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

Rocky and Me

Rocky and Me: Estephanie Aquino ’18 Senior Reflection

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

When I was deciding between colleges during the spring of my senior year of high school I remember checking out Dartmouth’s website and instantly being drawn to the Rockefeller Center after reading about students only two years older than me being actively involved in the policy-making process, conducting research, and meeting legislators. As a student who was exposed to the intricacies of environmental policy and regulation through my high school’s Energy and Utilities Academy, I knew that I needed to enroll at an institution that could cater to my curiosity and would allow me to be directly involved in the policy-making process.

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: Abhilasha Gokulan ’18 Senior Reflection

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

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 and Me: Julia Decerega ’18 Senior Reflection

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

When I walked into Rocky for the first time during one of the many orientation week open houses I attended, I did not imagine at the time the impact the physical building, and the people in it, would ultimately have on my college experience. I had heard about Rocky when I visited Dartmouth during Dimensions, I even took a pretty brochure home at the time. It was comforting to know that Dartmouth had a center dedicated to the study of public policy and to helping students apply their knowledge in the real world, which is what I was looking for in college. This made my decision to choose Dartmouth feel like the right one at the time. 

Rocky and Me: Niamé Daffé '18 Senior Reflection

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

Rocky and Me: Kaina Chen ’18 Senior Reflection

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

Rocky and Me: Sam Libby ’17 Senior Reflection

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

The Rockefeller Center is the reason I came to Dartmouth College. During the 2012 election, I realized that the esoteric policy world in Washington affects me directly, and I wanted my college experience to prepare me to make a meaningful impact in that space. When I visited Dartmouth for the first time during Dimensions, I was choosing between Dartmouth and one other university, and while the open houses and barbeques that I attended were fun, they did not speak to my intellectual interests. On a whim, and at the urging of my mother, I attended the Rockefeller Center’s Open House, where I met Professor Ron Shaiko and learned about the public policy programs. I committed to Dartmouth immediately afterward in one of the best decisions of my life. Here's why I'm so grateful to Rocky for helping me make that fateful choice:

Rocky and Me: Deep Singh '17 Senior Reflection

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

Senior Celebration BBQ

The Rockefeller Center hosted its annual Senior Celebration BBQ on Tuesday, May 30th in honor of the Class of 2017. Festivities had to be moved indoors due to a rainy day, but the uncooperative weather did not dampen the lively conversation and fellowship over a delicious meal catered by Wicked Awesome BBQ.

Many seniors in attendance spent a significant portion of their time at Rocky over the past four years taking classes, participating in leadership programs, or working as student program assistants. Read their reflections about these experiences in our Rocky and Me series of website articles.

The event was organized by Program Officer Eric Janisch, who in addition to event planning, co-manages the Center’s Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) and the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors program (D-LAB).

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