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


Notes From the Field: Dania Torres '20

Dania Torres '20 interned with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics during the 2018 Spring Term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

Housed in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C., President George H.W. Bush first established the Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics through an executive order signed in 1990. The office supports the federal government’s commitment to addressing disparities faced by the Hispanic community, particularly within educational opportunities. It also aims to recognize the many contributions of Hispanics towards national prosperity. I began my work at a time of transition with the new executive director, Aimee Viana. In this capacity, I closely served to inform her strategic plan under the current administration, which involves charter renewal, commission selection, and stakeholder engagement to advance Hispanic innovation, investment, and excellence.

Garret Collins ’20 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program offered three times a year that prepares undergraduate students to succeed in their management and leadership endeavors both on and off campus.

Garrett Collins ’20, a Government and French Double Major from Brooklyn, NY, took MLDP in the spring of 2018. He joined the program after hearing about it from a friend who described MLDP as an impactful experience.

Garrett began the program with a desire to learn how to interact with his professors. Although he holds leadership positions on campus — serving on the leadership council for the Political Economy Project and acting as social chair for his fraternity — Garrett sometimes found talking with his professors intimidating.

Notes from the Field: Anabel Moreno-Mendez '19

Anabel Moreno-Mendez '19 interned for the Office of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley in Washington, D.C. during the 2018 Spring Term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

I chose to complete my Senate internship with Senator Merkley because of his character, integrity, and dedication to my home state of Oregon. He was also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and as a government major focusing in international relations, I knew that I wanted to get an inside look to how foreign policy was created on the domestic level.  As a part of my internship, I was assigned to various policy teams including the foreign relations, banking, judiciary, telecommunications, and press teams. I also assisted with constituent correspondence, front desk duty, tours, and a variety of tasks as requested.

R. Shep Melnick on Why Title IX Has Become So Controversial

R. Shep Melnick, the Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Professor of American Politics at Boston College, delivered a public lecture titled “Why Has Title IX Become So Controversial?” at the Rockefeller Center this past spring. During his talk, he focused on the purpose of federal regulation in removing institutional barriers to educational opportunity as well as the shifting focus on equality and gender roles, closely addressing issues of gender, sexuality, stereotyping and federal policy.

R. Shep Melnick began studying Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity, for a single chapter in his book on the growing “Civil Rights State” in the United States about nondiscrimination rules encompassing race, sex, disability, age and national origin. The regulatory apparatus operates differently than other programs to establish and enforce nondiscrimination laws, especially concerning the ways in which rules are made and the courts are involved. What he found, however, opened the gateway for a deeper study on the intersection of law, sex, gender politics, and public policy.

Recognizing Rockefeller Student Program Assistant: Roshni Dugar '20

Roshni Dugar ’20, a Government major from Los Angeles, California, had been familiar with the Rockefeller Center since her freshman year when she started to attend some of the Center’s public programming. While exploring a job fair during the fall, she recalls stopping by the Rockefeller Center’s booth set-up and meeting Elizabeth Celtrick, the Center’s Senior Assistant Director. Elizabeth told her about the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP), one of Rocky's cornerstone programs and a requirement for all students employed by the Center to take. Although the program had already begun for the fall term, Elizabeth suggested Roshni sit-in on the following week’s session.

Roshni instantly fell in love with the program and was amazed by the ease in which the Rocky staff made her feel comfortable. “It was great to see how dedicated and excited the staff were about the program.”

Sam Seifert ’20 on Management and Leadership

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

Sam Seifert ’20, a Geography and Government Double Major from Knoxville, Tennessee, decided to participate in MLDP after hearing friends talk about their positive experiences in the program.

He entered the program with a desire to learn how to build relationships. As a member of numerous clubs around campus — DMBC, TRIPS, STRIPS, to name a few — Sam says he has grown in his capacity to relate to others. However, his newest venture required him to act in a leadership position unlike any he had ever held.

Sam plans on launching a website called DartArt, a platform that allows students to pursue artistic passions outside of the classroom by showcasing their work online. The artwork can then be sold to other students or alumni, who previously would not have had easy access to these artists’ work. Sam believes one of the keys to making DartArt successful is effective communication with his team of artists.

An Interview with Political Writer Lisa Lerer

Lisa Lerer is a national political writer at the Associated Press (AP), where she was a lead reporter covering the 2016 U.S. presidential race and its aftermath. She has reported in Washington for 10 years, covering the White House, elections, Congress and lobbying for the AP, Politico, Businessweek and Bloomberg News. Her work has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Slate, Fortune and the American Lawyer, where she covered business and legal issues. She appears regularly on PBS’s “Washington Week,” CNN’s “Inside Politics,” Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” NPR, and other programs.

This year, Lerer gave the Bernard D. Nossiter ’47 Lecture on “A Second Suffrage: How Women are Remaking American Politics in the Trump Era.” Before her lecture, Lerer sat down with Lauren Bishop ’19 for an interview and took a closer look at the upcoming midterm elections.

Jimmy Fitzgerald '20 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.

James “Jimmy” Fitzgerald ’20 is an Economics major from Champaign, IL, who took MLDP in the winter of 2018.

Jimmy implemented a Personal Leadership Challenge (a component of the program) which focused on the founding of his own student group, the Dartmouth Real Estate Club. According to Jimmy, the club’s framework already existed, but it had been dormant for the past few years. The challenge he gave himself was to revitalize the club by crafting a mission of purpose and setting goals for its new members.

The club officially launched at the end of the winter term.

Reflecting on the Actions of Nobel Laureates in Effecting Change

Shasti Conrad, U.S. Campaign Manager for the 100 Million Campaign with Lailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, shared her experiences working with Nobel Laureates at the Rockefeller Center this spring. Conrad has worked with three Nobel Laureates: President Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, and Kailash Satyarthi.

When asked about working with three major change agents, Conrad revealed that the “most common thread is that they all have a very strong sense of self.” She went on to say that while each had a different approach to using their platform for the greater good, they “started movements that all are much bigger than themselves individually, they inspire folks on the ground to create a title wave of change.”

Conrad started working with global leaders when she was not much older than the students who attended her talk. Right out of college she went to work as a field director for President Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign.

An Interview with Law Professor Michele DeStefano ’91

Michele DeStefano ’91 is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law and founder of LawWithoutWalls, a multi-disciplinary, international think-tank of more than 1,000 lawyers, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and law and business students who create innovations at the intersection of law, business, and technology. She is also co-curator of the Compliance Elliance Journal, an e-journal of articles in compliance and ethics.

DeStefano took part in the 2018 Dartmouth College Law Day celebrations, as a member of a panel, a student lunch, as well as delivering a lecture about “LawWithoutWalls: Enhancing Access to Justice and Lawyers’ Skills with Innovation.” During her visit to campus, Professor DeStefano sat down with Lauren Bishop ’19 for an interview about her career journey and lessons learned along the way.

Lauren Bishop (LB): You took a nontraditional path to law school by working for about a decade in marketing before going to law school. Looking back, would you change anything?


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