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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recognizing the Rockefeller Center's Student Program Assistants: Gabby Bozarth '17

In this series, the Rockefeller Center features our Student Program Assistants, student staff who contribute significantly to the success of the Center’s events, programs, and activities.

It takes a team to make the Rockefeller Center’s Management & Leadership Development Program (MLDP) the success that it is, and Gabby Bozarth '17 is a part of that team. After completing MLDP, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP), and taking public policy classes, Bozarth joined the Rockefeller Center student staff as a Student Program Assistant for MLDP this Winter Term. MLDP turns students into citizen leaders through experiential teaching techniques and hands-on learning experiences that include weekly guest speakers. Each week, Bozarth helps facilitate the sessions by communicating with and scheduling dinner for participants as well as communicating with speakers about their upcoming lectures. Bozarth enjoys working with MLDP because she "loves being a part of an undergraduate program where [she] gets to meet students who are brilliant and who [she] can learn from." Working at the Rockefeller Center has allowed her to meet students that Bozarth says she would not have otherwise met and hear the great stories that they bring with them. She is constantly striving to ensure that MLDP students experience a similar level of enjoyment by creating surveys to garner their feedback on how to better the program.

Student Program Assistant Gabby Bozarth '17

Although Bozarth has worked various jobs on campus and participated in numerous extracurricular activities, she specifically enjoys working for the Rockefeller Center because of its uniqueness. Bozarth credits the Center's staff with making it a fun and welcoming place to work. "I love how personable the Rocky staff is. I can pop into one of their offices and just talk about anything. Rocky has been a place where I can chill and also feel like I’m being invested in," says Bozarth. She wants other students to also take part in the great opportunities at the Rockefeller Center, so she is helping create a social media campaign strategy to get more students involved. Despite the fact that Bozarth only just started working at Rocky this term, she displays great "enthusiasm and commitment to the program and the Rockefeller Center," according to Program Officer Robin Frye. “[Bozarth] is great at connecting with students participating in the program [and] she knows what needs to be done without being asked."

Gabby Bozarth, a member of the Class of 2017, is double majoring in Government and Women & Gender Studies Modified with African American Studies.

-Written by Crandalyn Jackson ’15, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership Practicum releases its Final Report

This post is part of a series on the Global Policy Leadership Practicum through PBPL 85.

The students of Public Policy 85 have delivered their final report, viewable below and downloadable here. This document endeavors to extrapolate lessons from Northern Ireland's “Troubles," a sectarian war between Irish Catholics and British Protestants, and to present policy recommendations on how to end conflict, construct peace accords, and build societal reconciliation. Professor Charlie Wheelan required that the recommendations, directed to a hypothetical group of senior government officials, be as specific and actionable as possible.

This memo, written collaboratively by the 12 students participating in the course, helped to synthesize the lessons learned from 10 weeks of study on campus and nearly three weeks of travel across Ireland. While the case of Northern Ireland is fairly unique, it yields valuable insights for those looking to solve other conflicts, especially those with a sectarian nature.

PBPL 85 students pictured here with Professor Charlie Wheelan and Bertie Ahern, Ireland’s former Taoiseach (Prime Minister)
Students: David Brooks, Ester Cross, Ayesha Dholakia, Sasha Dudding, Zachary Markovich, Summer Modelfino, Noah Reichblum, Kevin Schorr, Heather Szilagyi, Fiona Weeks, David Wylie, and Nicholas Zehner

The unique design of Public Policy 85 challenges students to find actionable recommendations and get past superficial answers. The students first 'did their homework,' then went and talked to academics, politicians, members of civil society, and a number of everyday people directly and indirectly involved in the peace process. "I think one of the things that characterize the policy students is they do appreciate the complexity. Certainly I do," says Professor Wheelan. "It's a remedy for academic disciplines that are often too neat and tidy. Students who are attracted to public policy tend to like that messiness."

Click here to read Dartmouth Now's article on the PBPL 85 trip to Ireland:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Public Program: Q&A with this year's Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecturer, Mark Tushnet

The William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Mark Tushnet is one of the leading theorists on constitutional law. He is the co-author of four casebooks and has written numerous books, including a two-volume work on the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall and, most recently, "Advanced Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law," "In the Balance: The Roberts Court and the Future of Constitutional Law," "Why the Constitution Matters," and "Weak Courts, Strong Rights: Judicial Review and Social Welfare Rights in Comparative Perspective." He was President of the Association of American Law Schools in 2003. In 2002, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Before his talk this month for The Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecture entitled “Constitutional Review and a General ‘Right to Liberty’,” Courtney Wong ’15 sat down with Mark Tushnet for an interview.

Professor Mark Tushnet

Courtney Wong (CW): You’ve taught law at several institutions of higher education. What is your favorite course to teach and why?

