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

PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership

Rocky and Me: Tyler Baum '20 Senior Reflection

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

It is hard to believe that my four years at Dartmouth are coming to a close. From the moment I set foot in Hanover, I was drawn to the Rockefeller Center and its experiential approach to an education in public policy. Since the fall of 2016, I have been actively engaged in curricular, co-curricular, and research activities at the Rockefeller Center, and I consider no place other than Rocky to be my home at Dartmouth.

Rocky and Me: Chris McCorkle '20 Senior Reflection

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

When I came to Dartmouth, I had an open mind about what I might want to study in my time at the College. Aside from playing on the club hockey team, I really had no clue how I wanted to invest my time. I chose Dartmouth because of the strong sense of community and the ability to interact closely with my peers and professors. For me, this beneficial aspect of the Dartmouth experience was realized from the first class I took with the Rockefeller Center. As a sophomore, one of my close friends, also a Public Policy minor, suggested I take PBPL 45 – Introduction to Policy Research, the prerequisite course for the Policy Research Shop. However, I had not taken the required PBPL 5 course yet, as I did not think I would be a Public Policy minor at that point. However, Professor Shaiko was flexible and understanding enough to allow me to take PBPL 45 before taking PBPL 5, which set me on the path towards an incredibly fulfilling experience with Rocky. 

Rocky and Me: Sunny Drescher '20 Senior Reflection

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

While I will miss many things about Dartmouth upon graduation, I will undoubtedly miss the Rockefeller Center the most. I will miss the physical building, in which I have spent so much time over the years that several professors started referring to Hinman Forum as my “office.” I will miss the bustle of students coming in and out of classes and the opportunity to run into professors haphazardly. I will miss taking classes and learning more about how to effectively analyze various social and economic problems. I will miss the home base that the Rockefeller Center has provided me over my four years at Dartmouth, but I know that the friends, mentors, and memories I have made will continue to ground and support me in the years to come. 

Rocky and Me: Grace Sherrill '20 Senior Reflection

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

It is difficult for me to overstate the role Rocky has played in my development at Dartmouth. The Rockefeller Center has been the cornerstone of my intellectual and interpersonal growth over the past four years, and I will always be grateful to the Center for the outstanding opportunities it has provided me. I came into Dartmouth with a number of public policy interests, but I had not yet developed the skills or confidence to make a real impact. Through its outstanding coursework, faculty mentorship, and extracurricular opportunities, Rocky taught me what it means to engage with issues I care about thoughtfully, creatively, and rigorously.

Students travel abroad over winter break for experiential programs

Excerpt from "Students travel abroad over winter break for experiential programs" by Coalter Palmer in The Dartmouth. Read full article here.


Students in PBPL 85, “Global Policy Leadership,” led by government professor Herschel Nachlis, traveled to Europe to investigate international responses to the global financial crisis, Eurozone crisis and the rise of populism across Europe. In Athens, students had group meetings with prominent figures in Greece’s government, meeting with former deputy prime minister Evangelos Venizelos and former finance minister Gikas Hardouvelis, in addition to meeting with the director general of Greece’s leading think tank, the vice president of the largest nonprofit in Greece and the chief economist of the Bank of Greece.

Public Policy 85: Reflecting and Returning Home

For the PBPL 85 students, the penultimate day of the trip very much blended into the final day, as we worked tirelessly throughout the night to incorporate all the insights we accumulated throughout the trip into the final policy memo.

Fueled by candy, Bugles, and an inordinate amount of chicken McNuggets, we spent the night poring over our interview notes, reflecting on how each speaker fits into the broader narrative, and drafting a thorough and comprehensive memo.  Luckily, the hotel staff did not mind that we annexed an entire corner of the hotel lobby.

Completing the memo took incredible teamwork, brainpower, and endurance, and by the end, we were exhausted. But the immense pride for having finished such a colossal undertaking was visible on our faces, set behind the obvious looks of fatigue.

Public Policy 85: The Final Day

On Saturday, our final day and night in Europe, the group spent time unwinding from the busy trip, exploring Berlin, and then furiously finishing our policy memo.

 After the fun evening on Friday night, many of us spent Saturday morning working on the memo over breakfast, then exploring Berlin in small groups, despite the rainy weather.  Some went to see the Berlin Wall memorial and museum, Checkpoint Charlie, and East Side Gallery, and reflected on the significance of the Cold War.  Others went to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and Berlin Jewish Museum and reflected on WWII and the Holocaust.  Many visited the famous Brandenburg Gate.  And others simply took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in.

 We took a nice DB train from Berlin to Frankfurt in preparation for our flight home on Sunday.  We arrived at the hotel, checked in, and then went to a burger restaurant for our last sit-down meal as a group (though some lobbied for a return to the African Queen for yet more Eritrean food).  At the burger restaurant one of us even had our first ever hamburger -- we will leave it to our readers to guess who that might have been. 

Public Policy 85: Berlin

We began our second day in Berlin by working on the group memo.  After 12+ weeks of focusing on these issues, our travel and course are sadly coming to a close.  But in addition to work, we also managed to have some fun, as we took time to explore Berlin's many historical sights and museums (in some cases with impressively elaborate travel plans to cover just about the entire city).  There was also some fleeting evidence and discussion of the delights and surprises from the prior night's outings, including an establishment owner's family heirloom treasure box, and the YMCA.

Public Policy 85: Basel to Berlin (and that time we pretended to be from Harvard)

Although we were sad to depart Switzerland so soon, we woke up early on Thursday ready for the journey ahead.

We arrived at the Basel train station at dawn. After finding our seats in the train car and storing our bags -- our skills in these areas are improving -- settled in for the eight hour ride to Berlin.  As the train moved amongst the snowcapped hills and small towns of central Germany, we napped, snacked, and most importantly, we began to revise the final version of our voluminous memo.  After some initial panic on the latter point, we set to work for what would become a quite productive ride. 

Public Policy 85: The Bank for International Settlements (and our friend Paul)

Our one full day in Basel was set to be spent at the Bank for International Settlements.  The BIS is in many ways a central bank for central banks and is owned by 60 central banks from countries representing 95% of global GDP. The BIS aids central banks' pursuit of monetary and fiscal stability and facilitates international cooperation among central banks on these issues.  Given the BIS's central role in addressing many of the issues we've been examining, and that the Bank was generously welcoming us for six hour-long meetings with officials representing different parts of the institution, we had very high hopes for an insightful and exciting day.

 But even our high hopes and the fantastic schedule organized by Marie-Christine Drexler did not prepare us for the generosity, candor, insight, and kindness shared by everyone with met at the BIS -- first and foremost our guide, Paul Moser-Boehm, Senior Economist in Central Banking Studies.


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