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


Problem Solving Through Negotiation

On a daily basis, people are faced with problems and often negotiation is required to achieve the most desirable outcome. On February sixteenth, Professor John Garvey from the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program, came to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center to talk to MLDP students about the importance of negotiating and how to become a great negotiator.

"The best negotiators are firm, fair, and friendly," said Garvey. He went on to explain that negotiation itself is a process, which includes a lot of preparatory work, such as research and information gathering, before even approaching a deal. Garvey stressed the importance of knowing yourself and knowing others when making negotiations in order to get the best possible outcome.

“The session made me realize that I negotiate for things everyday," said session participant Helen Thomas '18. "Learning to negotiate well and keeping in mind other people’s interests is an incredibly valuable skill.”

Leadership for Others Part II

The fifth session of D-LAB focused on leadership in practice, by enabling participants to identify and reflect on concerns within the Dartmouth Community. Prior to the session, participants thought about what problems they experienced or witnessed on campus.

Keynote speaker Caitlin Barthelmes, director of the Dartmouth Student Wellness Center, opened the session. She stated that the peer health educators at UVA helped her find her path and lay the foundation for her career in wellness, and noted that D-LAB enables participants a chance to find their path. Caitlin expressed that emotions and behaviors are infectious and “how we feel, express ourselves, and act effect others”. Listening to a variety of perspectives leads to collaboration because one finds common ground and unites over passions.

Presentation Design for the User Experience

We live in a world with an overwhelming amount of data, but what does that data mean? David Uejio, Acting Chief Strategy Officer at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), facilitated the sixth session of MLDP on presentation design for the user experience.

Uejio shared with students that presenting concepts and ideas in a clear and compelling manner is essential to effective leadership. Impactful storytelling aligns people in a way that little else does.

By use of his own presentation, Uejio showed the group how illuminating data in a way that tells a story the audience can understand is much more powerful than a presentation full of complex numbers. Each and every presentation should be viewed as an opportunity to engage the audience, frame the narrative, and accentuate the story.

By the end of the session, he had provided students with an intellectual framework for their ideas—basically a presentation tool kit.

-Submitted Mary Sieredzinski ’17, MLDP Student Program Assistant

Intercultural Communications

One of the greatest opportunities that my Dartmouth education has offered me thus far (and offers to all who are receptive) is an academic context through which to better understand and examine the role that privilege plays in my life. Prior to Dartmouth I was lucky enough to have a family that instilled in me a sense of gratitude, a feeling that is inextricably intertwined with an awareness of privilege. However this was a sort of pre-theoretical feeling of privilege that I truly needed guidance in examining further. Our session with Dr. Anya was just another example of Dartmouth’s efficacy in helping students to better understand what it means to have privilege, where it comes from, and at whose expense we are in possession of it.

In her explication of social “praxis”, Dr. Anya illustrated the methods by which we can effectively apply the theory that we have been exposed to. Recognizing the need for application is essential, for, while it is invaluable to continue to learn about what it means to have privilege and live with privilege, it is not enough to stop there.

Leadership for Others

Prior to the fourth session of D-LAB, participants were asked to rank the top ten values they believed to be the most important to Dartmouth, as well as the values they believed were perceived as important to the College from an outsider perspective. At the beginning of the session participants in groups wrote the top five values that they personally believed to be the most important to the College on Post-It notes, which were then placed on a large poster board. Participants were asked to group the Post-Its by similarity; values that had been chosen the most included knowledge, community, and tradition.

Managing Performance and Conveying Feedback

The RLF session on February 4, 2016 was led by David Ager, Senior Fellow in Executive Education at Harvard Business School. The session focused on the Rob Parson Morgan Stanley case study. The premise was that Morgan Stanley had introduced a new performance management system in order to transform its culture to a One-Firm firm. In the case, Paul Nasr, a senior management director has to decide whether or not to promote Rob Parson to the Managing Director position. The case included a range of exhibits related to Rob Parson’s performance. Rob was a strong revenue producer – helping to bring Morgan Stanley’s market share from 12.2% from 2%. The downside was Rob’s interpersonal skills – he was described as aggressive and tended to work individually instead of cooperatively.

Leadership with Others

The third session of D-LAB shifted the focus from reflecting on one’s own values to the values of our friends and peers, and if and how the people we spend the most time with influence our own values.   

Prior to the session, participants were asked to have a close friend  at Dartmouth select five values that they thought best described the participant . This led to a conversation of whether the values participants selected for themselves matched the ones their friend selected. Subsequently, the conversation diverged to talking about  the fact that context can play a role in this assessment.   For example, a teammate will likely select different values for the participant than a classmate. 

Our small groups then pondered the question: Do you share the same values as your friends? Each group discussed how friends impact our individual values and if there is a difference between high school and college friends. Many participants offered that college friends come from a variety of backgrounds, which makes their experience and viewpoints different from their own.      

Being an Effective Team Player

On February 3, 2016, MLDP welcomed another one of our own, Steven Spaulding, the Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership. Spaulding shared his insights on leading teams. Before one can lead a team, one first needs to understand what it means to be a good teammate.

Shortly after, students were put to the test in a little competitive outdoor activity of building a fire. The teams were further challenged when some members were then not allowed use of their eyes or voice. In order to achieve the activity’s goal, team members had to use concepts they have been practicing in MLDP, like communication and recognizing others’ strengths and weaknesses. Great teams not only believe in these values and concepts, they have the discipline to actually execute the activities. 

After the session Andrew Blackwell ’18 said, “Today I learned the true value of trust and communication within a team.”

Submitted by Mary Sieredzinski ’17, MLDP Student Program Assistant

Working From Outside of Your Comfort Zone

On February 1, 2016, Mestre Marquinho Coreba, professional Capoeirista and teacher at Capoeira Gerais Boston, facilitated a RGLP session in which students were introduced to capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.

 During the Portuguese colonial period of the 16th century, African slaves invented capoeira as a way to camouflage the practice of martial arts in the form of dance in the hopes of rebelling against slaveholders. Capoeira developed into a combination of fighting, dance, music and acrobatics and represented not only a method of covertly practicing martial arts, but also a method of passing on culture and resisting oppression. Over the past few centuries to the modern day, Capoeira has evolved from a prohibited, marginalized mode of expression to an integral part of Brazilian culture.

Because I had never done capoeira before, the activities of the entire session were new to me. However, it was very fun to dive in and experience firsthand how the moves we learned, from the basic ginga to the aú cartwheel, correlated directly with the rich history and cultural traditions Brazil.

Leadership From Within: Part II

The second session of D-LAB was also the second part of Leadership From Within, where participants focused on their individual values and how they influenced everyday actions, leadership roles, and future goals.

Beginning with an icebreaker that asked participants to name their role model and what values they associated the role model with, students discussed various figures in their lives, including family members, celebrities, government officials, and historical figures. Values mentioned included the more abstract, such as integrity and courage, rather than the more tangible, such as health, appearance, or aesthetic.

Prior to the session, participants had been asked to choose ten most prioritized values and their ten least prioritized values from a sheet of forty characteristics and following the icebreaker, the conversation moved to a discussion of these choices and why students picked certain values. It was noted that knowing the specific “color” of one’s personality was an influence on choosing values, as well as that choosing negative values was more difficult than choosing positive ones.


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