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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

VT Law School Professor to Discuss "The Role of Law in International Human Rights Advocacy" on 11/16 at 4:30 PM

Survivors of torture seeking to hold a former head of state accountable; an investigation into deaths in police custody; a community surrounded by a toxic soup of chemical contaminants turning to international organizations for help; efforts to strengthen U.N. action on the rights of LGBT people. What role has international law played in these and other human rights initiatives? What have been some of the limits of this law? Professor Stephanie Farrior will share observations from more than 25 years of international human rights advocacy.
  • International law in action: Law and rights in Yemen / A death penalty dialogue in Malawi / Using “soft law” in India / The Pinochet Case
  • Invoking international standards in the U.S.: Domestic violence / Environmental justice
  • Challenges for advocates: Competing claims regarding religion, culture and tradition / Non-state actors and the Westphalian myth
Stephanie Farrior is Professor of Law and Director of International and Comparative Law Programs at Vermont Law School. She has taught international law courses at Oxford, George Washington, American, and Pennsylvania State universities, and was a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown and Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School.

Professor Farrior is former Legal Director and general counsel of Amnesty International (AI), based at its International Secretariat in London. She oversaw AI's legal work during the Pinochet extradition hearings, met with then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and worked closely with numerous United Nations human rights bodies.

Her research focuses on issues of discrimination, state responsibility for human rights abuses by non-state actors, and the work of international human rights monitoring bodies. Her work has been published in Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley law journals, and been cited by several UN experts in their reports to the United Nations.

We hope to see you on November 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm in Room 028, Silsby Hall, Dartmouth College for "The Role of Law in International Human Rights Advocacy" with Stephanie Farrior.  This program is the Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecture, and is co-sponsored by the Dartmouth Legal Studies Faculty Group and the Dartmouth Lawyers Association.

Friday, November 11, 2011

James Wright Lecture in honor of Veterans Day - 4:30 pm on Friday, 11/11/11

Remembering Those “who have borne the battle”
Abraham Lincoln stressed our nation's obligation to all "who have borne the battle." It has been historically, and continues to be today, an obligation unevenly met. The historic understandings Americans have had of their wars, the narrative of the romanticized citizen soldier, the range of perceptions of the nature and result of the conflicts, the abstracting of sacrifice and even heroism, these finally influence the view of those who have fought. Our current wars and our current warriors do not fit easily into the dominant narrative of the American way of war.  This has consequences for those who are fighting these wars.
  • Who has fought in America’s wars?
  • How have Americans viewed and remembered those who have fought in the country’s wars?
  • How do veterans of our current wars fit into the dominant historical narrative?
Join us on November 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm in Room 3, Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth for the Rockefeller Center public program: 

with guest speaker – James Wright
President Emeritus and Eleazar Wheelock Professor of History,
Dartmouth College

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MLDP Recap: Presentation Design for the User Experience

Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information, about MLDP, click here.

This special workshop was hosted by the Rockefeller Center’s Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) and Voxmasters student discussion group. The speaker was Dave Uejio, who currently serves as Special Assistant to the Director in the Office of Human Resources. Dave presented on some of the effective ways to use PowerPoint presentations in public speaking.

Dave focused on details that would not detract away from the speaker but would give them a more sharper focus from the audience. Dave pointed out the importance of white space on presentation slides, choices of font, color scheme, graph structure, etc., and Dave not only simply spoke about these ideas. His own presentation consisted of very few slides, a minimalistic-approach to content and graphic design, and his technique in relating and understanding his intended audience. Dave provided various narratives from his time at YGL Executive Board and past experiences.

At the conclusion of Dave’s lecture, he had participating students take out examples of PowerPoints that were noteworthy for their poor presentation, pacing, and general failure to captivate the audience. Through these discussions, students were able to critically analyze their own presentations for future reference. Dave provided students with concrete examples and information for effective PowerPoint presentations.
-Edgar Sandoval ‘14

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MLDP Recap: The Power of Strategic Planning and Systems Thinking

Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information, about MLDP, click here.

