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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reflections from Rockefeller Leadership Fellow Luke Katler ’15, Foley House UGA

The Rockefeller Leadership Fellows (RLF) program strengthens the leadership abilities of seniors through workshops, discussion groups, personal reflection, and team-building exercises. Here, a Rockefeller Leadership Fellow reflects on the how lessons from the program have been applied to a life experience.

Nate Fick’s description of a great leader as one who exercises both moral and ethical authority has been a tremendously valuable lesson from the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program, and one that I have successfully applied to my own leadership style. I used this principle to more effectively carry out my role as the Undergraduate Advisor (UGA) of Foley House, a living cooperative in which residents maintain the house and cook for one another five nights each week.

As Foley House UGA, I have three main priorities in the following order of importance: to keep my residents safe, to ensure that the Foley community remains cohesive and thriving, and to fulfill my administrative duties as outlined by the UGA position. While the former two prerogatives comprise my moral authority as the leader of Foley House, the latter comprises my ethical authority.

Luke Katler '15 poses with his Foley House residents.

So how did Fick’s lesson inform my approach to leadership? Unfortunately, that question is unanswerable without admitting my initial irresponsibility in completing the requirements of the Foley House UGA position. I will follow this admission, however, by revealing my acceptance of constructive criticism and willingness to apply it toward personal growth. Not to worry, initial disappointment will quickly be curbed by what I hope will be a round of applause on my behalf.

First, allow me to explain how Fick’s explanation of ethical authority inspired me to improve my leadership as the head of Foley House. The administrative requirements for the UGA position are as follows: fill out “programming logs” within 24 hours of completing a programming event, participate in regular “coffee talks” with residents throughout the term in order to understand each resident as an individual, fill out a bi-weekly report detailing the operating state of the house and any pressing resident successes or problems. Come the end of week four in the fall, I had completed none of these stated responsibilities. That’s not to say I hadn’t planned programming events and met individually with residents, but I had simply not documented these events through the proper administrative channels. I had ignored my ethical responsibility.

Once my supervisor reminded me of these duties and gently threatened a warning on my UGA record, I kicked myself into high gear and documented every programming log, coffee talk and bi-weekly report that I had since ignored. Here came my ownership of what I would later understand to be ethical authority. Even though these administrative duties satisfied what I consider to be the least important of my UGA duties as outlined above, I realized after Fick’s session that a good leader embraces these responsibilities and completes them to the best of his or her ability regardless of their perceived importance, as they are indispensable in rounding out a leadership role.

I quickly realized that I had focused my leadership efforts on my moral authority to keep my residents safe and to keep the Foley community cohesive and thriving. I was proud to have done so. My residents were comfortable, participatory, and compatible. However, even though I excelled at the on-the-ground and interpersonal aspects of my job, I wasn’t performing the best leadership possible.

How could my residents be kept completely safe and comfortable if my supervisor could not effectively understand the inner workings of Foley House on account of my inability to practice both moral and ethical leadership? My supervisor’s lack of knowledge regarding Foley’s events, on account of my not documenting them, proved that these ethical responsibilities were more important than initially perceived. Until I satisfied them, my supervisor could not concertedly support my efforts toward keeping my residents safe and fostering community.

Since I began to document my successes as Foley House UGA, my supervisor has been able to better serve my needs and those of my residents. Thanks to the lessons I learned through RLF, my residents are able to better thrive at Foley House as I continually blend the moral authority of caring for their well-being with the ethical authority of documenting my efforts to do so.

-Written by Rockefeller Leadership Fellow Luke Katler '15. Katler is originally from south Florida, but he now considers Hanover home. Katler is a double major in History and Italian Studies with Theatre as the modifying department. He is the Artistic Director for the Dartmouth Rude Mechanicals, a member of multiple committees that promote safe behavior on campus, and participates regularly in Dartmouth’s Mainstage productions.

Monday, December 15, 2014

PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership Practicum's Winterim Trip to Northern Ireland with Ayesha Dholakia '15

This post is part of a series on the Global Policy Leadership Practicum through PBPL 85. Students reflect on their experiences as part the travel abroad portion of the course to Northern Ireland during the winter break.
PBPL 85 students pose for a group photo during a weekend of adventure.

This weekend has been full of adventuring. On Saturday, we woke up bright and early to take a bus to Derry/Londonderry/Stroke City. For our first stop, we explored the Museum of Free Derry where we took in powerful video footage, letters, and other information about Bloody Sunday. Next we grabbed lunch followed by a walking tour. Led by an ex-prisoner, the tour took us around the city to see such sights as the Bogside Murals. It slightly warmer out than the Siberia-esque weather we experienced the day before. After the tour, we  jumped on the bus back, grabbed dinner, and went to work, rejuvenated after the previous night’s game night and work ceasefire.

PBPL 85 students hike down to the Irish coast in brisk weather.

The plan for Sunday was a bus tour to North Antrim. Little did we know that it really was a tour of buses, which we realized when they shifted us from one bus to another after only 17 seconds of driving. We were happy to end up with a tour guide who told us about anything and everything along our two hour scenic drive along the coastline. We took an hour-long break to cross the rope bridge, where David B. had an unfortunate run-in with some sheep with three attacks in under ten minutes.

PBPL 85 students cross a rope bridge along the Irish coast.

In the midst of seeing castles, a rainbow, and learning about glens, we received a short break from the tour guide's lectures right before lunch. We almost had a crisis while dining when we found out that the restaurant didn’t accept credit cards, but Professor Wheelan thankfully saved the day by making a one mile dash to the ATM. The tour guide hadn’t quite made it clear when we were supposed to get back on the bus, so it was quite the lucky break that we made it back in time.

