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

Rockefeller Global Leadership Program

Global Leadership Program in Montreal: Embrace the Ambiguity

Each fall, winter, and spring, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) brings together 25 student leaders to increase their understanding of global leadership and intercultural competency. Through weekly sessions with speakers and a culminating experience to either Boston, Montreal, or New York City, the students are able to learn about themselves and cross-cultural leadership. The Spring 2018 cohort spent a weekend in Montreal as part of their culminating experience.

We boarded a bus to Montreal, unaware of what to expect. The skeleton of an itinerary gave no details for the trip to ensue. We were told to “embrace the ambiguity” and go into the weekend with open minds.

Rocky and Me: Ray Lu ’18 Senior Reflection

In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

I made the long journey from Austin, Texas — where I was born and raised — to Dartmouth knowing I wanted a new, challenging environment. My interest in economics derived from my father’s background as an economist, and the time I spent with the U.S. Department of Education Presidential Scholars Program the summer before college inspired me to explore the policy realm.

Rocky and Me: Jimmy Fair ’18 Senior Reflection

In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

I grew up visiting Dartmouth every summer because my grandparents retired to Hanover 25 years ago. Dartmouth became my first choice by the beginning of high school, and I was surprised by how receptive professors were to my requests to sit in on classes and chat with them during a visit my junior year of high school. Coming from Colorado, I also wanted to go to college where I had immediate access to the outdoors. 

Rocky Hosts a Student and Alumni Reception in Boston

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center hosted a Student and Alumni Reception in Boston, MA on Saturday, February 24, 2018. The occasion provided an opportunity for area alumni to meet the current cohort of Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) participants, who were in Boston for their off-campus cultural immersion experience.

“RGLP intentionally prepares students to be comfortable in situations and cultural circumstances unfamiliar to them and how to communicate effectively across cultural barriers,” says Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director.

Rockefeller Center Director, Andrew Samwick, attended the reception along with Deputy Director Sadhana Hall, Professor Herschel Nachlis, and Program Officer Tatyana Gao.

In addition to those students involved with the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, the reception welcomed Dartmouth students currently interning in Boston and area alumni and friends with a connection to the Center.

The reception took place at Legal’s Harborside Restaurant. Over sixty guests were in attendance.

A New RGLP Cohort Explores Cultural Competency

Monday, January 8th, 2018 marked the first session of the 2018 Winter Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP). As student program assistants, we always enjoy watching the new cohort meet one another for the first time, and this term’s group seemed particularly excited. We have 26 participants of various cultural backgrounds, all eager to explore their conceptions of culture and develop their leadership skills.

After a delicious dinner catered by Jewel of India, the session began with a welcome from Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center. Sadhana explained the intent of RGLP to bring a global dimension to the Rockefeller Center’s leadership and public policy mission. By the end of this introduction, it was time to get people moving and talking, so the entire group shifted to the Hinman Forum for an icebreaker activity that focused on the group getting to know each other a bit better.

Josh Tupler ’16 Reflects on His Experience with RGLP

Current Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) Student Program Assistant, Soham Basu '20 interviewed alum Josh Tupler ’16 about his RGLP experience. RGLP seeks to help participants build their intercultural leadership competencies. Tupler initially got involved with RGLP because he was interested in traveling abroad and saw this program as an excellent opportunity to prepare for this experience. Through the lessons and practical seminars, RGLP provided Tupler with the resources and skills to thrive on the Government Foreign Study Program at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Tupler reflects on the impact of his RGLP experience at Dartmouth.

Soham Basu (SB): How did your perception of the program differ from its reality?

Josh Tupler (JT): I went in expecting a weekly dinner meeting arrangement that a lot of other on-campus activities had, but I came out very surprised at the level of engagement and interaction with speakers. From giving us their emails and cell phone numbers to taking an active interest in our academic lives and careers, it exceeded any expectations that I had.

Preparation Meets Opportunity

If, as the Roman philosopher Seneca observed, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” then the Rockefeller Center is all about creating moments of luck for Dartmouth students. 

Although funding is a key ingredient that makes a leave-term internship experience possible for many students, the Rockefeller Center is equally focused on offering programs that fully prepare students to succeed in those opportunities.

For many students, a leave-term internship experience is their first time in a professional environment.

“Navigating an internship can be nerve-wracking for a college student,” says Barbara Olachea ’19. “Rocky helped me acquire new ways of thinking and habits that proved useful during my internship. I came into my internship confident of my abilities to communicate efficiently with my supervisor and co-workers, as well as empowered to make the most of my time in the office by advocating for myself and showing initiative, especially at the beginning.”

Self-Expression Through Capoeira

During last week’s Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) we had the opportunity to practice Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.

Our Capoeira instructor, Fabio “Fua” Nascimiento began our session by teaching us a Brazilian song. We learned each lyric and emphasized each tone. Next, Fua taught us how to play several Brazilian instruments, and we combined our singing with music. As Fua noticed our hesitation to sing loudly, he taught us a valuable lesson. Fua explained that his culture has no word for “awkward” and the feeling does not exist in his culture. As Fua’s energy brightened the room, I noticed I was no longer scared to sing amongst my group. Rather, Fua encouraged me to embrace Capoeira and not care about how I appeared to other people.

Psychological Phenomena in the Workplace

Dr. Morris, Chief Officer of Diversity and Multiculturalism and Title IX Coordinator at Keene State College, led a Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) session on perspective. Although it seemed rather cloak-and-dagger at first, the opening activity on the placement of chairs was refreshing in how literal it was and set the tone for the rest of the session. Dr. Morris' training in clinical psychology and experience in pedagogy are some of the qualities I hope to embody in my own career - the fact that she is a black woman from Louisiana was affirming to me in a way that perhaps it may not have been for many of the other RGLP members. 

The activity we did where we had to answer questions about each other without speaking to each other was yet another almost blatantly obvious lesson in cultural assumptions and stereotyping. It was viscerally uncomfortable for many of us, which is interesting considering the fact that we make assumptions about each other on a daily basis without necessarily being aware of it. It sparked a productive conversation that we all seemed invested in.

An Introduction to Global Leadership with Dr. Gama Perruci

Dr. Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Leadership Center at Marietta College, facilitated one of the most engaging, entertaining, and eye-opening lectures I've ever been a part of.

From the very start, we were parts of the complex puzzle of cultural competency that he was putting together. Dr. Perruci explained concepts using us as role-playing examples, which made the lessons more real.

Our simulation of a welcome ceremony on a small island made me think outside of the box and confront my cultural biases. This ritual, which we thought to be somewhat odd - and almost demeaning - in many ways, actually reflected ideals such as female empowerment and respect.

Dr. Perucci showed us our cultural biases and how they can "contaminate" our world view, thus holding us back from becoming true global citizens. While the lecture itself was incredibly informative, I found the lessons learned useful in every day interactions with my friends. I have many friends from different backgrounds and this lecture gave me a little more insight into why they may approach certain "norms" in the ways that they do. 

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