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

Class of 2019

Lessons in Leadership and “Ideas Worth Spreading”

TEDxDartmouth organized its first annual independently organized TED event. Arvind Suresh ‘19​ shares his organizing the conference. 

Growing up, watching TED talks inspired me and gave me the courage and bravery to think big, break the rules, and broaden my knowledge. When I first learned about the TEDx university program, I therefore felt strongly about organizing a TEDx event at Dartmouth as a way of bringing the liberal arts curriculum to life. Planning this event allowed me to delve deeper into subject areas I would not have previously considered ranging from how we define greatness in education to fashion design inspired by marine life to how networking has changed in the digital age. The success of any TEDx event is derived from the interplay of ideas as they bounce between the speakers and the audience, with everyone feeling like they have learned something new by the end of the day. It is this passion for sharing knowledge and “food for thought” that made organizing this event a fulfilling experience for all members of our organizing team.

Recognizing Rockefeller Student Program Assistant: Kelly Caputo ’19

Kelly Caputo ’19, a Sociology major, has made an impact at the Rockefeller Center through her work as a Student Program Assistant for the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP). Kelly began her involvement with MLDP when she participated in the program her sophomore winter. She then joined the student leadership team as a Program Assistant her sophomore spring and has continued working for the program ever since. 

During the beginning of her sophomore year, Kelly first heard about MLDP and thought of it as a good way to start becoming more involved with the Rockefeller Center. During her term as a participant, she had different conversations with Rockefeller staff about leadership and decided to start working with Rocky as a Student Program Assistant for the program that initially attracted her to the Center. 

Notes from the Field: Annabelle Bardenheier '19

Annabelle Bardenheier '19 interned at the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles (MOEO) for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

During this past winter term, I had the opportunity to intern at the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles (MOEO) which takes action to help individuals overcome barriers to economic security and success. The Office’s foci include re-entry of formerly incarcerated persons, veterans, homelessness as well as workforce development, and affordable housing. The majority of my projects pertained to the Office’s primary concern: the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. Working on a newly formed and highly prioritized policy area in the Mayor’s Office allowed me to work on exciting projects and to witness the hopeful beginnings of many new initiatives to fight homelessness in the city.

Notes from the Field: Hailey Valerio '19

Hailey Valerio '19​ interned at the Committee of Seventy for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report. 

This winter, I interned at the Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works as a “good government” group in Philadelphia. The Committee of Seventy is made up of a board of seventy business and civic leaders in Philadelphia who meet monthly to address the issues that face governance in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. The main issues that the Committee of Seventy addresses are voter registration, election ethics, redistricting, helping people navigate the process of running for office, and encouraging good government practices.

I served as a public policy intern that assists the board and helps carry out Seventy’s mission. My role as an intern was to complete tasks assigned by Patrick Christmas, the Policy Program Manager, and other staff members, including the Chief Advancement Officer, the Director of Operations, and the CEO/President.

Todd Huang '19 Attends the Association for Asian American Studies Conference

Todd Huang '19 shares his experience after attending the Association for Asian American Studies Conference in San Francisco.

I was able to interact with academics from across the nation specializing in work that can be described as Asian Americanist. I was exposed to a wide variety of disciplines within the broad field of Asian American studies; academics specialized in cultural studies, literature, film studies, sociology, geography, political science, and history using theories like feminist theory, queer theory, disability theory, postcolonial theory, Marxist theory among others.

Asian American studies is a fundamentally interdisciplinary field that investigates anything from the construction of the human to immigration policy using an Asian American lens. The topic being studied is investigated using the Asian American as an intellectual framework. This conference allowed me to be exposed to the robustness of this framework, where scholars from the United States and Canada came together to showcase their research and learn from their peers.

Notes from the Field: Andrew Heo '19

Andrew Heo '19 interned at the US Dept. of Commerce in the Beijing Embassy for the Fall 2017 term. In response to this internship, Andrew wrote a memoir detailing his experiences. The following is an excerpt from his memoir.

China came to me as a bit of a paradox. Growing up in Korea, I inherited many cultural values shared by Chinese society. Yet although these two nations share a cultural root belonging to an ancient antiquity, they certainly developed distinct cultures, and have taken radically different trajectories in modern history. Thus China is to me at once a familiar society as well as an entirely foreign one. This, perhaps, is the appeal of China to me. As I explore its foreign culture and learn of its long history, I learn more about my own Korean culture.

Notes from the Field: Alisha Yan '19

Alisha Yan '19 interned at Safe Kids Worldwide for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This winter, I had the opportunity to intern at Safe Kids Worldwide, a non-profit public health/child safety group with coalitions across the United States and in several other countries. Safe Kids focuses on preventable childhood injuries and conducts research, awareness, advocacy, and education in risk areas such as pedestrian, home, pool, fire, and car safety.

Natalie Mendolia ’19 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.

Natalie Mendolia ’19, an Anthropology major modified with Economics, signed up for MLDP at the suggestion of a friend who completed the program last spring. Natalie was eager to meet new people — she is an ENFJ Myers-Briggs personality type, characterized by charisma, compassion, and extraversion.

Natalie decided to use her time in MLDP to craft a personal leadership challenge around her involvement with the Dartmouth Power Lifting Team. One part of the challenge was to talk with two senior members of the team and convince them that she should hold a leadership position going into her senior year.

Serena Zhu '19 Conquers Her Fear of Public Speaking and Presents Her Work As a UGA

Serena Zhu '19 shares her experience after attending the Annual NASPA Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This past Winter term, I had the extreme pleasure of presenting my work as an Undergraduate Advisor (UGA) for the Thought Project Living Learning Community at the 100th year anniversary of the Annual NASPA Conference. (The Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education was previously known as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.) This opportunity was made possible, in part, through generous funding from the Rockefeller Center. My experience at the conference was immensely beneficial to my personal growth as an individual because it provided me the opportunity to conquer my fear of public speaking.

Notes from the Field: Henry Goodwyn '19 

Henry Goodwyn '19 interned at the Communications Department of the House Republican Conference in Washington DC for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

Over the course of the winter 2018 term, I interned with the Communications Department of the House Republican Conference in Washington DC. The organization is the leading arm of the Republican Party in terms of messaging, coordination, and outreach with updates on legislation and events that are taking place. The role that I played as an intern allowed me to gain a clearer idea of the day to day life of a politician and allowed me to interact personally with over 75 different members of the House of Representatives.


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