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

D-LAB

DLAB Leadership for Others, Part II

The focus of session five, titled “Leadership for Others (Part II),” of D-LAB was on community concerns at Dartmouth. Participants came to the session having reflected on what problems or campus issues they have seen or confronted at Dartmouth at the institutional and/or community level. Each group then looked over a list of common community concerns that included: academics, body image, bullying, cultural inclusivity, financial inclusivity, hazing, high risk drinking, mental health, sexual violence, traditions, unhealthy relationships, and a lack of balance.

DLAB Leadership For Others, Part I

Participants came to session 4, titled “Leadership for Others,” having ranked the top values of the Dartmouth community. This differed from participants’ individual values, as the focus of the reflection was to consider how the College is perceived as a whole. Participants wrote the top 5 values on Post-It notes and then worked together to group the values in thematic buckets. In my group, the themes that emerged included personal growth, community, and achievement.

Following this activity, participants discussed what experiences they have had, as well as experiences they did not have, that led them to pick those particular values. In an effort to compare perceived values to the values the College wishes to uphold, participants then read through the Dartmouth Mission Statement. Participants discussed whether or not they believe Dartmouth upholds these values; one participant “graded” Dartmouth on each point.

DLAB Leadership With Others

The third session of D-LAB on January 30, 2017 was titled “Leadership With Others.” This session shifted from focusing on individual’s values to how these values interact with the surrounding communities. Prior to this session, participants had close friends select the five values they thought best described them. The session began with participants discussing in pairs whether the values their friends chose matched the values participants chose for themselves. This conversation allowed participants to reflect on how their values may be seen by others within different social and academic contexts.

The group then came together as a whole to discuss the quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Specifically, our group talked about how this quote was more applicable in high school, when one’s family was the people one spent the most time with; however, in college, the five people one spends the most time with may be incredibly different individuals from a variety of places on campus.  

DLAB Leadership From Within: Part 2

The second session of D-LAB was titled “Leadership From Within (Part II)” and proceeded to build off of session one. A unique aspect of D-LAB is that participants are asked to complete bridge activities in between each session to encourage reflection throughout the week and prepare for the following session. The bridge activity for the past week was to rank values that were most and least important to participants. This prepared participants to consider how their individual values influence their daily activities and future goals.

Following icebreakers and casual dinner conversation, participants wrote down their top 3 values on post-it notes. The group as a whole then discussed the chosen values and highlighted the overlaps among the group. Students then paired off to explain more about how their values were shaped by their personal life experiences, and why they identified with those specific values. The pairs then shared with the group as a whole; it was interesting to note the pairs that had matching important values, and those that had opposite most important and least important values.

DLAB Leadership From Within: Part I

The 2017 Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors (D-LAB) program kicked off on January 16. D-LAB is a six-week long program co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Center and the Collis Center for Student Involvement for first-year students to allow them a space to reflect on individual values. David Pack and Robin Frye, of the Collis and Rockefeller Centers respectively, welcomed participants to the program, and spoke about how D-LAB provides a space for reflection on leadership and values for students at the beginning of their Dartmouth experience.

Leadership in Practice

The sixth session of D-LAB, "Leadership in Practice," provided participants the opportunity to find ways at Dartmouth to apply their values and leadership qualities at different organizations on campus. Representatives from multiple campus organizations were invited to join participants during the program's final session. The session was different from previous sessions in that participants did not join their usual groups and instead were asked to select four or five organizations or centers they found most interesting from a list that had been provided the previous week.

Leadership for Others Part II

The fifth session of D-LAB focused on leadership in practice, by enabling participants to identify and reflect on concerns within the Dartmouth Community. Prior to the session, participants thought about what problems they experienced or witnessed on campus.

Keynote speaker Caitlin Barthelmes, director of the Dartmouth Student Wellness Center, opened the session. She stated that the peer health educators at UVA helped her find her path and lay the foundation for her career in wellness, and noted that D-LAB enables participants a chance to find their path. Caitlin expressed that emotions and behaviors are infectious and “how we feel, express ourselves, and act effect others”. Listening to a variety of perspectives leads to collaboration because one finds common ground and unites over passions.

Leadership for Others

Prior to the fourth session of D-LAB, participants were asked to rank the top ten values they believed to be the most important to Dartmouth, as well as the values they believed were perceived as important to the College from an outsider perspective. At the beginning of the session participants in groups wrote the top five values that they personally believed to be the most important to the College on Post-It notes, which were then placed on a large poster board. Participants were asked to group the Post-Its by similarity; values that had been chosen the most included knowledge, community, and tradition.

Leadership with Others

The third session of D-LAB shifted the focus from reflecting on one’s own values to the values of our friends and peers, and if and how the people we spend the most time with influence our own values.   

Prior to the session, participants were asked to have a close friend  at Dartmouth select five values that they thought best described the participant . This led to a conversation of whether the values participants selected for themselves matched the ones their friend selected. Subsequently, the conversation diverged to talking about  the fact that context can play a role in this assessment.   For example, a teammate will likely select different values for the participant than a classmate. 

Our small groups then pondered the question: Do you share the same values as your friends? Each group discussed how friends impact our individual values and if there is a difference between high school and college friends. Many participants offered that college friends come from a variety of backgrounds, which makes their experience and viewpoints different from their own.      

Leadership From Within: Part II

The second session of D-LAB was also the second part of Leadership From Within, where participants focused on their individual values and how they influenced everyday actions, leadership roles, and future goals.

Beginning with an icebreaker that asked participants to name their role model and what values they associated the role model with, students discussed various figures in their lives, including family members, celebrities, government officials, and historical figures. Values mentioned included the more abstract, such as integrity and courage, rather than the more tangible, such as health, appearance, or aesthetic.

Prior to the session, participants had been asked to choose ten most prioritized values and their ten least prioritized values from a sheet of forty characteristics and following the icebreaker, the conversation moved to a discussion of these choices and why students picked certain values. It was noted that knowing the specific “color” of one’s personality was an influence on choosing values, as well as that choosing negative values was more difficult than choosing positive ones.

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