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

Public Programs

Virtual 2020 New Hampshire Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Forum

On Thursday, July 16th, 2020, the Rockefeller Center welcomed the Dartmouth community to a virtual 2020 New Hampshire Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Forum. Democratic candidates Dan Feltes and Andru Volinsky joined Rockefeller Center Senior Lecturer and Policy Fellow Charles Wheelan ’88 for a discussion pertaining to issues in the race for New Hampshire Governor.

While Senator Feltes and Councilor Volinsky hold diverging opinions on a variety of issues, they come from eerily similar backgrounds. Both candidates grew up in working-class families and therefore are strong advocates for the ordinary New Hampshire citizen. Moreover, both candidates have a legacy of experience in the legal world, with Feltes having spent almost a decade as a legal aid attorney and Volinsky having served as the lead lawyer in the 1997 Claremont school funding case and currently serving on the Executive Council for New Hampshire’s 2nd district.

Dartmouth Students Learn about Careers for the Public Good with the Rockefeller Center

Professor Wheelan on “The Rationing: A Novel about a Pandemic in the Time of a Pandemic”

On Wednesday, May 20th, 2020, students and community members tuned in once again to Rocky Watch, the Rockefeller Center’s series of virtual public policy broadcasts. The series welcomed Professor Charles Wheelan, a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center. Professor Wheelan’s recent fiction novel, The Rationing, came out just months prior to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his lecture, entitled “The Rationing: A Novel about a Pandemic in the Time of a Pandemic,” Professor Wheelan discussed the unsurprising nature of the current pandemic, as well as other long-term public policy issues that we tend to neglect in favor of more pressing problems.

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.

(Virtual) Recaps with Rocky: Watch Past Public Programs

With the continual and dangerous spread of COVID-19, staying home and social distancing are the safest options. Spend your newfound free time (virtually) recapping what’s been going on at Rocky. Great speakers and discussions came to Hanover just to engage with students, faculty, and the public. 

For those who are looking to scratch that public policy itch or are looking for something interesting to do with you time, there are a lot of great programs to watch! While the Rockefeller Center won’t be hosting any more in-person public events in the near future, catch up on old programs here. BUT be on the lookout for our new virtual public program series, Rocky Watch, coming soon to a screen near you!

Rocky Watch: A Series of Public Policy Discussions

Rocky Watch

Welcome to Rocky Watch: A Series of Public Policy Discussions! Keep an eye out for future programing on our events page or sign up for our mailing list by emailing


Missed a past Rocky Watch?

Keeping Up with the First-in-nation Primary

On the evening of February 11, 2020, students, faculty, and community members convened in the TV Lounge at the Collis Center for Student Involvement to watch and discuss coverage of the New Hampshire presidential primary. “Rocky’s Most-Watched Watch Party for Dartmouth Students,” co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Center and the Collis Governing Board, included opening remarks, a raffle for students who voted that day, and participation from ABC News Live, which covered the primary from Collis. As election results from around the state were processed, students and community members enjoyed pizza and discussed their thoughts and predictions on the potential victor. 

General Carter Ham discusses “War, Peace and Remembrance” over Veterans Day with the Rockefeller Center

On Tuesday, November 12th, 2019, General Carter Ham came to Dartmouth for an event co-sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center and the John Sloan Dickey Center titled “War, Peace and Remembrance.” During the event, Ham and Daniel Benjamin, the director of the Dickey Center, reflected on the meaning of Veterans Day and contemporary issues facing the U.S.military. 

General Ham, a United States Army Commander who served as the second Commander of the United States Africa Command, described himself as having grown up in an upper-middle class family with the expectation of going to college; however, he describes his time at university as “just not feeling right,” and one day choosing to enlist in the army instead. For Ham, this ignited a career that made him one of the few US army members to rise from the rank of private to general in the US army.  

Ned Helms, Tom Rath ‘67, and Andrew Smith Preview a Packed Primary Season

On January 22, 2020, in a discussion moderated by Senior Lecturer and Policy Fellow Charles Wheelan, panelists Ned Helms, Tom Rath ‘67, and Andrew Smith sought to provide students and visitors at the Rockefeller Center with a preview to the 2020 New Hampshire presidential primary, set for February 11. As seasoned experts in the local and national political sphere, Helms, Rath, and Smith each used their diverse experiences in campaign work and analysis to draw connections to past elections, describe modern-day campaign challenges, and explain why New Hampshire has become such a critical state in our national election cycle. 

The Journey of an Anti-Apartheid Lawyer in Namibia – Justice David Smuts

Before he became Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Namibia, Justice David Smuts played a key role in dismantling the apartheid system in Namibia. On October 14th, 2019, Justice Smuts gave a lecture at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, co-sponsored by the Department of English and Creative Writing. During the lecture, entitled “Dark Days to a Brighter Future,” Justice Smuts reflected on his experience with social justice and apartheid and read passages from his memoir, Death, Detention, and Disappearance: One Lawyer’s Battle to hold Power to Account in 1980’s Namibia. 


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