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

Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

“Leading Creative Collaboration” with Professor Peter Robbie

Professor Peter Robbie, an Associate Professor at Thayer, industrial designer, and design consultant, has been teaching design thinking at Dartmouth for almost 30 years. He encourages students to tackle complex problems in the world using an empathetic, human-centered approach. He believes that to solve these problems, we need interdisciplinary leaders who are innovative thinkers.

He led the Fellows in a session entitled, “Leading Creative Collaboration.” He began by defining “innovation,” which has now become a buzz word in the creative world, as the intentional implementation of the novel and useful. 

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Caroline Berens '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

I am particularly interested in how leaders' personalities translate to their leadership styles, especially introversion, because I consider myself a more quiet and introverted leader. When we think of leaders, we imagine outgoing, charismatic and authoritative extroverts with superb people skills who command attention; conversely, an "introverted leader" sounds almost oxymoronic.

"Effective Delegation: Who Wants the Dollar Bill?" with Alison Fragale '97

“Who wants it?” asked Alison Fragale ’97, as she held up a crisp dollar bill. For a split second, Washington looked out to silent room of Fellows. Then, Matthew Sindelar ’18 sprung from his seat and dived for the dollar bill.

But before he took the bill, Sindelar hesitated and asked, “can I really have it?”

Fragale emphatically nodded, and Sindelar returned to his seat with a grin and one dollar richer.

Fragale then prompted the room, asking why no one else made an effort for the dollar bill. Charlie Blatt ’18, sitting at the far side of the room, noted that there was virtually no possibility that she would reach Fragale before a student sitting at the front of the room. Another student added that it was only a dollar, not a stack of Benjamins. In essence, it wasn’t that the students were lazy or apathetic. As rational actors, students logically saw that minimal reward compounded with low probability for success and the social tackiness of grand public gestures for money made the dollar not worth the effort.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Emma Marsano '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

I’m most interested in the relationship between confidence and empowerment. Ample social science literature indicates that confident leaders’ faith in their own ideas inspires others to support them. What’s more, compliance with one leader’s vision can be an efficient way to run an organization. But a surplus of confidence can cause people in leadership roles to overlook opportunities for input from other sources.

In my own leadership experiences, I’ve struggled to balance the need for a clear vision with the desire to ask my collaborators for their input and empower them to help steer an organization. It can be difficult to request feedback without seeming to doubt one’s own ideas, but I’m also aware of the danger of shutting collaborators down by denying them the opportunity to become more involved.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Jessie Colin '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

How Leaders Use Storytelling and Exemplify Integrity

This week, I had the privilege of introducing Sadhana Hall, the Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, at our Rocky Leadership Fellows session. During my introduction, I told my peers that not only is Sadhana very accomplished, but she is also one of the most open and genuine people I’ve encountered during my life. Sadhana welcomes people into the deepest parts of her own life so willingly that it’s easy to feel connected and cared for and to want to share everything on your mind, as well.

The Importance of Understanding Your Own Leadership Strengths

On September 14th, Jay Davis ’90, the coordinator for the First Year Student Enrichment Program and the King Scholars Program, shared valuable words of wisdom with respect to the flexibility and thoughtful reflection necessary to create cohesive group environments with the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Davis spoke from a number of previous experiences working within a range of group and leadership setting, and engaging students in an interactive discussion on how our own leadership styles and tendencies affect how we are able to work with one another to achieve goals we collectively establish.

He began the session by having each student share with the group a characteristic they find essential to exemplary leadership. Students provided a range of attributes, from humility to constructive communication. He, then, had us consider a time we found another person’s leadership challenging, alluding to the idea that conflicting leadership styles can impede group cohesion and effectiveness.

Class of 2018 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, Daniel Propp, Caroline Berens, Jarrett Taylor 

Class of 2017 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

Front Row (left to right): Asaf Zilberfarb, Brendan Barth, Meghana Mishra, Taylor Ng, Morgan Sandhu, Sarah Han, Nicole Castillo, Kevin Donahoe, and Deep Singh 

2nd Row (left to right): Shivam Chadha, Mary Sieredzinski, Regan Plekenpol, Alisa White, Shaun Sengupta, Julia Marino, Priya Ramaiah, Kalie Marsicano, and Jonathan Busam

3rd Row (left to right): Carter Sullivan, Benjamin Rutan, Terence Hughes, Cedar Farwell, Alexander Chivers, Arun Ponshunmugam (withdrew), Chileta Dim, and Devyn Greenberg

Class of 2017 Public Policy Minors

The Rockefeller Center is proud to announce that twenty-nine members of the Class of 2017 have completed their degree requirements with a minor in public policy.

Intentionally flexible and broad in scope, a minor in public policy prepares students for both public and private sector careers in a variety of policy-related fields, such as health, energy, international relations, social justice, the domestic economy, poverty, gender issues, urban development, law, journalism, education, or the environment.

Ten of the Class of 2017 policy minor graduates were also First-Year Fellows and four were Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Most participated in the Policy Research Shop and had the opportunity to testify on their findings before New Hampshire and Vermont government officials.  

Brianna Ager, ECON


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