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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Nikki Sachdeva '15

This ongoing series introduces the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Rockefeller Leadership Fellows (RLF) program provides fellows with resources in leadership theories and practical skills. Selected their Junior Spring, these Seniors take part in the workshops, dinner discussions, and team-building exercises as they gain a better understanding of the qualities and responsibilities necessary for leaders and successful leadership styles. Throughout the program, fellows learn from the insight and experience of distinguished guests as well as from each other.

Photo by Thanh V. Nguyen

Nikki Sachdeva '15 is an International Baccalaureate graduate of Plano East Senior High in Plano, Texas where she served as captain of the Speech and Debate team. An avid debater, she was nationally recognized for her achievements in International Extemporaneous Speaking and Public Forum Debate. Sachdeva was a National Merit Commended Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, and she earned her First Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. At Dartmouth, Sachdeva is majoring in Government and minoring in Public Policy and Art History. She is co-editor of Mouth, a member of Dartmouth Roots, a Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant, a Link Up Peer Mentor, former Treasurer of Panhellenic Council, and former Internal Co-President of GlobeMed. She was selected as a member of Great Issues Scholars and the Leadership Discovery Program as well as The Rockefeller Center's Management and Leadership Discovery Program, Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, and Civic Skills Training. After graduation, Sachdeva hopes to pursue a career in social enterprise.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Sara Peterson '15

This ongoing series introduces the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Rockefeller Leadership Fellows (RLF) program provides fellows with resources in leadership theories and practical skills. Selected their Junior Spring, these Seniors take part in the workshops, dinner discussions, and team-building exercises as they gain a better understanding of the qualities and responsibilities necessary for leaders and successful leadership styles. Throughout the program, fellows learn from the insight and experience of distinguished guests as well as from each other.

Photo by Courtney Cania

Sara Peterson '15 graduated from Lebanon High School in Lebanon, New Hampshire as salutatorian and a National Merit Scholar finalist. She was a tri-sport captain and received multiple all-state awards for excellence in lacrosse and basketball. Peterson has continued her athletic endeavors at Dartmouth, walking onto the varsity crew team and competing as part of that team for her freshman year and sophomore fall. Since leaving the crew team, Peterson has stayed involved with athletics by chairing the opening ceremonies and awards ceremonies for the Upper Valley Winter Olympics. She is on the executive boards of Mediation at Dartmouth and Dartmouth on Purpose and is an Undergraduate Advisor on campus.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mentor Recognition: Alex Kugajevsky '92

With this ongoing series, The Rockefeller Center recognizes the valuable contributions provide by its alumni mentors to participants in the First-Year Fellows program. The First-Year Fellows Program provides students with opportunities to meaningfully engage in public policy early in their Dartmouth career. Students are placed in fellowships with Dartmouth alumni in Washington, DC, serving in policy positions where the supervisor is willing to take on a significant mentor role. Today, we recognize mentor Alex Kugajevsky '92 in addition to the First-Year Fellow's supervisor, David Schopler.
 
Mentor Alex Kugajevsky '92

“Our company, Neptune, is designed to operate at the intersection of government and industry, and we believe we have a unique perspective on the changing landscape around highly regulated industries. The First-Year Fellows program offers a wonderful opportunity to bring in bright, capable thinkers and doers to stretch our organization both intellectually and culturally. As our policy and programmatic research and analysis represents the intellectual engine of our enterprise, we put a priority on our daily thinking to ensure we maintain the best understanding of the policy and budgetary environment. So, as much as we look forward to sharing our experiences and perspectives on public policy, leadership, and service with an up-and-coming public policy leader, we are also excited about the infusion of energy, perspective, and thought he will bring to Neptune, helping us to grow and adapt as well.” --Mentor Alex Kugajevsky '92 and First-Year Fellow Supervisor David Schopler   

 First-Year Fellow Supervisor David Schopler

Originally from Washington, DC, Alex Kugajevsky '92 is a Managing Partner at Neptune, a boutique research and advisory firm. Before joining Neptune, Kugajevsky was a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee and staff director for the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee. Previously, he served in the US Army with the majority of his service as a Special Forces officer. He also has experience in angel investing and strategic advisory projects. Kugajevsky double majored in Economics and Psychology at Dartmouth and earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. This summer, Kugajevsky is serving as a mentor to Kevin Zhang '17 through the First-Year Fellows program.

