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


Latin American Students Association Brunch

The brunch hosted by the Latin American Student Association proved to be a success. We had a large number of people in attendance including undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. This brunch fulfilled its goal of creating a strong network among the Latin American community at Dartmouth. The brunch served as a forum in which we all shared about our cultures and realized that there were many similarities among our diverse backgrounds. I personally learned that there is a strong Latin American representation in the graduate schools. The names of Tuck, Thayer, and Geisel seem to be extremely renowned in the academic and professional environment in Latin America. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet older scholars from Latin America through this event, and that I can learn from them and follow their example. I am certain that the connections created during this event will lead the way to new friendships as well as research and job opportunities. I was also astonished by how many professors at Dartmouth have interesting connections with Latin America.

The Distinction between Assumptions and Judgments

This week in the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, we were challenged to think about ourselves and how our personal backgrounds shape the way we see the world, and impact the way we choose to engage with the world.

I think that I have a good cultural reference base for where a lot of my ideas and behaviors come from, but often I don’t notice how this cultural reference impacts the assumptions or judgments I may make about other people. Dr. Stuart Grande, Post-doctoral Fellow at the Dartmouth Institute, drew attention to the distinction between assumptions and judgments. The distinction is still something that I struggle to conceptualize in a real context. The assumptions I make about a person are based on the evidence that I see before me, along with the information that I have accumulated in the past. This however sounds very similar to a judgment making process, is it that judgments are perceived to be negative? I’m still not sure but I hope the distinction will be something that we get to explore more in other sessions.

Learning How to Lead Within a Global Context

I really appreciated the session with Gama Perruci. We began by tracing the shift that has occurred on a global scale. As corporations began occupying territory and establishing territory in multiple nations (hence multinational corporations), the boundaries between states became more permeable. Multinational corporations began to harness more power as they negotiated land and territory with different countries. We discussed, however, that there is a gradual shift that has taken place. The 21st century has seen the rise of technology that has radically changed the way that people communicate. The most popular form of communication fifteen years ago was to send a letter through snail-mail, which could take days to arrive. Now, a quick Facebook message takes just seconds. 

16th Annual Cultural Insights Forum

The 16th Annual Cultural Insights Forum provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to meet and learn from the very people shaping the landscape of TV and film today. Unlike most other fields seemingly available to Dartmouth grads, the Entertainment industry has an added layer of impenetrability given the non-linear, right-place-at-the- right-time nature of most careers within the field. As a black woman looking to pursue a career in Entertainment, I face added barriers of sexism and racism, still ever-present in the industry today and still very much causes of concern. That is why this conference, with its focus on diversifying the content that ends up of our screens, was so important for me. Not only because I was able to learn from the research presented by the Horowitz Foundation, but also because I was able to meet women of color, working in the industry right now, and hear the stories of how they got there.

Assessing Cultural Proficiency Quotient  

A better intercultural competence can help us act as a bridge between cultures and be global citizens. A start to improve in any area is finding out where we stand now and where we want us to be. After week one at Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, I gave the Self Assessment with IDI. I responded to a 50-item questionnaire that evaluated my intercultural competence in terms of my  cross-cultural goals, the challenges I faced while navigating cultural differences, incidents I encounter around cultural differences and my techniques to handle them.

The Wave is No Longer New

A crowd of overdressed business school students and thousands of business people in their element can be a little intimidating for a freshman in a pair of casual slim fit khaki pants and a semi-formal shirt with sleeves rolled up. The Harvard Africa Business Conference (HABC) was my very first formal business conference and it was quite the experience. It was eye-opening about the plentiful potential that lies in the continent. More specifically, it was eye-opening about the plentiful potential that lies in young people who are driving economic progress throughout the continent in their respective countries.

GlobeMed at Dartmouth's 4th Annual Benefit Dinner

Recently, the Rockefeller Center helped fund GlobeMed's 4th annual Benefit Dinner through one of its Mini-Grants. This was the most successful and well attended dinner yet, and it would not have been possible without the financial support of the Rockefeller Center. Hosting this dinner gave us to the opportunity to share our cause with the rest of our Dartmouth community. GlobeMed at Dartmouth is constantly working to understand the current political climate in Burma as well as to help our partner organization, Kachin Women’s Association Thailand, further their mission of improving health equity and access to basic health care for Kachin refugees during the ongoing Civil War. After developing such a close relationship with our partner, it meant the world to us to be able to share our passion with the rest of campus and raise awareness here in Hanover as well.

Leadership and the Paradox of Plenty

This week's session was led by Professor Andrew Samwick, who currently serves as both the Director of the Rockefeller Center and the Sandra and Arthur Irving Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College. Outside of Dartmouth, he currently serves as a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and in 2003 and 2004, he was the chief economist on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Professor Samwick graduated summa cum laude in economics from Harvard College and received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Professor Samwick's session centered on an economics concept, the "natural resource curse." The term refers to the "paradox of plenty," in which countries with more natural resources do not necessarily experience greater economic growth. Professor Samwick applied the concept to leadership, prompting the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows to question the vast disparity of resources in the world and how countries operate in environments of scarcity - and then, most importantly, how one might avoid the natural resource curse when in a leadership role.

Writing and Workplace Etiquette with Jennifer Sargent

In most cases, everyone has to start as an intern or in an entry level position, no matter the industry, and communication will be necessary. On Feb 23, 2016 Professor Jennifer Sargent, Visiting Associate Professor of Writing at Dartmouth College, returned to MLDP to share her knowledge about writing in the workplace and on the importance of work etiquette.

Sargent explained how leadership qualities can carry over to writing tasks and etiquette, as new employees will not have official leadership or managerial roles and will have to set themselves apart in other ways. By showing up, being pro-active in your communication, and by asking for feedback are all signs of initiation, a leadership quality.

She gave the participants a full breakdown of the do’s and don’ts of writing in the workplace to effectively execute those actions. "You want your words to be clear, convey excellent content, and to reflect upon you as a young professional with leadership potential," emphasized Sargent. She spent the most time going over message content, knowing your audience, using appropriate tone, and avoiding intergenerational words, slang, and idioms.

Leadership in Practice

The sixth session of D-LAB, "Leadership in Practice," provided participants the opportunity to find ways at Dartmouth to apply their values and leadership qualities at different organizations on campus. Representatives from multiple campus organizations were invited to join participants during the program's final session. The session was different from previous sessions in that participants did not join their usual groups and instead were asked to select four or five organizations or centers they found most interesting from a list that had been provided the previous week.


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