This is your Town Manager Alex Torpey here with another spotlight episode.
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I sit down in Town Hall with Sian Beilock, Dartmouth College's 19th president, who was inaugurated in September of this year. Sian and I discuss a range of issues from mental health, to housing in Hanover, to disagreeing and having civil conversations, what insights we can gain from cognitive science and psychology about how people interact with each other, and whether Sian can still beat her daughter in tennis or not. Both Sian and I wanted to make sure to share how essential it is to both of our organizations that we explore new ways to work even more effectively together.
Much of this kicked off last year, when I and our Selectboard were invited to a reception lunch that was hosted by the College's Board of Trustees. Although many Town and College staff already work well together, I made the case for the value in finding new ways to collaborate at a more senior, and big picture level, with me being new and Dartmouth expecting a new president soon. On that day, everyone recommitted to this great and important work, and I think we've already made a lot of progress, with so much more to come.
Sian and I first had a chance to discus this when we met in February of this year about the challenges and opportunities in Hanover, at Dartmouth, and in our broader regional community in the Upper Valley. Since then, the College has created a VP of Government and Community Relations (Great discussion with Emma Wolfe a few episodes back), and since then we've worked together on a range of new programs and issues, such as around economic and community development in our downtown, around housing, transportation, sustainability, student involvement, and more, already with notable results.
Growing up in a College town in New Jersey that I later happened to become the mayor of, and being involved in Town governance when I was in College, the complex thread of how dynamics work in College towns has always been on my mind, and that complexity, vibrancy, and challenge and opportunity is part of what excites me about the work that we're doing in Hanover. Finding the right way for the Town, and its many related stakeholders, and the College, and its many related stakeholders, to work together, even, and especially, when we aren't 100% aligned on how to approach a particular problem, idea, or policy, is one of the most important things we can do in Hanover to ensure our community's success and future.
So please enjoy this conversation with Sian and look for more in the coming weeks, months, and years about how we're collaborating on issues that matter most to our community.
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