Mark Tushnet (MT): I think my favorite course is a course that we call at Harvard, “Legislation and Regulation.” It’s a course I actually started teaching at Georgetown more than 20 years ago. This course introduces students to the legal and policy issues associated with the modern administrative state. I begin by talking about why we have regulation and the different institutions we can use to implement regulation, and then the second half of the course focuses on statutory interpretation and modern administrative law. I just have a tremendous amount of fun doing it.

CW: What is your view of the Constitution’s place in our government?

MT: When I teach constitutional law, I actually think of myself as somebody trying to understand how the system works instead of someone who has views of how the system ought to be. My view is that the Constitution sets up the way we govern ourselves, and there are also a bunch of substantive rules about what the government is allowed and not allowed to do. When I do the analysis, I’m trying to figure out why the judges have said one thing or another, rather than trying to approve of the outcome.

CW: What do you think of the expanding role of the Constitution in recent decades?

MT: It’s not clear to me that the Constitution has actually played a larger role than it did in the past – it’s always a professional risk for someone like me to think that it is really important. However, with some obvious exceptions (like Bush vs. Gore, which basically decided a presidential election), most of what our government does is more or less “untouched” by serious constitutional question, so I don’t really think that the role of the Constitution has expanded.

CW: What are your thoughts about the ruling on United States v. Windsor and what it entails for the role of the Supreme Court in dictating policy? U.S. v. Windsor ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, defending the notion that the states reserve the authority to define marriage.

MT: For me, what Windsor illustrates is the way in which the Court can be responsive to social movements that have very little purchase at the time the justices were appointed. It’s perfectly sensible to say, for example, that Lyndon Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court in response to the Civil Rights Movement. But what makes Windsor interesting is that the Gay Rights Movement wasn’t as socially significant as it is now when Anthony Kennedy (who wrote the opinion) was appointed to the Court in ’88. It just didn’t have the same kind of social role back then than it came to have now, so it’s an interesting example of the fact that social movements can influence law. We should examine how that happens to judges who were appointed because of their relation to the movement. The way that justices are affected by cultural changes is a puzzle.

CW: What do you like to do in your spare time?

MT: I’m something of a workaholic. The primary answer is seeing our grandchildren each week. I think one of them is doomed to be a lawyer – for some reason when she’s tired, instead of asking for a bedtime story, she’ll ask to be told a copyright trademark case

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fall 2014 Rockefeller Senior Honors Thesis Grant Recipient Aditya Shah '15

The Rockefeller Center is proud to announce the Fall 2014 recipients of the Senior Honors Thesis Grants. This series highlights each recipient of a Rockefeller Senior Honors Thesis Grant for Fall 2014.

The Rockefeller Senior Honors Thesis Grants program provides grants of up to $1,000 for undergraduate students writing a senior honors thesis in the social sciences. For more information on deadlines and how to apply, see our website here.

Aditya Shah '15

Aditya Shah, a member of the Class of 2015, is double majoring in History and Economics. Shah's History senior honors thesis is concerned with the transnational musicological history of Indian Raga Music. He is an accomplished student, practitioner, and composer of Raga music himself and wishes to combine his musical interests with his passion for history both currently and in the future. Shah is deeply thankful for the support of the Rockefeller Center's Senior Honors Thesis Grant, without which his research would not have been possible. His advisor is Carl Estabrook.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fall 2014 Rockefeller Senior Honors Thesis Grant Recipient Rianna Starheim

The Rockefeller Center is proud to announce the Fall 2014 recipients of the Senior Honors Thesis Grants. This series highlights each recipient of a Rockefeller Senior Honors Thesis Grant for Fall 2014.

The Rockefeller Senior Honors Thesis Grants program provides grants of up to $1,000 for undergraduate students writing a senior honors thesis in the social sciences. For more information on deadlines and how to apply, see our website here.

Rianna Starheim

Rianna Pauline Starheim is a Middle Eastern Studies major from rural upstate New York. Her research explores the response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in emergency and conflict settings, focusing on SGBV interventions in the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan. Starheim has worked most recently against SGBV as the assistant to director of country at Hagar, in Kabul, Afghanistan. In this role, she created the first-ever human trafficking training for Afghan border police, was heavily involved in the creation of a UNHCR-supported working group on the psychosocial response to SGBV in Afghanistan, and worked directly with SGBV survivors in Kabul-area shelters to document their stories. Starheim first came into contact with human trafficking while studying Arabic in Morocco and has also worked as a fellow for Polaris Project, an organization that works against human trafficking. Starheim has lived and traveled across the globe, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Taiwan, Brazil, Europe, and Morocco. Her advisor is Lisa Baldez.