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


Constitutional Law Expert David Cole Addresses Whether President Obama Can End The War on Terror

For the celebration of Law Day, an annual national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law, the Rockefeller Center was fortunate enough to have a speaker well-versed in some of the most important legal issues today. David Cole, the Honorary George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center, is an expert on constitutional law, national security, and criminal justice. In his public lecture, “Can President Obama End the War on Terror?” he addressed many of the most pertinent issues in national security today – ranging from the war on terror and surveillance to Guantanamo Bay and drones.

David Cole began his lecture by discussing the war on terror. He noted to the audience that the Obama administration has made it clear that democracy demands an end to the perpetual state of war, but what would it take to end the war with Al Qaeda? And what would be the consequences of going into peacetime footing? In particular, David Cole focused on the consequences of shifting from wartime to a peacetime footing in these four areas: detention, drones, surveillance and accountability.

MLDP Recap: "Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Negotiating" with John Garvey

Our final session of MLDP focused on problem solving, decision making, and negotiation. John Garvey, the director of the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, spoke to us about what makes a good negotiator. Using the example of babies crying to show hunger, Garvey proved that we negotiate before we learn what negotiation is. Negotiation is also a practiced art that can be divided into six stages: preparation, preliminary, informational, distributive, closing, and cooperative. Garvey explained how having a best-alternative-to-a-negotiated-arrangement, or “BATANA,” is key to successful bargaining. In order to demonstrate how emotions cloud our perceptions of fairness, Garvey asked us to offer a certain portion of $10,000 we were “given” to the person on our right. Interestingly, a few people chose not to accept thousand-dollar offers even though their BATANA was $0 due to a perception of unfairness.

MLDP Recap: "Developing a Global Mindset" with Christianne Wohlforth

Equipped with several decks of cards and 30 minutes of time, Christianne Wohlforth lead us recently in an activity that recreated the feelings associated with first time cross-cultural immersion. It was an eye-opening experience that served to illustrate points she would later emphasize in her formal presentation on cultural awareness.

Wohlforth is the director of the Montgomery Fellows Program at Dartmouth College and directed our session on "Developing a Global Mindset." The goal of her activity was to help us understand this global mindset and how it can enhance our effectiveness in cross-cultural settings. We discussed how our personal values, life experiences, and social baggage can affect our experience when we are exposed to new cultures and cultural norms. We also discussed the intercultural sensitivity continuum, a spectrum that marks the various stages of one's sensitivity to other cultures.

Dartmouth Students Attend the Unite for Sight Global Health and Social Innovation Conference

We feel so fortunate to have been able to attend the Unite for Sight Global Health and Social Innovation Conference at Yale this April. The conference featured renowned keynote speakers such as Jeffrey Sachs, Seth Godin, Michael Moss, and others. A great part about the conference was that it wasn’t just lectures on health topics, but it included workshop sessions throughout the afternoon that allowed you to meet other people in the field, listen to social entrepreneurship business pitches, and attend brief presentations on a variety of health topics.

"Presentation Design for the User Experience," with Dave Uejio

For the past several years, PowerPoint presentations have become a fairly ubiquitous platform for presenting information to an audience. In this week’s session of MLDP, Dave Uejio, Strategy Program Manager at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, discussed designing presentations for the user experience.

Uejio opened up his talk with examples of bad PowerPoint slides and asked the group if we had previously seen slides similar to those shown. The entire room unanimously agreed that they had sat through presentations with poorly designed slides. Uejio challenged us to think about why these slides were ineffective techniques of presenting information.

Many presenters do not know how to use visual tools to frame a narrative. Common problems included text-heavy slides that overwhelm the audience and charts with data that are unclear. Uejio also provided examples of effective slides that had a clear story, used visual data and text to successfully deliver the key messages of a presentation.

Dick Couch '64 Emphasizes the Importance of Leadership and Employee Buy-In

RLF had the distinct pleasure of welcoming Dick Couch this past Thursday to speak about his management and leadership experiences as the CEO of Hypertherm. Mr. Couch, a Dartmouth ‘64 and Thayer ‘65, co-founded Hypertherm in 1968 right here in Hanover. The company developed ultra-high-temperature cutting techniques for industrial uses and is a world leader in this technology.

Hypertherm has received numerous awards for its dedication to the well-being of its associates, fostering new technology, focusing on sustainability and the environment, and creating a culture of continuous improvement. Under the leadership of Mr. Couch and his wife, Barbara, the company initiated generous profit-sharing employee stock ownership plans. Hypertherm has been ranked in Fortune Magazine's listing of the "best companies to work for in the United States."

RGLP: Cultural Identifications with Professor Claudia Anguiano

Professor Claudia Anguiano began her two-hour session on Cultural Identifications with a PowerPoint presentation that revealed how minor differences in terminology can have major impacts on a population’s perceived identity of certain groups. As an example, she challenged us to exchange the word “illegal” with “undocumented” when saying the phrase “Illegal Immigrants.” The group and I quickly realized that, though similar, the difference in wording has a major impact on the perception of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Not only are undocumented immigrants affected by the harsh labeling of their current position but other groups as well.

5 Typography Tips for Every Presenter

As part of MLDP, we encourage students to take advantage of the Rockefeller Center's bonus content, which can be found on our Pinterest page by clicking here. We hope students can use the bonus content as a way of learning about real-life examples that draw on the material we teach in the program. For more information about MLDP, click here

Scott Schwertly’s article 5 Typography Tips for Every Presenter is a brief, yet important reminder on the essentials of any well-written business communication. His article also serves as a wake-up call to the power of typography, saying, “the sad reality is that even though today’s presenter has control over type, most don’t quite understand –much less utilize – it is an art form.” 

RGLP goes through the motions of Hot Yoga

When I heard that we were going to be going to a Hot Yoga session I was ecstatic. I considered myself reasonably flexible and I loved to stretch. I was also intrigued by the idea of the fact that the room would be hot because I needed to sweat out a few extra calories in preparation for Caribbean Carnival. I knew for sure that this session would be unlike any session that we had previously. While previous sessions were more about learning to be a global leader it seemed, at first, that this session was just about relaxation and fun.

As we arrived at and entered the hot yoga studio room I could feel myself taking in the new atmosphere and trying to prepare myself for this new experience that was about to occur. The instructor started the group off with some slow and relatively easy stretches. While we were stretching, I realized that I should have heeded the warning of the RGLP advisors and not eaten before this session. My turkey sandwich was not sitting too well at that moment. As the room became warmer and my stomach settled, my body began to relax more and the stretch sequences, while still a bit out of my comfort zone, became easier with repetition and focus.

Students Testify on POLST Forms Before New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, three members of the Rockefeller Center’s Policy Research Shop traveled to Concord to testify before the New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs. Joshua Schiefelbein ’14, Zach Markovich ’15 and Avery Feingold ’17 presented their policy brief, “POLST Registries: Supporting End of Life Decision Making,” in formal testimony before the committee. The PRS students followed the testimonies of nine other lobbyists and executive agency representatives. 


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