PBPL 85 students pose for a photo after taking in some remarkable Irish sights.

Then we were on to Giant’s Causeway, which was an amazing sight despite the dagger-like raindrops we encountered on the walk down. Nick and Noah had the whistle blown on them a few times for running up some mountains, but we made it out in one piece and headed back to a WiFi-less guesthouse, an inconvenience which rendered us fairly incapacitated for the remainder of the evening.

-Written by Ayesha Dholakia '15, Global Policy Leadership Practicum Fall Term 2014 Participant 

PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership Practicum's Winterim Trip to Northern Ireland with Summer Modelfino '15

This post is part of a series on the Global Policy Leadership Practicum through PBPL 85. Students reflect on their experiences as part the travel abroad portion of the course to Northern Ireland during the winter break.

Today was our first full day in Belfast, and the ladies at Pearl Court Guesthouse prepared a fantastic breakfast. In the morning, our classmate Noah stormed out of the guesthose, suitcase in hand, without a word. We had to carry on without him, since we had two speakers lined up and needed to prepare our questions. It turns out he was just dropping off his laundry, which made the rest of us feel a little silly. With the group together, minus one, it was go-time. I would also like to recognize Ester for her transatlantic adventure to interview with monkeys.

In true historian fashion, our first speaker, Henry Patterson, shared some of his knowledge with us about the UUP. Thank you, Mr. Patterson! Next on the agenda was Avila Kilmurray, one of the founders of the Women's Coalition Party. She gave us some insight on community-based projects and her work over the last 20 years.

We also all found ourselves at Stormont, the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly, when British Prime Minister David Cameron and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny arrived for talks on issues that were not resolved in the 1998 Good Friday Accords. Alas, talks broke down today, but it wasn't our fault!

PBPL 85 students in front of Belfast's murals.

Later we went on a three hour walking tour of Belfast to see the murals. Given the temperature, it felt like we could have been in Siberia. Luckily the murals were a distraction from the cold, and with ex-prisoners as our guides, we received a different take on life in Belfast. Soon it started raining, so we decided to head inside and hit the gym at the end of our tour. Inside we chatted with some former unionist paramilitaries and traded workout tips. We tried to hail a cab, but apparently this is illegal in Belfast, so instead we decided to go to a pub.

PBPL 85 students experiencing Ireland's winter weather.

We finally made our way home to find Noah on our doorstep. While Noah may be fastidious about his laundry, he apparently can't keep track of a room key to save his life. Ayesha had some bobby pins that helped let him in. We're planning to have dinner and maybe go bowling before we head to bed. It's been a long day.

-Written by Summer Modelfino '15, Global Policy Leadership Practicum Fall Term 2014 Participant

Friday, December 12, 2014

PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership Practicum's Winterim Trip to Northern Ireland with Noah Reichblum '15

This post is part of a series on the Global Policy Leadership Practicum through PBPL 85. Students reflect on their experiences as part the travel abroad portion of the course to Northern Ireland during the winter break.

PBPL 85 students at Boston College's Dublin campus.

Today was filled meetings, pints of Guinness, and a riveting contemporary take on partition in Northern Ireland. Our morning started bright and early, with a classic Irish breakfast of sausages, eggs, and a whole lot of coffee. The group then trumped off to Boston College's campus in Dublin. We learned about Gerry Adams' past, the current Boston College Controversy, and a whole lot more.

After two hours of meetings, the group walked to the Guinness Factory for a tour and free pint, some of us rather excitedly. After learning how to taste and pour a Guinness, the group enjoyed a free pint on the 7th floor of Guinness' factory.

After a lunch where British citizen Nick taught the team how to play "God Save the Queen," the 15 of us walked back to St. Stephens' Green for two more meetings. After learning about Irish history, we met the head of the Irish Royal Academy. A discussion on education reform followed, and a short tour of the building concluded our formal agenda for the day. As dusk fell, the group made our way to dinner in the heart of the shopping district. We debated the best movies of our generation and traded jokes. The group then settled down for a long night of writing and editing our memo (stay tuned for more). All in all, a great day.

-Written by Noah Reichblum '15, Global Policy Leadership Practicum Fall Term 2014 Participant

Internship Opportunity: Office of "William Dartmouth," 10th Earl of Dartmouth, Member of the European Parliament

This is an unpaid internship opportunity from outside the Rockefeller Center. The Rockefeller Center posts such opportunities in an effort to help students find, fund, and prepare for a leave-term unpaid internship experience in public policy or a social sciences related area. For more information about this program please click here.

Experience the day to day operation of a MEP's office in the European Parliament with involvement in European Union legislation, the work of the parliament, to drafting speeches and press releases. An important task will be research, particularly relating to the International Trade Committee of which William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth, is a Member and also leads as Coordinator for his political Group.

The European Parliament building in Strasbourg

Successful applicants will have proven research, IT and organizational skills. Knowledge of French would be helpful but it is not essential.

Applicants must be in possession of a valid permit to stay in the European Union for the duration of the traineeship if they are not citizens of the EU.

William Legge, commonly known as William Dartmouth, is the 10th Earl of Dartmouth and a descendant of the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, the man for whom Dartmouth College is named.

Place of Work: European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg

Duration of Internship: 3 Months (possible prolongation of internship)

Start Date: Middle or End of January, 2015.

Stipend: Approximately 1,200 euros/month

Deadline: December 16th (at 12 noon EST), 2014

Application Instructions: Email cover letter and resume to: