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

Profile

First-Year Fellow Mentor: Jennifer Chandler Hauge '82

The First-Year Fellows program is a unique opportunity for first-year students to engage meaningfully in public policy early in their Dartmouth careers. Each year, around 20 students are selected and placed in fellowships with Dartmouth alumni in Washington, D.C., who are willing to take on a significant mentoring role.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Chris Rowan

Chris Rowan Kouekem ’19 is from New York City, NY and graduated from Democracy Prep Charter School as the highest achieving scholar for Math and Civics. While at Democracy Prep, Chris participated in student government for all four of her high school years. Chris is fluent in French and worked as a teacher intern helping to build a curriculum for high school and middle school teachers that improves the quality of linguistic and cultural education for bilingual students.

As a First-Year Fellow, Chris worked at the DC Prep Charter School under the mentorship of Deborah Hamner ’99. Her primary responsibility was assisting the summer school teachers in preparing for the parent-teacher conference that took place at the end of the summer. The task required a lot of communication with staff and parents. The role afforded Chris many opportunities to put into practice the tips on effective communication and professionalism she and the other Fellows learned during Civic Skills Training in the spring.  

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Claire Rafson

Claire Rafson ’19 hails from Highland Park, Illinois, graduating from Highland Park High School.

Claire spent her First-Year Fellowship interning in the Chambers of Judge John Mott ’81 at the District of Columbia Superior Court. As a Judicial intern, she learned to prepare case briefs, benched memorandum, studied case law, and assisted the Law Clerk during a trial.

“Being able to watch some of DC’s best lawyers in their environment is something I will never forget,” says Claire. “Additionally, being able to ask Judge Mott questions along the way allowed me to understand the proceedings and really expand my knowledge beyond just reading and writing for other cases.”

Following her summer interning at the Superior Court, Claire spent the fall term off campus working as a Field Organizer for the Ohio Democratic Party.

At Dartmouth, Claire is studying History with a minor in Economics. She is a member of SHEBA Dance Troupe, an active participant in the Dartmouth Outing Club, and a student facilitator for the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors program.

After graduating, Claire plans to attend law school.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Ryan Spector

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Ryan Spector ’19 graduated Glenbrook North High School and continues to serve as Glenbrook North Debate Team’s assistant coach.

As a First-Year Fellow, Ryan was placed at the Congressional Research Service with alumnae Mentor, Mary Beth Nikiti ’96 in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division. During the 8-week experience, Ryan was tasked with research and analytic tasks and had the opportunity to work with multiple members of staff.  

His favorite element of the fellowship experience was living with the other students in the program. “Not only were they a support system, but it was incredible to share our experiences with each other,” says Ryan. “The sense of community we were able to construct—through group dinners, outings, and events—ranks as the single most rewarding component of First-Year Fellows.”  

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Allie Norris

Allie Norris ’19 comes from Grafton, Ohio and graduated from Magnificat High School Phi Beta Kappa.

At Dartmouth, Allie is pursuing a major in Government with a minor in Public Policy. She is a student leader at the Aquinas House, a managing editor at the Dartmouth Law Journal, and a First-Year Peer Mentor.

As a First-Year Fellow, Allie interned at the National Disability Institute, under the mentorship of Director Michael Morris. She wrote policy briefs, attended meetings on Capitol Hill, and completed a white paper on state-level financial education policy for people with disabilities.

“I was given a lot of meaningful work at NDI and was actually tasked with more responsibility than I had expected,” says Allie. Her first assignment was to research Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to combat poverty and write a brief on his plans as well as what outside policy groups thought. Poverty and disability measures are slated to be introduced this fall, and Allie’s report will most likely be published as a primer on the topic.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Erica Ng

Erica Ng ’19 comes from Seattle, WA and graduated from University Prep, where she was Student Body President and Captain of the Varsity Ultimate Frisbee team. She also participated in the National Honor and Spanish Honor Societies and earned multiple state level awards as a Mock Trial witness.

As an undergraduate, Erica is pursuing a major in Anthropology modified with Public Policy and a minor in Human Centered Design.

For her First-Year Fellowship, Erica was placed with Gabriela Garcia ’01 at the Center for Perinatal Advocacy, which strives to implement policy and coordinate programs that improve maternal and infant health outcomes in the Washington DC area.

“I am interested in the field of global health,” says Erica, “so my experience with maternal and infant health policies and direct patient interactions can be readily applied to my future academic and professional pursuits. I now know much more about the challenges facing maternal and infant health providers through my time working at the hospital and attending policy meetings with my mentor at March of Dimes and the DC Infant Mortality Review Committee.”

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Sarah Memon

Sarah Memon ’19 comes from Fort Worth, Texas and graduated from Fort Worth Country Day as a member of the Cum Laude Society.

As a First-Year Fellow, Sarah was mentored by Edward Rynne ’77 and interned with the Smithsonian Institution Office of Policy and Analysis whose mission is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Smithsonian Institution by providing timely and accurate information for decision-making.

For Sarah, the most rewarding part of her fellowship experience was completing a literature review for the first time and being given the task of authoring a report on her own.

“I feel a great sense of pride that a paper I solely wrote will be sent to a client,” says Sarah. She appreciated that the opportunity allowed her to experience the difference in writing a paper for a class and writing a paper for a client. “The knowledge I gained specifically from my findings will be very helpful to me in future endeavors.”

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Alisa White '17

This series introduces the 2016-2017 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.

Beyond Dartmouth, leadership can determine whether or not you make it out of the wilderness before dark or destroy a common resource. On my ENVS FSP this fall, we faced both of these situations: the latter while working with a community in rural Namibia. We spent three days in a community conservancy helping pick up trash along their riverbed and fielding community input for a waste management plan. We witnessed how limited leadership and lack of institutions for waste management led to degradation of the natural environment. In RLF, I hope to reflect on my leadership experiences to prepare myself to be a leader in the fields of sustainability and natural resource management.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Grant McArtor

Grant McArtor ’19 is from Boiling Springs, South Carolina and graduated high school at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In high school, Grant was a member the National Honor Society and the Cum Laude Society and lettered in varsity rowing. Additionally, Grant was a National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction.

As a student at Dartmouth, Grant intends to major in Economics and minor in Government.

For his First-Year Fellowship, Grant was placed with Jenny Chandler ’82 at the National Council of Nonprofits, which works with federal, state, and local governments to ensure that the needs of nonprofits are being adequately met in public policy. 

“I think my favorite part of the fellowship and the internship specifically was the knowledge that I had at the end of my internship contributed positively to the mission of my organization,” says Grant. “Whether it was through the articles I worked on or the plethora of ‘little things’ I did to help out, I was pleasantly surprised that I could make an impact, even though I had virtually no previous experience in this field of work.”

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Carter Sullivan ’17

This series introduces the 2016-2017 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.

While at Dartmouth, I have come to realize that there are multiple styles of leadership and that my methods can be just as effective as someone else’s if I use them correctly. I am most interested in a leader’s ability to get people to “buy in” to their ideas. It is always extremely impressive to observe a leader who can come up with an idea, present it effectively, and gain the support of the team who also believes in the idea. When a leader can accomplish this, projects are more sustainable as the people involved do not need to be constantly pressured to execute because in believing in the idea, they put the pressure on themselves. Not only is this ability a powerful leadership tool, it is also an extremely important tool for affecting change.

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