This week, the MLDP program welcomed Marty Jacobs. Ms. Jacobs is the President of Systems In Sync, a firm that specializes in strategic planning for corporations and other organized groups. Ms. Jacobs introduced the group to a variety of activities designed to promote how to facilitate more effective group planning. In one example, she challenged us to complete an activity (keep a balloon from touching the floor within our small groups) and then introduced a new challenge variable (another balloon was added) to the group as the activity progressed. At the end of the activity, Ms. Jacobs stressed how important it is for groups to be resilient and to plan for and adapt to possible variables that could alter a project.

Ms. Jacobs also introduced a new three-pronged test she thinks any group should use before they start to address a problem. First, she said it is necessary for a group to have a shared mission or a common belief as to “why we are here.” Without that, a group cannot possibly be cohesive enough to move to the other two prongs of the test. She said that a group needs a common vision.  She told how so many groups lack this second part of the test and as a result loses their ability to work as a group or even work counter-intuitively over the course of the project. Finally, she said it is necessary for groups to have common values. She believes this is a frequently overlooked requirement but just as critical as the other two parts of the test.

Ms. Jacobs finished the night by citing examples of case studies of various strategic plans she has worked on in the past and then she challenged the MLDP group to use strategic planning strategies to address issues on campus and in their own lives.

-Tyler Kuhn '14

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MLDP Recap: Excel Training Session

Read a student's account of a past session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information, about MLDP, click here. This session is now offered as part of Rocky Special Ops.  Learn more and sign up for the Spring 2012 session here.

On Sunday, November November 6th, MLDP held a special optional session focusing on Excel training. Drawing on their workplace use of Excel, Lindsay Blodgett ’10 and Tom DeFalco ’09, current Associates at the Parthenon Group, taught session attendees the fundamentals of the program. Mr. DeFalco and Ms. Blodgett introduced Excel theory and skills the group, using a comprehensive, pre-prepared Excel workbook as a step-by-step guide to Excel functionality, with integrated practice examples. They highlighted the most pragmatic uses of certain Excel capabilities in a professional setting.
Students began by learning instrumental Excel skills such as spreadsheet navigation, and gradually moved through more advanced concepts, such as writing mathematical and logical formulae, formatting, and database analysis. Mr. DeFalco and Ms. Blodgett shared examples of spreadsheets they have created in their professional roles, and demonstrated the Excel functionalities on which they most heavily rely.
The two presenters noted that the training that students were receiving was very similar to a three-work course that they and many other employees are given in the beginning of their job training. They concluded the session by encouraging students that the best way to become proficient at Excel was simply to practice, and sharing that even they had a hard learning curve with their first on-the-job experiences with Excel. Nonetheless, students left with a greater understanding of the program that they would most likely use in their future employment.
-William Lowry ‘13

Friday, November 4, 2011

NEW Winter 2012 Public Policy Course Now Available for Enrollment

It's time for Winter 2012 course selection!  We are happy to announce a brand new offering: 

PBPL 52: Leadership in Political Institutions
Professor Linda Fowler, 12W:2A
This course explores how political leaders in the U.S. reconcile the constraints of public office with the opportunities to make major changes in society. Drawing from diverse materials on the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, the course explores the following questions: How does leadership differ in the public and private spheres? What personal skills and attributes affect the success or failure of leaders of political institutions? What criteria do/should citizens apply to public leaders? How do political context and historical contingency shape institutional leadership? Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Also Available:

PBPL 48: Policy Analysis and Local Governance
Professor Andrew Samwick, 12W: 10A
This course analyzes the public policy challenges faced by local communities and serves as a gateway to the Rockefeller Center's Policy Research Shop. Particular emphasis will be placed on the problems of urban areas, including education, crime, poverty, economic development, housing, and transportation. Throughout the course, students will use both New Hampshire and Vermont to study how specific communities have attempted to address these challenges. The course examines the roles of various actors--citizens, non-profits, and government agencies at all levels--in effecting positive change in local public policy outcomes. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

