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


Sam Gochman '18 Attends the First Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium

As a presenter at the first Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium, I had the privilege of joining a group of students who brought with them powerful ideas. At Dartmouth, there is a diversity of exploratory research that enriches both our community and the greater world. I was proud to bring some of that work to an event that hosted students who also represented their esteemed institutions.

The symposium welcomed 135 students from all of the Ivy League schools, showing that we are all together in the effort to learn about the world around us in so many different ways. Research topics ranged from cellular nanoengineering to new uses of CRISPR, x-ray spectromicroscopy to quantum superconducting circuits, social associations of dolphins to arthropod assemblages, sexual risk-taking to conscientiousness and mindfulness, and social change in Chile to education emancipation. It was important to be exposed to and learn from students in a variety disciplines. Some of the most powerful projects were those which I would have never seen as a STEM major.

Ashley Dotson '18 Attends the National Organization of Minority Architects Conference

Over one weekend in October, I had the pleasure of attending the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) National Conference in Houston, Texas as a student participant. During the conference I had the chance to attend workshops and lectures as well as network with professionals in the field. This was a great way for me to get introduced to the architecture profession. While we have many professors who are helpful in guiding students interested in architecture, it is often difficult for us to figure out how to accomplish our professional dreams. Unlike our pre-finance and pre-medical counterparts, we do not fit into campus culture and therefore do not have the same abundant resources—we are a minority on campus. Attending the NOMA conference gave me the skills and the confidence to continue to pursue architecture at Dartmouth and beyond, as well as help my peers with similar interests.

Discussing Free Speech, and Social Justice with Professor Strossen

The Dartmouth Open Campus Coalition, in co-sponsorship with the Rockefeller Center, College Democrats, and College Republicans, recently hosted New York Law School Professor Nadine Strossen, who shared her knowledge of free speech on college campuses and her experience as the former President of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Dartmouth Open Campus Coalition seeks to bring together a diverse group of students and scholars to discuss issues that are crucial to our society and communities. At a center of inquiry, such as Dartmouth College, it is our responsibility, as students and truth seekers, to challenge our perspectives and beliefs. This is only possible if free inquiry and viewpoint diversity are encouraged. Yet, we also have many questions on free speech, such as does freedom of speech conflict with a commitment to equality? We wrestle with these timely questions and many others.

Fall 2017 MLDP Students Reflect on Leading A Cohesive Team at Northern Stage

Management Leadership Development Program provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their leadership experience and build the skills to be a more effective leader both on and off campus. Crucial to this experience is the off campus visit where students travel to an organization to see how these essential skills are implemented in different fields and workplaces.

Fall 2017 MLDP students visited Northern Stage and had the opportunity to explore the back-stage area with Alek Deva, Development Manager & Institutional Relations. Northern Stage is a nonprofit organization located in White River Junction, Vermont that puts on shows and performances designed to have a lasting impact on audience members.

At Northern Stage, students explored leadership predominantly through discussions and activities with actors as well as with Deva and Amanda Rafuse, the Gurley Brown Associate Director & Interim Director of Development. From these interactions, students saw how abstract leadership concepts, such as the ability to promote group cohesion and effectively work together, manifested themselves in real world scenarios.

PBPL 85 Drafts Policy Memo During their Final Few Days in Liberia

After looking forward to our Liberia trip for nearly six months, I can’t believe that it is almost over! Oh, how I will miss my fresh* papaya and pancakes in the morning! Oh, how I will miss our giant van and our lovely drivers, Bedna, James, and Jimmy! Oh, how I will miss the cultural landmark that is Monroe Chicken… actually, I probably won’t miss Monroe Chicken that much. 

In our last few days in Liberia, we are all working hard to complete our memo, especially since we all seemed to procrastinate writing our citations until the very end. Last night (technically early this morning), our diligent editors woke up at 4am to edit our first complete draft, while the rest of the team tried to get some sleep. This afternoon, we took a quick memo break to explore a street fair hosted by the U.S. Embassy, and to grab some lunch at a local Lebanese restaurant. On our excursion, we discovered that Professor Wheelan is not very good at bargaining with street vendors. Since there is little tourism in Monrovia, we were relieved to finally secure a few souvenirs before our trip home tomorrow.

PBPL 85 Visits Chimpanzee Island

Today, the students of Public Policy 85 were able to have a serious once-in-a-lifetime experience in Liberia. They were able to venture about an hour out of Monrovia along the coastal road to a beach side village. There, they were greeted by a parade, complete with snare drums, saxophones and many local school children marching and dancing. However, that wasn’t the first unanticipated event of the trip. 

PBPL 85 Meets with World Bank Officials

Another exciting day here in Liberia! We survived our last day of meetings with two very exciting visits. In the morning, we met with the World Bank’s Country Manager, Larisa Leshchenko, and her team. This was one of the most productive and insightful meetings we’ve had in the country. We were able to discuss Liberia’s economic priorities with a group of really knowledgeable professionals, and gained great insight about what steps to recommend to the new government. Before we left we took a picture in front of the World Bank Christmas tree. We tried really hard, but sadly could not get Anthony to smile. Maybe tomorrow when we visit Chimpanzee island!

PBPL 85 Visits the Liberian Revenue Authority

The day began at 8:30am to the cacophonous sounds of Tubman Boulevard, one of Monrovia’s main streets. My shower which does either ice cold or scorching hot decided it would be an ice cold day and my shirt, which does either white or stained, decided it would be a stained day. My big decision of the day was switching my allegiance from Monroe Chicken to The Hub. Hopefully my GI tract agrees with this. It’s been well behaved thus far.

The day began with a meeting at the Liberian Revenue Authority. This was far and away the nicest building that we have visited. The inside of the building looked like it could have been a bank in the United States. The boardroom was well equipped with presentation materials and we were served an assortment of nuts. The meeting shed some light on the different forms of revenue collection across the country. It was interesting to hear about the organization’s efforts to expand revenue collection efforts by appealing to the national sentiment and creating a shift in the culture.

PBPL 85 Meets with Liberia’s National Health Institute Officials

After a relaxing weekend at the beach in Robertsport, we headed into our meetings Monday feeling energized. We first met with the director and staff of Liberia’s National Health Institute. These health experts fought the 2014 Ebola crisis from its earliest stages, and we discussed the difficulty the country has retaining medical professionals, the contributions of international aid, and the institute’s plan for the next major crisis. Director of USAID in Liberia Tony Chan later treated us to an economist’s perspective on Liberia’s development path during an evening in his own living room. We ended the day at an Ethiopian restaurant in town enjoying lively discussion and heavenly injera bread.

We began a full day of meetings on Tuesday with multiple officials at the Carter Center, where we learned about their work promoting access to justice and legal counseling throughout the country. Shortly after, Peter Wilson of the US African Development Foundation answered a litany of questions on agriculture and land reform necessary for our group to recommend policies in our memo that will promote key exports such as rice for generations to come. 

PBPL 85 Travels to Robertsport, Liberia

During the weekend of December 2nd we travelled to Robertsport, a Liberian town located right along the beach a few hours out from the capital. On Saturday morning, we scrambled to store our luggage and squeeze into our four-wheel drive, terrain-adaptive vehicles. Deciding on which vehicle to enter proved to be a fateful choice for four students in particular, myself included. Thirty minutes into our sweaty excursion, our good friend Steve, the driver, pulled over. The imaginable had happened: the AC in the car was broken. After about half an hour of work on the car, Steve claimed the AC had been fixed. This was hardly true, but we scurried along our path anyways.


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