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

Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

RLF Recap: Personality Assessments with Professor Sargent

During the 2019 Fall Retreat, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows had the opportunity to hear from Jennifer Sargent, a Visiting Associate Professor of Writing at Dartmouth College. Professor Sargent’s session revolved around using our individual strengths for effective professional communication. In order to better understand our own strengths and natural communication styles, all students took the MBTI Assessment, or Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment, to get a sense of our differing personalities, decision-making preferences, and general approaches to life. We used this information to explore our communication strengths, and the areas where we typically fall short. We also learned how best to communicate with people of different MBTI types, a highly useful skill in future workplaces that will surely be diverse. More specifically, we learned how to communicate to ensure others can listen to us best and we practiced techniques for delivering information effectively. 

RLF Recap: Present Moment, Wonderful Moment

On October 24, the 2019-2020 cohort of Rockefeller Leadership Fellows welcomed The Rev. Dr. Nancy Vogele ’85 in an evening session titled “Naked Leadership.” Vogele currently serves as Rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Goffstown, NH, continuing her 20 year-long history of commitment to Episcopal parish ministry. She was also previously the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life at the William Jewett Tucker Center at Dartmouth College. Vogele prides herself on building bridges with others, and combines her passions for the religious professions and social justice through spiritual leadership and strategic program development. 

RLF Recap: “Facilitative Leadership”

During the Fall Retreat, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows enjoyed hearing from Jay Davis ’90 and learning about distinct styles for working in groups. Jay Davis’ 90 is an inspiring role model for many Dartmouth students – he directs the First Year Student Enrichment Program and the King Scholar Program, helping first-generation students and global student leaders transition and thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. Jay Davis has devoted his career to education; his previous work includes founding the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) for low-income high school students from under-resourced schools, and teaching in the Secondary Teacher Education Program for the Dartmouth Department of Education. 

RLF Recap: "Leadership Paradigm: The Good and The Bad"

Dr. Lowell ''Chris'' Matthews embodies what it means to be an effective leader and an engaged global citizen. As an associate professor of Global Business and Leadership at Southern New Hampshire University, Dr. Matthews brought an academic research perspective on what it means to be an effective leader. More importantly, Dr. Matthews has a fascinating life story and well-developed trajectory as a leader.

On September 26, Dr. Matthews presented "Leadership Paradigm: The Good and The Bad." Through the session, we learned what leadership means and how to become a leader. He used a storytelling method to describe his journey as a leader and how he handled obstacles along the way. Dr. Matthews emphasized the importance of making the most of every situation. He grew up on a pig farm in Tennessee and was the first in his family to attend college. Dr. Matthews made deliberate choices to take risks and grow, both as a person and as a leader. Whether it was moving to Japan, going onstage at a concert, or pursuing an academic career at Southern New Hampshire University, Dr. Matthews consistently challenged himself and grew as a leader.

RLF Recap: "Developing Identities and Capacity to Engage in Leadership for Social Justice"

On October 11, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows had the privilege of participating in a workshop entitled "Developing Identities and Capacity to Engage in Leadership for Social Justice" with Dr. Kerry L. Priest. Dr. Priest has her PhD and is an Associate Professor in the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University. She focuses on how to combine critical perspectives and engaged methods of practice in order to foster conditions for students to exercise leadership, as well as to contribute scholarship that progresses the field of leadership education. Dr. Priest explores the overlaps between leadership development and community-engaged teaching and learning in higher education, specifically through lines of inquiry around leadership identity, leadership educator identity, and leadership educational practices. 

RLF Recap: "The Art of Difficult Conversations"

Dr. Roshini Pinto-Powell is the Associate Dean of Admissions and the current course co-director for OnDoctoring and Geriatrics and Ambulatory Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. She is also a passionate teacher and mentor to students, residents, and junior faculty. 

Dr. Roshini Pinto-Powell led the RLF session entitled, "The Art of Difficult Conversations." The topic of difficult conversations was the core principle tackled in the Fellows' summer reading texts. She began her talk by coining the concept of the fine 'art' of communication as central to handling difficult conversations efficiently. She stressed that the skill of effective communication guides leaders to do and say the right things in the right way. Dr. Pinto-Powell also broached the following crucial traits of true leadership: integrity, authenticity, listening, and reflection. 

RLF Recap: "Designing Your Life"

After two packed days, Eugene Korsunskiy’s session “Designing Your Life,” wrapped up the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Fall Retreat. 

Eugene Korsunskiy is currently a professor of Design Thinking here at Dartmouth College, where he teaches ENGS 12 (Design Thinking) and the Senior Design Challenge, a two-term course. Before Dartmouth, he was the Senior Coordinator of Design Initiatives at the University of Vermont, where he taught similar classes, including “Design Thinking” and “Design Your Life.” Throughout his career, he has been a speaker at several TEDx events and the Aspen Ideas Festival and has received a Fast Company Innovation by Design Award. He graduated from Williams College with a BA in Art & Art History and from Stanford University, where he received a MFA in Design.

In this interactive, hands-on workshop, Fellows were led through three main activities to learn how to apply design thinking principles into everyday life. 

RLF Recap: “Telling Your Story"

At the annual Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Fall Retreat, Luke Katler ’15 spoke to 25 Rocky Fellows about “Telling Your Story: Connecting to Others Through Personal Narrative and Vulnerability.” Katler has done theater all his life, and currently works as an assistant producer for Scott Rudin, known as one of Broadway’s most prolific producers, while concurrently producing his own projects.

He worked as a theatre producing associate for the multi-Tony-winning producer Barbara Whitman and Broadway agent Susan Weaving. With Deby Xiadani ’15 and Alec Ring ’15, Katler co-produces and co-hosts a parody cooking show called Good Cooks. At Dartmouth, he studied American History and Theatre and worked a 10-month stint as a teaching assistant for the Italian Department’s foreign study programs.  

Through theatric performance techniques and improv, Katler urged Fellows to utilize public speaking techniques and weave strategic vulnerability into their individual narratives such that it allows them to find common ground with their audience. Fellows also explored how to wield their story to benefit their personal brand. 

RLF Recap: "Leading in a Noisy World"

Sarah-Marie Hopf’s session entitled "Leading in a Noisy World: How Intentional Solitude Can Help You Be An Effective and Resilient Leader" necessitated self-reflection about our own understandings of and relationship with solitude. 

Sarah-Marie Hopf is a graduate of the College from the class of 2013. While at Dartmouth, she participated in the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program and graduated with a BA with Honors in Anthropology modified with Economics and Development Studies. In her professional career, Hopf is deeply invested in the practices of mindfulness and meditation. 

She is currently part of Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s 2-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, certified through UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and the Awareness Training Institute. Hopf is also an experience designer, integral coach, and social innovation strategist. She founded Thriving in a Noisy World which seeks to assist leaders in developing their skills in mindfulness and resilience in our 21st century world. 

Class of 2019 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

Front Row (left to right): Rajiv Ramaiah, Maria Jose Auil, Charlotte Blatt, Samuel Colello, Abhilasha Gokulan, Alyssa Heinze, Kristen Virkler, Dale Li, Raunak Bhojwani

2nd Row (left to right): Gricelda Ramos, Christopher Huberty, Lucia Pierson, Jonathan Chu, Emma Marsano, Carolyn McShea, Jessica Colin, Arati Gangadharan, Zoe Snow, Kaina Chen

3rd Row (left to right): Matthew Sindelar, Akanksha Wasan, Marley Peters, Julian Marcu, Caroline Berens, Jarrett Taylor 

*Fellows not pictured: Daniel Propp


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