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

Annual Report

Faculty Grantee Reflection

Jason Houle  

Jason Houle

Associate Professor of Sociology

Dartmouth College

Dr. Fenaba Addo

Co-Author Dr. Fenaba Addo

Associate Professor of Consumer Science

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Rocky Student Reflections

Sunny Drescher outside on a path with green trees

Sunny Drescher '20

Rocky by the Numbers 2019-2020

Rocky by the numbers infographic

Letter from Interim Director J.Russell Muirhead

Dear Friends,


I’ve always admired the Rockefeller Center, looking at it from my office next door in the Government Department, but now that I know it from the inside, I not only admire it, I love it. Seeing the Rockefeller Center from the inside gave me a vantage on its work I never would have had otherwise.

One cold evening back in February, I left my family over dinner and made my way to the Rockefeller Center to drop in on a gathering of the Management and Leadership Development Program. The sight warmed this teacher’s heart: students in all their diversity, earnest and happy, shoulder to shoulder over plates of Indian food, sharing and talking, learning and exploring, connecting, and becoming friends. Looking over the room, eavesdropping a bit on the conversations, I couldn’t help but wish I were a student too, sitting among them, learning to understand the world by understanding each other. This is the soul of Dartmouth College.

Experiential Learning at the Rockefeller Center

At the Rockefeller Center, academic courses are paired with experiential opportunities so students can put their abstract learning into practice. This integrated model gives students the intellectual framework and the hands-on experience they need to become effective leaders in the world beyond Dartmouth.

Most students start with Public Policy 5: Introduction to Public Policy, where they learn the fundamentals of policymaking. The course serves as a prerequisite to the First-Year Fellows program, which places rising sophomores into summer policy internships with Dartmouth alumni mentors in Washington, D.C. Commenting on the impact of First-Year Fellows, Olivia Brody-Bizar ’21 says, “Experiencing this fellowship early in my college career has changed the trajectory of my future endeavors. Each day presented immense opportunity for growth, both professionally and personally.”

Letter From Andrew Samwick

     I came to Dartmouth 25 years ago because it aspires to be the best of both worlds: a major research university that pushes the frontiers of knowledge and a small liberal arts college that focuses on the education of undergraduates. I am honored and grateful to have had the opportunity over the last 15 years to serve as director of the Rockefeller Center and, along with a talented and dedicated team of faculty and staff, make the Center an integral part of Dartmouth’s aspiration. In 2012, when the College’s Strategic Planning Working Group on Pedagogy, Teaching, and Mentorship recommended creating “multidisciplinary centers to facilitate faculty-faculty and faculty-student interaction across departments and schools outside of the classroom,” it singled out the Rockefeller Center as “an example of a successful model that should be replicated for other disciplines.”

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