes of selecting and evaluating new and ongoing government programs.

Senator Ayotte presented several examples in which the federal government programs that are either duplicative or are not based on any measureable metrics to judge the success or failure of such programs.  She pointed out that an Afghanistan Economic Development Task Force was provided with an $800 million budget by Congress to create sustainable economic growth opportunities for the Afghan people. In the end, the limited programming that did result from the programming neither served to produce sustained economic growth nor to engage the Afghan people in such programs. 


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