PBPL 84.2: Health Policy Reform
Professor Ellen Meara, 12W: 10A
The goal of the course is to analyze likely strengths and weaknesses of U.S. health reform to address three major challenges in the health care system: access, cost, and quality of health care. To do this, students will study key elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted in March, 2010, considering how it extends or differs from prior health policies to address enduring problems in health care. In addition to readings, class discussion and in-class exercises (debates and policy simulations), course work will incorporate brief exercises designed to introduce students to commonly used sources of health data, and analytical approaches. Students will explore one aspect of health reform in detail, preparing and presenting a short research project on an approved topic. Prerequisites - at least one of the following: Public Policy 5, Public Policy 26, or Sociology 28. Government 10, Economics 10 or similar course is helpful.
Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall 2011 Ettiquette Dinner: "Shine While You Dine"

Robert Shutt was the guest speaker at last night's etiquette dinner. The etiquette dinner focused on the suggested guidelines surrounding business and network events in a dining setting. Shutt's presentation was a hands-on approach to etiquette learning. He went beyond simply telling us the guidelines and having us abide by those rules.  The dinner was set up in such a way that as we walked in we began what was called the networking event. Here, Shutt gave those present the key to successfully navigate the period of "meet and greet" that precedes a business dinner. His pointers included where to place your nametag as well as how to hold your appetizer and drink while speaking to other guests. One of the most helpful tips in this section was Shutt's guideline on how to approach a conversation. He gave the group tips on the optimal size group to approach during a pre-dinner networking opportunity.

Throughout the course of the meal, Shutt illustrated etiquette guidelines and the historical meaning behind many of them. He gave us the details behind napkin use and its relation to centuries old social etiquette. Norms such as table dismissal, passing of items on the table, ordering etiquette as well as the tricky use of utensils were discussed in detail. Particularly important in Shutt’s presentation was the elements of table discussion. Shutt stressed the importance of focusing on networking and conversation than the food placed in front of you. This meant not eating too fast which could signal that you have not engaged in much conversation throughout the meal. Shutt’s take away invaluable message was to “shine while you dine!”

-Rashelle James '14

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

MLDP Recap: Problem Solving, Decision Making and Negotiation

Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information, about MLDP, click here.

In this session we worked with Professor John Garvey of the Daniel Webster Honors Scholar Program. Professor Garvey typically teaches courses that provide rigorous preparation for the Bar Exam and involve active learning of negotiation and problem solving techniques. Garvey applied this knowledge to our session by mixing lecture components, group activities, and appropriate clips from movies.

Garvey began the session by describing how the three topics – problem solving, decision making, and negotiation - relate to each other. Problems can be solved individually or by groups, but those involving groups usually require some negotiations. Decisions are always a part of rectifying any issues. Garvey defined negotiation as multiple parties seeking “agreement when some interests are shared and some are opposed.” If all interests are shared, then no negotiation is necessary, but if there is no overlap of interests, then negotiation will not be productive, as the sides do not have an incentive to cooperate.

Professor Garvey presented many different styles of negotiation to us. These include the ‘hardball’ style, threatening, and joint problem-solving. To emphasize this, he played a clip from True Grit that displayed classic ‘horse-trading.’ While it was insightful as far as the back and forth between parties, Garvey felt that the rapid exchange was unrealistic for the real world. In real negotiations it’s important to attempt to find common ground ‘breakthroughs,’ identify the other parties’ interests, and avoid becoming too emotional. While most negotiations work, it’s important to have a ‘walkaway’ point beforehand; otherwise, it’s easy to wind up with a bad deal.

A final exercise brought the session full circle. Professor Garvey had us split into small groups to attempt to solve a problem we had. Each student presented a problem from their perspective, the opposing parties’ perspective, and finally a neutral one by physically changing positions. This helped us see the different opinions and apply this knowledge to resolving the conflict. As most negotiations will involve people with whom you’re in some kind of relationship, its’ important to step into their shoes and work together.

-Brandon DeBot '14