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

Class of 2018

Notes from the Field: Caroline Berens '18

Caroline Berens '18 interned with the New York State Division of Human Rights for the Summer 2017 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This summer, I interned at the New York State Division of Human Rights in its regional office in Brooklyn. The Division’s primary role is investigating complaints of discrimination that New York citizens file regarding either employment or housing. The Brooklyn office only dealt with employment discrimination, which meant that I investigated complaints of people who said they had been discriminated against when applying for a job, while working at a job, or after being terminated from a job. The discrimination clause of the New York Human Rights Law covers various protected classes, such as gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Sam Colello '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.

Communication, compassion, and decision-making skills are three essential aspects of leadership. I believe that communication is the most important element of being a leader because it is the glue that brings everyone together. It ensures that all members of the group are on the same page and it facilitates the collaborative process of completing a task. I admire leaders who are great communicators because it makes the process of achieving a goal smooth and easy to follow. 

Notes from the Field: Ben Goodman '18

Ben Goodman '18 interned in the Washington, D.C. office of Senator Sherrod Brown for the Summer 2017 term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

“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.

Notes from the Field: Aaron Cheese '18

 Aaron Cheese '18 interned at the Manchester office of US Senator Maggie Hassan during the 2017 Summer Term with support from the Perkins Bass '34 Fund. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

Notes from the Field: Abhilasha Gokulan '18

Abhilasha Gokulan '18 interned with the Public Defenders Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) during the Summer 2017 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This summer, I worked at the Public Defenders Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). Established in the 1960s, PDS is federally funded and provides legal representation to indigent adults and juveniles facing incarceration in the District of Columbia. Although PDS has several divisions, I mainly worked in the Parole Division and the Trial Division. In the Parole Division, I worked with clients who violated a term of their Parole conditions and were usually incarcerated while awaiting a Final Revocation Hearing before the Parole Commission. In the Trial Division, PDS tends to represent those adults facing Felony 1 cases or the most serious types of case.

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.

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