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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Alexandra Mahler-Haug: 2011 Winner of the Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship

Though she graduated from Dartmouth in June, Alexandra Mahler-Haug '11 has continued her engagement in both academics and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College as a 2011 winner of the Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship. The Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship allows Alexandra to continue to work on her Honors Thesis in Government with members of the Dartmouth faculty and ultimately, pursue publication.

“The opportunity to work towards achieving publication of my research through the Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship is a wonderful culmination of my involvement with the Rockefeller Center,” Alexandra said. “I am truly honored to have the chance to continue to work on my research and take it one step further.”

Alexandra’s thesis, entitled “Going Corporate: Investigating state use of Privatized Military Companies in the post-Cold War era”, was also the recipient of the Rockefeller Prize in International Relations for 2011.

She cites the active involvement of the faculty, coupled with significant institution support, as being critical to the success of her research so far. “The positive reception of my research from members of the Dartmouth Faculty has been greatly encouraging throughout the entirety of the thesis process,” Alexandra said, “and the support of the Rockefeller Center and Dartmouth College continues to be particularly invaluable, as I undertake further work on my thesis and pursue publication.”

Alexandra’s interest in military outsourcing and Privatized Military Companies began during her Sophomore year, when she took a class with Professor Bridget Coggins, who later became her primary thesis advisor. This interest continued through her Junior year and during Alexandra’s time abroad, when she studied at the London School of Economics and completed a research project on the post-Cold War evolution of the ‘market for force’, or the Privatized Military Company industry.

But Alexandra’s time with the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs as a Class of 1952 Intern during her Junior summer was particularly formative. Alexandra’s research, which quantitatively and qualitatively analyzes the outsourcing of security and military functions by states, was greatly informed and shaped by the professional experience that was made possible by the Class of 1952.

“Working for the Subcommittee opened my eyes and allowed me to experience first-hand some of the many complexities and challenges that are inherent with military contracting and outsourcing,” said Alexandra. “My internship provided me an invaluable base of knowledge that was the foundation for many of the ideas that shaped my thesis research during my Senior year—and the generous support given to me as a Class of 1952 Intern made that experience possible.”

The Rockefeller Center also provided a research grant to support Alexandra in her thesis research.

Alexandra does not foresee her involvement with the Rockefeller Center ending with the Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship. Rather, she said, “I like to think of the Fellowship as being yet another facet of my time as a ‘Rocky student.’ Once the Fellowship ends, I am confident that there will be yet another way for me to stay involved and engaged.”

As an undergraduate at Dartmouth, Alexandra was a Rockefeller Center First-Year Fellow and a Dickey Center War and Peace Fellow, and was involved with the Rockefeller Center's Policy Research Shop, Next America: Campus Initiative, and America Reads. Alexandra was also Captain of the Dartmouth Figure Skating Team, and competed as a member of the team throughout her four years at Dartmouth.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What Do Six Alumni in Congress Have to Say About their Dartmouth Experience and Public Service?

Today, students from the Public Policy 20 course "Contemporary Issues in American Politics and Public Policy" welcomed Senator Rob Portman ’78 (R-Ohio) for a guest lecture.  Portman is one of six alumni who are current members of the United States Congress.  These alums were recently interviewed by ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper '91 in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine

Leading Voices in Politics and Policy: Rob Portman

A fascinating glimpse into the lives of these Dartmouth public servants, we encourage you to review the entire article online or in the print magazine.  Below you can read a few of our favorite quotes that you will find only in the online edition.

We look forward to continuing to bring you exclusive looks into the lives of Dartmouth alumni who are active in politics, civic life, and public policy.  If you have suggestions for us to consider, please let us know in the comment section.

Rep. Michael Capuano ’73 (D-MA)
“Dartmouth made me realize the possibilities of life, made me realize that there are ways to make the world a better place to live in and helped me learn how to do it…It helped open my eyes. It gave me the impression that, committed, you can change the world.”
“I don’t know that if I had gone to a college in Boston at the time that I would’ve been able to see beyond what was effectively a conservative upbringing, that “it’s just all about me—go to a college, make money, be successful, move forward, if you can’t make it on your own, too bad.” Dartmouth opened my eyes, so I think Dartmouth therefore, in that case, was probably a miserable failure…Because I graduated more progressive than I ever thought that I would be.”

Sen. John Hoeven ’79 (R-ND)
“The diversity was tremendous to me, people from different places with different ideas and different talents and strengths. The other thing was the tremendous caliber of instruction. We had outstanding professors and small class sizes, so you really had a chance to learn adult problem-solving skills. I think Dartmouth did a remarkable job of preparing young people to go into challenging situations and decide what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it. And I think each person here tonight has talked about that a little bit in different ways. That may be Dartmouth’s greatest gift.”

Rep. Charlie Bass ’74 (R-NH)
“I pulled out a couple of yearbooks maybe two or three years ago and I looked at what I was when I came there and what I was when I left, and there was no comparison at all. I learned how to write, I learned how to communicate, and I learned a lot about dealing with other people, which has been with me ever since.” 
Rep. John Carney ’78 (D-DE)
“But Dartmouth opened up a whole world. I was 12 years Catholic school, you know, old Irish-Catholic upbringing. Dartmouth opened up worlds that I had never known about or experienced. I made great friends there and actually could go back to Delaware and get elected to Congress. Not to governor, but to Congress.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ’88 (D-NY)
“But what I loved about Dartmouth is it encouraged students to explore the world. Even in our song it says, “’round the girdled earth they roam,” and it’s all about us getting into the world and having an impact on the world, and I think that’s unique about Dartmouth. When I was looking at schools, that’s the reason I chose Dartmouth, because it encouraged more study abroad. I traveled a lot as a high school student to many countries, which is highly unusual. I wanted to continue that experience, because I learned so much about other cultures, other people, other priorities by traveling. It made me not only want to be part of this world, but also to be engaged in the issues of the day. And I think that fundamentally helped me move toward public service over the years.”

Sen. Rob Portman ’78 (R-OH)
“I got to know my professors. A lot of college kids just don’t get that opportunity because of big classes and their teachers doing a lot of research. I was an anthropology major and I knew all the professors.”
“It broadened my perspectives, but it also gave me just a lot of different experiences. I did go into private practice, the law, for about 10 years. But I always knew from the Dartmouth experience that public service was going to be in my future somewhere.”

Friday, July 15, 2011

Public Policy 20 Students Discuss Politics with Rudy Giuliani

The Former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, spoke with Dartmouth students today. Government Professor Deb Brooks is seen here with Mr. Giuliani at a discussion over lunch in the Class of 1930 Room here at The Rockefeller Center.

If you would like more information about the Leading Voices in Politics and Policy Summer Lecture Series, please visit our web site.