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


Building Living Bridges that Drive Positive Social Change

TED talks are timeless for their ability to inspire excitement for lifelong learning and create delight and wonder with ideas that have the power to change the world. In our second iteration of the TEDx conference at Dartmouth, we wanted to focus on how bold ideas can drive positive social impact and social change in the communities we belong to. Our inspiration for choosing the theme “living bridges” first came to us last summer, when we chanced upon photographs of root bridges in India. These living bridges are formed by local communities coming together in a social endeavor to guide the pliable roots of a tree across a river or stream and allowing them to strengthen and grow over time until they can support the weight of a human being. Perhaps what was most interesting to us about these bridges was that they are continuous works in progress as the roots grow and shift over time. As the Dartmouth community “honors our past and inspires our future” in its 250th year, this theme allowed us to highlight the bridges we have built and the bridges we have yet to build together in the years to come.

Prof. Lee Epstein, Washington University in St. Louis, delivers Timbers Lecture

On Thursday, April 11, 2019, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences hosted a public lecture with Ethan A. H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor Lee Epstein, who is a faculty member at the Washington University in St. Louis Center for Empirical Research in the Law. The Wiliam H. Timbers ’37 Lecture, entitled “The Evolving U.S. Supreme Court,” was co-sponsored by the Dartmouth Lawyers Association and the Dartmouth Legal Studies Faculty Group. 

Prof. Epstein largely focused on how the Kavanaugh nomination will affect the ideological balance of, and decisions made by, the Supreme Court. In forming predictions, she drew on her analyses of ideological trends within the Court, as well as evaluations of the idiosyncrasies of individual Justices.

Class of 1964 Policy Research Shop Testimony, May 8, 2019


On May 8, 2019, Class of 1964 Policy Research Shop students, Eitan Darwish ‘21, Maria Smith-Lopez ‘21, and Harish Tekriwal ’21, traveled to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire to present key findings from their research report, "Net Metering Policy Options for Wolfeboro, NH." In attendance were members of the Energy Committee of Wolfeboro, selectmen, the head of the Municipal Electric Department, and other interested citizens.

The students’ research drew on expert interviews and site visits they conducted throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. Their findings explored the costs, benefits, and feasibility of several policy options that Wolfeboro might consider incorporating into its net metering policy going forward, such as simple value of solar tariffs, battery technologies, and purchasing power agreements.

Students Learn About the Hard Choices of Philanthropy

"Students from the new public policy class “Leadership in Civil Society: Philanthropy in the Nonprofit Sector” awarded a total of $40,000 in grants to eight Upper Valley nonprofits Thursday, capping off months of work identifying and narrowing down proposals from some 30 area organizations.

Ronald Shaiko, senior fellow and associate director of curricular and research programs for the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, designed the class with support from the Center for Social Impact and a $40,000 grant from the national Once Upon a Time Foundation’s Philanthropy Lab, which supports philanthropy education at U.S. colleges and universities."

Read more about the students' experiences here.

Fireside Chat with Steve Glickman, Moderated by Tuck Dean Slaughter

On Monday, April 8, 2019, current Founder and CEO of Develop LLC Steve Glickman spoke in a fireside chat with Dean Matthew Slaughter on Opportunity Zones, a new tax incentive program enacted under the December 2017 tax bill. The event was the Portman Lecture in the Spirit of Entrepreneurship.

Steve spoke passionately about the potential of the program to drive private capital to real estate and various other sectors in approximately 8,700 low-income areas. When asked of the selection process that led to these Opportunity Zones, he offered his praise for the work done by state and local governments in curating the list. Governors were given criteria and general guidance but ultimately had a high degree of agency in selecting their own zones. Steve felt that of the more than 8,000 zones selected, there were less than 200 that he disagreed with.

Lucía Caballero '19 Attends the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 

Attending American Association of Geographers (AAG) 2019 Annual Meeting was an extremely valuable experience. It gave me the opportunity to present my thesis research in front of some of my academic idols as well as engage with the discipline of Geography in an entirely new way. It happened at the perfect moment, when I was getting ready to finish my thesis but still had twenty pages to write and needed re-inspiration to power through the last few pages.

I got to discuss my research with a group of like-minded individuals who had valuable advice to give me and got me thinking in new ways. One of the Dartmouth professors on my thesis committee, Patricia Lopez, took me and my peer, Benny Adapon, who was also giving a talk on his thesis research, around the conference and introduced us to academics from all over the country. The entire Dartmouth faculty were extremely supportive and helpful throughout the entire process, and they all attended both mine and Benny's talks.

Senior Honors Thesis Grant Recipient: Samantha Hussey '20

Samantha Hussey, a member of the Class of 2020, is a Sociology major and Government and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies double minor from Kāneʻohe, Hawaiʻi, who is interested in the interplay of race, gender, and socioeconomic status within social interactions and identities.

Through her thesis, she will use a mixed methods approach to investigate Dartmouth’s social scene and its effects on students’ social identities in order to answer: What factors create and influence Dartmouth’s social hierarchy and labels; how do social hierarchies and labels influence students' social identities; and how are such hierarchical rankings and labels reinforced by members of the Dartmouth community?

On campus, Hussey is involved with The Dartmouth, School House Executive Board, Kappa Delta Epsilon Sorority, Movement Against Violence, Native Americans at Dartmouth, and Hokupaʻa.

After graduating from Dartmouth, Hussey plans to attend law school with hopes of pursuing a career in employment or labor law. Advisor: Janice McCabe

Rocky and Me: Puja Devi ’19 Senior Reflection

In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

Puja Devi, a member of the class of 2019, initially found her way to the Rockefeller Center during her sophomore year when she started to think more about how to improve her own professional development. She decided to take the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP), which became an invaluable learning experience about what it means to be a leader. 

Throughout her time at Dartmouth, Puja found herself becoming more aware of her own strengths and weakness and how to differentiate a leader and a manager. Puja began to feel more comfortable in shared spaces, whether it be academic, casual, or professional settings, as well as learning how to find her voice as a leader.

Andrew Samwick Honored for Fifteen Years of Leadership as Director of the Center

Andrew Samwick, the Sandra L. and Arthur L. Irving ’72a P ’10 Professor of Economics, was honored at the Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors dinner on May 9, 2019 for his 15 years of leadership as director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. Samwick’s term as director ends on June 30, 2019. 

Cheryl Bascomb ’82, Vice President of Alumni Relations, began the evening’s program by recognizing the 250thAnniversary of Dartmouth and the Call to Lead Campaign, and encouraged alumni to participate in the Call to Serve activities. She also thanked Samwick for his contributions to the Rockefeller Center. 

The next honor was from the Class of 1964, who presented Samwick with the Class of 1964 Outstanding Leadership Award for his work as director since 2004. The Class had adopted Samwick as a member of their class on the occasion of their 50threunion. They established the Outstanding Leadership Award at that time –June 2014 –to honor those who share the class’s belief in the importance of developing young leaders to take on today’s challenges. Samwick is the fifth recipient of the Award. 

Sydney Towle '22 Helps Organize The Dartmouth Sustainability Summit

The Dartmouth Sustainability Summit brought together students from various colleges to discuss sustainability action on their campuses and sustainable practices in general. It also involved career panelists and speakers to further students' knowledge of sustainability beyond the college campus.

As a first-year student at Dartmouth, the experience of planning such a large- scale event, like the Sustainability Summit, was completely foreign to me. However, as the event itself is only a year old, everyone on the planning committee was still learning how to create a truly successful event. We all got to go through this learning process together and really iron out the details which cumulatively contributed to the event’s value and purpose.


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