Alumni Transition to Employees in Fellowship Program


Seven recent alumni began work last month as Presidential Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year. The fellows will work for the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, Office of the Dean of the College, The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, the Wellness Office, and the Advancement Division.

In addition, fellows participate in a series of seminars and workshops throughout the year to support their professional experience, encourage personal growth, and enhance career opportunities.

The Presidential Fellows Program, run by the Office of the President, was launched in 2009 and provides graduates with the opportunity to play key roles in Dartmouth’s administration.

Meet the fellows:

Stephanie Barnhart ’14 (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Stephanie Barnhart ’14, Advancement Division Hometown: Palm Beach, Fla. Major: English

The Dartmouth Experience: “My experience at Dartmouth provided me with the best of everything. The Dartmouth Plan allowed me to travel to New Zealand, meet new people every term, and obtain challenging internships. I made lifelong friends and worked with amazing professors who inspired me to levels of achievement I would not have attempted on my own.”

Working for the College: “As a fellow, I hope to gain a greater understanding of all that goes into making Dartmouth excel and am excited to promote the college that has given me so much.”

Why Advancement? “Advancement appealed to me specifically because of my interest in fundraising and development. I also saw it as a chance to work with a great team of people.”

Jennifer Jaco ’13 (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Jennifer Jaco ’13, Wellness Office Hometown: Metropolis, Ill. Major: Psychology

Note: Jaco is working as a fellow for a second year, having served last year in the Finance and Administration Division.

Working in finance: “My previous fellowship in Finance and Administration provided many opportunities to grow, both in the field of finance and as a young professional. I was able to build lasting relationships with staff and learn about how Dartmouth operates from a staff perspective, which is vastly different than the student perspective.” 

Combining passions: “The things I will enjoy most is that my two passions, business and health care—two vastly different fields–were able to be combined through these fellowships, something I never thought would be possible directly out of an undergraduate education.”

Up next: “I plan on leaving Dartmouth to work for a few years prior to receiving an MBA to work in hospital administration, and firmly believe that my time here as a fellow in both positions has adequately prepared me for what lies ahead.”

Neelima Panth ’14 (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Neelima Panth ’14, The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science Hometown: Arlington, Va. Major: Neuroscience

Rewarding Experience: “The lasting relationships that I’ve built with peers, colleagues and mentors have been instrumental in shaping my Dartmouth experience. Over the past four years, these relationships have inspired me to challenge convention, turn failures into opportunities, and contribute to my community in a meaningful way.”

Looking Ahead: “I am very excited about the opportunity to work at The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science (TDC), help strengthen their global partnerships, and support their mission to provide equitable health care access in communities across the world. I look forward to continuing my engagement with the Dartmouth community during my time as a Presidential Fellow.”

After the Fellowship: “After my year at TDC, I hope to pursue a career in global health and medicine. I look forward to using my experiences as a fellow to further my understanding of health care delivery in underserved communities worldwide.” 

Rohail Premjee ’14 (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Rohail Premjee ’14, Office of the President Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas Major: Government and Philosophy

In the Classroom: “One thing about Dartmouth that I appreciate is that it was absolutely the best school for me academically. Everything I hoped to achieve in my studies in government and public policy I was able to accomplish, and through Dartmouth’s liberal arts experience, I was able to fall in love with some other academic disciplines along the way.” 

As a Fellow:  “I am particularly excited about assisting President Phil Hanlon and senior leadership in the president’s office with new initiatives.”

Looking Ahead: “While I would like to immediately attain more experience in marketing and business development, I hope to then attend graduate school in law or business, but leverage my degree in the nonprofit sector. I am interested in eventually pursuing a career in higher education administration.” 

Maria Sperduto ’14 (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Maria Sperduto ’14, Office of the Dean of the College Hometown: Wayzata, Minn. Major: Sociology

As an Undergraduate: “My undergraduate years taught me to embrace projects and adventures that make me feel hesitant or concerned about inadequacy. You can’t learn to swim if you aren’t first to feel like you are drowning, and you certainly cannot perform if you aren’t willing to go onstage. I have grown more self-assured through understanding the power of being ready to jump in and learn.”

As a Professional: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to devote my energy to the well-being of the undergraduate community this year. It is astounding, inspiring, and humbling to see the inner workings of the Office of the Dean of the College, where small teams of incredibly skilled, passionate, hardworking individuals make the Dartmouth undergraduate experience a positive reality for so many students.”

Up Next: “I am lucky to have the opportunity to work alongside the people I do, and fortunate to have my first job with them—as their positive formative influence will impact my work now and in every job I have in the future.”

Holli Weed ’14 (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Holli Weed ’14, Office of the President Hometown: Cool, Calif. Major: Psychology

As a Student: “My Dartmouth education has provided me with the language and communication skills I need to discuss difficult community issues with my future peers and coworkers. I can’t thank the College enough for this gift.”

On the Fellowship: “In my role as a fellow, I am eager to serve as a liaison between administrators and other members of the Dartmouth community. I believe the best way for Dartmouth to move forward as a community is through increasing understanding and building relationships between students, staff, faculty, alumni, and administrators.”

Post-Dartmouth: “After completing my fellowship, I plan to attend graduate school to study student affairs. I plan on using my professional career to help better support students at institutions like Dartmouth.”

Karl Yaeger MALS ’14 (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Karl Yaeger MALS ’14, Office of the Provost Hometown: Helena, Mont. Concentration: Creative Writing

On Dartmouth:“My most rewarding academic experiences were my regular one-on-one meetings with my professors. My graduate work was in writing, and there’s no substitute for time spent with a celebrated author or a former New York Times bureau chief. I also had the opportunity to study creative writing at Exeter College at the University of Oxford.”

Working as a Fellow: “It’s an exciting time to be working at Dartmouth—we have great new leadership with both vision and focus. I’m really looking forward to learning how these folks run an institution as far-reaching and prestigious as Dartmouth. Above all, it’s an uncommon opportunity, and I simply want to glean as much as I can.”

The Next Step: “After my fellowship, I’d like to work in speechwriting or public relations. In particular, I’m fascinated by how complex institutions and firms can communicate clear, digestible messages. I think the humanities have an essential yet too often understated role in business and government. I’d love to work somewhere in that intersection.”

Keith Chapman