David Schopler, from Chapel Hill, NC, served in the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer after graduating from Brown University and later returned to the Pacific and the Philippines as US Navy SEAL. He served several years in the special operations community, with numerous overseas deployments. His final assignment before joining Neptune was at the US Naval Academy, where he taught leadership. Schopler earned a BSc in Marine Biology from Brown University and a master's in Public Policy from Princeton University. This Summer, Schopler is serving as a supervisor to Kevn Zhang '17 through the First-Year Fellows program.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Mary Peng '15

This ongoing series introduces the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Rockefeller Leadership Fellows (RLF) program provides fellows with resources in leadership theories and practical skills. Selected their Junior Spring, these Seniors take part in the workshops, dinner discussions, and team-building exercises as they gain a better understanding of the qualities and responsibilities necessary for leaders and successful leadership styles. Throughout the program, fellows learn from the insight and experience of distinguished guests as well as from each other.

Photo by Courtney Cania

Mary Peng '15 is majoring in Economics and double minoring in French and Mathematics. In the summer following her first year at Dartmouth, Peng interned at the Project on Government Oversight as a Rockefeller Center First-Year Fellow, researching the Dodd Frank Act and revolving doors in the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Last summer, Peng interned at the Tuck School of Business as a Paganucci Fellow, during which she engaged in a consulting project for a social impact bond start-up. At Dartmouth, Peng co-founded the Dandelion Project, which connects Dartmouth volunteers to a school for children of migrant children in rural Beijing; co-directs the impact analysis team of Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering; and researches the economics of child labor as a Presidential Scholar. She is also the Chief Research Officer of Dartmouth Smart Women Securities. After Dartmouth, Peng intends to first work in finance or consulting and then possibly pursue a PhD in Economics.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rockefeller Center Senior Profile: David Eads '14

This past spring, The Rockefeller Center encouraged its outgoing seniors to reflect on their experiences at Dartmouth as part of a series called Rocky and Me.

"In essence, The Rockefeller Center and my public policy studies have helped center my identity in the upper valley, something that is fleeting but paramount to achieving a ‘true’ Dartmouth experience." --David Eads '14


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

When I came to Dartmouth, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. I knew that college was a time to grow, learn, mature, explore, and experience as many things as possible. However, that did not help me fill in those blank spaces called ‘major’ and ‘minor’. So I jumped right in, taking Public Policy 5: Introduction to Public Policy with Professor Shaiko during Winter Term of my freshman year. At this point, I was uncertain as to whether or not I wanted to declare a Public Policy minor, but I was certain that I enjoyed the curriculum and the learning process that existed within The Rockefeller Center. As an undergraduate, you are able to apply conceptual frameworks to real-world circumstances, something that I felt not many other disciplines fully committed to. After drawing on my experiences in several of the lower and mid-level public policy courses, I was able to earn an internship at a policy think-tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in my hometown of Austin, Texas.

After returning to campus, I was all-in for the Public Policy Minor and enrolled in Public Policy 45: Introduction to Public Policy Research, which allowed me to deepen my understanding of the public policy process as well integrate my studies with real-world events occurring in the immediate surroundings—namely the state governments of New Hampshire and Vermont. I also enrolled in the Management Leadership and Development Program (MLDP) through The Rockefeller Center where I was able to critically analyze, hone, practice, and develop a broad scope of professional and leadership skills—everything from eye contact and body language to presentation formats and appropriate attire.

At this point, I began working in the Policy Research Shop (PRS) and spent my time working on two main projects, one for the Executive Council of New Hampshire where we assessed the impact of the mortgage crisis and its subsequent settlement on New Hampshire’s mortgage holders (link) and one for the New Hampshire Commission on Innovation, Efficiency, and Transparency where we used a customer-relationship mapping (CRM) perspective on how the state government of New Hampshire interacts with its ‘customers’, its constituents (link). Through these projects, I developed several skills I likely never otherwise would have and gained exposure and experience to applied public policy research unlike any other research opportunity available to me as an undergraduate. However, most importantly, these projects strengthened the awareness of the issues and opportunities that existed in the community I decided to attend college in, a community which at first seemed half the world away from Austin, Texas. In essence, The Rockefeller Center and my public policy studies have helped center my identity in the upper valley, something that is fleeting but paramount to achieving a ‘true’ Dartmouth experience.

David Eads '14 graduated this past spring from Dartmouth. He attended Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas. Eads majored in Economics with concentrations in finance and international trade as well as minored in Public Policy with a focus on economic policy. On campus, Eads was involved with the Dartmouth Quantitative Finance Society, The Rockefeller Center’s Management Leadership Development Program, Beta Alpha Omega fraternity. He also served as the captain of the Dartmouth Men’s Club Basketball team. In his terms away from campus, Eads interned in a variety of different roles. He worked as a research analyst for the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, Texas, as a corporate development analyst for EverBank in Jacksonville, Florida, as an investment banking analyst for Croft & Bender in Atlanta, Georgia, and as a research analyst for Egon Zehnder in Dallas, Texas. Next year, Eads will be working in the financial development program for CareFusion, a medical device manufacturing company headquartered in San Diego, California.