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


PBPL 85 visits the Jerusalem offices of the World Bank

Wednesday, Dec 9th was a busy day with five separate meetings and a border crossing! After breakfast in our hotel, the class met with our first speaker Anshel Pfeffer, a journalist for both the Economist and Haaretz. His perspective was useful because, Pfeffer is generally tasked with both explaining Israel to the world and explaining the world to Israel. Then, we were able to Skype with Ahmad ‘Azem Hamad, a professor of Palestine and Arabic studies at Birzeit University. He provided an interesting lens into the Palestinian student perspective. After the Skype call, we were able to head to the nearby market for lunch, where we sampled a traditional Syrian dish.

The Thought Project, a Living-Learning Community

The Rockefeller Center’s Mini-Grants program funds on-campus student organization events.

The Thought Project is a new Living Learning Community for the academic year 2015-2016 in Wheeler Hall for thirty-five residents. Our mission is to build a vibrant, diverse community of Dartmouth undergraduates committed to understanding ideas and cultures different from their own. Each week, we host a Food for Thought dinner with a faculty member and a variety of social events. During the fall term of 2015, the Rockefeller Center sponsored two of our Food for Thought events: a dessert discussion with Slate journalist Emily Yoffe and a dinner with Professor Denise Anthony. On Wednesday, October 8th, we hosted Emily Yoffe for dessert and hot cocoa in Haldeman. Before her controversial public lecture the following day, we had the chance to meet with her in a small group setting to discuss her views on campus rape.

PBPL 85 Tours the Knesset

On Tuesday, Dec 8th, the class set out to fill in some of the gaps of knowledge that we need to fill in order to write our memo. In the morning, after breakfast at our hotel (complete with Hanukkah donuts), we departed for Gush Etzion, a cluster of Jewish settlements in the breathtaking Judean Mountains. Our guide for the morning, Shaul Judelman, took us on a walk through the mountains and explained the history of the place and its significance to the Jewish people (we even got to explore an ancient ritual bath). Then Judelman, a member of the Executive Committee of Friends of Roots, took us to the Friends of Roots headquarters, where he told his story and the story of the organization.

Sisters of Dartmouth Inclusivity Event

The Rockefeller Center’s Mini-Grants program funds on-campus student organization events

Sisters of Dartmouth was an evening event on Monday, October 5th held to celebrate collective sisterhood with an emphasis on welcoming all women, especially ’18 women who just went through rush, and women who decided not to rush or dropped out. Senior Hui Cheng ’16 explains the purpose of the event and an unexpected turnout.

“When we’re first introduced to Dartmouth as freshmen, the dominant narrative about college life tends to be one of inclusivity. We’re made to feel as though there’s a place on campus for everyone, and we are encouraged to see Dartmouth through structures intended to guide first-year students along their adjustment period – DOC Trips, UGAs, first-year advisors and mentors. Social identities are much more fluid. There is a freshman floor and trippees and freshman affinity groups for people to fall back into, regardless of identity.

PBPL 85 travels to Moshav Na’ama in the Jordan Valley

We woke up early this morning to travel to Moshav Na’ama, an agricultural settlement in the Jordan Valley. At Moshav Na’ama, we were welcomed into Bar Levy’s home and ate a wonderful breakfast (complete with fresh vegetables and dates from the farms) with his family. After breakfast, Bar Levy, an Israeli soldier, allowed us to ask him questions about his life, his family’s history, and his views on the peace process. Our class came away from the discussion with a greater understanding of the differences that exist amongst types of Israeli settlements and the motivations of those that live there. Then, Bar Levy’s brother took us on a tour of his date processing plant, his date fields, and his father’s herb fields. He explained to us the growing process and let us sample dates. He also introduced us to his Palestinian friend and fellow farmer who allowed us to ask him about his life and his interactions with Israelis in the area. The class left the farms with new insights for our memo and 5 kg of dates for snacks on the bus (we will keep you updated on the amount eaten).

PBPL 85 in Jerusalem

Today, our class set out to learn about the heart of Israel, Jerusalem and more specifically the Old City of Jerusalem. We awoke and after breakfast at the hotel, we walked to the Old City. On our way, we passed very few people as it was still Shabbat and stores were not yet open for business. To better understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it was essential that our class get a first hand look at the holy places that lie at the center of the dispute. Throughout the day, we walked through all four quarters; the Armenian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Muslim Quarter. In the Jewish Quarter, we stopped to put our wishes in the Western Wall and were stunned at the proximity of the Western Wall to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Temple Mount, and Dome of the Rock. In the Muslim Quarter, we explored the markets and stopped for lunch at a restaurant to enjoy more hummus, pita and falafel. In the Christian Quarter, the class was able to venture into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and even go to an underground tunnel underneath the Coptic Church.

Writing and Workplace Etiquette with Professor Jennifer Sargent

Professor Jennifer Sargent returned to MLDP this week to talk about workplace etiquette. Photo by Weijia Tang.

This week, Professor Jennifer Sargent returned to MLDP to lead a session entitled, “Writing and Workplace Etiquette.” Ms. Sargent began the session with a discussion of how leadership qualities carry over to tasks in the workplace generally, and writing specifically. She also gave an overview of the different types of writing typically encountered in the workplace, ranging from sticky notes to long reports. She explained to students how each type of writing has a different set of standards for formatting, but a similar approach when determining the message, audience, and tone of the writing. Then, she began an interactive activity to help emphasize the points she presented in the beginning of the session.

Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Negotiation with John Garvey

Professor John Garvey shared problem solving strategies with participants in MLDP this week. Photo by Hung Nguyen ’18.

This week’s presenter was Professor John Garvey, the Director of the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Professor Garvey’s talk was entitled “Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Negotiation.”

Professor Garvey began the session with an overview of what negotiation is, where we see it in everyday life, and why it is important for leaders to know how to negotiate effectively. He told students about concepts such as “BATNA” (Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement) and the three F’s: Firm, Fair and Friendly. These three adjectives, Professor Garvey explained, are all necessary traits to have in order to obtain a favorable outcome in the short term and be respected in the long term as a negotiator.

RGLP Recap: "Intercultural Communication" with Dr. Uju Anya '98

This is a session recap of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) from a participant's perspective.

Dr. Uju Anya '98 describes the role of language in intercultural communication. Photo by Hung Nguyen '18.

This Monday, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program had a session with Dr. Uju Anya '98, a professor at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education on intercultural communication.
Before the discussion began, we were given a TedTalk by acclaimed writer and activist Chimamande Ngozi Adichie to watch, where she explained the concept of a single story. A single story refers to how a culture may be represented as a single story through media, books, and other sources of information. However that story does not fully capture the diversity in the said culture and offers an extremely narrow viewpoint.

Leadership in Action with Nate Fick '99

Nate Fick '99 talks to the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows about concepts he deems essential for the development of a leader. Photo by May Nguyen '18

Nathaniel Fick’s ’99 November 6th session with the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows emphasized five main concepts that he deemed essential for the development of a leader. These ideas included the difference of legal and moral authority, the fact that indecision is a decision in and of itself, the role of resilience, that being effective is much more important than being right, and that being risk acceptant (particularly with one’s human capital) is also crucial in being an effective leader. Elucidating the distinction between moral and legal authority was particularly relevant, as Bill Kerin ’16 had presented on the subject a week prior—within the context of how authority was a critical dynamic in hierarchical organizations, such as the military. Mr. Fick spoke in depth on each of these five points, adding that leadership development along such lines was best accomplished while doing something “real”.


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