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


Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

We at Rocky want to give our graduating seniors a special congratulations! We'll miss you!

Lucy Hornby, Nieman Fellow and Former Financial Times Deputy Bureau Chief in Beijing, Discusses COVID-19’s Impact on China’s Global Standing with the Rockefeller Center

On Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 Nieman Fellow and former Financial Times deputy bureau chief in Beijing, Lucy Hornby, spoke with Dartmouth students and community members at the Rockefeller Center’s fifth Rocky Watch event of the spring term. Rocky Watch is a weekly series of live broadcasts that the Center hopes will foster a virtual common space for community discussion in this time of social distancing and remote learning.

Rex Manglicmot RGLP Reflection: Future Leaders of Tomorrow

RGLP was an eye-opening experience that I will never forget. I wanted to build strong leadership skills to aid me in my future endeavors, and RGLP provided that medium. Throughout the term, I got to know members of my cohort who had various backgrounds, interests, cultures, and intellectual curiosity. In our meetings, we discussed how cross-cultural experiences teach us to tolerate ambiguity better and build a platform for dialogue across differences. Because no-one had the same experience, we all were able to provide inputs on contentious topics. The respectful dialogues that came afterward taught us the importance of keeping an open mind. For example, an exciting activity we did was to assess a problematic situation involving a foreigner visiting a different country. Some of us took a position standing by the foreigner’s perception of the situation, while others took the position of standing by the host country’s cultural norms. By understanding both sides of the situation and exploring different interpretations, our group engaged in a healthy discussion that is relatable in real life.


Sophie Kwon '22 RGLP Reflection: Moving from Discomfort to Respect and Understanding

Empathy, compassion, and intercultural curiosity are rooted in initial discomfort, which is a good thing.

Globalization is growing. Our intercultural experiences and worldviews are changing, rapidly. We increasingly have the opportunity to communicate and engage with people and cultures unlike our own. This interconnectedness brings us newfound feelings of empathy, compassion, and curiosity, but only when we allow them to develop through initial levels of discomfort. From the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, I learned about the challenges we face on an individual and societal level while moving from cultural isolation and ignorance to intercultural respect and understanding.

Kayla Hamann '22 RGLP Reflection: Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

When we think of “cultures,” we often think about race and ethnicity, but these aren’t the only aspects of culture. Last summer, I traveled to Poland with Dartmouth Hillel, the center for Jewish life on campus. While on the trip, the rabbi asked if we would like to attend shabbat services at the oldest synagogue in Warsaw but gave one caveat—it was an orthodox synagogue. The rabbi didn’t know if we were comfortable with this as it meant more conservative customs and made it clear we had the option to attend services elsewhere if we wished to. Collectively, we agreed we were up for it and off we went. Now, I’m not Jewish, nor am I even religious; the last time I stepped foot in a center of worship was probably when I was 10 years old. To say I was out of my comfort zone in a synagogue is an understatement, but I was willing to attend the services to learn more about the Jewish culture in Poland. Afte rall, that was the whole point of the trip.

Kathryn Putz '22 RGLP Reflection: Leaning Into Discomfort

I entered the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program seeking a deeper cultural understanding, and a wider array of strategies to interact with people with different backgrounds and perspectives. During my junior year of high school, I hosted a high school student from Shanghai; I shared my daily routine and my physical and personal space with Yolanda. She helped me with my Mandarin and taught my grandma to use chopsticks; I showed her the Portland hipster scene and the beauty of wide-open green space. It was not all, however, a happy cultural sharefest. I recall many strained conversations during which she argued that Taiwan was part of China, that the Tiananmen Square Massacre never happened. This experience, and many others, alerted me to the difficulties of cross-cultural communication, and motivated me to participate in RGLP. 

Julia Gergely '21 RGLP Reflection: Demanding Dialogue in a Globalized World

What are the most important tools in building platform for dialogue across difference?

The need to build a platform for dialogue and understanding is paramount, and becomes increasingly necessary every day. This need exists at every level and in every sector of society—education, fashion, economy, literature, media, government. 

In RGLP, we talked about this need and how our economy and interactions are more globalized than ever. Social media and the internet have helped individual communities grow and has helped expose people to communities different from their own. However, because of this, the internet, globalization, and increasing awareness have also exposed deep differences between communities. These new spaces demand the need even more to navigate these differences and promote dialogue. 

Elian Gerard '22 RGLP Reflection: Our Journey Has Just Begun

The Spring 2020 RGLP program will go down in the history of the Rockefeller Center as one of the most unique and relevant times for students to engage in activities and discussions aimed at bridging gaps between people of different origins and cultural backgrounds. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many new intangible challenges with regards to human empathy in the world that we live in, such as the mass discrimination against people from South East Asia. Moreover, in the United States, the assassination of George Floyd and the wave of protests that are following it are proof that humans are far from achieving equality of opportunities, treatment and respect and this is due to prejudices embedded in race, origin, sex, and social class. For that reason, this program was more valuable than ever this term because during these chaotic times, the speakers and the discussions that we had with our peers are essential to help us cope with the negative shocks to the tolerance, acceptance, and unity of the human race that recent world events have brought about.

Dominic Repucci '21 RGLP Reflection: To Help the World, You Must First Understand Yourself

Early on in the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, our small cohort of students learned the difference between ethnocentrism and ethno-relativism.  Whereas someone who is ethnocentric has a narrow-minded view of the world and considers their own culture to be that of all humans, someone who embodies the ethno-relativist mindset thinks in a different way.  Rather than being blind to cultures of the world, an ethno-relativist is aware of their own culture and how it impacts their viewpoints, while also exhibiting the same consciousness for other cultures.  For a person like me, this requires the recognition of my own cultural identity as being a straight white male from an upper middle-class family, who after attending a local public high school, ran for his college cross country team, enjoys music, and is excited to continue learning about history from all periods of time and all regions of the globe.  All of these factors make me who I am today, and influence how I make decisions, interact with others, and go about my daily life.  I am aware of the potential bias that my own cultural identity can have on the opinions I share, and now analyze my interactions to try to remove

Delaney Marshall '21 RGLP Reflection: Overcoming Awkwardness to Be a Better Leader

RGLP forced me to take a deeper look into myself in order to analyze what learned behaviors, biases, or aspects of my culture were preventing me from truly being able to look at other cultures with understanding and empathy. The remote format for this term presented a new challenge for everyone involved, and I want to thank Leslie, Sadhana, and all of our guest speakers for showing us firsthand what it means to be adaptable by successfully maintaining an engaging and enriching program. I was able to open up with the group about other intercultural experiences I have had and through that I have learned a lot about my leadership style and how I can better understand and transcend cultural barriers as a leader in the future.


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