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


MLDP Recap: Leadership and Followership with Dr. Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Leadership Center

Who are the campus leaders at Dartmouth? Why are they identified as leaders? What kind of leaders are they? These are just some of the questions that MLDP participants were asked to discuss during the session on Leadership and Followership. Dr. Gama Perruci, who serves as the Dean of the McDonough Leadership Center at Marietta College, opened the session by asking us questions about the painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware.” Mr. Perruci asked us to give reasons for why Washington appears to be the leader in the painting, and in doing so, helped us see that many of our preconceived notions about what makes a leader are in fact, only a small part of the story. 

Following this fun and interactive case study, Mr. Perruci discussed the various components of leadership and followership, including Rocky’s own definition of leadership. He emphasized something that I had never really thought about before: leadership is not only about the leaders, it is about leaders and followers working together toward a common goal.

Group Facilitation workshop with Darin Eich, Ph.D., Founder of

As part of MLDP, we encourage student participants to attend other Rockefeller Center programs in order to enrich their Dartmouth experience. Read a student account of a Rockefeller Center program, and for more information about MLDP, click here.  

Recap: Create Your Path with Darin Eich, Ph.D., Founder of

The Rockefeller Center's new "Create Your Path" program offers students a guided opportunity to step back and reflect on their first two years at Dartmouth, and develop a strategy to organize themselves at a higher level. For more information about the program, click here.

Naming our interests and strengths can be difficult. Do we even know what we are capable of? And if we don’t know ourselves, how can others know what we are capable of?

As busy college students, it is difficult to simply reflect. Darin Eich, Ph.D., Founder of, has developed a program for Dartmouth students to reflect and take action. During winter break, students participated in virtual workshops. Online videos guided them through a series of activities, such as listing key moments to defining specific strengths and passions. Participants were advised not to judge their responses and write whatever came to mind. Throughout the exercise, Eich shared his own responses to the prompts, which showed the specificity and variety of possible interests, strengths, and passions.

MLDP Recap: Kick-off to Network, Connect and Communicate with Darin Eich

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. If you were asked if you could sing, would you raise your hand? How about dance? Draw? Darin Eich, Founder of, asked us these very questions as we squirmed in our seat and looked around to see who were the singers, dancers, and artists of the group. But Eich said that had we been in kindergarten, we would have jumped at the chance to say we were all these things. This had happened when his mother asked her kindergarten class the same questions. Somewhere along the way, we began to think we had to be the best in order to raise our hands. Like this exercise, Eich’s other exercises taught us to think outside the box. As we introduced ourselves, Eich pushed us to not generalize but instead say something innovative. You could talk about your ambitions, passions or even an important childhood character.

Recap: Dartmouth Alums visit RLF

This week's RLF session was headlined by three young alumni who discussed their views and perspectives on leadership having worked for a few years after Dartmouth. The lessons focused on how to build the skills necessary to become a leader, how to reflect on one's own experiences and leadership styles, and how to lead in organizations even when you're a new employee. 

Joseph Santo '10 discussed being able to 'lead from below,' which can be done if you take ownership of your work and set a good example for others. There is also a heavy reflective component of leadership as leaders have to be able to assess their own skills and reach 'self-mastery.' 

Christabell Makokha '11 argued that awareness is the cornerstone of good leadership, as leaders need to be able to understand themselves and the needs of others. Several of the speakers discussed setting goals, both for oneself and for the organization, and then following through to make these goals a reality. Shala Burroughs '05 cited the importance of developing professional networks, and how they can influence future career paths.

RLF Recap: Filter Bubbles - How We Process and Make Decisions

RLF had the honor this week of welcoming Mr. Curt Welling '71, chair of the Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors and CEO of disaster relief nonprofit AmeriCares. His presentation provided meaningful insights into how we can better understand ourselves and perceive the world around us. His session focused on a concept coined by Eli Pariser's Ted Talk “Filter Bubbles.” 

Essentially, the web is supposedly an open forum of idea exchange and knowledge acquisition, but with the implementation of market strategies like personalized searches, technology has actually filtered out the things we don’t want to see/read/hear from our online interaction space. In the real world, this translates into our group affiliations, cultures, political ideologies, self-images, etc. wrapping us in filter bubbles that prevent us from critiquing our assumptions and exploring information that is uncomfortable or contrary to our own beliefs. 

Voxmasters Recap: PowerPoint Presentations and Visual Persuasion

As part of MLDP, we encourage student participants to attend other Rockefeller Center programs in order to enrich their Dartmouth experience. Read two student accounts of a Rockefeller Center program, and for more information about MLDP, click here.

This session of VoxMaster focused on designing and delivering effective Powerpoint presentations. Student discussion group leaders Shoshanna Silverstein ’15 and Sarah Ogren ’16 began the session by explaining the “do’s” and “don’ts” of successful Powerpoint slides. I learned that slides should summarize important points succinctly, use graphics to highlight essential ideas, and avoid excessive use of animation. When delivering a presentation, it is important to avoid blocking the projector, fidgeting, or simply reading off the slides. This part of the session underscored ideas discussed previously in the “Presentation Design for the User Experience” session of the Management and Leadership Development Program, such as the importance of catering a presentation to one’s specific audience.

RLF Recap: "Exploring the Meaning of Trust" with Former Governor of New Hampshire, John Lynch

The Rockefeller Leadership Fellows had the pleasure of welcoming Governor John Lynch, the previous governor of New Hampshire, for a discussion about trust and its roles in corporate and public sector leadership. Governor Lynch started off the session by examining a Harvard Business School case study dealing with James Burke, a past CEO of Johnson & Johnson. Students brought up the different ways in which Burke excelled as a leader, including passion, listening to others, and taking risks. The focal point of the evening, trust, was woven into the discussion through an evaluation of the Tylenol-caused deaths in the case study. Governor Lynch asked us to critically assess our definition of the word “trust,” in the context of both sold products and interpersonal relationships. 

RLF Recap: Decision Making in Leadership with Jay Davis '90

On October 24th, Jay Davis ‘90, the current coordinator of FYSEP, SEAD, and several Tucker outreach programs at Dartmouth, spoke to the fellows about the different sides of leadership. He began by recounting his own experiences in the realm of education and coaching, pointing out the fact that we must adapt our styles of leadership to the followers at hand and evaluate what things really matter to you. Consequently, each fellow explained a leadership trait they valued, with responses ranging from humility to accountability to passion. Bad leadership can often become an impediment to the function of a team or organization, so the fellows were then asked to share examples of when leaders exhibited clashing personalities or ideals.

Voxmasters: Interview Preparations

As part of MLDP, we encourage student participants to attend other Rockefeller Center programs in order to enrich their Dartmouth experience. Read a student account of a Rockefeller Center program, and for more information about MLDP, click here.


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