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


Mini-Grants Recap: Student Reactions after Attending the UN Social Good Summit

Digital Media Lounge

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here.

I learned a lot about activism and how to get people involved and excited about issues in a new world of technology. Personally, one of the most influential insights for me was the theme of empowerment over awareness. I had always imagined the world of activism revolving around of the issue of getting people to care. Progress seemed dependent on the age-old question of whether people were inherently good or bad; either people would plow ahead with the classic “build it and they will come” mentality, or they would sign off altogether, convinced that others could not be brought to raise their attention off their own lives. 

Mini-Grants Recap: Student Reactions after attending Powershift

Dartmouth Undergraduates that attended Powershift 2013

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here. 

"Powershift 2013 will be one of my enduring memories as an environmentalist during college. It was utterly inspiring and humbling to be present and part of a movement that is ever growing and powerful. From multi-faith services to the logistics of setting up worker-owned cooperatives, the break out sessions were practical and motivational in equal measure. I particularly appreciated the sessions aimed at fossil fuel divestment student organizers, of which I am one. It's a small but growing movement at Dartmouth, and it was so powerful to be in a room with hundreds of other students working on the same thing. I have already worked again with some of the students I met there, and anticipate further collaboration in the future."

--Morgan Curtis '14

Mini-Grants Recap: Powershift - Putting a Face to the Environmental Movement

Powershifters asking for peace

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here.

Held on from October 18th to the 21st, Powershift put a face to the environmental movement. It's not about saving the polar bears for me anymore, it's about stopping our obsession with consuming fracked fuels that are polluting the lands of Candi and her tribe in North Dakota, making the air unbreathable and the land toxic. It's about the women in Tanzania who spend 50% of their income on fuel for cooking because deforestation has hiked up the prices and they have no alternatives to turn to. 

Recap: "Becoming Global Citizens" with Kwame Anthony Appiah

We entered, in small crowds, into the white-walled, airy space of the Hanover Inn Grand Ballroom to await Kwame Anthony Appiah’s talk entitled “"Becoming Global Citizens: Civil Discourse Across Difference.” The talk was prefaced by a moment of silence for the recent passing of Torin Tucker ’15, and I was struck, as I often have been since the news of his death was released, by how much more we cling to each other when faced with tragedy. It isn’t a mere gesture of sentimentality, but more of an affirmation of the human bonds that exist even on a college campus where priorities are in perpetual competition.

Appiah’s talk itself focused on the value of conversation without agenda, without discernible aim, the kind that exposes one to discovery through accident. He proposed that we stumble upon ways to increase our acceptance of the differences that compose our world. Appiah’s description of a cosmopolitan conversation is of one that primarily takes place between strangers, particularly strangers on the move. 

Mini-Grants Recap: Becoming a Part of a National Political Advocacy Movement

Asher speaks at the student session of the
J Street National Conference.

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here.

This past September, I had the privilege of attending the J Street National Conference. There, I had the opportunity to engage in deep and substantive discussions about US foreign policy in the Middle East. But for me, what was even more exciting was the opportunity to lobby Members of Congress to support Secretary Kerry’s efforts to help the Israelis and Palestinians reach a two-state solution. That provided me a forum to put my values into action in the political realm.

RLF Recap: How to Frame Three Hard Cases - Abortion, Same Sex Marriage, and Affirmative Action

Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program below. For more information about RLF, click here. 

This week, RLF had the pleasure of welcoming Professor Sonu Bedi from the Government department. Professor Bedi, who has a PhD in political science and a law degree, drew from his extensive background on constitutional law and political theory to discuss three controversial topics with the fellow: abortion, same-sex marriage, and affirmative action.

MLDP Recap: MLDP Goes Outside, Braving the Winter Cold with Steven Spaulding

Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information about MLDP, click here.
This week’s session of the Management Leadership Development Program was a little out of the ordinary. Rather than meeting in a classroom and discussing different aspects of leadership and character, we finally tested our skills in an interactive session titled, “Leading Through Action.” Steven Spaulding, the Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership, applied lessons from the Dartmouth Peak Performance program, and helped each MLDP participant more clearly define and strengthen their leadership skills.

PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership, "Economic Reform in India," Has Released Its Final Report

To read the entire PBPL 85 report regarding economic reform in India on SlideShare, please click here.

The students in Public Policy 85, the inaugural Practicum in Global Policy Leadership, have delivered their final report with prescriptions for economic reform in India. The memo lays out a series of highly detailed recommendations ranging from introducing a national Goods and Services Tax (GST) to making significant new investments in education and infrastructure. The memo was written collaboratively by the 12 students participating in the course as a hypothetical “white paper” that could serve as an economic blueprint for the next Indian government. (There will be national elections in 2014.)

Marianne Schnall talks about "What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?"

Marianne Schnall speaking to students in
Collis Commonground.

This event was partially funded by the Rockefeller Center Mini-Grants Program. For more information regarding Mini-Grants, click here.

On Tuesday, January 28th, activist and interviewer Marianne Schnall visited Dartmouth College for a packed afternoon engaging with students, faculty, staff and community members. Schnall was a guest in Janice McCabe’s Sociology of Gender course where the group engaged in an hour-long discussion on Schnall’s most recent book, What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? Conversations about Women, Leadership and Power. The class discussed the importance of having female role models in thinking about how to inspire young women and girls to pursue careers in the public sector and to look towards the American presidency as an opportunity to address social imbalances.

RLF Recap: Fellows hear about "Contemporary Leadership Competencies" from Harry Sheehy, Dartmouth's Athletics Director

Harry Sheehy, Dartmouth’s Athletics Director, visited RLF last Thursday to speak about his experiences with leadership, especially with regards to managing teams of people. As a result of his time as an athlete, a coach, and an administrator, Mr. Sheehy has identified common underlying themes in how a leader can best interact with his/her followers in working towards an organization’s goals. He began the session by talking about his personal background, including the challenges he faced during coaching and how they added value to his role as a leader. 

Following this, Mr. Sheehy played clips from Remember the Titans and highlighted both the subtle and not so subtle messages about good and bad leadership. One major point was that the successes and failures of a leader are reflected through the attitudes of those being led. This brought about a transition into an analysis of the different character qualities of followers, split between energy-taking traits and energy-giving traits. Through constructing and repeating a clear vision, a leader can help foster self-awareness and group motivation. 


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